Review – Moon Knight #196 (Marvel Comics)

Mind Games in Moon Knight #196

Previously in Moon Knight, we were introduced to a new villain called the Collective. A university professor got some students together and through some A.I.M. technology combined them all into a collective consciousness. On the inside, it seemed to work well, as the collective consciousness could do whatever. The outside did not fare so well as the body transformed into a body horror of mixed and mashed body parts that kept attacking and absorbing people into the Collective! Marc Spector—AKA Moon Knight—was one of those absorbed. The Collective got more than it bargained for, as once inside its mind all of Marc’s personalities came with him. Now in Moon Knight #196 Moon Knight and pals must figure out how to defeat the Collective inside its own mind.


Moon Knight #196 (Marvel Comics) cover by Becky Cloonan
Cover by Becky Cloonan

Max Bemis is definitely trying something new with Moon Knight #196. Having all of his personalities together inside the mind of the Collective is interesting. Being inside the mind of the villain also brings about all kinds of wacky scenarios and situations. These are definitely areas we are not used to seeing Moon Knight in. This dreamscape type atmosphere allows Bemis to do some really fun things in Moon Knight #196. I can’t talk about much without spoiling the issue but Bemis does a really fun thing that kind of mixes Moon Knight with a Green Lantern type vibe.

Bemis does a good job in Moon Knight #196 of wrapping up this two-part story while still building up an ongoing narrative. I like this kind of storytelling where there is an ongoing plot but every story does not have to directly deal with it. I do wish we got to see more of Marc Spector hanging out with Marlene and his newly found daughter. We have only got short snippets here and there. I would like to see more of Marc trying to make a family connection.

Having Marc inside the mind (or minds) is a very interesting aspect. Bemis lets his knowledge of him dealing with his own mental illness help solve the problem he is currently in. It is a different perspective and great way of looking at things. 


Paul Davidson continues to impress me with his artwork in Moon Knight #196. His cartoony style and more exaggerated character work fit perfectly with this story arc. Davidson has a field day within the mind of the Collective. He packs the pages with some fantastic visuals. He has several of those pages that I just stare at for a long time to make sure I am catching everything that is going on. It is one of those things that even after looking at it several times you will catch little things in the background that you missed. Davidson has wonderful detail and really just made Moon Knight #196 a delight just to look at.

Mat Lopes also continues to do a tremendous job on colors. He packs this world of the Collective’s mind with some wonderful coloring work. Lopes does a great job of mixing and matching dark and bright colors to great effect. One page, in particular, has a psychedelic/black light poster type coloration to it that is awesome.


Moon Knight #196 wraps up this two-part story as Marc Spector must fight off the Collective from inside its own mind. Max Bemis continues to do a good job of bringing our hero to new and different places while expanding his rogues’ gallery with new and interesting characters. I do wish Moon Knight had a little more “family time” but I am overall enjoying what Bemis is doing with him. Paul Davidson and Mat Lopes deliver some superb visuals in Moon Knight #196, and honestly, it was just a lot of fun to look at!

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