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Review – Moon Knight Annual #1 (Marvel Comics)

Moon Knight Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) wraparound variant cover by Pasqual Ferry
Moon Knight Annual #1
Overall
7.7/10
7.7/10
  • Writing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Art - 7.8/10
    7.8/10
  • Overall - 7.7/10
    7.7/10
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Summary

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artists: Ibrahim Moustafa & Matt Horak
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 11, 2019

Kang the Conqueror has re-written history and changed the timeline. It is up to the Fist of Khonshu to stop him and make things right. But how will Moon Knight stand up against the master of time?

 

 

Marc Spector Goes Back to the Future in Moon Knight Annual #1

Marvel Comics’ “Acts of Evil” is upon us again in Moon Knight Annual #1. I don’t know why they call these annuals since Moon Knight or She-Hulk last week have ongoing series at the moment, but anyway. “Acts of Evil” is basically one-shot stories where we get some Marvel heroes going up against enemies we don’t normally see them face. In this issue, we have everyone’s favorite “Fist of Khonshu” up against the time-hopping “Avengers-Level Threat” Kang the Conqueror. Kang is trying to collect three artifacts from the moon “god” Khonshu that will let him rewrite all of time and history! It is up to Marc Spector and a host of other “Moon Knights” across time to stop him!

Writing

Moon Knight Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Philip Tan
Moon Knight Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) main cover by Philip Tan

Cullen Bunn takes the reins of this one-shot issue with Moon Knight battling Kang. Bunn is not unfamiliar with Marc Spector; he came in at the tail end of Vol. 7 writing issues #13-#17, which, for me, were all pretty solid, as a Moon Knight fan. If you get a chance, check out issue #15: “Bogeyman”—great work from Bunn. But back to Moon Knight Annual #1. So, I always think of Bunn in more of horror stories; obviously, he has written a ton of other story types, but I always think of a little horror edge when I see his name on a title. This story has a bit of the supernatural theme, but definitely more of a “time caper” type vibe.

Moon Knight Annual #1, story-wise, is a pretty straightforward one-shot story. Bunn sets everything up pretty quickly and we are on our way. You don’t really need to know much about Marc Spector, the character, to jump into the issue, as it doesn’t have much to do with him. Bunn explains the Moon Knight mythology well enough to help anyone get the basics of what is going on.

I am not the biggest fan of the whole “Moon Knights across time” theme. But it also makes a ton of sense. I think this was teased back in the previous ongoing Moon Knight series where we saw a flash of different Moon Knights in different eras. It makes sense that Marc Spector is just the avatar of Khonshu for the current time period. That there would have been one in the 1800s, 1500s, and so on. It works for me as a one-shot story. But it is also something I would not want to see in an ongoing series.

Art

Ibrahim Moustafa and Matt Horak are both credited as Artist in Moon Knight Annual #1. There is no page breakdown of who did what pages or anything. I could probably take a stab at who did what, and you see a little change in art toward the end of the issue, but I won’t say who did what because I don’t know for sure. All around, though, the art is great. The beginning of the issue is very strong. Kang is superbly well done, with great details in his character and a fantastic menacing face. There is also some good background detail throughout the issue. The old west theme time-hop was very well done, with great little touches here and there to set up the time period.

Even though I am a little apprehensive about the “Moon Knights across time” thing, it was fun to see the artists interpret different Moon Knight costumes across different time periods. I mean, I am not going to hate on seeing a pirate Moon Knight! The artists did a delightful job of designing these different costumes and it was honestly fun and exciting just to see what they would come up with. Again, they also did a great job with background details to set up the different eras.

I was very happy to see Mike Spicer on colors in Moon Knight Annual #1. He is one of my favorite colorists and I usually see him on Daniel Warren Johnson’s creator-owned things like Murder Falcon or Extremity. He does a superb job and is probably one of the reasons the art change-up is not super noticeable. Kang’s got that classic green and purple color scheme going on and Spicer captures that magically well throughout the issue. I love the bit of a darker tone he gives the whole issue. It sets the mood and tone marvelously well.

Conclusion

All around, this is a pretty solid one-shot story. Cullen Bunn makes the battle between Moon Knight and Kang interesting and fun, while the art team delivers some delightful visuals of Moon Knight throughout time. Plus I am always happy to get some Moon Knight in my life. We have got some interesting one-shot Moon Knight stories here recently with this and the short story in Marvel Comics Presents #4. We should be getting more on the way, as well, as I have heard rumors about an ongoing comic series in, possibly, December? Plus, obviously, the biggest news of Moon Knight coming to the MCU with his own Disney+ show! 


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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