If you thought Moon Knight’s character was schizophrenic, then wait until you hear about his publication history. He started as a monster hunter–a side character in Werewolf By Night without an origin–until his creator put him in a pulpy magazine created solely to profit off of a televised version of Marvel’s Hulk. The back-up features became more popular than the lead stories, so Marvel allowed Doug Moench to reimagine Moon Knight in his own title as a gritty, slightly off-balance guy who believed he was resurrected by an Egyptian God that for some reason wanted him to fight crime in New York City. But then Moench and his muse, Bill Sienkiewicz, left the character behind and he descended into the depths of silliness in the pages of West Coast Avengers.
You can see all that if you just hit the “Evolution of Moon Knight” tag below.
Then, in 1989, Chuck Dixon got the reins. Dixon was known for writing tough comics. Tough Batman comics, mostly. And that’s pretty much what he did with Moon Knight. He even gave him a sidekick….
It wasn’t terrible. It was better than the last five years of Moon Knight. But it struggled for five years to find its voice. It quickly became–as did most 1990s Marvel comics–little more than an opportunity to load guest stars like Spider-Man, Punisher, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Silver Sable, Paladin, Black Cat, Brother Voodoo, etc. This is pretty much what Marvel was about at the time: Variant covers and comics that all seemed to look the same and feel the same.
In other words, it wasn’t Chuck Dixon’s fault. Or JM DeMatteis who took over for him. But I do blame that hack Terry Kavanagh for the Moon Knight mobile….
Marvel’s desperate attempts to make Moon Knight into Batman were now 100% transparent. Although you gotta love the leather seats.
Thankfully, the book didn’t last much longer. It ended in a steaming pile of mystical mumbo jumbo that made no sense to anyone–but apparently dude died. After that, Moon Knight was rested in peace for four years before Marvel tried to revive him by giving him back to Doug Moench? Was it too late? Can anyone save our caped crusader? Tune in next time, same Moon-blog, same Moon-post tags!