It starts with Moon Knight walking through a gauntlet of his early appearances and from Moon Knight Volume 1, like Bushman, Black Spectre and Werewolf by Night. Actually, it starts with someone breaking into an Egyptian tomb and finding some lost treasures, then it flashes to Moon Knight waking in a grave. He meets Koshnu, who tells him he has been resurrected to fight another God–the one the archaeologists unearthed on the splash page.
Next, we’re taken to Grant Mansion where Frenchie and Marlene have been “drawn to the location” despite the fact that Marc Spector is dead.
This time, unlike when Doug Moench first told the story of Moon Knight, it’s clear that he’s been resurrected from the dead. Even Frenchie can’t deny it. It’s an absolutely stellar first issue. Classic Doug Moench, and startlingly good art by Tommy Lee Edwards. The art looks like so many noir comics of the 2000s and today, but this came out in 1998, making Edwards ahead of his time.
In the series, Scarlet is Moon Knight’s connection to the mission. She selects the targets, and he takes them out. Throughout, there are many references and appearances of characters from Moon Knight volume one…And no reference to the mediocre (and worse) comics that followed that amazing, classic run. The evil version of Koshnu is bringing all of Moon Knight’s enemies back from the dead, and Spector has to take them out for a second time. I love that idea; if Spector can come back from the dead, then why not those he vanquished?
The “Batman” stuff is largely gone, although I did enjoy this reference to “Mr. Markham” in Ravencroft Asylum. Very slick.
In the end, Moench is content to leave Moon Knight’s resurrection ambiguous again.
If Morpheus is at work then all of Moon Knight’s history since volume 1 is suspect: Maybe he never died. Maybe he never was part of the West Coast Avengers? A brilliant retcon. Much, much better than the attempt to reconcile his strange past that Bendis would do a decade later.
This series set us up for the chance to have a good Moon Knight series again. But mostly, it reminded us that the character works best when he’s written by Doug Moench. It’s 1998, and for 20 years he’s the only one who was able to write truly great Moon Knight comics.
He made his point so well, Marvel gave him a series: Moon Knight volume 4.