Marc Spector: Moon Knight #1-3 (1989)

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 black-and-white 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.

And that’s where we left him: When we last saw Moon Knight, he was in West Coast Avengers and Koshnu was reminding him that he’s a street-level hero and doesn’t need all that mystical stuff that made him suck in the pages of West Coast Avengers.  OK, that’s not exactly how Koshnu put it, but I’m pretty sure that’s what Marvel was going for—getting MK back to where he was when Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz were running him.

So he’s put with Chuck “G.I. Joe” Dixon on scripts—Dixon is an actual war veteran and extremely knowledgeable about weapons and martial arts—in the hopes that we’ll get back to the Moon Knight people actually enjoyed.

His pilot Frenchie and girlfriend Marlene are reintroduced, and for his first story Dixon brings back Bushman—the African soldier who was indirectly responsible for Moon Knight’s origin.

There’s an inexplicable cameo by Spider-Man.  I say inexplicable because (a) he’s never seen Moon Knight before, despite the fact that the guy was in the Avengers for several months (Peter Parker makes his living shooting pix of superheroes—you’d think he’d know who was one of Earth’s mightiest heroes) and despite the fact that Moon Knight operated out of New York City for several years before that; and (b) Spider-Man doesn’t get involved when he sees a caped weirdo attacking a foreign embassy.  Hm.

From there, Dixon takes the action to Bushman’s homeland of Burunda after Bushman kidnaps Marlene and takes her there.

To rescue her, we see he learned something from watching Hawkeye during his stint with the WCA team.

And in the end, Moon Knight rescues his girl and escapes Burunda.

Creators: Chuck Dixon and Sal Velluto
Grade: C.  Average.  Certainly much better for Moon Knight than West Coast Avengers ever was, but objectively as a comic, this is just a decent story.

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

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