Next up on the list of characters possibly inspired by Batman is the other Marvel character that gets compared to him: Moon Knight. This is another character I know little about. He first debuted in Werewolf by Night in 1975. He guest starred in other books for a few years until he was given his own series as well as an origin story. One of his creators was Doug Moench, a writer who one day got to write on the Batman books for DC.
It’s easy to see the similarities between Batman and Moon Knight. Marc Spector has money, uses disguises, and uses gadgets. He’s also pretty athletic and has help from his friends in fighting crime. From what I’ve heard, he’s sometimes not all there in the head. I know that some of his later series had him dealing with some mental disorder. While Bruce Wayne isn’t exactly crazy, you know he has issues if he’s dressing up as bat at night. Then, there’s the striking suit that looks pretty cool. Still, I hope no one mistakes him for being some weird Klan member.
Originally, I was going to look at an issue from the 90’s (Mark Spector: Moon Knight #50), but I ended up finding something probably much better. At McKay’s, I saw the first issue to Moon Knight’s first run laying on the comics’ shelf. I looked around to see if anyone had left it, and decided to buy it since it looked so lonely up there. Moon Knight #1 was written by Doug Moench. The pencils and some inks are handled by Bill Sienkiewicz while Frank Springer also handles some of the inks. The editor for this book was Denny O’Neil, another writer who’s mostly known for working on the Batman books.
Moon Knight #1
Writer: Doug Moench
Artists: Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Springer
Colors: Bob Sharen
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Denny O’Neil
“The Macabre Moon Knight!”
The story starts out in Sudan as Raoul Bushman and Marc Spector lead a raid on a rebel camp. After the raid, John Paul “Frenchie” du Champ comes by helicopter to deliver Marc some news on the raid. Marc is looking to leave this business and this last raid is it for him. Frenchie also came with orders for the team to raid another village even though it’s not full of rebels. Bushman wants to do it anyway and the fact that an archeologist team is there means they can find some treasure. They do the raid and the lead archeologist, Peter Alarune, tries to fight back. Unfortunately (for him), Bushman takes him out and kills him in front of Marc.
Bushman: taking a bite out of old white guys since 1980.
Marc goes to Dr. Alarune’s hut and finds the doctor’s daughter, Marlene, waiting. Marc tells her to leave and when she asks about her father, he tells her that killed him and threatens her to leave. After she leaves, Marc then finds Frenchie and tells him they need to get out there. Frenchie heads on out but when Marc sees Bushman’s men trying to execute innocent folk, he tries to intervene. Bushman knocks Marc out and his men leave him out in the desert to die. Marc wakes up the next morning and walks for miles.
Later, a couple of men see him and bring him to their hut where Marlene is. Marc appears to be dead and she is glad. Still, he did save her life, so she’s a little grateful. Suddenly, Marc wakes up not really knowing who he is. He does recognize the statue of the god, Khonshu, in the room and takes the cloak on the idol. He and Marlene then heads to Bushman’s base and Marc does some damage to the base. During a fight between Marc and Bushman, Marlene finds out that it was Bushman who actually killed her father. After Bushman escapes, Frenchie shows up and Marc passes out again.
As the years pass by, Marc gains wealth and decides to fight crime with the help of Marlene and Frenchie. He also creates three identities: Moon Knight, millionaire Steve Grant, and cab driver Jake Lockley. At his mansion in New York City, he learns that Bushman has set up shop in the US. He tells Marlene to stay at the house heads out in his identity of Jake Lockley. After he gets information on where Bushman is located, he contacts Frenchie. He changes into Moon Knight and tags a ride on his Mooncopter which is driven by Frenchie.
He goes into nightclub and a fight ensues. He finds a secret door and finds Bushman. The two stare down at each other. Suddenly, Marlene (who trailed Marc) barges in and gets shot by Bushman. Moon Knight loses it and attacks the tattooed villain. He takes Bushman down and is about to kill him when and injured Marlene stops him from doing that. Even though Bushman killed her father, she doesn’t want this act to tarnish Marc’s work. He agrees and the issue ends with them leaving Bushman for the police.
I thought this was good for the most part. It works as a nice origin for the character and gives all you need to know on how he works. I didn’t know jack about the character beforehand. I liked Marc as well as Frenchie. Marlene was okay for the most part but had a couple of weird moments. Bushman was stereotypical but interesting with his tattooed head and metal teeth. The story was action-packed and had enough elements to make it a good read. The artwork was pretty good as a whole. Everyone looked detailed and well-realized. The action showed looked cool and made sense. I especially liked the suit.
Overall, this was pretty good. The character seems interesting, so I might check out some more later on. I know that Brian Michael Bendis did stuff with the character. I know Warren Ellis is or was doing a book with Marvel. I might check those out one day. Well, I think I’m done for the day. I have a few more characters lined up to do before the month ends. Hopefully, I can get them done during this long weekend. Next time is going to be a bit different with the character I do next. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and be safe out there. I know it’s warm right now (seriously, it’s like 60 degrees outside), but weather’s been really trippy this season.
NEXT TIME: LET’S GET DANGEROUS!