Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Moon Knight 9, originally released December 7th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Spencer: One of the greatest things about superhero comics is how thoroughly they live in the realm of metaphor. The limitless possibilities provided by the Marvel and DC universes mean that creators can take the most abstract of concepts and make them literal, physical threats for our heroes to face head-on. Sometimes this can oversimplify things, sure, but under the pens of the best creators this provides an opportunity to explore complicated subjects in a more straightforward manner. That’s certainly the case with Moon Knight 9, where Jeff Lemire and his murderers’ row of artists tackle Marc Spector’s mental illness in a way that’s simultaneously realistic and about as sci-fi as humanly possible. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Moon Knight 4, originally released July 6, 2016
Spencer: In a solo superhero title, it’s usually a given that the book will focus on the title character. They generally drive the action, and thanks to internal monologues, we often know what they’re thinking as well. In many ways, the audience views the story through that title character’s point of view, but in Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire’s Moon Knight, that statement is far more literal — we see the world just as Moon Knight himself sees it, and like our Mr. Knight, we have no way of telling what’s real and what isn’t, nor any way to control how we perceive this world. Just as the creative team dictates the reader’s experience, the people around Marc Spektor seem to have complete control of the world he inhabits, and that goes for friend and foe alike. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Drew are discussing Moon Knight 1, originally released April 13th, 2016.
Michael: Superheroes do so love wallowing in self-doubt and self-reflection. Along with trading blows with supervillains and helping the helpless, self-reflection is one of the great pastimes of the American superhero. “Am I strong enough?” “Am I supposed to be this?” “Can I overcome this?” and so on, and so on. In Moon Knight 1 our hero is questioning himself (or selves) on a completely different level. The main question our hero asks is “Have I ever actually been Moon Knight? Or did I make that up?” Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Moon Knight 4, originally released June 4th, 2014.
Drew: The etymology of the verb “to haunt” isn’t entirely clear, but it likely stems from the Old Norse heimta “bring home”, which is itself derived from the Proto-Germanic khaim- or “home”. That is to say, while we commonly refer to people being haunted by thoughts and ideas, “haunting” originally referred rather specifically to spirits being brought to or trapped in ones home. But are those actually different things? I tend to think of the idea of ghosts as vengeance-seeking beings as a manifestation of guilt, whether that guilt be the killer’s, or just of those lucky enough to still be alive. That is to say, I don’t think the spirit of Banquo actually visits MacBeth — he’s more powerful to me as a representation of MacBeth’s guilty conscience than of any supernatural power. Ghosts are our tell-tale heart, figments of our imagination that drive us mad. Unless, of course, you don’t have a conscience. Then Moon Knight might need to be driven mad on your behalf. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Moon Knight 3, originally released May 7th, 2014.
Spencer: I’ve always struggled with ambiguity; as a child I was more concerned with knowing the “correct” answer or meaning of something than finding my own interpretations, and though I’ve mostly moved past this due to growing up, becoming (slightly) more emotionally stable, and especially due to my writing here, occasionally I still come across a piece of work that’s so ambiguous that I just have trouble dealing with it. Moon Knight is one of those books; it’s so opaque that any number of possible meanings could be applied to its story, leading me to wonder if there’s actually any meaning at all. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Moon Knight 2, originally released April 2nd, 2014.
Drew: When I talk about “density” in a piece of art, I’m usually referring to its meaning — the way themes and symbolism is laid over the plot to give us something more than a sequence of events. The notion that a work of art is greater than the sum of its parts is our working assumption here at Retcon Punch, but Moon Knight 2 posits that exactly the sum of those parts can be incredible in its own right. Indeed, while this issue features only the thinnest wisp of a plot, it introduces and retraces the scene with such thoroughness to create an entirely different kind of density. It’s an awe-inspiring object, featuring an intricate clockwork of pieces that aspire to exactly what they are: an utterly brief moment in time examined from every conceivable angle.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Moon Knight 1, originally released March 5, 2014.
Patrick: What do we call what we’re doing here at Retcon Punch? Literary criticism? Art criticism? Pop psychology mixed with informed gawking? I like to think that we’re simply exploring narratives and what makes them interesting. No matter what you think we’re trying to do, one thing we end up doing a lot is explaining. Occasionally, we lack the tools to properly explain something we read — maybe there’s a character who’s history we don’t have an adequate handle on or maybe the cultural references fly over our heads — but we always need to attempt to explain the issue in front of us. Moon Knight is one of those characters I don’t know shit about, but it’s cool — writer Warren Ellis is counting on my ignorance, and is waiting in the wings to exploit my every assumption. Continue reading →