Sunday, March 8, 2015


In 1999, Marvel published a Moon Knight limited series entitled HIGH STRANGENESS (though the covers of all four issues mistakenly billed it as “HIGH STRANGERS”). The story was published weekly and I was in college at the time, branching out a bit in my Marvel reading, so I grabbed issue 1. I know I had heard of Moon Knight, but I really knew next to nothing about him. I liked his costume, though, and the series was drawn by Mark Texeira, an artist I appreciated.

Well, I was hooked immediately on the character as written in that story by his creator, Doug Moench. The funny thing is that now, having not read the mini-series in over a decade, I don’t really even remember the plot. But I fell for the trappings of Moon Knight more than the story: he’s an ex-soldier of fortune turned wealthy playboy with numerous secret identities, he resides in a sprawling mansion with his beautiful live-in girlfriend Marlene and his confidante/pilot, a fellow ex-merc named Frenchie, and he goes out at night in his stealth chopper to fight crime as the Moon’s Knight of Vengeance, to atone for his dark past.

In short, the guy is awesome.

(We’ll ignore the fact that more recent writers have turned him into a certifiable nutcase, which he never was in the original Moench tales. He suffered from multiple personalities, to be sure, but he was completely grounded and not at all delusional.)

Anyway: HIGH STRANGENESS turned me on to other Moon Knight stories and within a year or two of browsing back issue bins at local comic shops and conventions, I had acquired every single Moon Knight appearance, in any Marvel comic, up to that point (most were pretty cheap at the time). A handful of writers had scripted Moon Knight over those years, but it was the earliest work from Moench that resonated with me the most. His Moon Knight, prior to receiving his own ongoing series and gaining a quasi-mystical origin, was a jet-setting character of action and intrigue, almost like James Bond in a superhero costume.

Recently Marvel released the MOON KNIGHT EPIC COLLECTION: BAD MOON RISING, collecting all of those very early appearances from around the Marvel Universe of the seventies, as well as the first few issues of the character’s solo series from the early eighties. I’ll get to the Moench-written ongoing at some point, but for the immediate future my aim is set squarely upon the stuff that predates it: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #32 and 33, a two part headlining gig in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT, several solo stories in HULK! Magazine, and a tale from MARVEL PREVIEW. I’ll be covering all of these over the next nine Fridays.

Moon Knight — the original Doug Moench version — is one of my favorite Marvel characters. Hopefully the next couple months will explain why.


  1. Fun! I've never been a huge Moon Knight fan - I like the idea of the multiple secret IDs, but tying them in to multiple personalities as well always seemed overly complicated. But, I've also read very little in the way of Moon Knight stories (aside from his WCA appearances and the first few issues of one of his more recent series, Bendis & Finch IIRC, which did indeed cast him as a certifiable loon even I knew wasn't accurate), so I'm excited to read your take on the character.

    1. Yeah, that Bendis series was ridiculous. The previous series weren't quite that bad but they still made him a bit of a nut. I really think it was Moench adding the Khonshu origin that paved the way for later writers to go that route. The multiple personalities were one thing, but Moench introduced this element where Moon Knight may or may not have had a connection to this Egyptian god, and that, I think, was the source of his delusions as interpreted by others.

      Anyway, glad you're on board for this!

  2. I too am a fan of Moon Knight, but essentially only because I love Sienkiewicz's art during his Neil Adams period. His work when the book wasn't monthly was truly great stuff.

    1. Yes, I love Bill S.'s Adams phase. I know it's more or less a shameless rip-off, but it looks so good! I feel bad for saying it because I'm sure Sienkiewicz himself would be bummed to learn I like his impression of another artist better than his own style which he developed later, but I absolutely do think he was better on MOON KNIGHT than on NEW MUTANTS and almost everything he did after. I can't stand his "abstract" stuff; it just looks really ugly to me.