Moon Knight 15, by Cullen Bunn and German Peralta ..."/> Moon Knight 15, by Cullen Bunn and German Peralta ..."/>

Marvel Pick Of The Week – May 20, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Moon Knight 15, by Cullen Bunn and German Peralta

I wanted to give the Pick to A-Force, a book that hits all my female representation, classic Marvel, fun as all get-out buttons. But all afternoon, the Moon Knight issue has haunted me, and this book crawled its way to the top of my list.

Warren Ellis’s take on Moon Knight was 6 issues of awesome, from a dapper visual redesign to a structure of engaging one-shot issues to the return of horror to Marvel’s main line. After his 6-issue run, Brian Wood took the book in a more traditional (though still creative) super-hero direction. Now, Cullen Bunn is applying the complexity showcased in his Magneto series to a deconstruction of faith that can only be told in this book at this time, and it’s stellar.

Over the last couple of months, Bunn’s Marc Spector has been more reluctant to carry out the wishes of his boss, Khonshu, the Egyptian god of travelers and the moon. He openly balked at helping a bunch of whiny ghosts, and he grudgingly broke up a gang of attack dogs when Khonshu owed Anubis a theopolitical solid.

The content of this issue is amazingly classic horror: Marc Spector puts on his Moon Knight persona to investigate a monster killing children from under their beds. It’s action-packed, with lots of scary claws ripping into our hero, dozens of bullets, and a great scene where Marc is bloody and beaten and at the mercy of well-intentioned neighbors. But it’s been exciting before. And it’s been scary before.

What sets this book apart from any of the others this week is the way it explores the concept of faith. Marc is not in a position to doubt the existence of God. He was brought back from the dead by Khonshu. He regularly speaks to him and discusses missions. He has proof that his god exists. But he has the same worries the readers do about the authenticity and benevolence of that god.

As the issue opens, Moon Knight staggers down an alley, leaving a thick trail of blood, whispering, “Khonshu, why have you forsaken me?” The boss explains that when Marc picks his own missions, he does so without the protection of his patron deity. Marc is able to have a conversation with his god the way many modern believers wish they could: He tells him he is wrong for not helping his servant’s good work, he rages against an omnipotent god who claims he “can’t” help him, and he puts on a different costume to go back and take that bogeyman out whether or not God signs off on the mission request. And at the end, as he stands over the beaten foe, he hears it using its final breath to hiss, “Khonshu, why have you forsaken me?” It’s one of the best cliffhangers I’ve read in months, damning the god for his secretive ways but also suggesting to our hero that he will end up miserable if he can’t break free from his religious servitude.

This book is not anti-religion. The scenes aren’t written to insult any major faith. But the comics medium is able to illustrate a universal battle – If God is all-powerful, why is there suffering? I love that this team is willing to go there with their work, and I can’t wait to see where they move this question next.

Honorable Mentions:

A-Force 1, because I will personally kiss, with tongue, anyone who can get me a tattoo of Disco-era Dazzler fighting a megalodon. (See Bam Smack Pow’s official review here!)

Spider-Verse 1, for showing us that Spider-Gwen is very judgy in this reality.

Secret Wars: Battleworld 1, for giving us a Punisher-Dr. Strange mashup…

And a motley crew of alternate reality MODOKs.

Uncanny X-Men 34, because even when Dazzler is in her post-traumatic Miley Cyrus monstrosity look, she still knows how to ROCK and looks great doing it.

Catch up on all the Picks Of The Week here!

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