MOON KNIGHT #10
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 17, 2014
We left Moon Knight last month with a rather impressive cliffhanger, and this month Brian Wood gives us the aftermath. I’ve been giving this new creative team a tough time considering the act they had to follow, but I was impressed by the turn taken in the last issue and excited to see what they would do next.
It turns out — not really that much, to be honest.
This issue was very much a bridge between the reveal of the last and what will presumably be the climax of the Wood/Smallwood arc before they hand off to the new team, Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins, on issue #13. In some ways, it’s channeling the spirit of Warren Ellis’ approach to the character by creating a relatively contained story about a single person that’s not tied heavily to Moon Knight, but instead involved with him. Still, the reason Ellis was able to get away with it was because he wasn’t beholden to a narrative arc.
There was no expectation for follow up as it was established pretty clearly that he was writing six one-shots. In fact, I’d argue that issue #6 of the run, the issue that relied most heavily on past canon and connecting with an earlier part of the story, was the weakest of them all because the connections and references weren’t as firm as they should have been.
So, in the case of this particular issue, I was holding Wood to a pretty high standard considering the cliffhanger he’d left us with. If you set us up with a plot point that will continue into the next issue, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect we would have significant motion towards that end unless you’re working out some other kind of narrative experiment or thought piece.
There wasn’t much motion in this latest issue and I didn’t think the time we spent elsewhere was justified by the time spent. In most regards, not only was it a story and exposition that I had largely heard before, but it was exposition that was basically told in the previous issue but in a much more compelling way.
Art-wise, what I think is most notable about Greg Smallwood’s work is his sense of texture. While the Shalvey/Bellaire team-up made Moon Knight and his Khonshu iteration fascinatingly flat, in this version I can actually feel the graininess of Khonshu’s beak just by virtue of the slightly smeary style that’s used. It’s both unique and effective.
And, of course, Jordie Bellaire continues to bring her A-game with the colors. I think maintaining the same colorist on the book but changing the rest of the team has, in an unexpected way, brought some unity to the arcs despite them being somewhat disparate. I imagine she’s going to keep working with the new team too, but we’ll see what happens.
Moon Knight #6 doesn’t do anything that you don’t expect, which is especially disappointing after the great twist we saw at the end of issue #5. The real story only picks up in the last three or four pages and it’s a shame that we’re going to have to wait yet another month to see how it all pans out. I’m holding out hope for a satisfying ending to the Wood/Smallwood team, but this particular issue felt like filler more than anything else.
The Verdict: 6.0/10