Review: MOON KNIGHT #5

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 2, 2014

Punisher, Wolverine, Deathstroke….move over. The baddest, toughest, S.O.B. in comics is Moon Knight.

Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire have given Moon Knight new life, re-defining this character for a whole new legion of readers and, in the process, have created a character defining run with this series. This Moon Knight will be “the” Moon Knight for many readers going forward and I can honestly say I have never read stories featuring this character that are as entertaining as this.

Each issue of Moon Knight has been a unique look into the madman’s psyche and his straightforward approach to kicking ass and taking names. With each page of the series to this point, and especially with issue #5, it feels like New York City is becoming Moon Knight’s city and if you step out of line in Moon Knight’s city you are going to feel some immense pain in very short order. With Daredevil in San Francisco and the Punisher in L.A. this title, without ever explicitly stating it, feels like Moon Knight cleaning up the streets of New York. The subtle statements Ellis weaves into this issue give Moon Knight such a unique sense of character, something I’ve always felt he lacked, and that this character is finally in the right space and time to work. Ellis’ take on the character builds his mythos with each issue and his storytelling in issue #5 is simply fantastic.

Declan Shalvey drops some of my favourite pencils of 2014 in this issue, telling so much story through motion and in an organic way. Moon Knight plows through thugs like a battering ram in this issue and how Shalvey handles each quarrel is masterful. The layouts and flow of this comic are amazing and with each subsequent reading I am astounded at how well Shalvey represents Moon Knight’s journey through this building. Shalvey gives readers some of the most stylish street level fight scenes I’ve seen in a very long time and this issue is an extension of the fabulous work he has done on the series so far. This is one of the most striking books in comics and I dare you to take your eyes off of this book once you crack it open.

….and let us not forget to discuss the colours. Jordie Bellaire’s rich colour work and fantastic palettes are what set the tone for this comic, and her work elevates Shalvey’s to a whole new level. Moon Knight leaps from the page because of her work, his striking image interacting with the scenery of the issue in an amazing way. Bellaire is one of the best colourists there is in comics right now and Moon Knight #5 is proof of that.

Moon Knight #5 is another brilliant chapter in the best street level comic that has come from the House of Ideas in years. This gritty tale solidifies Moon Knight as a straight up badass, not a Batman wannabe in white. This is character defining work and some of the most inventive work to come from Shalvey in his career. Stories like this don’t come along every day and you definitely don’t want to miss Moon Knight.

The Verdict: 10/10


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