Apr 30, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project: Day 65 - Marvel Spotlight #28, June 1976


I have an admission to make: that colourful cover up above, that's not the comic I read. This is:


I really like the Marvel and DC black and white reprint series, which makes their cancellation recently both a boon and a curse for me. A curse because, inevitably, the colour reprints that will follow will be either exorbitantly expensive or solely digital, neither of which really fits with my reading habits. The boon part is that these older books are getting sold off cheap, and I've managed to get some good deals on them.

Anyway, in order that I don't succumb to having nothing to say about The Score once I reach it's last issues, I've decided to alternate with chapters from this collected edition of Moon Knight stories. I've recently rediscovered the character through the new series, one that was launched by the awesome team of Warren Ellis and DeClan Shalvey. Though I was going to drop the series once the superstars were gone, it's actually continued to be really excellent. I wonder what will happen to it next month when Secret Wars drops, but hopefully it'll be cool still.

One last caveat. I only read very quickly the first two stories in this collection. Moon Knight makes his initial appearance in the pages of Werewolf by Night, a collection of which I read only a couple of months ago. Thus, I'm starting with MK's first solo appearance in Marvel Spotlight. I have to say, especially in light of the concerns I will shortly speak about with the Shadow Line Saga from Epic, that this issue manages to fairly seamlessly combine a decent adventure story with some subtle exposition, all wrapped around a few mysteries (who is Moon Knight, really?, and who's after the mayor?), all within a 20 or so page story. The art is competent, the writing is very 70s, but that's okay too. Moon Knight is often relegated to the same place that Daredevil or Green Arrow are, in that they're simply ways to cash in on the Batman archetype. I would never say that this is completely untrue, but I think Moon Knight (and the others to a certain extent) have enough originality to perhaps be descendants of the same myth that Batman is. What that myth is is a topic for a dissertation. Stay tuned.

Over the last few years I've started reading the old Marvel horror titles in these reprint volumes, and so have been exposed to some writers whose work I was previously unfamiliar with. Doug Moench is one of them, and I've really been enjoying his stuff. I think I was also swayed to respect him when he sheepishly admitted to having poorly finished Steve Gerber's Omega the Unknown story in the pages of The Defenders after Gerber left Marvel with the conclusion of the story.

(And, with Gerber's death a few years back, that story is likely never to see print. Just imagine....)

So that's that for today. Back to The Score tomorrow, and then some more Moon Knight on Saturday. See you tomorrow.

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