moon knight #13 – written by Jed McKay with art by Federico Sabbatini, color by Rachelle Rosenberg, and lettering by Cory Petit – picks up just after the events of number 12, and the fallout from Zodiac’s machinations still reverberates through the Midnight Mission. But in an interesting change of pace, McKay doesn’t let the team linger, throwing them straight into a plot of the series’ early issues: the vampire pyramid schemes sweeping through New York. This narrative choice pays off, as it infuses a manic energy into the storyline that keeps the pulse of the issue going. It’s clear that at some point things will fall apart for Marc and the other personalities, but for now it’s just high octane fights, re-introductions of classic Moon Knight enemies. and a war between ancient mercenary and fraudulent creatures. of the night. The plot is the best combination of Moon Knight elements, the crime angle mixed with the supernatural, and makes the book one of the most refreshing titles in Marvel’s pile.
McKay’s strength in this issue is his great use of continuity, from Taskmaster’s relationship with Moon Knight to deep cuts for villains, which is the selling point of this book. If you’ve never read Charlie Huston and David Finch’s run on Moon Knight, you should definitely fix that after finishing this review, because it’s a story that’s crazy in a way that doesn’t seem possible in a Marvel landscape owned by Disney. . But after this issue, it’s clear that it will be a rewarding read, as it seems to inform the current plot. For a character like Moon Knight, who is just below the Marvel hero spotlight, even with the rising profile of a TV show, sometimes it’s easier to step away from continuity to tell a unique story. Instead, McKay doesn’t back down and dives headfirst into this scattered, chaotic Fist of Khonsu continuity and weaves a strong urban fantasy story with seemingly powerful repercussions in the magical sphere of the Marvel Universe.
Sabbatini’s linework is tighter than that of the book’s lead artist, Alessandro Cappuccio, and more consistent overall, but the trade-off is that Sabbatini doesn’t take the big swings that the art of a number typical will do. That’s true in most Cappuccio issues, there’s a few bumps here and there, especially in lineups and facial expressions, but when they’re willing to really dig in and go big in an issue, like kingdom Khonsu’s divine last few troubles, and the accompanying undead army. It’s a worthwhile compromise, as small details are forgotten in the fog of time between issues, but those great layouts and sequences persist well beyond the back cover.
That’s not to devalue the work Sabbatini puts into the issue, which is always amazing to consider. He’s able to capture a fluidity that does a character like Moon Knight well, giving him a slick aesthetic that keeps the beat moving, and uses solid panel compositions to keep that beat unhindered. The issue reads quickly, handles exposition and storytelling well, without getting bogged down in the words of the page. But at the end of the issue, it was difficult to remember a visual or a panel in the same way as an issue drawn by Cappuccio. A few come close, like Moon Knighting catching up with Taskmaster, or a post-fight shot of Moon Knight, his cape shredded, letting the light shine through. Both cases are excellent representations of the problem, in that they hit the page, but they don’t exactly linger beyond the flip.
The real hero of this issue is The Rosenberg stain, which gives a unified palette to this series, across the different artistic styles. The use of vibrant colors mixed with harsh blacks and bright whites lends a striking silhouette to the heroes and villains of the books and helps form that visual opinion of moon knight. Some pages in this issue work almost better as backgrounds with these color ranges and lend a greater sense of tone and atmosphere to Sabbantini’s already solid art. Rosenberg is one of those colorists who appears in a variety of books, but this series feels like she’s swinging for the fences and achieving great success doing so. It’s not hard to think that when people look back and discuss this series of Moon Knight, Rosenberg’s coloring will be in the same breath as the art of Declan Shalvey or Bill Sienkiewicz.