Hulk Magazine #20 Marvel Preview #21 (Moon Knight)
Issue(s): Hulk Magazine #20, Marvel Preview #21 (Moon Knight stories only) Cover Date: Apr-May 80 / Spring 80 Title: "A long way to dawn" / "The mind thieves / Vipers" Credits:
Doug Moench - Writer
Bill Sienkiewicz - Penciler
Bill Sienkiewicz / Dan Green, Tom Palmer, & Bill Sienkiewicz - Inker
In Hulk Magazine #20, Moon Knight wanders the street at night, waiting to see if Marlene recovers from the injuries sustained during the Hatchet Man story in issue #18. In his wanderings he encounters and helps (whether they want it or not) a number of characters on the seedy city streets, including an alcoholic door man, a heroin addict, and a homeless victim of a mugging.
Marlene does stabilize at the end of the issue, of course.
In Marvel Preview #21, Moon Knight goes after some former CIA associates of Marc Spector that are creating a super soldier program using very unsophisticated (by comic book standards) mind control.
It's said that Spector was in the CIA but left specifically because of the mind control program.
Competent stories made better by Sienkiewicz's art.
I've read that people felt that Sienkiewicz was a Neal Adams clone in his early days. I don't really see that, except in a general way. But it's definitely good.
My only complaint is the treatment of Marlene. Because these magazines were outside the domain of the comics code, it was ok to be a little risque with the ladies art. But in the Marvel Preview issue, it means Marlene is constantly tearing her clothes off or walking around in sexy lingerie. Often at inappropriate times because Moon Knight is pursuing a case, so it just makes her seem dumb and slutty, which isn't supposed to be the case.
Quality Rating: C+
Historical Significance Rating: 2
Chronological Placement Considerations: Marlene is hospitalized between Hulk Magazine #18 and #20 (there's no Moon Knight story in issue #19), so shouldn't appear anywhere in between.
It's interesting, in light of the sometimes bizarre treatment you mention, to note that Marlene's last name, Alraune, is that of an oft-filmed 1911 German novel by Hanns Heinz Ewers. Its eponymous protagonist, per Wikipedia, "suffers from obsessive sexuality and perverse relationships throughout her life." Does shacking up with a guy who has four identities count as a perverse relationship?