Moon Knight #22-24
Issue(s): Moon Knight #22, Moon Knight #23, Moon Knight #24
This issue starts with Moon Knight returning to the mall that was secretly the Secret Empire base last issue, trying to locate information on the missing Midnight. He doesn't find anything, but does notice information on a Bo Ollsen, a mercenary that was with Marc Spector during the Bosqueverde mission (see the Trial story). Spector thinks that Ollsen will have information on their leader, Raposa, during that mission (the Trial story ended with Spector promising the current Bosqueverde government that he'd bring the leader to them). According to the Secret Empire's computer files, Ollsen is currently with the Pretorians [sic], a white supremacist offshoot of the Empire.
Moon Knight (and Marlene and Frenchie) infiltrate the Pretorians and get into a fight with them and a guy named Chainsaw.
Chainsaw winds up getting shot by Bo Ollsen...
...who it turns out was infiltrating the group for revenge, the Pretorians having abandoned a group of mercenaries during a mission. Ollsen knows that the Pretorians roll up to a larger group, but doesn't know it's the Secret Empire. Moon Knight trades that information, and the location of the current Secret Empire Agent Number One (who is in jail after the previous arc) in return for information on the whereabouts of Raposa. Moon Knight also learns that Raposa was bought off by the president of Bosqueverde that Marc Spector, on Ollsen's orders, killed.
Ollsen isn't told that Moon Knight is Marc Spector, but we'll see that he figures it out.
Raposa is in Miami running a drug gang. In a vaguely interesting twist, Moon Knight starts his quest against Raposa by going against a rival gang, thinking that he'll get info that he can use to take Raposa down. Instead Raposa learns about Moon Knight and makes a pre-emptive assault on the rival gang. It's interesting to see a hero's plan not exactly panning out, and it streamlines the plot in any event.
Meanwhile, Ollsen infiltrates the prison where the Secret Empire leader was being held and assassinates him (something that Secret Empire agent #2 was getting ready to do anyway). Ollsen then joins Moon Knight in the fight against Raposa.
Ollsen, mortally wounded, fends off the drug goons while Moon Knight leaves with Raposa, delivering him to the Bosqueverdeans.
Meanwhile, the Secret Empire gives their upgraded Midnight a test run. He's been beefed up with the ubiquitous adamantium.
What bugs me about this is there was nothing special about Midnight to begin with. He was Moon Knight's non-powered kid sidekick. His fighting abilities shouldn't have been anything that the Secret Empire couldn't have found elsewhere. So why all the focus on him? I mean why not do this to Chainsaw, for example?
Anyway, this is where Chuck Dixon's run ends. I thought the topics initially raised in the Trial of Marc Spector were interesting, with the idea that Spector would seriously come to terms with the fact that he was a death dealing mercenary in his pre-Moon Knight days. But that story almost immediately backed away from really examining that, and this story pulls away even further, revealing that even the guy that Spector assassinated was corrupt. This may have been the point, i.e., someone at Marvel might have thought it was a bad idea to have a character to be so guilty of war crimes, but it takes away from what made Moon Knight distinct from its other street level vigilantes.
As has been the case with this book, and in what is increasingly the trend at Marvel in general, this storyline is very thin, with three issues to cover not a lot of plot. The only subplot is about Midnight, and there's really no characterization or significant interactions between Spector and his supporting cast. Chainsaw, despite being a character that will have a few more appearances, barely rises above being a generic goon. Depending on your preferences, this is either a very streamlined, no-nonsense story or a very padded story; i lean towards the latter.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 96,526. Single issue closest to filing date = 73,151.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's been "weeks" since Moon Knight's team-up with Punisher and Spider-Man against the Secret Empire from last arc.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showChainsaw, Frenchie, Lynn Church, Marlene Alraune, Midnight (Jeffrey Wilde), Moon Knight, Secret Empire Agent Number Seven
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