Moon Knight #47-50,52-53
Issue(s): Moon Knight #47, Moon Knight #48, Moon Knight #49, Moon Knight #50, Moon Knight #52, Moon Knight #53
There's a basic idea in issue #47 that should have been fun. Moon Knight is still not sure if the cure he got last issue is going to work, so he's activated a "Legacy Quest" to find a replacement for himself. Because we surely can't deprive the world of a third rate powerless super-hero like Moon Knight. Who else would swing around town and fight random street thugs? But, ok, so i think Moon Knight is redundant to begin with, but the idea of him looking for a replacement has potential. And he goes through a bunch of candidates, and rejects them all. Some are too corrupt, some are too cowardly, some don't want the job because they're secretly Spider-Man.
And that's cute. Although you have to love that Spidey isn't the least bit concerned or even curious that Moon Knight is seeking a replacement.
But mixed in with the recruitment stuff is this:
And i don't know what that is and i never want to see it again. What a mess. Then there's this guy.
Moon Knight forms a temporary alliance with Tombstone for some reason and takes Deadzone out.
But in the meantime, whatever was going on in that horrible scan with those horrible characters comes to a head (and i guess the twelve hours pass and the need for recruiting a replacement passes with it), and Frenchie is kidnapped as part of the horrible Templar plot that was introduced in the previous arc. And if you've made it this far down the page, prepare to be "rewarded" with one of the most bone headed reveals ever.
It turns out that Chloe Tran, Moon Knight's housekeeper from the start of this series and, more recently, Frenchie's girlfriend, is a member of this secret order of the Templar (note the blond wig she's been wearing).
"Ok", i hear you saying. "That's out of the blue and a little weird, but she's a very minor character, so revealing that she's a secret Templar warrior without there ever having been a hint of it before is... kinda dumb, but not outrageously so." But that's not the big reveal. The big reveal is that within Frenchie, there exists a secret ancient Templar warrior named Henri Remont that Frenchie can now transform into.
Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh god! WHAT?!
Frenchie is on his own because Moon Knight gets stopped by the Avengers, who want to have a chat with him.
While the Avengers are debating his various misdeeds, Moon Knight says nothing. And he eventually sneaks off, leaving the burning remains of his Avengers ID card behind.
Moon Knight then joins up with *snicker* Henri Remont to fight whatever the heck is going on with the Templars and their opponents. Something about Seth the Immortal and a Bloodline Agenda and ill-defined villains Murmur and Network. I guess Bloodline is Frenchie/Remont's super-hero name.
There's also a demon that i guess is on the good guys side? He's a "Shadowspawn" called "Manx".
Like i said, i don't really know what's going on.
Issue #50 is where all this Bloodline stuff is resolved (for now?), and it ends with Gambit and Werewolf By Night getting into a fight.
They are fighting in Moon Knight's original mansion (Moon Knight relocated to his Shadow Tower in Manhattan in Moon Knight #38).
But before Moon Knight gets in the middle of that fight, he first has to contend with some office politics (Donna Kraft has apparently dyed her hair, maybe to participate in a Phoebe Marrs lookalike contest)...
...and whatever the hell this is.
Ok, guys, i said i didn't mind when artists go abstract, and i even mentioned Picasso. But i didn't mean it literally.
Anyway, it's not until issue #53 that we get the Gambit/Werewolf fight. Not that i thought i even wanted a Gambit/Werewolf fight, but they teased it in issue #50, and then issue #51 was a fill-in, and then issue #52 mostly focused on other stuff, so by the time we get to #53, i'm like please!. At least i'll understand a Gambit/Werewolf fight, unlike all these Deadzones, Bloodlines, and Cubists.
Still, that art kinda sucks.
Uh, the idea is that Werewolf By Night saw on TV that Moon Knight was possessed by a demon, and his current MO involves hunting supernatural stuff, so he's decided to hunt Moon Knight. Their past friendship apparently doesn't give Moon Knight any leeway, even after MK says that the demon acne is all cleared up. And Gambit is here to warn Moon Knight about what Psylocke saw in his soul during Infinity War. Moon Knight thinks he's talking about the demon stuff too, but Gambit says it's deeper than that (seriously, what's deeper than getting possessed by a frigging demon?). Gambit just leaves when Moon Knight acts like an ass and refuses to listen to him. The Werewolf stops fighting when he learns that the demon that he still smells on Moon Knight is leftover spunk from his encounter with the Cubist and Glaze.
They then head back to where Moon Knight fought those two, and aw geez there's more of 'em.
Gambit returns to help out (after sniffing a bag of glue, i think).
The Manx shows up again as well.
Eventually this group of "Hellbent" "Shadowspawn" are taken care of, but Manx warns that the city is infested with them. Werewolf By Night leaves to hunt them down on his own.
There's also something going on with gremlins chewing up the wires of Moon Knight's computer system, but we already saw the start of that in the previous arc. No real developments on that front. There's also a subplot about Marlene Alraune going to work for a business rival of Marc Spector's, a Seth Phalkon (who i'm assuming is really Seth the Immortal, not that i really care to understand who Seth the Immortal is).
Part of me wants to talk about how weird it is for Moon Knight to be mixed up with so much mystical stuff for so long. But the quality of these issues is so poor that it's really not worth musing about the direction. It's just bad all around. The writing is terrible, and the art seems to get progressively worse, even after the art team gets to skip issue #51.
To editor Joey Cavalieri's credit, he prints a "poison pen" letter in just about every lettercol, basically making sure that at least one negative view is expressed on the letters page. I find myself nodding in vigorous agreement with everything in those letters. And shaking my head in bewildered frustration at everything else.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 94,495. Single issue closest to filing date = 108,600.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This seems to start not long after the end of issue #46, with Moon Knight still having to monitor his body for twelve hours to ensure that the cure from that issue is holding. This takes place after Web of Spider-Man annual #9. It takes place while Eric Masterson is still in control of Thor (a footnote says before #359 but they mean before #459). Moon Knight #51 is a fill-in. Issue #50 ends with the start of the fight between Gambit and Werewolf By Night, and issue #52 picks up from there directly, so i'm placing #51 after this story. Marc Spector orders his employees to take advantage of the "current setbacks" of Oracle Inc. to buy some cheap waterfront warehouse space, which suggests that this takes place after Namor #33 or so. Since this follows the previous Moon Knight arc which in turn continued directly from Infinity War, most of the guest appearances also neatly fall into the post Infinity War gap, making placement relatively easy.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAgony, Basilisk (Hellbent), Black Widow, Chloe Tran, Cover Girl, Deadzone, Don G, Donna Kraft, Frenchie, Gambit, Hawkeye, Junior Birdman, Manx, Marlene Alraune, Mercy (Shadow Cabinet), Moon Knight, Network, Pang, Penny Annie, Scout, Seth the Immortal, Sheriff, Sigmund, Spider-Man, Thunderstrike, Tombstone, USAgent, Vision, Werewolf By Night
Some of this looks like Kavanagh and Fry inhaled some Morrison comics and this spewed out.
I feel like the 'character quits super-hero team' move is done often to show how much of a badass/loner the character is and has now been done to death.
Posted by: Wanyas the Self-Proclaimed | September 22, 2016 4:38 PM
This all looks like garbage, but boy do I love the Cubist! The Sensational Character Find of 1993!
Posted by: S | September 22, 2016 7:24 PM
Is this Terry Kavanagh or Ann Nocenti?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 22, 2016 7:33 PM
Why did Kavanagh feel the need to create an immortal villain called Seth as a foe of Moon Knight who dates back to ancient Egypt when there was already an immortal villain named Seth dating back to ancient Egypt who was a foe of Khonshu?
Posted by: Michael | September 22, 2016 7:53 PM
Good point, Michael! I think that if Mark Gruenwald had lived long enough eventually he would have gotten around to revealing that the two Seths were connected :)
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 22, 2016 10:53 PM
Reading stuff like this hurts when you know that you can write a better story.
Posted by: Grom | September 22, 2016 11:15 PM
Cubist seems to heavily inspired by Mr. Nobody in Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, as Wanyas points out.
Posted by: Tuomas | September 23, 2016 3:55 AM
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