Moon Knight #55-56
Issue(s): Moon Knight #55, Moon Knight #56
...and it belatedly occurs to me that the whole change in direction towards demons in this book may have been an attempt to capture the, er, 'magic' of Spawn.
I don't really want to bother explaining the plot in these issues. Marc Spector's company Spectorcorp has had a business rival in Phalkoncorp, run by Seth Phalkon (really original company names, guys, but at least it gets us the pun for the title of issue #55). And Marlene Alraune has been working there. Phalkon is really Seth the Immortal, leader of the Hellbent demons. That all comes to a head in these issues, but i really can't work up the motivation to decipher it, especially with art like this.
Not that the art is the real problem. Terry Kavanagh has been and continues to be the problem, both in delivering all this demon stuff in the first place and in the convoluted and chaotic way that it's unfolding.
Another development in these issues is that Moon Knight's Shadow Cabinet psychiatrist, Sigmund, says that Moon Knight still has his multiple personality disorder. Moon Knight has been suppressing it for this entire series, but he's not really cured.
This leads into an idea that isn't very clear to me (because i'm skimming at this point) where Seth is a dead ringer for Marc Spector. Seth actually claims to be Moon Knight's ancestor, and he therefore claims Spectorcorp as his own.
Seth attacks Moon Knight but they both get zapped for some reason. When Moon Knight wakes up, he thinks that Seth was able to get close to him thanks to a betrayal by a member of his Shadow Cabinet. So he calls them all for a meeting to root out the traitor.
He's unable to suss out a traitor, but he disbands the Shadow Cabinet, remotely destroying the rings that allow them to meet in hologram form. And then he realizes that the "traitor" was really Marlene. He goes after Marlene, but Seth gets there first, still looking like Marc.
Then Marc/Moon Knight gets there for real.
Marlene helps Moon Knight fight Seth.
They leave Seth pinned to a wall, but then Moon Knight is summoned away for the Infinity Crusade by the Goddess.
Seth is then rescued by a demon follow, Hook, and Marlene is dropped off a ledge.
Also in this issue, Kavanagh brings in the Cadre characters he introduced in Web of Spider-Man annual #9. Chloe Tran is training them to fight their Hellbent brethren.
Four more issues. Four more issues. Four more issues.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is not an official tie-in, but we see Moon Knight recruited by the Goddess at the end of issue #56. Next issue is an official tie-in, and it continues directly for Marlene Alraune, but that issue ends between Infinity Crusade #3-4 so i'll cover it in a separate entry. During the meeting with the Shadow Cabinet, rumors of Magneto's resurrection are mentioned. I briefly thought that was confirmation that Infinity Crusade has to take place during Fatal Attractions, but of course they are just rumors, and even before Fatal Attractions begins there is sufficient evidence to feed such rumors (e.g. what Gyrich and Forge find in Uncanny X-Men #299, the fact that the X-Men are searching for him in Wolverine #69-71, his possible appearance in X-Men Unlimited #1 - all things that Moon Knight's resourceful Shadow Cabinet could have learned about).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAgony, Chloe Tran, Cover Girl, Dementia, Donna Kraft, Fingers, Flare, Frenchie, Goddess, Hook, Junior Birdman, Marlene Alraune, Mercy (Shadow Cabinet), Moon Knight, Penny Annie, Scout, Seth the Immortal, Shard (Hellbent), Shark (Shadow Cabinet), Sheriff, Sigmund, Stash, Vortex (Hellbent)
Fnord, Seth didn't turn into a demon and escape- one of his demon minions, Hook, rescued him.
Posted by: Michael | November 30, 2016 8:19 PM
*snicker* And these issues went up in price when Stephen Platt became a... hu-hu-ha-ha-ha HOT artist.
Posted by: iLegion | November 30, 2016 9:00 PM
Ooops, made a redundant comment.
Posted by: iLegion | November 30, 2016 9:01 PM
I was never a big Moon Knight fan. I would read it every now & then. I liked James Fry's pencils, so I picked up a few of the issues he worked on, including #52-54. So then I got #55 to see what happened next... and the book went splatt!
As others have commented, Stephen Platt got very popular very quickly. Until I read fnord's entry above, I had no clue what happened in #56, because that issue sold out everywhere. After this series was cancelled, Marvel wanted Platt to draw Cable, and he almost took it, but instead went to Image when Rob Liefeld offered him a ridiculous amount of money to draw Prophet. Seriously, Liefeld was paying Platt $40,000 an issue! I actually liked Platt's work on that series, especially the final issue of volume one, where Prophet fought his arch-enemy / evil future self Crypt in Hell itself. Platt's insanely detailed, hyper-exaggerated artwork was perfect for that story, which sort of felt like Dante's Inferno on crack. Unfortunately, as with a number of other super-hot artists from that decade, Platt was *really* bad at keeping deadlines.
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 30, 2016 9:51 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Michael. As noted, i was definitely reduced to skimming these issues.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 1, 2016 1:43 AM
I first became familiar with SPlatt on Prophet, and I didn't notice then how much his style looked like MacFarlane's. Maybe by then he was coming into his own, but in these scans, fnord's right, it is really aping MacFarlane.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | December 1, 2016 2:48 AM
Platt and Liefeld evidently parted on pretty bad terms:
Posted by: Red Comet | December 1, 2016 11:23 AM
@Red Comet: You know that someone must have some *really* serious problems meeting deadlines when they're getting called out by Rob Liefeld!
Admittedly I am not an artist, but if I was hired to do a job, any job, that paid out $40 thousand, I'd sure as heck be busting my rear end to try to meet the deadline.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 1, 2016 1:41 PM
This is just horrible art. That one panel of Moon Knight saying "Sordid files told me..." etc.- Wow.
Posted by: Wis | December 5, 2016 11:51 PM
Comments are now closed.
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