Written by: Jed MacKay
Art by: Alessandro Cappuccio
Colors by: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: February 9, 2022
Moon Knight #8 tells a story about a story that takes on a life on its own. When the story wants to put an end to Hunter’s Moon’s story, it’s up to the old story to step up and stop the new story from ending Hunter’s Moon’s story. Got it?!? Good!
Was It Good?
Moon Knight #8 is the latest of several Devil’s Reign tie-ins to hit the bookshelves, and it does probably the most thing you could do for a tie-in. Instead of connecting the current arc to an external event, this issue not only has nothing to do with Devil’s Reign, but it also has nothing to do with Moon Knight. There’s not one panel containing Moon Knight in this entire issue except for a single flashback panel.
Is that the right thing to do? Meh. That’s up to you, but in fairness, it’s disingenuous to call this a Moon Knight tie-in to Devil’s Reign when nothing of the sort is happening. No Moon Knight. No Devil’s Reign. Got it?!? Good!
What readers do get is, frankly, an esoteric mind-bender of an issue about a dead killer who’s resurrected as a new god through the power of belief. When this new god, Stained Glass Scarlet, picks up her murderous ways through her acolytes, Hunter’s Moon (subbing in for Moon Knight while he’s in prison) is tasked with saving the day.
The paragraph you just read is clearer than the comic itself. MacKay tries to dig deep into the power of faith and belief, using that power to bring a legend back into a new life. Conceptually, the issue borrows ideas from greater works such as American Gods, and the idea works once you get past the narrative dialog to understand what’s happening. However, you have to dig past a lot of metaphysical gobbledygook to figure it out.
The missing key to making this story work is the origin of Scarlet’s faith. Why would ordinary people believe and pray so vigorously for the return of a mob wife turned killer who sounds more like a Huntress knockoff? Was there some ritual spell involved? Aren’t there more worthy and living beings her believers could petition for help? There’s nothing wrong with going high concept to recast a villain, but this felt like a stretch.
When all is said and done, Hunter Moon is not the hero of the story. Khonshu makes an appearance to save the day and it’s god versus god in a spiritual smackdown. It’s possible Scarlet may return as even Khonshu admits gods can’t be killed, so where does that leave us?
You get a Moon Knight comic with no Moon Knight. You get a Devil’s REign tie-in that has nothing to do with Devil’s Reign. You get a new villain that’s an old villain. And you get Hunter’s Moon subbing in to save the day, but he doesn’t save the day. Whether or not this all works is up to you.
Story aside, the art from Cappuccio and Rosenberg is excellent. Rosenberg is killing it with the flourishes of moon glow to infuse hints of mysticism that give the surrounding players just enough pause to wonder without going full-on magic.
Moon Knight #8 takes a novel approach to event tie-ins by not connecting to the event and keeping the hero out of his own title. Dishonest marketing aside, the old/new villains is now a high concept reboot that takes more than a little brainpower to figure out, and the art is excellent.