Written by: Jonathan Hickman, Murewa Ayodele, Marc Guggenheim
Art by: Chris Bachalo, Dotun Akande, Jorge Fornés
Letter by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by: Bill Sienkiewicz
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: May 11, 2022
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1 follows the titular character through three tales of adventure as he hunts for the scarabs of Ra in the far-flung future, stops antiquities thieves with the help of a friendly neighborhood hero, and provides cover from an accountant turned mob witness.
Was It Good?
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1 is Marvel’s latest attempt to cash in on the “Black, White, & (something related to red)” gimmick with an anthology series featuring the Fist of Khonshu. Anthologies are notorious for offering a mixed bag in terms of quality and art, and this issue is no exception. Some stories are stronger than others. Some art works and some do not. On the whole, this is a solid, if uneven, issue.
Moon Knight and a young girl travel through space in the distant future in a quest to hunt down the remaining scarabs of Ra. When they arrive on the next planet with a scarab, the techno-organic guardians are not so eager to give up their treasure.
Anubis Rex is a well-written and amusing story with some rough art. Normally we’re a fan of Bachalo’s style, but the finer, whimsical details here created a spaghetti mess without the benefit of colors or contour shading. Truly, there are some panels where it was impossible to tell what was going on.
So White. Yet, So Dark.
Spider-Man swings by for an itsy bitsy favor. Moon Knight would only consider it if Spider-Man assists with recovering a dangerous artifact from a pair of thieves with giant mech suits and the power of ghosts and gods on their side. When the day …err, the night is saved, Spider-Man gets his favor.
This is the buddy action short, starring Moon Knight, you didn’t know you needed. The action feels big, albeit silly at times. The favor, once you find out what it is, is amusing. And, the last-minute cameo is good for a chuckle. Akande’s art is fairly strong in this short with good use of body posture, gesturing, and facial expressions through masks.
Moon knight is approached by an accountant who decided to turn witness against her mob-boss employer. Soon, the two must survive a gauntlet of super-powered enforcers and highly-trained assassins to get to the courthouse on time.
What a tedious and painful story to get through. The plot points borrow heavily from The Gauntlet (1977). The scenes hit their beats well, and the dialog is generally good. Likewise, Fornés’s art is generally fine. The painful part is the story execution in that you have to read the entire story backward – the last page to the first and bottom to top. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that a reading order is required until you get midway through. After the second reading in the correct order, the execution feels incredibly clumsy, and putting everything in reverse has no bearing on the story. It’s creators getting weird for weird’s sake at the expense of clarity, and that’s one of the biggest no-nos in comics.
Bits and Pieces
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1 is the latest title to cash in on the Blac/White/Red motif with a mixed bag of collected short stories. The stories range from amusing to painfully gimmicky, but Moon Knight fans will likely find something in here to enjoy.