Written by: Christopher Cantwell, Nadia Shammas, Paul Azaceta
Art by: Alex Lins, Dante Bastianoni, Paul Azaceta
Colors by: Chris Sotomayor
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by: Rod Reis (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: August 31, 2022
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #4 regales readers with three tales starring the Fist of Khonshu as he fights in a board game where the only prize is survival, mistakenly draws the attention of a rival god to Khonshu, and stops an evil cult from bringing forth a monster to cleanse the world.
Is It Good?
Moon Knight plays out an endless, nightly cycle in his subconscious where he has to fight to stay alive until the dawn comes. The fight plays out in the form of a board game where every spot forces him to defeat deadlier enemies. His path is clear – fight to live or die in defeat.
Talk about a downer. Moon Knight is synonymous with psychological difficulty, so Cantwell paints a metaphorical board game where the simple act of waking up to live another day can only come with a fight for survival. You get the impression Cantwell is trying to use Moon Knight to make a statement about depression or the consequences of “giving up,” but it’s presented in a way that makes whatever is unique or special about Moon Knight incidental to his own story. You could swap in any other character known for being a nutcase, and the story wouldn’t change one bit. In short, the structure is sound, but the whole point of highlighting Moon Knight is strangely missing.
The Scent of Blood
Moon Knight interrupts a cult engaged in kidnapping and sacrifice to curry favor with the lion god, Shesmu. During the fight, Moon Knight is mistakenly anointed by the spilling of blood and consumption of oils such that Shesmu is successfully called to claim a worthy avatar for himself.
It’s unclear exactly what to make of this story because it doesn’t quite have a clear middle or end. Moon Knight realizes he’s unintentionally linked to Shesmu, and he finds a way (sort of) to hold Shesmu off by threatening to kill himself which will, in turn, kill Shesmeu. The art demonstrates the death link, but the link doesn’t make sense for how the gods “work” and puts Shesmu at an incredible disadvantage every time he takes on an avatar. In short, the art is good, and everything is explained, but the explanations and the way they play out don’t make sense.
Born to Be
A cult brings forth a feline monster in the name of Bastet to cleanse the world of sin and unbelievers. Khonshu and Moon Knight move to put an end to the cult’s plans so the world can rest easy.
Simple, straightforward, and to the point. This story is the best of the bunch in terms of mixing clarity, action, and stakes for a quick Moon Knight story that shows readers exactly what the character is all about.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #4 ends the anthology series with possibly the weakest entry so far. Only Azaceta’s short gives readers a clear picture of what Moon Knight is all about. The rest either get lost in metaphors or try to do too much with not enough space.