Written by: Jed MacKay
Art by: Alessandro Cappuccio
Colors by: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover art by: Stephen Segovia, Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: March 8, 2023
Moon Knight #21 deepens the mystery behind the Harlequin Hit Men attack when a vampire’s night out with Reese and Soldier turns into a rave of madness. Could the events be connected?
Is It Good?
Moon Knight #21 is actually the second issue of an arc (I never would have picked that up if the preface page didn’t explain that point) with a mysterious villain who kills by proxy. Does Moonk Knight know the identity of this hypnotic killer? Who’s next on the hit list? Is there a plot buried under all the random noise? Let’s find out.
When last we left Moon Knight, he frantically hunted down the Harlequin Hit Men to stop them from killing every member of Moon Knight’s informant network. When the two were captured, it was clear they were brainwashed into killing by a nameless, faceless mastermind.
Now, Reese badgers Soldier into going out for a night of relaxation and fun to unwind from the stress of working for Mr. Knight. Unfortunately, their night of dancing turns into a raving mad freak out when the DJ’s turntable is hijacked to emit a tune that drives people into murderous rage fits.
The main villain is certainly mysterious, the villain’s method of attack is intriguing once Moon Knight puts the puzzle pieces together, and the ending promises more trouble on the horizon. Jed MacKay, for his part, delivers a solid issue with good pacing, excellent dialog, and an intriguing mystery surrounding the villain’s identity.
The down point of the issue is this – I don’t care. I don’t care (yet) because MacKay hasn’t given the readers a reason to care, outside of Moon Knight recognizing somebody is doing bad things. This is a similar criticism to one presented in the previous issue in that the deaths of the informants happen off-panel (mostly), and you have no idea who any of the informants are or have enough time to feel, by proxy, Marc’s grief over their deaths.
The deaths in the previous issue turned into expendable plot devices as a cheap way to motivate Moon Knight to take action. In this issue, you get more of the same. The partygoers are anonymous, faceless masses, so their sound-induced rage feels disconnected from any personal connection to Moon Knight. You don’t feel anything from Moon Knight over the attack, so the reader has no reason to feel anything over the attack. The plot is technically well-structured but emotionally anemic.
Still, Cappuccio’s art is top-notch, and Rosenberg flexes a singularly unique mastery of using colors to create light reflections and glow. This is one of the most gorgeous books from Marvel (or anyone else) right now. If the story won’t transfix you, perhaps the art will.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Moon Knight #21 continues the attacks from a mysterious new villain with a weapon that could destroy entire crowds of people with the flick of a switch. The mystery surrounding the villain is intriguing, and the art is stellar, but the story lacks a hook to give it emotional weight and importance.