Discovering a new character is exciting because you’re exposed to something you’ve never experienced before. This was the case for me when I read Moon Knight: From The Dead by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey. I’d heard of the character before, but all I knew about him was that he was tied to Egyptian mythology and people thought he was crazy. I had no idea what to expect when I read the graphic novel and here are my thoughts on Moon Knight and his world.
The story begins with a quick overview of who Moon Knight is and it’s told (fittingly) through the eyes of a blogger. Marc Spector was a mercenary who died in Egypt beneath the statue of the moon god Khonshu. The god had four different aspects: Pathfinder, Embracer, Defender and the Watcher of overnight travellers. This translated as Spector having dissociative personality disorder, with him believing he had different identities. As a new reader I appreciated this being explained without it sounding too expositional.
Moon Knight appears at crime scene, going by the name of ‘Mr Knight.’ He comes across as an old-fashioned detective, analysing the body of a slasher victim. He investigates the sewers beneath New York and finds a former SHIELD agent who was blown up in an accident and is stealing body parts to make himself whole again. Spector dispatches the agent and returns to an old mansion where he’s greeted by the manifestation of Khonshu.
‘Mr Knight’ starts carrying out various investigations, including dealing with an infestation of punk rock ghosts and rescuing people trapped in the same nightmare. All of the investigations tied back to nightfall, with Spector embracing the aspect of being the Watcher of overnight travellers. It’s a clever theme that fits into the idea of unbalanced people coming out when the moon is full. Moon Knight himself could be described as a literal lunatic.
Ellis gives Spector a complexity that leaves readers wanting to find out more about him. He’s characterised by being dedicated to his crusade and not caring how violent he needs to be to achieve it. By his own admission, Spector says “people who love me suffer and die. I never want to be loved. That’s why I always win.”
The graphic novel feels like a collection of short stories, with each investigation meant to show a different aspect of Moon Knight’s personality. Shalvey’s art has a lucid, trippy vibe to it that matches the themes explored in the story. I was very impressed by the psychedelic vistas of the dream world that Moon Knight found himself trapped in.
Moon Knight: From The Dead feels like an invitation for new readers to discover one of Marvel’s most eccentric characters. Ellis and Shalvey have made me want to read more Moon Knight stories, so I would recommend giving this graphic novel a read. You can buy it on Amazon now.