REVIEW: ‘Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Devil’s Reign Moon Knight #1 - But Why Tho

Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is a one-shot tie-in comic published by Marvel. Written by Jed MacKay, art by Federico Sabbatini, colours by Lee Loughridge, and letters by Cory Petit.

Moon Knight was arrested alongside many other superheroes in the opening of Kingpin’s war. He was sent to Ryker’s Island, stripped of his costume. With help from one of the guards and his cellmate 8-Ball, he begins challenging other inmates to fights. But he only has one title bout on his mind: Man-Mountain Marko.

Although the plot only has one issue to unfold, MacKay absolutely makes use of it. It’s stationary, but that only adds to the trapped feeling for both the heroes and villains. The core of the issue gets to point quickly as Moon Knight routinely finds himself in battle. These fights are quick or off-screen, highlighting his efficiency and telling the story with brevity. For much of the issue, there is a notion that it’s a mindless task, used so Spector can take his mind off of being inside and lay down a criminal. But there is a fantastic twist by the final act that adds context and reframes Moon Knight’s challenge. The final part sets up Moon Knight’s involvement for the rest of Devil’s Reign.

Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is a great character study on the title character. It explores Spector’s position within the superhero community. Even though other heroes have been arrested too, he does not sit with them because he doesn’t feel like he is part of them. Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman do not like him. He is wild, unpredictable, and brutal. But he also has certain respect from the villains in the facility, who view him with fear. In addition, there is a part of his character that I have personally always associated with Moon Knight. He has never been afraid to take a beating. Where others will dodge, especially if they don’t have incredible strength, Marc will take the punch. It’s a crucial part of his personality. 

There are many characters involved in this one-shot, though many are mere cameos. This is a superb comic for Marvel geeks as there are some very deep cuts locked away in jail. 8-Ball is used well too, serving to get exposition from Moon Knight while also a source of comedy.

The art is fantastic and perfectly suited for this comic. Sabbatini’s style is rough and purposefully scruffy, with angular faces that teeter on a manga style. The designs of certain characters, particularly if they haven’t been seen in a while, are terrific. 8-Ball, a man who is usually seen with a giant snooker ball on his head, is an older man with a thick beard and receding hairline. It adds personality, as does every other unique character model in the book. Everyone is out of costume, so Sabbatini has to rely on other defining features to create recognition. The fights themselves are epic when they are seen. The hits look painful and there is an intense sense of speed and ferocity. From the choreography and the panel layout the energy of the combat is high. The passage of time is told by the increased injuries to Moon Knight, although perhaps more detail in this regard would have been nice. The improvised mask is very cool.

The colours are fantastic, often doing a lot with a little. Singular shades are used for most surfaces but this helps understand what’s going on. With a lot of bodies involved, the clean colours are useful. It also increases the effectiveness of when Moon Knight starts injuring people, as the blood splatters cover everything. The lettering is brilliant, very clear, and effortless to read. Sound effects are there but not overused, as they could potentially get in the way of the action.

Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is a superhero fight club. It’s a heavy metal, ultra-violent one-shot that releases a lot of the pent-up tension that has come from this event. MacKay’s writing is disturbing but darkly funny and shows why Moon Knight is respected but not liked. The art is sensational and is influential in denoting the tone of the comic. 

Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is available where comics are sold.


Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1
4.5

TL;DR

Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is a superhero fight club. It’s a heavy metal, ultra-violent one-shot that releases a lot of the pent-up tension that has come from this event. MacKay’s writing is disturbing but darkly funny and shows why Moon Knight is respected but not liked. The art is sensational and is influential in denoting the tone of the comic.