ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2

Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2 is an anthology series published by Marvel Comics. Following in the vein of the debut issue, this issue contains three tales – all in black and white with liberal dashes of red depending on the level of gore within the story. “The Empty Tomb” is written by Benjamin Percy and illustrated & colored by Vanesa R. Del Rey. “A Hard Day’s Knight” is written by David Pepose, illustrated by Leonardo Romero, and colored by Chris Sotomayor. Finally, “Blood Red Glider” is written, illustrated, and colored by Patch Zircher. The entire issue is lettered by VC’s Cory Petit.

“The Empty Tomb” is a story that I can only describe as “Indiana Jones meets The Exorcist,” as Moon Knight seeks the help of Doctor Strange to rid himself of Khonshu’s influence. Percy’s script delves deep into the toll that Marc Spector’s servitude to Khonshu has taken over the years; he refers to himself as a “living sarcophagus,” shrugs off Strange’s multiple warnings, and dives deep into a forbidden tomb, all to have a measure of peace. It’s this level of insight that has made Percy’s run on Wolverine a must-read, and I’m glad he brought it to a Moon Knight story.

Del Ray’s artwork perfectly fits the horror vibe. As Moon Knight descends further into the temple, inky blackness grows until the only source of light left is his pure-white suit. And splashes of red come from Strange’s trademark cloak and an enchanted scarab that Moon Knight holds to lead him to the temple.

“A Hard Day’s Knight” is another deep dive into what makes Spector tick, thanks to Pepose and Romero. It takes place after Moon Knight has completed another battle and heads to a diner to hold a conversation with his alternate selves. Throughout the story, each self recalls how they suffered injuries in various battles, and it’s Spector’s injury that’s the most haunting, especially when he reveals the reason behind it.

Pepose has a great handle on Spector’s state of mind as well as the toll his work takes. And Romero makes each persona of Spector’s visually distinct, from the clean-shaven and proper Steven Grant to the scruffy salt-of-the-earth Jake Lockley. The level of detail is also astounding; blood dripping from Moon Knight’s body is the same hue and consistency as the jelly on his toast and the state of his steak (he likes it rare). Sotomayor plays with different shades of red to disturbing effect, and Petit punctuates the panels with jagged otherworldy black-and-white lettering whenever Khonshu speaks.

The final story, “Blood Red Glider,” takes place in the early years of Moon Knight’s career as he is called upon to face a former face from his mercenary past, Henrik Kless. The story takes its title from a butterfly native to Nairobi. Those butterflies are abundant as Zircher features a swarm of them bursting out of a package Spector receives. A blood-red glider is even tattooed on Kless’s chest, making him hard to miss. And this may be the goriest story yet, as Spector and Kless engage in a blood-soaked battle with their knives cutting and digging into flesh.

Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2 continues to explore the lunar vigilante via a blood-soaked series of tales, most of them focused on his various exploits. We’re halfway through the series, and it has impressed me so far. I hope to see more of this with other Marvel antiheroes in the future, especially Blade.

Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2 will be available wherever comics are sold on June 15, 2022.


Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2
4.5

TL;DR

Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2 continues to explore the lunar vigilante via a blood-soaked series of tales, most of them focused on his various exploits. We’re halfway through the series, and it has impressed me so far.