REVIEW: Moon Knight #188 – “Rise of the Burning Sun”

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MOON KNIGHT #188
Writer: Max Bemis
Penciller: Jacen Burrows
Colorist: Mat Lopes
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 11/08/17

Moon Knight

Plot: Dr. Emmett is treating a new patient at Ravencroft Asylum. While seeing a patient who’s background is similar to Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight), Emmett introduces Patient 86 to Egyptian Mythology. The good doctor hopes her patient can use this information to deal with his illness and turn it into something positive like Spector. Unfortunately Dr. Emmett’s treatment yields the opposite results.

Story:  The issue is narrated by Dr. Emmett and Max Bemis does an excellent job with her characterization. Emmett’s thoughts explain why she’s using Egyptian mythology for her sessions and how it relates to Marc Spector. This approach is a good way to ease new readers into psychological side of Moon Knight. Also I enjoyed the comment Dr. Emmett made about Marc Spector being legally insane but not one-hundred percent off the rails.

This issue also introduces the mysterious Patient 86 (real name is not given). Max Bemis does a spectacular job presenting this character as Moon Knight’s new adversary. Bemis’s story does a good job building up to the reveal of 86 being Amon Ra’s avatar. Plus while their backgrounds are similar, Marc Spector and 86 have some differences. One is how 86 has pyrokinetic abilities and Marc has enhanced strength and endurance. Another is how 86 has fully embraced Amon Ra while Spector is sometimes at odds with Khonshu’s goals. Nevertheless, Moon Knight doesn’t have an impressive rogues gallery but hopefully 86 will change that.

 

Moon Knight not making any appearances in this issue is my only complaint. Even though Dr. Emmett has a dream about Moon Knight, it’s actually Patient 86 in the costume not Marc Spector. This issue delivers some necessary information for the rest of the arc, Moon Knight not appearing in his own title feels odd after a five month absence.

Art: This issue has some interesting color choices. Mat Lopes keeps the red colors to a minimum to just Dr. Emmett’s hair color and 86’s burnt victims. Since 86 uses fire to burn his victims, the minimized colors help grab the reader’s attention when he uses his abilities.

Jacen Burrows draws some awesome splash pages. These pages create jaw dropping moments that make the reader pause and admire the artwork. My favorite was the image of dream Moon Knight fighting mummies. If Burrows uses splash pages for the rest of the arc, that would be a good way to show the type of action known for most Moon Knight stories.

Verdict: This issue provided some necessary information in a creative way. Its artwork included some interesting color choices and spectacular splash pages. However, not including Moon Knight in this relaunch feels like a big mistake. Overall, this issue felt like an average read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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