REVIEW: Moon Knight #194 – “Pale Moon Light”

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Moon Knight #194
Writer: Max Bemis
Penciller: Ty Templeton
Colorist: Keiren Smith
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 04/28/18
Rating: T+

Moon Knight

Plot: After defeating the Sun King, Mark Spector relaxes with a cup of coffee and his longtime pal, Jean Paul (a.k.a. Frenchie). Mark tells Frenchie about how a childhood trauma lead to his dissociative identity disorder. This is the tale of young Mark Spector and Rabbi Yitz.

Story: Max Bemis’s use of Mark’s Jewish background is an enjoyable idea. The last couple of Moon Knight arcs focused on Mark’s relation with Khonshu (Egyptian moon god) so seeing Mark in another type of faith is an interesting scenario. While Mark’s history with the Jewish faith has been referenced, it’s never really been a plot point until now.

This story gets pretty dark when young Mark learns Rabbi Yitz’s secret. While it’s shocking for readers and this revelation makes sense regarding the origin of Mark’s psychological issues. More importantly, this is the perfect tone I expect from a Moon Knight comic. Moon Knight is one of Marvel’s darker characters because of the types of villains he faces, usually serial killers and mercenaries. The truth about Yitz is a perfect way of explaining why Mark regularly goes after the darker types of criminals. However despite most of this issue having a dark tone, there is a lighter moment at the end when Mark explains his disorder to his daughter, Diatrice. This is a great example of how Max Bemis balances the darkness readers expect from Moon Knight and some unexpected lighter moments.

This issue is another story that revisits Mark’s past. This is becoming something of a trend for the last couple of Moon Knight series. While revisiting a hero’s past and learning some secret is fun, it’s becoming too repetitive for Moon Knight. I really hope the next arc is something set in the present because you can’t move forward if you keep going back.

Art: The artwork for this issue is fantastic. There’s a great splash page of Mark enjoying his new family life. This is also a great example of the characters facial expressions. Ty Templeton does an amazing job capturing the characters emotions with their expressions. Another great example is Rabbi Yitz’s face after we learn his secret. Immediately his face goes from funny caring rabbi to sadistic and crazy serial killer. Also this issue has some great layouts. One example is the dialogue exchange between Mark and Yitz before Mark learns the truth. The dialogue really rolls off the pages and provides an excellent flow.

Verdict: This issue was a pretty average read. The issue made great use of Mark’s Jewish upbringing and delivered a well balanced tone. However, this issue still continues the trend of revisiting Mark’s past. Also despite being a one-shot story this issue does not feel new reader friendly. While this may be a good issue for Moon Knight fans, other readers might not feel the same way.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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