REVIEW: Moon Knight #5 – Over the Moon | FanboysInc

REVIEW: Moon Knight #5 – Over the Moon

By Cody Mudge

Written by: Warren Ellis

Art by: Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire

Published by: Marvel Comics

$3.99

“Moon Knight #5” is part Judge Dredd and part The Raid: Redemption. It’s also entirely awesome. This week saw a lot of really great comics released but it’s tough to keep “Moon Knight #5” from reaching the top of that list. From the “less is more” approach to writing by Warren Ellis and his powerful script, to the cinematic greatness that is Declan Shalvey’s art, this comic is one of the best single issues of the year.

Ellis and Shalvey have confirmed that they will be leaving the title next month. While that is clearly cause for despair, it’s also pretty amazing to note that the team will be leaving “on top” as this series has reached impressive levels of critical and popular acclaim. And for good reason. When the final issue of the Ellis/Shalvey run hits shelves next month we won’t have to ever endure the memory of a flopped story-line, a problematic reasoning or a lull in the action. Instead we’ll be left with the good memories and feelings of “what might’ve been”. Aren’t those things immensely better than the alternative?

As has been the case for the other issues in this series, Ellis is content to provide the occasion piece of powerful dialogue and trusts Shalvey to shoulder a bulk of the story-telling work. While this would break a lesser artist, Shalvey is more than up to the task and “Moon Knight #5” reads like the best movie that’ll never be made. Many writers have a tendency to over-write, even the greats do it (Jason Aaron, Rick Remender and Jonathan Hickman are all guilty this week), but Ellis doesn’t make that mistake.

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The brooding, simmering violence that erupts like Mount Vesuvius is tempered by a nearly palpable urge to lash-out, an atmospheric quality thanks to Shalvey’s art and framing. This is complimented by Ellis peppering the comic with lines of dialogue like this throughout the issue: “When you see me coming? Run.” Moon Knight is a character that is too interesting for his own good. His refusal to be anything like the cookie cutter heroes we see littered through comics has alienated him from readers but this run seems to have opened many eyes as to why Moon Knight does things differently. And why that ought to be interesting.

Shalvey’s run on this title might be too short to earn any sort of Eisner nods but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve them. His work is more refined than ever and this issue is just the latest in a recent line of comics that prove he’s elevated himself to the top echelon of artists in the industry and who can carry the burden of making a comic book well worth every cent of the $3.99 price tag all on his own.

Jordie Bellaire rounds out a creative team that shouldn’t be able to get any better but somehow it does. Her ability to select a palette perfectly suited to the story Ellis and Shalvey are telling is impressive. Bellaire makes this comic ooze texture and doesn’t shy away from vibrant bloody eruptions either.

Verdict:

This was my favourite comic of the week. I believe I’ve also laid out why I think it’s the best comic of the week (and no, those aren’t the same thing). I’m hard pressed to peg a single issue that had a bigger impact on me so far this year. Ellis’ veteran approach to scripting gave this straightforward tale an epic and important feel and Shalvey’s flawless and perfectly choreographed art makes this issue one that you have to pick up even if you aren’t following this series.

9.7/10

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