Monday, October 29, 2007

The Only Essential Moon Knight Vol. 2 Review You'll Ever Need

So, to kickoff the Assload O' Reviews week, we'll start with the only TPB I bought, to wit: Essential Moon Knight Vol.2 .

Er--- wow.

Maybe it's the craftsmanship of the comics inside, maybe it's the goddamned wonderful Bill Sienkiewicz art, maybe it's the fun inclusion of extras like the editor notes that were in the original comics, or maybe it's the bonus Bill S. portraits at the end, but damn --- this is qua-la-tee material for 18 bucks.

So much to like here, including appearances by Thing and Daredevil, a great introduction to the ludicrously-named Stained Glass Scarlet, and the quasi-famous Moon Knight #26, the one where Sienkiewicz decided he'd gone as high as he could with this character and decided to move on.

(All credit in the world to Doug Moench for that ish as well. If you've never read it, it's an affecting and powerful look at the cycle of abuse that doesn't feel maudlin or contrived --- you really do have to read it.)

And two things that I can't overstate enough:

1) It's easy to forget in today's world of "reaction panels" and "cinematic storytelling" just how freakin' dense comics used to be, how much actual storytelling you got for 75 cents. This is a great reminder of how comics used to be, you know, actual value for your entertainment less-than-a-dollar.

2) If you've ever wondered what the big deal is about Sienkiewicz, look no further. MK is really my favorite monthly example of his style, and especially in black-and-white the intricate linework and surreal detail in every wrinkle, cigarette, and hubcap is just phenomenal.

In short, this is one of the few Essentials I'd recommend to people who aren't necessarily fans of the core title, and definitely the one I'd use to convince people that the Essentials are worth their time.

Tomorrow: Pamphlets! Floppies! Monthlies! Whatever you call 'em, we've got 'em! Reviewed!

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Blogger Cinephile said...

cool post. I'm very tempted to pick this up. Quick question-- if I've never read the title (I remember MK mostly through appearances in other books) will I be totally lost? Did BS draw the strories in the essentials vol. 1, too?

5:28 PM  
Anonymous plok said...



Sorry. It's just good, that's all.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous SanctumSanctorumComix said...

I used to buy these issues as they hit the stands, and Sienkiewicz' work was growing in style and power with each issue.

When he left I was so afraid that it would suck, but Kevin Knowlan stepped in and I loved it even more!

Then, when HE left it started to slip and eventually I dropped the title.

But this era of Moon Knight is absolute MUST HAVE for EVERYONE who loves comics!


6:58 AM  
Blogger awb said...

I remember these! They were great! This and the New Mutants were my ONLY books with BS art. Wonder what he's doing these days...

4:04 PM  
Blogger j_ay said...

Now that this is out all I need is an Essential New Mutants (starting with BS' run) and I'll be all set.
Seeing this incredible work in black and white is fantastic.

5:37 AM  

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