Moon Knight: Shadowland
by Greg Hurwitz and Bong Dazo
Created in 1975, Moon Knight has always been one of my favorite comic book characters. He was once referred to as a poor man’s Batman due to his playboy alter-ego, batarang-like crescent darts and other moon-type weapons, but in reality he is far more twisted and tortured than Batman could ever be. If he bears any similarity to another character it would have to be the cruel and powerful Shadow who strikes in the night with a pair of handguns and a wicked cackle.
During an operation gone bad, mercenary Marc Spector was killed by his fellow soldier of fortune ‘Bushman’ only to be brought back to life by the Egyptian God of Vengeance Khonshu. Developing four distinct personae (mirroring the four phases of the moon), Marc Spector became Moon Knight and carried out Khonshu’s wishes in a war on the guilty. Rejoining the western world, Spector donned a costume (to pay homage to Khonshu and fit in with the other capes running rampant in NYC). Whereas other heroes evaded danger, Moon Knight was clad entirely in white, as if urging criminals to come straight at him. The character was immensely popular at the time and thanks to an interest in gritty/macho vigilantes, the series enjoyed strong sales for a few years.
In 2006 Moon Knight was given a new lease on life thanks to writer Charlie Huston and artist David Finch. The revived series was far more violent and filled with grotesque villains. In the new series, Spector was plagued by bouts of insanity and struggled to maintain his war on the guilty while his body and mind steadily deteriorated. It proved successful enough to provide a much-needed boost in sales for Moon Knight and catapulted the character back into the realm of superhero popularity.
After killing off the persona of Marc Spector, Moon Knight seems to be a new man. A new series ‘Vengeance of the Moon Knight’ debuted last year. Written by Greg Hurwitz, the new series depicts Moon Knight attempting to escape his violent past as he turns his back on his master Khonshu (though he still sees the demonic image from time to time). Plans are that Moon Knight will be a member of the new Secret Avengers team led by Steve Rogers. But that doesn’t mean he is on the straight and narrow path just yet. In fact, his most recent run-in with the assassin Deadpool insinuated that there is a much darker part of Moon Knight’s psyche that he is denying, a dark shadow that could easily envelop him entirely.
Recently Daredevil became the new leader of the international guild of assassins called The Hand. Daredevil is determined to use The Hand as a peace-keeping force in New York City rather than as a gang of killers, but we all know that the path to damnation is paved with such intentions. Part of his initiative involves a vast underground prison he dubbed Shadowland. This Summper a series of one-shots will spin out of the Daredevil monthly title featuring Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, the Punisher, Elektra and Luke Cage in addition to Moon Knight as the street-level heroes clash with Daredevil in a battle for the soul of New York.
Writer Greg Hurwitz provided a few details of what readers can expect in the upcoming Moon Knight Shadowland one-shot over at Newsarama:
“VoMK focuses on big events in the life and work of our favorite vigilante,” Hurwitz writes via e-mail. “And while he certainly crosses paths with Marvel’s worst and finest, Shadowland is really the culmination of what we’ve been doing with Moon Knight—it’s his feet-first entry into the thick of Marvel happenings!”
“This story will play with themes of darkness for MK—can he keep to the standard he set in ‘Shock and Awe’? Let’s just say that the temptations to the dark side—toward violence—are stronger in S-land than they’ve ever been for our boy,” Hurwitz writes.
“I don’t want to give away the nature of how and why they meet,” Hurwitz writes of the inevitable Moon Knight-Daredevil confrontation in Shadowland: Moon Knight, “but let’s just say that they’re trains heading for a collision course.”