The High Priests of Khonshu tackle some reviews which arguably have the greatest Marvel villain that ever lived!…..or not!
Marvel Spotlight #28 and #29 are up for review alongside a smattering of news for your listening pleasure.
Please note – SPOILERS for The Netflix Punisher show (from 3:20 – 4:45). Skip this if you don’t want to hear it!
We are also very happy to have on Wayno from Courtside Podcast as our guest narrator for the two books on offer – believe me, this isn’t one to be missed!
Grab your issues, sit back and relax…this’ll be like nothing you’ve heard before!!
Marvel Spotlight Vol. 1 #28 – ‘The Crushing Conquer Lord!’
Released June 1976
(writer) Doug Moench
(artist) Don Perlin
(colours) Irene Vartanoff
(letters) Irv Watanabe
(editor) Marv Wolfman
It’s late in Manhattan and as many New Yorkers retire to their beds for the night, a group of masked men attempt to break into an unmarked building. Unfortunately for them they are being watched by a silver and black figure from the rooftops – it’s Moon Knight and he swoops down to dish out justice! It’s seven men versus one but the odds are stacked in Moon Knight’s favour as he makes short work of the bumbling criminals. With the masked men subdued, Moon Knight escapes in his Mooncopter (with his ally, Frenchie, at the helm) and leaves the unconscious men for the police to clean up.
Frenchie notices that the building the men tried to break into was in fact the campaign headquarters for Charles Thurston, a new candidate for mayor, and he speculates whether there is something afoot but Moon Knight disregards it…to him, it’s just a coincidence in a massive city full of many important buildings.
Elsewhere, we see Frenchie’s concerns justified as indeed two shadowy figures discuss a conspiracy to frame the existing Mayor. One of the men – a huge, bald powerful figure with two large rats as pets, reveals that their plan involves breaking into Thurston’s campaign office and pinning the burglaries on the current Mayor. Unbeknownst to them that Moon Knight had already foiled their plan, the two men – one named Weasel, the other Mr. Quinn – coincidentally profile the vigilante Moon Knight, after hearing word of his previous exploits in defeating the Committee.
Weasel cites Moon Knight’s history, skills, apparent heightened powers, and his various identities which until this point had not been known by anyone. It’s revealed that they have a mole in Moon Knight’s ranks, and this has allowed them to learn more on our fearless hero.
As this occurs, the police pick up the seven men despatched by Moon Knight and discover that they are in fact cops. The policemen are first confused, then wary of Moon Knight – Could Moon Knight be an enemy of the State? Were the cops undercover in their outfits as burglars? We, the readers, learn from Mr. Quinn (who now wants only to be known as Conquer-Lord) that they are in fact corrupt cops, which he engaged for the burglaries and their devious plan.
With the profiling of Moon Knight complete, and in classic, villainous fashion, Conquer-Lord opens a trapdoor for Weasel to plummet to his death – it’s death by crocodiles for poor Weasel as Conquer-Lord cackles at his own evil.
Meanwhile, Moon Knight is fired upon by the police, who think him a rogue for attacking the undercover cops. He is forced to flee from them, confused at their actions. He needs to know the reason for this turn of events so decides to investigate as Jake Lockley, his man-on-the-streets cabbie persona.
It’s no better news for Conquer-Lord too, who discovers that his plan has failed and that his seven corrupt cops have been taken in. Angered, he dons his formidable costume as Conquer-Lord and takes actions into his own hands.
Moon Knight as Jake Lockley discovers that Mr. Quinn aka Conquer-Lord is behind a conspiracy to oust the existing mayor and to implement mayor-candidate Thurston as his own puppet to control the city. Friends on the street, Gena and Crawley give Jake the information he needs and Jake makes tracks to the mayor’s estate to try and catch Conquer-Lord.
Spector assumes his wealthy persona, Steven Grant alongside Marlene and the two enter the mayor’s estate looking for signs of foul play. They need not wait too long before more of Conquer-Lord’s men crash through, terrorising the guests.
Moon Knight is not fooled by the diversion and keeps his eye on the Mayor, and in doing so he tracks Conquer-Lord nearby, with sniper rifle in hand. Just as Conquer-Lord takes a shot, Moon Knight leaps and knocks Conquer-Lord and his rifle, ruining his aim.
They battle and it looks as though Moon Knight has the upper hand when unfortunately Marlene finds herself in the clutches of the Conquer-Lord.
Moon Knight is helpless to do anything, and as the Conquer-Lord flees with Marlene under his arm, the issue ends with Moon Knight hearing cries from the estate – the Mayor has indeed been shot!
Marvel Spotlight Vol. 1 #29 – ‘The Deadly Gambit of Conquer Lord’
Released August 1976
(writer) Doug Moench
(artist) Don Perlin
(colours) Irene Vartanoff
(letters) Debra James
(editor) Marv Wolfman
Picking up from our previous issue, Moon Knight is left in a tough situation – forced to let Conquer-Lord flee with a captive Marlene and at the same time tend to the Mayor who had been shot from a stray bullet.
Moon Knight leaps into the Mayor’s mansion and although bleeding, he looks to be in a stable condition. The Mayor pleads to Moon Knight for justice and Moon Knight promises to take Conquer-Lord down, not only for attacking the Mayor but for abducting Marlene.
Moon Knight calls for Frenchie through his radio cowl and is whisked away, only just avoiding the attacks from the police who still think him a threat to the city.
Moon Knight, now as Steven Grant, returns to Grant’s Estate on Long Island and prepares to hit the streets looking for clues to Conquer-Lord’s whereabouts. He senses heavy breathing from the other side of his bedroom door and catches Merkins (the new valet) spying on him. Merkins reveals himself as Conquer-Lord’s mole and tries to flee. In his panic, he lashes out at Grant and is surprised to see Grant knocked out cold. Merkins takes one of Grant’s cars, impressed with himself and drives off not knowing that Grant had feigned being knocked out and only did so as a ploy, so as to shadow Merkins back to Conquer-Lord’s lair.
Meanwhile, in the South Ferry district of Manhattan, Conquer-Lord has Marlene tied up and ready to be fed to the crocodiles. Villainous as ever, he punctures the sandbag counterweight which holds Marlene above the trapdoor. As the sand escapes, she slowly drops closer to the waiting jaws of the hungry reptiles below. With the help of Frenchie, Grant (now Moon Knight) tracks Merkins back to the South Ferry warehouse and immediately springs into action. He is greeting by more of Conquer-Lord’s goons however he relishes in the fight and has no trouble beating every single one of them.
Merkins arrives to meet Conquer-Lord but it is soon discovered that he has unwittingly led Moon Knight to Conquer-Lord’s lair. Angered, Conquer-Lord has Merkins killed by one of his lackeys and it’s not long before Moon Knight catches up on the scene. He’s unsuccessful in catching Conquer-Lord but defeats Merkins’ killer who points the smoking gun at him. Conquer-Lord’s appearance is made apparent, however, by activating a trap door under Moon Knight sending him plummeting onto a giant chess board below.
A twisted game is then played between the two as Conquer-Lord’s rigged chessboard are booby-trapped with exploding squares and weaponised chess pieces – the only safe squares to walk on are those which follow the chess piece moves…in Moon Knight’s case, a white Knight. Moonie dodges explosives and all manner of weapons thrown at him and finally manages to meet Conquer-lord face to face. The crazed villain evades Moon Knight once again and leaps onto an escape ladder above, which shows a control room beyond. With all his strength and agility, Moon Knight is able to leap up through the escape hatch and simultaneously attack Conquer-Lord. Quick thinking by Moon Knight allows him to trick Conquer-Lord into leaping back towards the escape hatch, and in doing so, Moon Knight traps him in the hatch, leaving him to dangle precariously above the explosive chess board below.
Moon Knight finds Marlene and frees her from her ropes just in the nick of time. With their adventure complete, Moon Knight leaves his calling card – a crescent dart- beside a bound Conquer-Lord, ready for arrest by the approaching police.
As they drive away, news on the radio tells of the Mayor recovering well in hospital, tying up the last loose end of an exciting caper. The only thing left is for some dinner and with that, Marc suggests some fine dining at the Ritz as Steven Grant. Marlene thinks otherwise, and humbly suggests a good ol’ fashioned burger at Gena’s Diner.
- MOON KNIGHT #192
MAX BEMIS • JACEN BURROWS (A/C)
CRAZY RUNS IN THE FAMILY Part 5
• Sun King and Bushman lure Marc to a tropical isle with irresistible bait.
• What madness awaits Moon Knight on this strange island?
• Will he even survive the voyage?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
– Releases 28/02/2018
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No involvement in story, despite Egypt as major setting.
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