Wowsers! It’s the new year and it’s great to be back!
The High Priests of Khonshu return to form with their first episode of the year and a timely one too – this time it’s an in-depth review of the latest Moon Knight run, Volume 9 issue #190!
It would have to be the most controversial issue to date, so both Connor and Rey have fun scrutinising everything and get a heap of help from fellow Loonies!
We are also very pleased to have long time Loonies, Daniel and Joe from Geek Street Podcast to guest narrate the Bare Bones, and we are also blessed with the fine quill of resident Loony, Tommy Kawel …..we suspect a conspiracy is afoot with Tommy….find out on the show what the hell it is we’re talking about! 🙂
Bare Bones (narration written by guest writer Tommy Kawel)
Written by Max Bemis
Penciled by Jacen Burrows
Inked by Guillermo Ortego
Colored by Mat Lopes
Lettered by Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit
Cover by Jacen Burrows and Mat Lopes
Edited by Jake Thomas and Mark Basso
We open with a summary of Marc Spector’s recent history and Issues 188-189. Spector has at last achieved some degree of control over his multiple personalities. Well, he thought he had, until a villain who called himself the Truth looked into Jake Lockley’s thoughts and saw a secret he’d kept hidden from Marc. After piercing the Truth with two crescent darts to the eyes, Jake merely rendered the Truth unconscious before Marc could learn what he saw. But secrets aren’t the only cloud hanging over Moon Knight’s head…
An escaped mental patient with power over fire and a perceived connection with the Egyptian god Ra is coming for Moon Knight, and he’s enlisted the help of Marc’s old nemesis, Bushman.
We cut to four landscaped panels of pure action – action from the Sun King’s past. In one, Rome is in flames as a first-century Patrician falls under the blade of a white-clad assassin. In the second, cut to a white knight preparing to plunge his spear into the back of an orange-clad prince. The third: jump to the Wild West as a masked vigilante blows smoke from his revolver; a rival duelist lies dead in the street. The fourth: a crescent-donned agent flanked by GIs holds hostage the suicidal sun-crested leader of a Hydra unit. It’s hard to miss; the war between the Sun King and Moon Knight has lasted for centuries. The war between Ra and Khonshu has been fought since the gods themselves walked the earth.
We learn that the Sun King has been narrating, speaking to a crowd of Moon Knight’s victims under the leadership of Bushman. We don’t know who these men are, but there’s clearly an audience. Sun King is ready to end the cycle of failure of Ra’s avatars. Now, blessed by fire himself, Sun King isn’t like the failed avatars of the past – Ra, himself, speaks through Sun King’s fire.
Bushman, a bit unsure of himself, rouses the troops. He admits to those gathered that he is no longer the ruler of Burunda. He’s no longer the ferocious mercenary who left Spector to die at the foot of Khonshu’s statue. All he is now is a crack dealer out of his prime. He’s scared – he’s terrified of Marc Spector. But Bushman has an ace up his sleeve – he knows Moon Knight’s weakness. Too cowardly to act on his own, if backed by the men gathered, Busman tells the crowd that Sun King can use this weakness to finally defeat Moon Knight and exact revenge. Moon Knight will never take a piece of these men ever again.
The men cheer! There are dozens gathered in this warehouse. Most look like goons and hired thugs. Armed to the teeth with blades and assault weapons, but no one special. Yet, one wheelchair- bound merc up front looks oddly like Marc. Is that…? No, not a chance. Randall is dead. And another hooded figure in the back has shaded eyes – almost as if he doesn’t want you to see them. He’s smiling, not cheering. No, it can’t be…
We’re thrown into a cosmic boxing ring. Marc lands a gnarly left hook on Jake Lockley. Jake’s blood has already painted the mat. No, this is Marc’s mind where Steven Grant grabs the ropes like a concerned skipper and Khonshu watches pensively and casually breaks the fourth wall. Marc and Jake trade insults within the irregular panels. We switch to the inside of a synagogue; then, a cliffside. Marc high-kicks Jake into the depths as Khonshu’s cloaked statue looks on.
Finally, the two are placed within mighty stone pillars, a pyramid dominates the background. A massive chain floats in the hazy-sunrise heavens above. The two trade insults and plan their next moves. Marc accuses Jake of hiding something from Marc. Spector is clueless to the truth.
We move to a pleasant scene in an urban park. Marc is meditating. An aged woman walks her dog behind him. Marc blurts out Jake and Marc’s dialogue. They’re fighting in his mind! The woman books it.
We cut back to the Egyptian mindscape. Steven tries to quell the fight, but Khonshu calms him like a father speaking to his child. All the while, a massive Eye of Horus has replaced the sky chain seen only moments earlier. Marc slices Jake with a massive crescent blade, and Jake relents for a moment. He reasons with Marc. He says that Steven is the benefactor; Khonshu is their connection to the bigger picture; Jake deals with the leftovers, but Marc is the voice of reason. After all, Marc built the personas this way.
Marc and Jake cease their fighting and converse. Jake insists Marc trust him. Marc relents. Steven and Khonshu embrace.
An orange-tinted sky makes the suburbs glow. Sun King knocks on a door. Marlene Alraune answers. Sun King poses as a temperate charity officer out collecting donations for a joint disaster relief fund. He compliments Marlene’s name as he smiles like the hippie messiah of Issue #188. Marlene doesn’t bite at his compliment but trusts him to wait at the door as she grabs her checkbook. He does. Is Marlene Marc’s weakness?
As Marlene returns to the door, check in hand, Sun King bleeds off the page’s final panel, eyes aflame, as he screams “Now! NOW! NOW! NOW!”
Bushman and crew enter the home as Sun King shows a framed photo to the former mercenary. Bushman seems pleasantly surprised.
Marlene is ready to fight back, she hints that she’s protecting something – or someone. Bushman tempts Marlene to call Moon Knight…
Again, we change scenes. Moon Knight is embroiled in a warehouse fight with some of the same goons addressed by Sun King only pages earlier. Khonshu narrates, speaking to us, and tells us of Marc’s inability for proper socialization. Marc is too busy kung fu-ing societal detritus and, here, Khonshu tells us that he is fighting disabled gentlemen. But Moon Knight talks back to Khonshu!
He tells Khonshu to stop – Khonshu’s comments are too dark, even for Moon Knight.
Marc’s cell phone rings. Khonshu pleads with Marc to avoid the call – Marc is a danger to Marlene. He picks up anyway. The succeeding panels cut between Marlene, Marc, and Sun King. Marlene tells Marc that she misses him; they were something special. Marlene seems tempted to warn Marc of the intruders in her home, but Sun King whispers a threat over her shoulder. Marc zooms to Marlene’s in his crescent-shaped Moon Copter.
A flashback. A serene scene. Marc and Marlene are floating in a dinghy through pleasant waters. Marlene admits her attraction as Marc picks up in medias res, explaining his history to Marlene. Marlene’s questions give us a revue of Marc’s past. We learn that Marc was a mercenary; Marc’s brother killed Marc’s girlfriend; Marc killed his brother with a grenade; Marc fought in illegal boxing matches. Marlene is enthralled. She’s committed to him.
Back at Marlene’s, Marc is at the door, dressed to the nines and flowers-in-hand. Bushman hides on the stairs with a finger holding back his men. Marlene seems distraught, but Marc is just happy to be with her – in her home, no less! But then Marc see’s Sun King. Sun King introduces himself as Barry. Marc throws a Bee Gee insult back at him. Sun King dominates the dialogue; Marlene is silent, sad. “Barry” tells Marc that he and Marlene are in a relationship. Not only that, “Barry” knows that Marc is Moon Knight. All the same, Marc clenches a sharpened crescent dart below the table. Blood drips down the arc. Sun King lies to Marc and says that he has slept with Marlene. But there’s more.
As Sun King’s eyes flick with flame, he insinuates that Jake Lockley, too, has been with Marlene. Khonshu warns Marc to drop it. Turn back. Turn back now.
Suddenly, in Marc’s mind, a giant, vampiric Marc – dressed as Moon Knight – stands over Jake, looking for blood. Marlene breaks down. She admits her relationship with Jake. Lacking any contact with Marc, Marlene turned to Jake Lockley like a drug. She craved a partner, but Jake could never replace Marc. Regardless, the deed had been done. As Marc embraces Marlene, a voice off-panel cries in pain. Turn the page: a little girl stands in tears, Bushman holding her in place. The girl takes one look at Marc and asks, “Uncle Jake” What are you doing here?”
Marlene is crying, looking for a response from Marc. But Marc’s face is obscured. Who can say what his face shows, what he feels, as he looks upon the teary-eyed girl with mismatched socks?
Well, we know he feels one thing: a desire to protect the innocent of the night.
Sun King? Bushman? They won’t escape justice. They won’t escape the vengeance of the Moon
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