It’s the first CLASSIC and MODERN run for 2018, and the High Priests are on song to review another two great issues featuring our boy in white –
CLASSIC RUN: The Defenders Vol. 1 issue #50
MODERN RUN: Moon Knight Vol. 3, issue #3, Resurrection War, Part 3 of 4
Another very fine podcaster has also lent his vocal talents as guest narrator for the show – this episode, we’re pleased to have Connor McKenna – host of The Immortal Iron Fist Podcast – Sons of the Dragon! Be sure to check out the Iron Fist Podcast too – if you’re a fan of character focused podcasts, then the Iron Fist podcast is a MUST!
Also, with this, we have one bit of exciting news for your Loony needs…. more Moon Knight in animated form! Very, very exciting indeed!
So sit back, grab your issues and get your Khonshu on!
OVER THE MOON:
BARE BONES – guest narrator, Sons of the Dragon- Immortal Iron Fist podcast
Defenders Vol.1, issue #50 – “Scorpio Must Die!”
Released August 1977
(writer) David Kraft
(artist) Keith Giffen with inks by Keith Giffen, Mark Royer, John Tartaglione & Dave Cockrum
(colours) Don Warfield
(letters) Gaspar Saladino & John Costanza
(editor) Archie Goodwin
Having crashed through the roof of Scorpio’s New Jersey hideout, Hulk stands enraged with the newly formed Zodiac crew in front of him. Already angered at having to chase Moon Knight, Valkyrie and Hellcat across New York (as seen in the previous issue), and recognising Scorpio from a previous tussle, the Hulk is ready to smash anything and everyone in his way.
Scorpio introduces his newly created Zodiac members: there’s Leo – a huge, dark figure with a flowing mane and ever-sharp claws; Sagittarius – a nimble archer; Aquarius – a laid back, yet deadly opponent with water cannon; Taurus – a stocky thick-set man with retractable horns on his fists; Gemini – a mysterious entity which can split in two; Cancer – an armoured gladiator with weapons to boot; Aries – a hunch-backed battering ram; and Libra – an intangible observer. All members stand before the Hulk, and all ready to take him down.
What ensues is a non-stop battle as the Jade giant launches himself at his enemies. The other Defenders can’t help but jump into the fray as well. Their intent is to save Jack Norriss but in order to do so, they will need to go through the Zodiac.
Each Defender pairs off against a Zodiac member – Hulk vs. Aries, Moon Knight vs. Taurus, Valkyrie vs. Leo, and Hellcat vs Gemini.It’s a battle royale as each team vies to gain the upper hand.
As they continue to exchange blows, Jack Norriss sees the Fury LMD quietly slip away. Norriss calls out for him, but the Fury LMD tells him not to follow him as he tries to find Scorpio.
Back at the battle, Aries manages to surprise the Hulk, and he rams him from behind, sending the Hulk hurtling through the wall and into the Passaic River just outside the warehouse. Angrier than ever before, the Hulk leaps back and crashes into the hapless Taurus much to Moon Knight’s delight.
Elsewhere, Nighthawk – having gained more strength with the onset of twilight – slowly resists the chains which bind him and with his new found strength he manages to finally free himself from his shackles.
Scorpio – having realised not all the Zodiac members seemed present – returns to the Zodiac chamber and finds Pisces near-dead, the product of a premature activation. Concerns are raised even more when Scorpio searches frantically for Virgo, the only female member of the Zodiac and whom Scorpio had hoped to gain as a life companion. He finds her stillborn in her Zodiac chamber, and it’s too much for Scorpio to bear.
Meanwhile, The Defenders and The Zodiac continue to tear Scorpio’s warehouse apart and just as Aries is about to surprise the Hulk again, Nighthawk swoops in and intercepts him. With renewed vigour and with the superheroes finally acting as a team, The Defenders stand galvanised and ready to end it once and for all. Surprisingly, it’s a little help from Gemini which finally tips the scales. The dual-identity villain has a change of heart after speaking with Libra (who still hasn’t lifted a finger but watches the battle intently), assists in containing Leo from Hellcat. After this small victory, it doesn’t take long for the rest of the Defenders to defeat the remaining members – again showing how effective teamwork can be. With the threat now over the only remaining thing left is to bring Scorpio in.
In another room, away from the battle, Scorpio is found by the Fury LMD. He is sitting in the dark, listening to sad, melancholic music. Still broken at having discovered his love, Virgo, killed, Scorpio now starts to entertain dark thoughts. He pleads to the Fury LMD to give him his gun and being an LMD, Fury does so, as all LMD’s do not have free will against their masters.
As Moon Knight and Jack Norris race across the warehouse, they hear a single gun shot and head towards the noise. They find the Fury LMD sitting silently next to the dead body of Scorpio.
Moon Knight Vol. 3, issue #3 – “Resurrection War: Phase III – Halfshadow”
Released March 1998
(writer) Doug Moench
(artist) Tommy Lee Edwards & Robert Campanella
(colours) Melissa Edwards
(letters) Ken Lopez
(editor) Mark Bernardo
Moon Knight is still taken aback at having faced Black Spectre and hearing Black Spectre’s words echo that of his dream. Moon Knight tries to get answers from him but is unsuccessful as the hulking Black Spectre continues to spout nonsense. Moon Knight tells him of his dream but the villain does not believe it, and slowly but surely, he gains the upper hand against the rattled Moon Knight. A blow to the back of the head; an uppercut and finally a king hit from his mace is enough to floor Moon Knight and leave him groggy. Unable to regain composure and facing the same result in his nightmare, Moon Knight is suddenly saved from the killing blow as Black Spectre reels from an arrow shot through his arm. It’s Stained Glass Scarlet and she now returns the favour in saving Moon Knight from certain death. She showers Black Spectre with arrows from her crossbow and now on the defensive, the injured villain escapes through a trapdoor in the floor and onto a speedboat below.
With Black Spectre gone, the abducted councilman saved and Knowles’ henchmen despatched, Moon Knight and Stained Glass Scarlet ponder over the forces which appear to have controlled Black Spectre. Moon Knight suspects Morpheus, but with all that has happened recently, he’s open to the theory it may be an even worse darker force at play.
Meanwhile in Cairo, we see none other than Bushman colluding with a shadowy figure. It appears some plans have been set in place for sinister means. Bushman questions the dark figure as to his motives – he knows Black Spectre has been promised New York; Bushman himself is being paid by half a dozen terrorist cells; but he’s yet to figure out how the shadowy figure benefits from their well laid plans.
The figure – who looks suspiciously like Morpheus – reproaches Bushman for thinking to bomb the UN conference building. It’s revealed that all of them appear to work for Set – the God of Death – and it is Set who will influence the UN conference delegates; it is Set who will fill them with hatred and chaos, which will result in global catastrophes.
Back at New York, Moon Knight drops by Detective Flint’s office. Probing Flint for clues as to why Black Spectre is free when he should still be serving a twenty year sentence, Flint let it be known that there are bigger problems ahead. Terrorism has turned its ugly head towards New York and the UN Conference in three weeks appears to be the target.
Moon Knight takes leave of Flint and returns to Grant Mansion where he pleads with the statue of Khonshu for answers. Moon Knight suspects the God Set, and amazingly before his eyes, the idol of Set which he holds in his hands melts away. Suddenly, he hears a voice, “It IS the dark god of chaos…and he is free”. At the very same time, in Cairo, Bushman storms the museum of antiquities and steals the unearthed statue of Set amidst explosions and a hail of bullets. In parallel, as Bushman leaves with the statue, Marc bows before his statue of Khonshu and pleads again for more answers. He’s unsure of his state of mind…is he dreaming? Or is he still dead and dreaming of his resurrection?
Out of the shadows comes Simon Darkover to Marc’s utter surprise. Darkover, who apparently died not long ago, stands before Marc and tells him of Set and his growing power. Darkover pleads to Marc to stop Set. “You mustn’t allow Set to become the Dreamer” says Darkover. With no warning, a huge, monstrous hand comes out of the darkness and claims Darkover, and with an array of gut wrenching sounds it claims him. Darkover croaks, “Set is….Death” before he disappears forever.
Marc then finds himself looking at HIMSELF in bed with Marlene, as he wakes from a nightmare. Back from the dream realm, Marc is convinced Morpheus is at play as he finds the idol of Set now back intact, much like how the statue of Khonshu previously exploded, then appeared back whole upon Marc’s resurrection. Marlene heads to Ravencroft Asylum where she requests to see Morpheus. The hapless ward points her to him, in an empty cell. He still is under Morpheus’ illusion, but not so Marlene.
With Morpheus on the loose now confirmed, Marlene and Moon Knight search for answers. Black Spectre has disappeared, and Moon Knight’s dreams have stopped. The lovers contemplate whether Morpheus is serving Set or if indeed the gods such as Set or Khonshu even exist. Perhaps they are constructs of man, and it is man who gives the gods power.
Finally, in Cairo, Bushman and Morpheus confer over their upcoming plan to attack the UN conference. Morpheus has made contact with Black Spectre and has been notified that Moon Knight is back. Bushman is confident that the three of them – Bushman, Morpheus and Black Spectre – are more than a match for the lone White Knight. Morpheus cares not of Moon Knight – he’s more invested in the ancient war between Dark and Light. Morpheus believes them all pawns to Set and Khonshu. Black Spectre’s lust for power and Bushman’s greed for money have bound their souls to Set. Similarly, Moon Knight is a pawn to the god Khonshu, and that of light and order. Morpheus truly believes they are all controlled by these higher powers, and soon all the pawns will face off in a final battle – the Ancient War – which lies just ahead!
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- The Defenders Vol. 1, issue #50
- Moon Knight Vol. 3, issue #3
- What’s Next For Frank Castle On ‘Marvel’s The Punisher’?
- Beyonder Begins Battleworld – 4 New Episodes, Marvel’s Avengers Secret Wars
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