This episode High Priest Rey flies solo into the abyss as he navigates his way through a handful of news and a couple of comic book reviews:
CLASSIC RUN: Hulk Magazine, Vol. 1 issue #11
MODERN RUN: Moon Knight, Vol. 5 issue #2
On the show we also have the talented Sean from Only the Valiant, lending us his vocal cords to give us a fired up and passionate guest narration of the two comics up for review!
It’s another instance of having a much admired podcaster feature on our show, so it was absolutely brilliant having him on board!
A bit of news (or Spector-lation) to cap it off – another episode for one and all!
BARE BONES – guest narrator, Sean Neprud from ‘Only the Valiant – Valiant Comics Radio’
Hulk Magazine Vol. 1 #11 – “Graven Image of Death”
Released October 1978
(writer) Doug Moench
(artist) Gene Colan
(inker) Tony Dezuniga
Moon Knight scours the streets of New York in search of a killer. Three murders have occurred and Moon Knight eyes a shady customer whom he believes to be behind at least some of them. Before he can glide down on his cape to apprehend the suspect, the man pulls a gun on a spectacled man walking out of an office and shoots him dead. Moon Knight can only watch as the man empties the victim’s pockets and flees. Rather than chase him as Moon Knight, the caped avenger restrains himself and flees in the other direction, intent on catching the perpetrator with another plan.
The killer finally stops running and decides to hail a cab to hasten his retreat. He gets in and is greeted with a rather chatty driver, who introduces himself as Jake Lockley. They arrive at the mansion of Joel Luxor and just as the man is about to begrudgingly pay the fare, Lockley shocks him by calling him out as a murderer. Before the man can react, Lockley removes his attire to reveal Moon Knight underneath and he launches himself at the criminal, finally pinning him to a tree with a crescent dart. Moon Knight questions him and it’s discovered that the man was hired by Luxor (owner of the mansion where they’re at) to kill the poor victim in the street and retrieve a key which he had in his possession. Moon Knight grabs the key, ties up the criminal and leaves him in the back of the cab, as he goes to investigate.
Luxor is seen with an associate playing pool when Moon Knight crashes their game. Busy with Luxor’s associate (who it turns out is his bodyguard), Moon Knight cannot prevent Luxor being shot by a bullet from outside. It kills Luxor but not before the sniper fires off another bullet into the wall nearby.
Moon Knight quickly calls in Marlene to assist with the case – he asks Marlene to come to Luxor’s mansion and search for anything suspicious before calling in the police to report the murder. Before leaving, Moon Knight etches out the bullet lodged in the wall and discovers that it’s an old fashioned bullet – most likely fired from a musket. With bullet and key in hand, Moon Knight races back outside but is surprised to see his cab (and the criminal in it) gone. The Fist of Khonshu calls on Frenchie to fly in and pick him up and to take him to the Fourth Estate – that being the Sun Times Newspaper Office.
Moon Knight arrives at the Sun Times and pays a visit to one of his contacts there, Curt. It so happens that the key stolen and intended for Luxor belonged to a storage unit at the newspaper’s office. Curt takes Moon Knight to the locker of Jim Polhaus (a features writer) and in it is a manuscript detailing a statuette of Horus and how Luxor intends to claim it. It goes on to say that the statuette is in the personal care of Fenton Crane, an assistant curator at the museum. Frenchie takes Moon Knight to the museum as Moonie suspects that the authentic statuette is in Crane’s hands, and a fake is being exhibited at the museum. His suspicions prove correct and Moon Knight sleuthing also discovers a missing musket from the wall – the same sort of gun that could have been fired upon Joel Luxor moments ago. With suspicion mounting, Moon Knight asks Frenchie to take him to Crane’s apartment in the hope to find more clues, or Crane himself!
Crane’s apartment is empty – no sign of Crane or the statuette. Lastly, Moon Knight checks the closet, where out falls the unnamed criminal Moon Knight apprehended earlier, still bound and gagged. Turns out he wasn’t contracted by Luxor, but another rival collector, Anton Varro. Luxor had contracted Crane to kill Polhaus in order to retrieve the key, but Crane was beaten to it by the unnamed crim, now lying bound at the feet of Moon Knight. Convinced that Crane doesn’t have the statuette, Moon Knight leaves the bound criminal to the police and heads for Luxor’s mansion once again. It’s the only place Crane would go, if he’s in search of the statuette. With Marlene there investigating on his behalf, Moon Knight fears for her safety.
Just as he arrives, he hears a gunshot from inside the mansion. Marlene stands in terror, with a gunshot to her arm and a crazed Fenton Crane, armed with a musket. He demands she tell him the whereabouts of the Horus Statuette or the next shot will be her death!
Moon Knight Vol. 5, issue # 2- “The Bottom, Part 2 of 6: Fear, More than God”
Released July 2006
(writer) Charles Huston
(artist) David Finch
(inker) Danny Miki
(colours) Frank D’Armata
(letters) Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna
(editor) Corey Sedlmeier and Axel Alonso
Alone in the dark, at the rundown estate of Grant Mansion, an old and tired Marc Spector reflects on his service to Khonshu and his life as a hero. Spector is scathing at himself and what he gave up in order to serve his god. It leads him to reflect upon his rivalry with Bushman, and to recount the horrors which had led him to his current debilitated state.
A flashback of the past show Bushman and Moon Knight in the midst of a battle, in what looks to be high above the city skyline of New York. They are on the rooftops and each bloody blow is exchanged with another bloodier blow – with no one looking to be the clear victor. Spector reflects on this fateful battle with Bushman and concedes that their long, ongoing hatred for each other inevitably led to sloppiness on Moon Knight’s behalf. What once were slick moves are now old tricks and Bushman ultimately gains the upper hand and hurls the Fist of Khonshu over the roof edge.
With sickening violence, Moon Knight hits his head on the metal fire stair balustrades on the way down, before destroying his legs and breaking both his knees as he crashes down below. He cries out to his god, “Khonshu’!” before hitting the pavement with more wet snaps of broken bone and battered flesh.
Spector’s self-destructive reflection of the event leads him to blame not only himself, but ultimately on Khonshu himself for leading him towards this destiny – a destiny which has left him a broken man.
A half-dead Moon Knight lays crumpled in the alleyway as Bushman descends and unsheathes a machete to finish off his foe. A bloodied grin escapes his lips but underneath the moonlight, the Avatar of Vengeance strikes out with one final flurry of hope and throws crescent dart after crescent dart at Bushman. By the fourth dart – which lodges itself in his throat – Bushman falters and collapses alongside Moon Knight. Amazingly the battle still rages and in an act of pure savagery, Bushman bits into Moon Knight’s face with his sharpened teeth and tears away at mask and skin..
Moon Knight fights back amidst the blood and wounds and finally gaining leverage over Bushman, takes out another crescent dart and proceeds to cut the face off Bushman. Born from the hatred he has for Bushman, as well as a warning to all other criminals that he is someone to be feared, Moon Knight leaves Bushman for dead, and thrusts his skinned trophy up towards the moon in an almost angry defiance to Khonshu.
Spector recalls all of this, as he sits alone on the floor at the feet of Khonshu’s statue, with the pale moonlight drowning him in his self pity.
A knock on the door startles Spector out of his trance and Samuels, his butler introduces a guest for Spector – it’s his old friend Crawley.
Crawley wonders whether Spector’s return to the mansion and the unveiling of the old statue of Khonshu heralds a return of Moon Knight – a hero that had gone missing years ago after the fateful encounter with Bushman. It appears this is not the first time Crawley has visited Marc Spector, and Marc is irritated at Crawley’s incessant talk. He demands the drugs which he had requested from the aged acquaintance. Crawley can only sigh and comply to Marc’s demands and so he hands Marc the bag of painkillers which he managed to procure via his own street connections. As Crawley leaves, he gives mention to Marc of his old partner, Frenchie, and how Frenchie has requested that Marc see him due to some unforeseen trouble. Not having made contact with Frenchie for a long time (it appears Marc has not been in contact with anyone he knows for a long time), Marc is left surprised at Crawley’s last words which are left lingering in the air. He calls Samuels and requests that he get the car, much to Samuels’ delight. It would appear Marc has been a hermit for a while now, and so the thought of Marc going outside for lunch puts a smile on Samuels’ face.
Marc pauses and contemplates whether he should take the painkillers which Crawley just handed to him – by taking them, he could continue his numbed, self-destructive existence. He thinks otherwise, and pops them back in the bottle.
Elsewhere, another lone figure smokes quietly in his office as a man in a suit rushes in to tell him news. “They want you now…Asset Prime is moving”. That could only mean Marc Spector. The mysterious, smoking man scans the man in the suit and immediately a flood of information is gathered from tell tale signs – cheap shoes, bad breath and glint in the eye are all he need. At a mere glance, the smoking man is able to sum up all the faults and traits of the man in the suit – and by doing so, foresee his actions.
The smoking man is The Profile, and he’s eager to profile Marc Spector!
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Sean Neprud, Guest Narrator – Only The Valiant: Valiant Comics Radio
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