Episode 30 – The Spider and the Moon

EPISODE 30:

We’ve got a double header of classic runs to review this issue, with the first ever team-up between Spider-man and our ol’ Sheet Face –

CLASSIC RUNS:

Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-man, Vol. 1 issue #22

Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-man, Vol. 1 issue #23

And of course, we have something a little special this episode too, as we had live guest Chris from Defenders TV Podcast dropping into the show to not only do a live guest narration for our comic book reviews, but we also had a good ol’ chat about a wide range of things: his love for Spidey; podcasting; Black Panther; growing up collecting comics and how he and his co-hosts met and formed their show!

A bit of exciting news for Moony fans out there too with the release of the latest Marvel solicitations as well! It’s all happening here – fire up that Moon Jet…. we’re taking off!


BARE BONES:

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1 issue #22 – “By the Light of the Silvery Moon Knight! “

Released September 1978

(writer) Bill Mantlo

(artist) Mike Zeck

(inks and letters) Bruce D. Patterson

(colours) George Roussos

(editor) Bob Hall

A gangland slaying is about to take place in a municipal garage beneath the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The Maggia have informant, Lindy, pinned to the wall with car headlights on him and guns trained to kill. In the shadows above, Moon Knight watches and waits for his chance.

It turns out a plea bargain with District Attorney Blake Tower, has got Lindy in this bind, but when all is just about lost, Moon Knight swoops in and attacks the would-be hitmen. With speed and strength, Moon Knight is able to neutralise four of the gang members but not even the Avatar of Vengeance can stop a rain of bullets from the last gang member finding his target. Lindy is shot and dying as Moon Knight takes care of the gunman. He dies in Moon Knight’s arms but not before revealing that the Maggia somehow know Moon Knight’s secret identity. With him no closer to a lead on the Maggia, Moon Knight disappears from the scene as mysteriously as he arrived – Frenchie and the Mooncopter assisting him in his departure.

Spider-man is seen on his way home too, after an evening of crime fighting. Tired and not exactly fresh from the day’s fighting, Spider-man changes out of his costume and as Peter Parker, hits the showers. A pleasant date with Betty Brant is in store for the evening and they soon leave Peter’s apartment, but not without some haranguing from his grumpy landlady.

Although the young couple are excited for their date, both can’t help but think of their ex-partners – Peter for Mary Jane, and Betty for Ned.

In a couple of quickfire sub plots, we see Flash Thompson with his girlfriend Sha Shan in her apartment, attempting to study for his college courses. It doesn’t take long before Flash is willingly distracted by the attentions of Sha Shan.

Across the city, The White Tiger (Hector Ayala) laments the loss of his love Holly Gillis. It appears the powers bestowed upon him are as much a curse as they are a gift, as the White Tiger screams to the heavens for the pain he currently feels.

A little later into the night, Peter Parker is suited up and back swinging through the streets as Spider-man. He chances upon Gena’s Diner and his spider-sense quickly alerts him that something is wrong. At the same time, Jake Lockley walks into the diner, fortuitously for the masked men with guns who appear to be looking for him. Before they have time to react to Jake’s entrance, Spider-man swings in and the fight is on!

With the help of Gena and a frying pan, Spider-man manages to subdue the criminals although one manages to slip out of the diner. Jake follows in pursuit and quickly changes into Moon Knight. A well thrown truncheon trips the crim and Moon Knight pounces on him showing no mercy. He’s eager to know where the Big M – the leader of the Maggia – is hiding. Suddenly, Spider-man appears again and throws himself between Moon Knight and the beaten crim. Annoyed at Spider-man for ruining his plan (Moon Knight had intended to be abducted by the men, so as to be led to the Maggia) Moon Knight strikes out and attacks the web-slinger. As the two heroes battle, the lucky crim slips away once again and tries to phone the Maggia. Unfortunately for him, Moon Knight can multi task and two crescent darts find their mark. Spider-man won’t be ignored so easily, however, and springs onto Moon Knight once again to resume their street level tussle.

It’s Spider-man who first senses it, but before any cause of action can be carried out, both Moon Knight and Spider-man are knocked off their feet. Standing before them is Cyclone – the French assassin and villain extraordinaire for the Maggia. With the ability to conjur up small cyclones, the Maggia’s assassin has the two heroes at his mercy!


Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1 issue #23 – “Guess Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?”

Released October 1978

(writer) Bill Mantlo

(artist) Jom Mooney

(Inker) Mike Esposito

(colours) Phil Rache

(letters)  Joen Rosen

(editor) Bob Hall

The Maggia’s assassin, Cyclone, has Spider-man and Moon Knight under his thumb as he tosses them like rag dolls with his cyclonic powers. As Spider-man desperately grasps for purchase on a nearby wall, Moon Knight attempts to lunge unnoticed at Cyclone. The devious villain is too quick, however, and before Moon Knight can make an impact on his attack, he is hurled blocks away with a might gust of wind. With Moon Knight gone, Spider-man rushes at Cyclone, in the hope to incapacitate him. It seems the two have unfinished business – Cyclone is bitter at the Web-Head for sending him to jail last they met – and it’s Cyclone who is adamant that their confrontation won’t heed the same result.

Calling upon more wind than ever before, Cyclone appears to defeat Spider-man in a torrent of gusty force, and as the dust clears, Spider-man is no more. With both heroes defeated, there’s only one final loose end to tie up, and much to the other assassins’ dismay (that very same assassin pinned to a nearby payphone by Moon Knight’s crescent dart), Cyclone puts an end to him too.

Not long after Cyclone leaves the scene, Spider-man pops up again from under a man hole. Turns out he managed to hide underground during the colossal winds that Cyclone conjured. Spidey discovers the dead assassin and reproaches himself for not being able to save him. Moon Knight, too, re-appears. Having swung back after being blown blocks away, Moon Knight calls a truce with Spider-man and they both agree to team up to take down the Maggia.

Brief moments involving the White Tiger and his lament for his love, Holly Gillis; Mary-Jane Watson briefly dating  an uninteresting Marty; and Betty Brant pining for her love Ned are briefly covered before we return to the action with Spider-man and Moon Knight.

Still slightly wary of each other, Moon Knight offers Spider-man a ride to his secret headquarters (that of Grant Mansion) shrouded in man-made fog. Moon Knight quickly greets Marlene before rushing out to escort Spider-man to his Command Center. It’s a high-tech, elaborate lair which shows Moon Knight has been tracking the Maggia for some time. With a clue taken from the dead assassin, and Moon Knight’s scale model of New York City, the duo deduce that the Maggia must be hiding in Grant’s Tomb – an historic monument in New York. After a quick trip in the Mooncopter, the Web-Slinger and White Eyes arrive at the Tomb and peer inside.

Their hunch proves fruitful as they see the Maggia, alongside Cyclone inside. They are waiting for Big M – their leader and someone as yet unseen. With a little pre-planning complete, Spider-man and Moon Knight crash into the tomb, taking the Maggia by surprise. The fight is on as both Spidey and Moony prove to be a handful for the roomful of cut throats. Cyclone joins the fray, but in his haste to use his cyclonic powers, his winds cause just as much trouble for his own men as for the two heroes.

During the fracas, one of the tombs discreetly opens and in the shadows, Big M lurks. He still remains a mystery, as he quickly decides to avoid the conflict around him and returns to the tomb, still unseen by anyone.

The Maggia eventually try to escape the heroes and the strong winds summoned by Cyclone. The exits to the premises are however, already locked – Spider-man and Moon Knight had seen to that before they instigated their attack. With the Maggia beaten, Cyclone is the last man standing and it’s Moon Knight who has the solution. Previously, Moon Knight had consulted with Stark and had been given a counter weapon to Cyclone. Moon Knight hurls a silver capsule at Cyclone’s feet and the liquid gases immediately have an effect. Cyclone is disorientated at the immediate drop in temperature and rapidly heading into shock, Cyclone stumbles and then is victim to his own contraption. He is flung hard against a wall by the whirling winds and with a ‘KRUMP’ he’s knocked out.

Another day, another victory for the heroes.


SHOW NOTES:

  1. Marvel May Solicitations 2018 – Moon Knight #195
  2. Lemire 14-issue run will be released in HC format
  3. Legion vs. Moon Knight – Which has the better portrayal of mental illness?
  4. Epic Marvel Podcast- Interview with Bill Sienkiewicz on Moon Knight
  5. Moon Knight #192 preview

Moon_Knight_Vol_1_195_Textless


SPECTOR-CALL:

Chris Jones, Co-Host of Defenders TV Podcast


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