The Two High Priests of Khonshu, Connor(Shu) and Rey are back for another episode in the ever changing format of Into the Knight!
Amidst the current Bemis run and the coverage of Marvel’s Damnation Event, your intrepid hosts ensure not to neglect their duties to cover the Classic and Modern run for your listening pleasure.
CLASSIC RUN: THE HULK! , Vol.1 issue #13 – “The Big Blackmail”
MODERN RUN: MOON KNIGHT , Vol.5 issue #4 – “The Bottom Part 4 – Interest in a Mirror”
Charting Moon Knight’s course across history, we stop at 1979 to see Moon Knight in a back-up story of The Hulk! magazine and we’re introduced to more of Moench’s weird and wonderful characters; in our Modern run, we continue with one of the more popular runs of Moon Knight – that of Charlie Huston and David Finch. It get’s pretty dark and heavy in Part 4 of ‘The Bottom’….but that’s just the way we like it!
A small dose of news as well as general chit-chat…lock in the stirrups and pull that lever – it’s on again for young and old!!
BARE BONES – guest narrator, Phil Perich from ‘The Capes and Lunatics Podcast’
The Hulk! Vol. 1 #13 : Moon Knight back-up story- “The Big Blackmail”
Released February 1979
(writer) Doug Moench
(artist) Bill Sienkiewicz
(colours) Steve Oliff
(editor) Rick Marschall
Two mysterious figures profile the characteristics and inner secrets of one, Moon Knight. Beginning with the weaponry Moon Knight has at his disposal, the two figures then continue to analyse Moon Knight’s secret identities and his close companions. The study of our white knight is not unlike that of Conquer Lord previously, but it is proven that the vulgar oaf is not behind this caper, but rather two men names Smelt and Lupinar.
As they continue their studies, we see Steven Grant and Marlene at Grant mansion preparing the money intended to exchange for the Horus statue, which Moon Knight has sought after over the last few issues. Grant changes clothes and into Jake Lockley and as he leaves Marlene, he heads towards the city, to seek out the word on the street of any suspicious activity involving foreigners and large sums of money. It’s in Gena’s Diner that Lockley finds Crawley, and it is Crawley – an unsavoury looking yet articulate fellow – who makes it be known to Lockley that a truck hijacking has been planned by some out-of-town criminals. Lockley thanks Crawley then departs to prepare his rendezvous with Leroux’s men for the exchange of money for the Horus Statue.
Moon Knight arrives at the drop (a deserted warehouse on Route 32 near the Hudson River) on the dot, and he encounters a group of armed men with the Horus statue. They demand the cash and Moon Knight hands it over. In true criminal style, they then try to keep both the cash and the Horus statue, but Moon Knight begins a different sort of negotiation – a negotiation involving his fists and kicks!
He manages to subdue all the armed men amidst a hail of bullets and bodies and Moon Knight leaves unscathed with the Horus statue. Moon Knight chooses to leave the cash however, and the ploy to leave it in order to trail the criminals to their next exploits appears to work. Though Moon Knight and Frenchie do not know what the criminals plan to buy, or to gain from hijacking the truck, they follow the convoy of cars as they leave the warehouse. Our heroes are indeed led towards a huge truck on the highway and Moon Knight jumps from the Mooncopter just as the convoy force the truck to come to a halt.
The hijackers are met with a surprise load of armed guards inside the truck as they attempt to steal the goods inside. Before any real bloodshed occurs, the guards are shot down strategically by the now un-costumed Moon Knight. It’s Marc Spector, and he cunningly shoots to guards enough to knock them out – not kill them – as he aims for all their bullet proof vests. He pretends to be employed by Leroux (the very same employer of the terrorists) and he assists them in stealing the cargo. To Marc’s surprise, it’s Plutonium which the terrorists have obtained and it’s part of their plan to hold New York City for ransom, lest the city be destroyed by nuclear detonation.
To add more of complexity to the matter, the two mysterious figures Lupinar and his assistant Smelt, also have a vested interest in not only Moon Knight, but also in the truck hijacking. Lupinar – a fierce looking, swashbuckling mastermind – sends someone dressed as Moon Knight to stop the hijacking, confront the terrorists but also to flush out the ‘rotten apple’ (which in this case, is Marc Spector!).
Confused at the sight of the Moon Knight imposter, and wary that his cover will soon be blown, Marc Spector is left in quite the pickle! The issue ends with Lupinar almost wishing that his Moon Knight imposter will fail, as he yearns to confront and defeat Marc Spector, aka The Moon Knight, face-to-face!
Crescent Dart Rating (out of 5):
BARE BONES – guest narrator, Phil Perich from ‘The Capes and Lunatics Podcast’
Moon Knight Vol. 5 #4 – “The Bottom Part 4 of 6, “Interest in a Mirror”
Released September 2006
(writer) Charlie Huston
(artist) David Finch
(colours) Frank D’Armata
(editors) Daniel Ketchum, Corey Seidlmeier, Axel Alonso
Bare Bones written and provided by Tommy Kawel
Title Page Exposition
He was a mercenary. A killer. And then he was a hero. Marc Spector used to jump from rooftops, spread his cape against the night and drop to the streets below. Dealing pain. Dealing vengeance. All in the name of his lord Khonshu. God of Vengeance. God of the Moon.
Took his lord’s name and became his knight. Became Moon Knight. He was a hero. He had everything. Had a life like you read about in legends. But that was years ago. Before he lost his friends. Lost his love. Lost his god. And, finally, lost himself.
In an alley in the rain he crossed a line he barely knew was there. Killian an evil man. Doing evil himself. Exiling himself to the cage of a broken body. Wanting it all back, he answers a call from a friend, Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp, the best friend a man ever had. But it’s not Frenchie calling, it’s the past.
The New Committee, dark sons of men who once paid his wages, men he betrayed, have set wheels in motion. Plots laid by their employee, The Profile, have untimely hatched. DuChamp pays the price in blood. And Spector takes the vengeance that is his due; not knowing that another pawn lurks: the New Committee’s Contingency T.
Beaten at the feet of Khonshu, Marc Spector weeps from his freshly scarred eye. He praises his god – thanks him for his blessings, but Marc wants more.
Khonshu mocks Spector. Covered with the bloody mask of Bushman’s skinned face, the statue reveals a faceless Bushman, haunting the shadows of Marc’s lonely quarters. Is this Raoul? Back from the grave? The voice is there, at least. Bushman calls Marc the sorriest piece of shit he’s ever seen.
The action cuts to a dirty, studio apartment in the city, lit with the burning red glow of the neon sign outside. The Profile lies in bed with a hookup. Photos, maps, and pinned up pentagrams adorn the wall behind his bed. He pours her a drink; he reads his mistress like a book. They’re talking about Spector.
At the feet of Khonshu’s statue, Marc denies the Bushman avatar. He refuses to believe this is real. Spector thinks this is the work of Morpheus. But as Bushman transforms into Peter Alraune, there’s a flashback to Alraune’s death at the hand of the nemesis himself.
The Profile, away, tells his hookup that “All of us, we’re just what our pasts make us,” and Marc’s is nothing but trauma. People are programmed to react to phenomena in certain ways, but Marc only seems to know trauma.
Marc grabs a revolver, and Bushman knows what will happen next. Quickly, Bushman attempts to soothe Marc as he moves the revolver closer to his temple. Bushman first places his skinned face over the deteriorating remnants of his skull. No good. He changes forms to Crawley and then Frenchie next. No dice. Finally, Khonshu takes on the form of Marlene Alraune and whispers, “It’s me.” Marc stops. Wide-eyed and tearful, he’s paused.
Zooming back, Bushman stands over Marc’s shoulders and again whispers, “It’s me. My priest.” This isn’t Bushman; it’s Khonshu in the flesh. He never abandoned Marc. He would never abandon his last true son.
The Profile fills in the gaps. The New Committee, the sons of the first Committee, desire Moon Knight for their own. Filled with hate for their fathers, they plan to bring Moon Knight in and turn him into their personal assassin. For the time being, Moon Knight stands solely in the eyes of his god and light, Khonshu.
The Profile believes that Moon Knight isn’t the typical, run-of-the-mill superhero. He’s influenced by the supernatural. There’s no telling what he’s after, what he needs. Yet, Marc is still programmed like anyone. Why else would a rabbi’s son serve as the avatar for an Egyptian god?
The Profile weaves a narrative for his inquisitive mistress and offers backstory for newcomers. Rabbi Spector fled the Holocaust and has since led a highly orthodox life in Chicago. His first wife died giving birth to Marc. “Father resents son, son rejects father’s god, father rejects son. Son goes looking for love.”
Marc was a boxer, a soldier, a mercenary. He’s good at hurting others. That’s why Khonshu chose him. But why did Khonshu leave him? He didn’t. Khonshu has always cared for Marc. He has always raised him up. Does Marc doubt his god now?
Khonshu will reward Marc for his work. With glories. With everything he desires.
Bushman-Khonshu fades away, and — from the doorway — Marlene enters. With derision in her voice she screams at Marc, angry that Marc broke Frenchie’s attacker. But Marc’s standing. He tells her: I’m standing.
What does she care. Frenchie is hospitalized. It must be Marc’s fault. He denies it, but Marlene makes him rethink. What’s the connection? Just as Marlene realizes that Marc has uncovered the statue of Khonshu, the window breaks.
Taskmaster soars through the shrapnel of glass, sword and shield at the ready. Marlene, in her rage, leaps at Taskmaster. Marc darts a blade toward the intruder, but Taskmaster smacks marlene with the crossguard of his blade. She falls, but Taskmaster is impressed. The two have a fighting chemistry.
Regardless, Taskmaster is here with purpose. He has a contract and he’s fixing to get paid. The gig? Kill Spector. Taskmaster pins Marc to the floor with his own crescent darts and stands over Marc’s broken body, readying the kill.
Crescent Dart Rating (out of 5):
Connor: 🌙🌙🌙🌙 1/2
- Hulk! Vol.1, issue #13
- Moon Knight Vol.5, issue#4
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Thanks Phil, from the Capes and Lunatics Podcast for being our Guest Narrator this episode!
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