Writers: Jonathan Hickman, Murewa Ayodele, and Marc Guggenheim
Art: Chris Bachalo, Dotun Akande, and Jorge Fornes
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 11th, 2022
Following their success with Deadpool: Black, White & Blood, and Elektra: Black, White & Blood, Marvel now debuts Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1. Each issue, this anthology book will feature two or more stories done by a variety of writers and artists, with black and white art splashed with moments of red. Will Marvel strike gold with this format again?
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1 Review.
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1 features 3 stories of varying quality.
The best story of the trio is “So White. Yet, So Dark”, written by Murewa Ayodele and drawn by Dotun Akande.
This is a fun little story guest-starring Spider-Man (whose red costume is a bold contrast to the stark black and white art around him). He and Moon Knight team up to stop a thief who has stolen a crimson scarab, and along the way, they end up fighting two villains.
Moon Knight’s grimness and disdain for chit-chat contrasts hilariously with Spider-Man’s rapid-fire stream of quips and jokes. Moon Knight IS NOT AMUSED by Spider-Man. Where Daredevil has always humored Spider-Man in the past and even joked with him at times, Moon Knight is pure business. He’s all about finding scarabs and kicking butt, and joking isn’t on his radar.
It’s interesting to see Spider-Man lost for a change. Moon Knight, well-versed in Egyptian mythology, of course, knows everything about the scarab they’re looking for and can easily track the guy who stole it. Spider-Man’s pretty much along for the ride here, wanting to help, but at times almost getting in the way, due to his lack of knowledge about scarabs and Egyptian myth.
There are a couple of great fight scenes and the story wraps up neatly, ending with an appearance by another beloved Marvel character, who also annoys Moon Knight. And all this happens in 9 pages!
Another story in the issue is “Anubis Rex” (written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Chris Bachalo). This story is beyond confusing, partially because of the writing, but primarily because of the art. From what I could decipher, Moon Knight is protecting a child from an avatar of the god Ra. I read it three times and STILL couldn’t understand what happened in it.
Finishing off the issue is “The End” (written by Marc Guggenheim and drawn by Jorge Fornes). This story is slightly better than “Anubis Rex”, and is told in reverse, with the ending of the story coming first and working back to the beginning. I was about 2 pages into it when I realized what was going on, and honestly, it was annoying. Telling a story from the ending to the beginning has worked great in films (“Forrest Gump”, “Citizen Kane” and “Pulp Fiction”, for example), but it doesn’t work in comic form. At least not with this story. When I read it a second time, I started at the last page and read backward, and it was SO much better that way. The art was good and there were a couple of great fight scenes (where Moon Knight is especially vicious). An interesting experiment that just didn’t pay off.
The art styles are vastly different in Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1.
Chris Bachalo’s art on “Anubis Rex” is incomprehensible. It looks like he’s going for a Bill Sienkiewicz style, but even when Bill Sienkiewicz was at his most impressionistic, the reader could understand what was going on and follow the action. The art here looks like smudges, and it’s almost impossible to understand what’s going on.
Dotun Akande’s art on “So White. Yet, So Dark” is much more detailed and traditional, and it complements the writing. The action scenes are fun to follow and the backgrounds and vehicles are also drawn with great detail.
Jorge Fornes’s art in “The End” is a sparse style, but the characters’ emotions and the villains in the issue are drawn in such a way that you can tell their motivations and their abilities. Since this story takes place in a snowstorm, snow is a constant visual in every panel, and it contrasts wonderfully with Moon Knight’s starting white outfit.
Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1 is saved by the story “So White. Yet, So Dark”, which is a super fun read. The other two stories in this collection are of average or slightly above average quality. The great thing about anthology books is that the writers and artists change with each issue. Hopefully, the next issue will improve on what was started in this issue.