Moon Knight #15: The Eleven of Khonsu

Moon Knight #15 – written by Jed Mackay, with art by Alessandro Cappuccio, color by Rachelle Rosenberg, and lettering by VC’s Cory Petit – begins to tie together the various aspects of Marc Spector, as well as the assortment of plot threads of this series and ideas and concepts from Moon Knight’s past. Marc spends much of the trouble reckoning with dissociative identity disorder and the personalities that come with it, deciding to share with friends at the Midnight Mission. His condition was on the back burner for most of the run, only rising in later issues, but Mackay recalls how vital he is to Spector’s character.

The issue intersects with scenes of Spector explaining his specific history with the mess and his different personalities working their spheres of influence for more information on newly introduced villains and vampire pyramid schemes. Marc’s fears of alienating Reese and Soldier are immediately disproved, neither fearful of the condition. The most surprising reaction comes from Hunter Moon, who knocks Marc over his plan regarding vampires. Moon understands the effect Khonsu had on Marc’s psyche and explains that it aligns with Fist’s coat, as it reflects the various aspects of Khonsu. It’s a great moment in a storyline full of them, reversing the tension and fears of Moon Knight while further deepening and contextualizing Marc Spector’s canon.

The overall plot of the book comes together in this issue, and Mackay’s screenplay ties together the various plot threads, as well as Marc’s personalities. The personality reveal isn’t as flashy or twisted as in previous races, but becomes a vital part of this race. Even with their differences, Marc, Stephen and Jake work together, with a plan that almost seems like clockwork. It’s a significant change from previous series where the personalities were either on edge or ignorant of each other and provides an interesting look at the characters. Mackay’s script gives each personality their role, and by using a narrative framework that feels like it’s been pulled straight from a heist story, the reveal of information feels organic.

Mackay’s new villains are the embodiment of d-list and feel like organic creations that bolster Moon Knight’s small but esoteric gallery of rogues. The first of the two villains is Nemean, a Greek super-assassin with unbreakable skin, while the other is Grand Mal, a fictional former Soviet country, an assassin who uses electric gauntlets that give seizures. Both are portrayed as messy and ruthless killers, willing to accept any job for the right price. The two feel like perfect characters for Moon Knight’s Rogues, with vague ties to mythology and mercenary labor serving as foils for Marc and Khonsu. It’s a welcome addition to the character of Moon Knight that balances well with Mackay’s contextualization of the character’s different personalities.

The art merges in a way that reflects the alliance of personalities. It’s more cohesive than previous issues and ensures that the different personalities and the world they inhabit feel distinct on the page. This is done through line art and then reinforced with Rosenberg’s colors. Jake basks in the neon lights and grime of New York’s shady neighborhoods, Stephen is most at home in warm living rooms and grand rooftop balconies, and Marc has made his way into the mission somewhere between the high and the bottoms of both personalities.

In the past, Cappuccio’s art has been inconsistent, ranging from jaw-dropping imagery to uneven anatomy or expressions. Those issues largely disappeared from this issue, a clear sign that Cappuccio grew and refined his style as the book continued, a boon for any artist working on a title after six issues. It would be easy for the art to stumble over the book’s massive leaps between characters and plot, but instead its line art works with the coloring to ensure clarity of the issue.

Daniel K. Denny