The “Incarnations” story arc ends as Moon Knight finally tries to get a grip on the voices in his head. The first eight issues of this series proved to be a testament for writer Jeff Lemire’s talent, creativity, and geniusness. This has got to be one of the best runs of Moon Knight that I’ve read in a while.
I want to start by saying that if you haven’t read the last issue or haven’t kept up with the series too much, you probably won’t understand too much of this issue. This is the climax and conclusion of an ongoing story arc, and barely any exposition gives knowledge into what is really going on. In the end, it is simply a battle of Moon Knight’s selves.
At the same time, though, this issue does set up a lot of what is to come in the future. For Lemire to accomplish both goals in the same issue is respectable and commendable. I wouldn’t say it’s really a setup issue, but it serves as both the end and beginning of something in this universe. At the very least, I can honestly say this is one hell of a cliffhanger.
Essentially, Marc Spector is putting his other selves back into himself so he can be one being. Some personas are easy to get rid of, like the space man. Some are difficult, like Jake Lockley and Steven Grant. We find some history about Grant and just how long he has been around.
There isn’t all too much characterization in this issue (which is kind of a bummer), but we do see a lot of everyone who makes up Moon Knight. In that sense, characterization is inherent. However, more will come, I’m sure, as Marc Spector moves on with his life.
Finally, Moon Knight feels like he has a clear enough head to move forward and take on a new challenge. The only question now is: Will he be able to accomplish it?
There are four different artists in this issue. Woah. I usually hate multiple artists on the same issue, but in this case, it makes sense and proves to be very effective. Each of Moon Knight’s different selves is illustrated differently enough that the inner battle he faces is both emphasized and sympathized.
This issue has a generally calmer progression to it than most, so the simplistic art styles implemented here suit the storyline well. There is some really clean line work accompanied by detailed backgrounds. The simplicity of the foreground (Moon Knight and his multiple personalities) contrasts nicely with it. The overall palette of black, white, and green looks almost ghostly—it creates the perfect tone of urgency and mystery.
Moon Knight is, lastly, one of my favorite characters for just what we see in this issue. He is normalizing mental illness. There is the biggest stigma associated with mental illness, for no apparent reason besides simple judgement. Mental health is an important part of everyone’s life and shouldn’t be avoided by any means—certainly not because of what other people think. For Moon Knight to take such an important-yet-ignored topic and bring it to light for all readers is a great thing. For this alone, Moon Knight will always be my favorite comic book character.
For Moon Knight fans, this issue is a must-read. If you can, though, please read the first eight issues beforehand. This is an amazing feat for Marc Spector, and an interesting storyline—seeing all of Marc’s personalities is quite the page-turning event. To read this awesome book, head over to your local comic book shop and pick it up!
Written by: Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by: Various