Moon Knight is on a tear, taking on the Earth's Mightiest Heroes one by one to mystically steal their power... and prevailing?!
What the heck is happening? Why has Moon Knight turned on his allies? And how on earth is he able to pull this off?!
As far as dropping readers directly in the lion’s den goes, you can’t do much better than Avengers #33. The issue hits the ground running with this first installment of “Age of Khonshu” by writer Jason Aaron and artist Javier Garron, pitting the Avengers one-by-one into situations they should easily prevail – and coming up short. Moon Knight is a formidable opponent, sure, but at the end of the day he’s just a man. He shouldn’t be able to prevail so thoroughly against the likes of Iron Fist, Dr. Strange, or Thor. Yet he does with ease, a narrative trick that, while somewhat gimmicky, does exactly what it’s supposed to – pulls readers in and leaves them immediately wanting more.
The why and how of all this chaos are for a future issue. By baiting the hook so well, Aaron is ensuring readers will be beating the door down for the next installment. Which is as it should be. There’s no deep revelations here, no exposition dumps as to why this is going on – only the mystery. Spoiler warning, by the end, we’re at least shown that Moon Knight believes he is acting in service of the greater good – to defend Earth against some unnamed devil – so the idea that he may have switched sides for whatever reason is eschewed.
That’s not to say there isn’t some silliness at play, though. Moon Knight’s rationale for being able to defeat Dr. Strange is that tonight is the biggest supermoon in years. His ability to control Mjolnir and use it against Thor is that the hammer is made out of moon rock. Wha? Don’t think for a second that long-time readers won’t be crying foul at these extremely convenient plot devices. And although the case could be made for Marc Spector being amped up due to Khonshu’s own magics – and that’s clearly what Aaron’s going for – the case remains, there are some extreme leaps of faith involved in accepting this issue’s events at face value. Especially Spector’s final defeat of Thor, which not only completely defies the laws of physics and gravity, but also speaks to the batcrap insane power levels Moon Knight is suddenly displaying. In a nutshell, a reader’s enjoyment of this issue is going to hinge on their ability to accept these events without over-analyzing them.
Artistically, Javier Garron does a fine job with this issue. The pencils are clean and easy to digest. They may, however, be a tad too clean for a down-and-dirty throwdown issue such as this one. That’s not a knock on Garron’s obvious talents, but they evoke more a sanitized Saturday morning cartoon than the knocked loose chaos at play here. If nothing else, a dirtier ink line might have worked more appropriately. As it is, despite the artist’s skill, there’s a bit of a disconnect between art and story that ever-so-slightly pulls readers out of the narrative. One thing he does very well, though, is utilizing different looks for Moon Knight in each sequence, paying homage to the suited-up Warren Ellis phase, his classic look, and so on. Moon Knight is a cool character with a rich history, and seeing that history on visual display was a great tip of the hat to the creators who have come before.
There’s a lot going on in Avengers #33, but holistically speaking, this was a fun issue, provided you don’t overthink it and just go along for the ride… which could serve as a descriptor for Jason Aaron’s run as a whole, but that’s a tangent for another day.
Avengers #33 pits Moon Knight against the Avengers... and prevailing?! Leaps of logic aside, this issue is a surprising amount of fun, setting the stage for a big mystery by baiting the narrative hook so well. This is a great place for readers to jump on if they haven't already!
Avengers #33: That Time The Avengers Got Beat Up by Moon Knight
Writing - 7.5/10
Storyline - 7.5/10
Art - 7/10
Color - 7.5/10
Cover Art - 8.5/10
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