Moon Knight #29
THE FINAL HOURS OF MOON KNIGHT! As the clock ticks down, Moon Knight battles the Black Spectre for the fate of the city—and every step forward is paid for with blood. Will Moon Knight and his allies thwart the Spectre’s scheme? And if they do, what will remain of them?
A key discussion going around this month in the comic discourse is the fact that Al Ewing and Leonard Kirk’s Avengers Inc. is not getting picked beyond five issues. The reveal is an indictment of the current era of Marvel, which operates under the promise of new and interesting ideas presented as an ongoing starting at five or six (though sometimes four) issues. The idea is if they are successful, they expand out for another arc or five/six issues, truly becoming an ongoing rather than a limited series hiding behind another name. The only thing this model has proven is that many great books are cut short before they can lay sufficient track, and reap the rewards in the same way books like Moon Knight are.
Moon Knight #29 – written by Jed MacKay with art by Federico Sabbatini, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, and letters from VC’s Cory Petit – continues the vigilante’s all-out assault on Black Spectre’s base, taking the fight directly to the villain’s scheming. The villain’s big scheme was revealed to be a sonic attack using the building as a giant transmitter, rendering everyone who hears the sounds insane. The previous issue left Tigra as a cat in a trap just as Zodiac darkened the Midnight Mission’s doorstep, ready to strike against Reese.
MacKay’s scripting for this issue is a tight weave of action and revelation, as chases, knock-down fights, and identity twists pepper the story. As the book hurtles towards its conclusion (before a rebranding), each beat works to click a previous plotline or concept into place. Each page and stroke of the plot feels inherently organic to the story that MacKay has been weaving over the 30 and some change issue run (counting annuals and tie-ins) while still offering shock and surprise.
It’s a testament to the level of craft on display from MacKay and his collaborators, functioning as a good reminder that comfortable, satisfying runs of a series typically need more than a five-issue order to succeed. While the plot is a strong portion of this issue, its richness is in the character’s work. The interactions between kinetic action beats are the places that make the book sing and feel most like the result of MacKay playing the long game.
The quieter beat of Hunter’s Moon stalking a D-list villain from the dark, offering short words of warning is a top-tier contender for the best scene of the issue, and it serves as the stark opening that immediately sets a specific mood. From there, moments like Spector confronting Spectre (both the red herring and real versions of the character), Tigra and Soldiers back and forth over a landmine, and even Reese’s bristling chat with Zodiac all make for compelling dynamics that crackle with a well-developed history.
Much of that established history is reinforced with Rosenberg’s coloring, which has served as the second most consistent part of the run, behind MacKay’s writing. The ethereal hues of Moon Knight and the other costumed characters, extend from the figures to add a layer of supernaturalness to the palette. The book also plays in specific hues of golden light, bloody reds, and the blue greens of the city and surroundings. Each one of these tones in the palette embeds a sense of commonality in the book as it evokes one of the most distinct and established colorscapes on shelves.
Sabbatini’s artwork dances in tandem with the scripting and colors to deliver those organic colors. The linework balances the explosive action and character interactions to maximize enthralling the audience. One of the biggest strengths of the series at large, but especially Sabbatini’s art, is the clarity of the action sequences. There is never a moment of confusion or nonsense in the action beats. Instead, the layouts make a clear progression of movement, showcasing the most dynamic punches, shots, or reactions to intense violence. The most striking image of Hunter’s Moon is not one of his inflicting pain on his target but the one of his pursuing, coated in blood as he steps out of the dark.
These moments never seem lacking within the issue, and the other action sequences follow the strong suit. There is a brutal battle between Moon Knight and Black Spectre that rages for multiple pages, with the duo trading blow after blow. Sabbatini never relies on a single panel or blocking to convey these intense moments of dynamic action, but strives to engage with a series of sweeping, wide panels. There’s a great panel composed like a lightsaber duel made up of batons and a baseball bat. The fantastical is introduced by Rosenberg’s colors, the glowing effect of Moon Knight clashing with the inky black of Spectre.
Moon Knight #29 is an arresting penultimate chapter to this story, weaving action and organic character beats to tell a compelling story of a climactic battle. MacKay’s scripting channels the history and established lore of this era, using it as a springboard to rich and unique character beats. Working in unison with Sabbatini’s dynamic pencils and Rosenberg’s extensive colors, the book establishes just how important a strong foundation and room to breathe are for developing a successful and satisfying ongoing story. Like every issue of this run, this is a great place to jump on and could be a great introduction that inspires a read of the series at large.
Moon Knight #29: What Lurks in the Shadow of the Moon
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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