REVIEW: ‘Moon Knight Annual,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Moon Knight Annual #1 - But Why Tho

Moon Knight Annual #1 is written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Federico Sabbatini, colored by Rachelle Rosenberg,  and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Marc Spector has fought many enemies during his time as Moon Knight, but one of them has returned to threaten everything he holds dear. Spector is rocked to his core when his former lover Marlene Alurane appears at the Midnight Mansion requesting his help. Their daughter Diatrice has been kidnapped by none other than Jack Russell, the Werewolf by Night.

Throughout his Moon Knight run, MacKay has touched upon nearly every aspect of Moon Knight’s history. It only makes sense that he’d bring in Werewolf by Night; after all, the lunar vigilante first appeared in Russell’s solo title. And in MacKay’s tradition of expanding upon the mythos of characters he writes, Russell and Spector are tied together by the moon god Khonshu. A moon god afflicting werewolves and directing his soldiers to battle them? I’m honestly shocked nobody thought to bring them together like this. All of the anger towards Russell and Khonshu, combined with his lingering feelings for Marlene and having to deal with Hunter’s Moon too, makes Spector a ticking time bomb waiting to blow.

That explosion is unleashed in the form of brutal, eye-catching violence courtesy of Sabbatini. Having previously joined MacKay for a one-shot set during Devil’s Reign, he once again brings his sleek and shining style to the page. And I do mean “shining.” Every time Spector appears in his Moon Knight gear, his white cape shimmers like a beacon in the night. In contrast, Sabbatini draws Russell lurking in the shadows, covered in a mane of hair whether he’s in human form or in his werewolf form. The latter is utterly terrifying, with its dark brown fur letting it blend into the shadows and its eyes glowing with rage.

Finally, Rosenberg shrouds the entire book in shadows, especially the abandoned house where the big battle takes place. It gets to a point where the only colors are the silvery glow of Spector’s cloak, as well as his weapons and the bright red splatter of blood from his victims. This creates a haunting set of images that will hook a reader from beginning to end. Petit helps add to the effect by peppering the images with sound effects that literally stretch across panels. For example, when Moon Knight drives his car through the mansion Russell is hiding in, there’s a large “KRAKOOM!” that takes up the space of three panels.

Moon Knight Annual #1 pits the lunar vigilante against the Werewolf by Night in a tale that connects them both while paying homage to their shared history. Those who enjoyed both characters’ outings on Disney+ will want to pick it up, as will the folks looking for a good Halloween read. It’s more proof that Marvel’s supernatural characters are a font for superhero stories that veer off the beaten path.

Moon Knight Annual #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Moon Knight Annual #1
4.5

TL;DR

Moon Knight Annual #1 pits the lunar vigilante against the Werewolf by Night in a tale that connects them both while paying homage to their shared history. Those who enjoyed both characters’ outings on Disney+ will want to pick it up, as will the folks looking for a good Halloween read.

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