Written by Joel T. Lewis
Now that we have come to the conclusion of the Jeff Lemire Moon Knight series, I am curious to see where the series will go next. With no solid plans for continuing the current run, the possibilities for the jet and silver avenger’s future are numerous. While Brian Michael Bendis has confirmed that Moonie will appear in the upcoming Defenders series (which will feature the Netflix series lineup of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and the Punisher) it’s unlikely that this Moon Knight will be a continuation of Lemire’s character arc. Also, since Bendis led Moon Knight down a one-man Avengers wormhole in his 2011 Moon Knight series I’m unsure that his incorporation of Moon Knight into the Defenders will be the right fit, at least for me. That being the case, there are a number of directions that the character could go in the upcoming solo title.
Marc Spector: Mercenary
Since the outstanding 2016-17 Black Widow title has come to a close, the widely talented creative team of Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson will potentially be available to take the reins of Moon Knight. As I mentioned in an earlier review, an interesting direction for the next Moon Knight series would be to chronicle Marc Spector and Frenchie DuChamp’s time as soldiers of fortune before Spector became Moon Knight in a series called Marc Spector: Mercenary (a call back to the 1989 Moon Knight series: Marc Spector: Moon Knight). The Black Widow team is more than capable of handling an international Black-Ops style narrative and it would be awesome to see their exceptional action panel work trained on a young Marc Spector.
This would also be a great vehicle for examining DuChamp and Spector’s friendship and DuChamp’s identity, origin, and romantic feelings for Spector (we learned in the 2006 MK run by author Charlie Huston, that Frenchie identifies as a gay man and was in love with Spector for much of their friendship). This series wouldn't be retreading much ground because Lemire is really the only author to focus on this period of Moon Knight’s history and he only lingers for an issue or two so there is plenty of time to play with creatively. It would also be a great vehicle for building an international underworld where characters like Bushman, Arsenal, and Randall Spector can develop and intermingle with Frenchie and Marc.
Female Representation and Moon Knight: Year One
Sadly, the publication history of Moon Knight leaves much to be desired in the category of strong female characters. Gena and Marlene, who feature the most frequently, have not been developed much over the course of Moon Knight’s history. Gena is a good mother who works long hours at her diner to provide for her children, but in most appearances she trades stock dialogue with Jake Lockley and enters only to provide exposition. She is a strong single mother who owns her own business and I'd love to see some more storylines about her and her sons.
But perhaps more egregious is how undeveloped Moon Knight's long-standing love-interest Marlene Alraune has been. Marlene has served as damsel-in-distress, eye-candy, and emotional stabilizer for Marc Spector throughout the history of Moon Knight comics. It is high time that she is treated to some serious character development and there are several avenues that could be explored. We never really see Marlene cope with the trauma of her father’s murder by the Bushman and a Moon Knight: Year One type series could really focus on her desire for vengeance and closure as she and Moon Knight track down Bushman. Even introducing codependency in the relationship between Marc and Marlene would give their on-again-off-again story arcs some added weight instead of inspiring repetition fatigue. Bonding them through trauma (Marc with his near-death experience and Marlene with her father’s violent death) would give their relationship a dysfunctional realism that would justify the forces that keep them together and pry them apart. Charlie Huston briefly explores Marlene’s rage and capacity for violence in issue 13 of his 2006 series and I would love to see that side of the character evolve in the future.
Even on the villain side of things, Moon Knight is lacking in female representation. Bushman, Arsenal, Midnight, and Morpheus are compelling, campy, and terrifying in their own way, but one of the most underused Moon Knight villains is Stained Glass Scarlet. With a rich backstory of abuse, faith, and shifting perceptions of morality, Scarlet appeared in 12 Moon Knight issues between 1980-1998 and the crossbow-toting femme fatale hasn’t been seen since. Again, a Moon Knight: Year One would be a great showcase for this complexly motivated villain to go up against a rookie Moon Knight who’s still defining the boundaries of his vigilante justice.
The Marvel What If series which explores alternative results to major comic events or bizarre exchanges of established character’s powers has never featured Moon Knight specifically, but there are some interesting 'What If' scenarios that would be cool new directions to explore for Moon Knight.
It would be interesting to give Marc Spector a break for a bit and write an alternative history where Marlene Alraune is left for dead by Bushman in the desert wastes of Sudan and resurrected by Khonshu. Marlene Alraune: Moon Knight would be a great opportunity to rebrand the character and give Marlene some depth and development.
Another rebranding direction would be to explore Raoul Bushman: Moon Knight. Ever since I read issue 6 of the 2006 Moon Knight series, I’ve been fascinated by the notion that Khonshu considered choosing the vicious Bushman as his warrior priest instead of Marc Spector. A storyline following the carnage that would follow Bushman becoming Moon Knight would be reminiscent of the Marvel Max era and could run along similar lines to what Venom has explored over the years. The greed and inhumanity that we love to hate about Bushman would clash with the desires of the Moon God and conversations between the two would be violently satisfying.
Marc Spector: Space Knight
Jeff Lemire laid the groundwork for an epic Moon Knight series set in space with the Captain Marc Spector identity introduced in the 2016 run. A space Moon Knight series would be a great jumping on point for new fans, or a great continuation for fans of the most recent series and could take a primarily street-level brawler into the cosmic realm of the Marvel universe. This series, set after a Werewolf Apocalypse on earth, would make for some interesting intergalactic run-ins, maybe with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor and Loki. Also, this could set up some interesting storylines for Khonshu as an Othervoid creature with a cosmic history.
Wherever Marvel decides to take Moon Knight in the coming months, I am along for the ride and really excited to see what comes next. Until next time, Geek On!