Written by Joel T. Lewis
When we last left Marc Spector he was being confronted on the steps of a massive pyramid by someone claiming to be Moon Knight. As they grapple the imposter claims to be Marc Spector from a time before he lost his mind. Marc declares, “I am not insane!” as he stabs the imposter in the gut in a desperate attempt to end the fight, but his last ditch effort is unsuccessful. The imposter head-butts Spector saying, “you don't know what you are” and runs off with Marlene leaving Spector stunned and alone. As he rushes inside the pyramid after his attacker, Spector shoves open a heavy stone door and steps out onto the moon. That's right. Marc Spector finds himself in a space suit on the surface of the moon. Spector follows the trail of footsteps and blood to another door cut out of moon-rock but before he can open it he turns around to investigate a strange growling sound. He quickly discovers the source: a pack of blood-thirsty werewolves. On the moon. You read all of that correctly dear audience Jeff Lemire has indeed written a Moon Knight story in which Marc Spector is on the moon being chased by space werewolves.
This madness lasts a mere three pages before Spector makes it through a second door which opens onto a film set. Spector is approached by Marlene dressed as Stained Glass Scarlet (an old Moon Knight villain) and calls him “Steven Grant” (the name he took on as his first alias when he became Moon Knight). Spector discovers later that this version of Grant is a millionaire film producer who has cast Marlene in one of his pictures. Neither Spector nor the reader has much time to process this shift as the two asylum orderlies from issues passed appear and chase Spector through yet another door marked with a crescent moon. Through this door Spector finds himself in a neon-noir style New York dressed as Jake Lockley, another former alias of the Moon Knight. The orderlies continue to chase him through this technicolor world and even manage to catch Spector momentarily before being subdued by him once again. Spector makes his way through another door with a crescent moon and stumbles upon a jail cell occupied by the god Seth.
Remember a couple issues back when I made a heartfelt case for Khonshu as a compassionate fatherly figure? As it turns out I may have spoken too soon. The gauntlet of madness and reality that Spector has been running through was not orchestrated by Seth but by Khonshu. It was Khonshu who planned to use Marc’s weakened mind as a gateway to the real world. As heartbreaking as all of that is, Khonshu’s suggestion at the climax of this four-issue arc hurts the most, “Then let me take the pain away. Let me in and it will all stop. The pain. The confusion. You know you just want peace Marc. It can all end now. Give me your body, your mind. So I can be born into this world. You have served me well, child. Now you can rest. Your work is done. You can be free.”
Khonshu asks for a conscious sacrifice from a broken man. A man that Khonshu broke. As he listens to all of this you can trace the defiance, betrayal, and finally resolve in Marc’s face as the panels slip passed. His answer? No. Spector then hurls himself off the side of the pyramid toward a rough landing soaking the sand in blood. Though triumphant in this last act of defiance Spector’s journey is far from over. The final pages of the issue show Spector waking up as Steven Grant. Grant has been asleep next to the star of his latest film project Marlene and as he gazes out over the New York City skyline he smiles.
This final issue in the “Welcome to New Egypt” storyline was as fitting a conclusion as we could have hoped for. Shifting personas with corresponding art style switches, yet another layer to the twisted relationship between Marc Spector and Khonshu, and space werewolves. Let's not forget that those made an appearance in this issue along with all the other madness. Once again Jeff Lemire demonstrates his appreciation for the character of Moon Knight while sending him off into space. Literally. Until next time, Geek On!