Written by Joel T. Lewis
When we catch up with Jake Lockley at the beginning of issue 8 we find him in the custody of the New York Police Department being interrogated by two oddly familiar policemen. These are the same asylum orderlies that have hassled Moon Knight throughout this run. After peppering him with questions, these goons leave a confused Lockley to talk to Detective (formally Doctor) Emmet. Lockley is in a pretty tight spot as Emmet explains all that their investigation has revealed. The cab he drives is registered to a Jake Lockley, which must be an alias because his prints show him listed as Marc Spector in the police database. Plus, the shady costume they found in his cab isn’t going to help prove his innocence either. Emmet asks Spector about his history of serious mental health issues and asks if he remembers telling a story about werewolves on the moon as they brought him into custody. Frustrated and confused Spector demands for a second time to see his lawyer claiming he had nothing to do with the murder of Gena and her customers. As the page turns Spector shifts over to Steven Grant on the set of Moon Knight, a major motion picture. Grant yells, “Cut.”
Grant appears to be directing an interrogation scene starring Jake Lockley and Detective Emmet. Confused, Grant agrees to let the actor playing Lockley try it again. As the camera rolls Grant shifts back into Spector in the interrogation room with Emmet, and Spector says, “Action.” Reeling, Spector learns that Emmet thinks he might be the serial killer that they’ve been calling Midnight Man in the press. Spector begs to be released so that he can go after the real Midnight Man but his pleas fall on deaf ears as Emmet calls in the orderlies/policemen to take him to the holding cells. Spector breaks free of the goons and manages to dodge the shot Emmet aims at him as he escapes. Changing into the mantle of Moon Knight he hits the streets in pursuit of Crawley, desperate for information on the Midnight Man. Crawley reminds Moon Knight that he’s sold his soul to Anubis and can’t help him because he’s not really there. Moon Knight cannot accept that and coerces a location out of Crawley and upon arriving there discovers Midnight Man holding Marlene hostage. As the two hooded and caped figures square off Midnight Man breaks character and complains about one of his lines.
Spector is Grant again and he yells “Cut” as the actors portraying Moon Knight and Midnight Man on the set of the movie complain about the lines they’ve been given and the holes in the plot. They even reference how unlikely it would be that Crawley would know exactly where Midnight Man was going to be. Grant is unsettled by this and learns from one of his crew that some sound might have bled through from the adjacent sound stage. Marlene confirms this, telling Grant that it's “some space werewolf thing.” Grant suddenly remembers that he was bitten by General Lupinar on the moon as Captain Spector and as blood trickles down his shirt-collar he runs off the set towards what he thinks is the adjacent sound stage. Grant emerges onto the moon in the middle of the werewolf invasion and watches as General Lupinar stands over the bleeding body of Marc Spector. We actually get to see Grant, dressed as he was on the movie set, and Spector as two separate entities in the same panel.
As Spector grapples with Lupinar on the moon, Steven Grant moves through the moon base, then Jake Lockley’s New York where Moon Knight is still grappling with Midnight Man, and back to the sound stage. Breaking away from their separate fights Lockley, Spector, and Grant all run for exits in their separate realities. Though their surroundings and pursuers are different, each man runs for the exit calling for the same person: Marlene. The final page of the issue is the triumphant return of artist Greg Smallwood and boy it was good to see him again. Captain Spector, Grant, and Lockley dressed as Moon Knight all emerge onto the sands of New Egypt from the first 5 issues of the series and are greeted by Marc Spector in his signature white suit. The panels curve into the shape of an exclamation point as Spector speaks, “Hey fellas, thanks for coming. We need to talk.”
This topsy-turvy issue and its brilliant cliffhanger do a great job setting up the climax of the “Incarnations” run. As the three identities of Moon Knight bleed and bend into one another we accelerate towards a conclusion that will hopefully result in some grip on reality. Until next time, Geek On!