All-New Marvel NOW! Moon Knight #9 Review | Fanboys Anonymous

All-New Marvel NOW! Moon Knight #9 Review

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Saturday, November 22, 2014
Phew, what an issue! Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Welcome back to my review series of the increasingly superb Marvel comic book series, Moon Knight. What started out as seemingly disconnected microecosystems made into comic book issues has—as you can now tell if you've been following the series or my reviews—started to show their integrated skeletal system of a larger plot. The biggest lure for fans of the series when it started out was Warren Ellis and company's masterful weaving of the one-shot story, but after his and Declan Shalvey's departure from the book, writer Brian Wood and artists Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire have kicked it into high gear as they steer the series into a different, albeit equally satisfying mode of storytelling.

Buy Moon Knight Volume 1: From the Dead by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire on Amazon
Moon Knight #9 unveils a little bit more of the new creative team's master plan by revisiting the mystery of Marc Spector's psychiatrist—now given a name: Dr. Wahalla. In issue #7, the Silver Avenger discovered an assassination plot against foreign General Aliman Lor—a former despot of the small African nation of Akima—headed by none other than Dr. Wahalla. Then in issue #8, Dr. Wahalla knowingly sabotaged Moon Knight's heroism during the Freedom Tower hostage situation by informing the police of Marc's psychological imbalance, which subsequently landed Moon Knight on the police's most wanted list. In this issue, Marc confronts Dr. Walhalla during a hypnotherapy session by exploring her past history with General Lor and her motivations with betraying Moon Knight. The good doctor is not what she seems, though, and Marc's own tactics quickly backfire on him, leading to a shocking twist in Moon Knight history.

Learn about Moon Knight's history with Khonshu in Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu and West Coast Avengers Omnibus Volume 2Wood played an interesting game with this issue as it mostly took part during the hypnotherapy session, which opened up a fun dynamic between Marc and Dr. Walhalla. Marc begins the dialogue in the issue by turning the tables on his psychiatrist so that throughout the entire issue both Marc and Dr. Walhalla are psychoanalyzing each other. It turns into a real cat-and-cat game (much like the intellectual games Light and L play with one another in Death Note, if I may make the comparison) that intrigues until the very end when Wood throws a curve ball into the mix that leaves the reader's mouth agape in awe.

On the art side, this issue feels very much like what we got when Shalvey and Bellaire were tangoing across the pages. I feel as if Smallwood's style for this series has evolved since his series debut in issue #7, and it seems as though he is quickly finding his groove with Bellaire as they begin to dish out a thematically similar style to the previous team's. When comparing the artworks of issue #1, #7, and #9 side-by-side-by-side, you can definitely tell that Smallwood is starting to shape up into the next Shalvey in this series. This is great news, since Shalvey and Bellaire's synchronicity helped to sell the book just as much as Ellis' writing and stardom did. This may be the closest thing Marvel has ever done to catching lightning in a bottle twice, and hopefully we'll get another six—or even more, ideally—issues to this ceaselessly impressive series.

Read Marvel's Moon Knight collections on the comiXology app for iOS and Android devices
This was one of the most important and powerful panels in the issue.
Moon Knight #9 receives five stars out of five for both the writing and art. What more can I say? I was not disappointed with this issue or any other beforehand. How would you rate this issue, and how would you compare the new team's run to the old one's? Do you think Wood, Smallwood, and Bellaire have a chance at securing this series' staying power? Let us know in the comments section below, and continue following Fanboys Anonymous for more Moon Knight reviews!
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