This issue marks the beginning of Moon Knight's second arc since his re- launch. Writer Charlie Huston and artist David Finch have infused Moon Knight with a noir style befitting of Daredevil, over-the-top violence, solid characterization, and interesting plot twists. Now that Moon Knight has re- established himself as a solo hero, Marvel has decided to thrust its critically acclaimed character into the Civil War conflict raging in the Marvel Universe with a "Casualties of War" designation.
Moon Knight is once again beating the living daylights out of an unfortunate perp. Spider-Man swings his way over and engages in a short conversation with Moon Knight. He tells Spider-Man that his brutal methods of crime-fighting mark his territory. Spider-Man is clearly disgusted behind Moon Knight's logic and asks him to stop. Moon Knight, almost done, ignores Spider-Man and promptly leaves without another word.
Marc Spector, the man behind Moon Knight's mask and hood, enters his limo. His god, Khonshu, complains that Moon Knight's copter is a much better transportation choice. Spector tells Khonshu to shut up. Spector's driver, Samuels, wonders who he is talking to in the back. They drive back to Spector's mansion without an explanation. Later, Moon Knight repairs his copter in his underground base. He then leaves with Samuels.
The scene then shifts to a man getting treatment from a nurse. The man shamelessly hits on the nurse. She replies that his organic components are interfering with a special process. Panning back, the man is revealed to be more machine than flesh and blood. Apparently, the man can't feel anything. Grabbing a clock, he expresses revenge against an unidentified person. (Perhaps Moon Knight?)
Spector rises up from his bed, tired and bruised from his crime-fighting activities. Later, he reads about the Super Human Registration Act in his limo. He theorizes that neither the government nor Captain America will interfere with his duties as Moon Knight. They arrive at Frenchie's restaurant. Marc asks Frenchie to help him fix the Moon Knight copter. Frenchie refuses, no longer wanting to lead a soldier's life. He scoffs at the idea that Spector could fly the copter by himself. They have an interesting conversation with Gena who gets mad at Marc. Gena's son calms her and he has a conversation with Spector. Spector gets an idea to keep Gena's other son (Jeffrey Wilde) safe from harm by driving the copter for him.
Later, on Spector arrives home to find that he has a visitor. Captain America requests a word with Moon Knight. Khonshu, in Uncle Sam garb, remarks that this should be a most interesting development.
Moon Knight has been a solid read ever since issue #1. The book's strength in the first arc was that it had a self-contained story within the outer boundaries of the Marvel Universe. Huston obviously wanted to continue this due to the interesting developments that occur within this issue (i.e. the cyborg man and nurse, Khonshu). However, the book has been slapped with a "Casualties of War" tie-in to Civil War proper. This is where Moon Knight falls in this particular issue.
I don't blame Huston for this average issue. He obviously has a story to tell and commendably tells it while shoehorning Civil War references in. The Spider-Man appearance on the cover is quite deceiving. He only appears in the first few pages and swings off never to appear again. Marvel's editorial policy seems to be focused on using Civil War as a promotional tool for lesser known books. Undoubtedly, Moon Knight will pick up new readers for the tie-in. However, the issue's forced imposition of Civil War motifs hampers what really should be the focus: Moon Knight. Doesn't Captain America have enough problems to worry about besides confronting a vigilante known to be at odds with his philosophies on crime- fighting? Marvel should've given Moon Knight at least a full two arcs before involving the character in massive cross-over events. The powers-that-be obviously think differently than me.
The ambiguity of Khonshu was definitely one of the best aspects in this issue. You never know if Moon Knight's god of choice is in it for the right reasons. Admittedly, the scene with the cyborg man and nurse was confusing but still provided some future anticipation. Amazingly, Huston manages to include some memorable scenes and dialogue for Moon Knight's supporting cast despite the Civil War obstacles. Frenchie and Gena provide emotional resonance in the dark and grim world that Marc Spector has chosen to envelop himself in.
The Civil War obstacle mars what was otherwise another solid offering from Huston and Finch. This book has a nice blend of action and dialogue that keeps things diverse and far from a boring read. I recommend picking this title up, especially when the "Casualties of War" designation ends.