Review by Frank Plowright
Charlie Huston was only three years into his career as a pulp crime writer, although already prolific when handed the assignment to revive Moon Knight. He shows him no favours over what seems to be an opening chapter of Moon Knight greatly enjoying himself, but there’s a clever switch and by the end of that chapter we’ve learned why the title of this volume is The Bottom.
Huston’s not a man of many words, and even less dialogue. It’s halfway through chapter two before any, in fact. Howerver, with David Finch on the art there’s knowledge he can be trusted to show what’s needed. He does this in great detail. In places in excruciatingly excessive detail, as this is a brutal Moon Knight in a brutal world, and his eventual injuries reflect that. Even before then Finch has defined his grubby environment as one of tight costumes, towering buildings and broken bones, and subsequently supplies character-rich portraits and glorious pin-ups.
Moon Knight’s past plays a part in every revival, and this is no different. Early in his career Marc Spector once worked for a shady organisation called the Committee, and now their heirs want revenge, figuring the best way to organise it is to provoke the former mercenary who’s now hit the bottom.
While Moon Knight has never been light and frothy, neither has the darkness ever infiltrated its way into his title as it does here. It’s relentless and all-consuming horror, and there’s no break from it. The Bottom almost descends into comedy as Moon Knight and others spout their adamantium tough lines while bleeding and crippled. Perhaps it’s intended as some parody of The Dark Knight Returns, which follows a similar fall and rise arc, but that never dropped into relentlessly hammering home the repetition.
Finch’s sheer talent, even when as gruesomely applied as here, can patch up a fair amount, but even he can’t sustain a story where Huston says what’s necessary in the opening chapter and then repeats it. Again. And again. And again. Let’s hope for a new idea in Midnight Sun.
The Moon Knight TV series has brought some relief for potential buyers, as instead of paying enormous prices for second hand volumes, they can pay slightly less for the 2022 release of a Moon Knight Omnibus, collecting all Huston’s work along with subsequent stories by Mike Benson.