Pleasure from Pain (Moon Knight #197 Comic Review)

Moon Knight #197

Written by: Max Bemis

Art by: Jacen Burrows

Despite multiple personalities, an overbearing Egyptian god, and a dark past, Marc Spector perseveres in his fight against crime as the courageous Moon Knight!

Previously in Moon Knight: Our hero Moon Knight has gone on quite the trip. Trapped inside the Collective’s combined consciousness, the possibilities of reality are practically limitless. And with limitless possibilities comes limitless problems. It’s exactly because of this potential chaos that the Collective’s leader Maurice enlists Moon Knight’s help in creating some law and order in the land. With the help of his very own Moon Knight Corp, Marc systematically takes down one problem to the next. Yet despite his best efforts, something is still wrong within the Collective’s mindscape. A bit of investigation reveals that the real problem was with Maurice all along! After a quick but brutal confrontation, the Collective is disbanded (so to speak) and every innocent is freed from it’s clutches. With Maurice now in jail, what’s next for our bright white hero? Keep reading to find out!

Today’s Diagnosis: In the dark of night, a grand feast is taking place. While it is food being served, the pleasure these patrons gain is not from delicious delicacies, but from pain. It is time for the bi-annual feast of the Company of Sadists. New recruits have been gathered here to share their stories and attempt to earn a permanent place at the table. One by one each guest regales us with their tales of pain and pleasure. What these sadists don’t realize is that there is another, less formally invited guest, waiting to share his story. With a flourish of a hood, our hero reveals himself to the others! Moon Knight is also a sadist, but his pleasure is gained from delivering pain to the wicked, not the innocent. It seems that this distinction is no problem to the Company’s host, as our hero is greeted with a hug from a man of his past! How will Moon Knight react to this new development? Come back next time to find out.

Personal Thoughts and Opinions: This comic very clearly serves as a set-up issue for the larger confrontation coming down the line. A majority of the issue is spent going into detail about the backstory of each of the dinner guests. While the stories were all fairly interesting to read, it was a bit of a let-down to have our titular hero only show up in the last quarter or so of the book. The one stand-out moment by far was Moon Knight’s own admission of sadism. The fact that he knows quite clearly that he derives pleasure from beating on criminals is an interesting bit of personality development. I’d find it hard to believe that any other Marvel hero would so willingly accept this darker side to their personality. Overall the book serves it’s purpose well of setting up more confrontation to come, and the twist at the end was a welcome surprise that has me excited for next issue.

The art this time around is nothing too special. The action scenes are well drawn and character’s faces are well expressed, but after the amazing and inventive artwork of the previous issue, it feels somewhat bland in comparison. It serves the book well and honestly any artwork for this issue would feel somewhat dull after the spectacular high note of the last issue. I’m sure after having time to separate itself from comparison to last issue the art will be able to stand out more on its own.

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Jared Wood

Jared Wood

I'm just 23 year old nerd who loves Star Wars a bit too much and thinks Spider-Man 2099 deserves more recognition.
Summary
A very clear build-up issue for the next major story arc that, while providing some interesting backstories and a greater dive into Marc's psyche, doesn't do enough to have it stand on it's own as a great issue. Combined as part of a trade it would fit in well but I wouldn't recommend picking it up by itself outside of needing to keep track of the story.
Good
  • Good dive into Marc's personality
  • Surprising twist ending
Bad
  • Standard artwork
  • Lack of Moon Knight himself until the end
6.9
Fair
Story - 6.8
Art - 7
Written by
I'm just 23 year old nerd who loves Star Wars a bit too much and thinks Spider-Man 2099 deserves more recognition.

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