(CBR) For the majority of his history, Marvel Comics' vigilante superhero Moon Knight has been known for being crazy. But with his latest ongoing series launching this March, the man known as Marc Spector will find his life getting pretty weird.
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Announced last month as part of Marvel's latest wave of All-New Marvel NOW! relaunches, the new "Moon Knight" from writer Warren Ellis, artist Declan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire takes the multiple personality trappings of the Moon Knight DNA and adds a focus on the character's strange horror roots. Created in 1975 by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, the character rose to prominence with his own series by Moench and acclaimed artist Bill Sienkiewicz in 1980. In that series, the mercenary turned superhero by an Egyptian moon god faced down everything from werewolves to psychic weirdos, and the new ongoing looks to build on that idea -- with a modern twist.
"The book is filled with oddities. It starts with a man in a white suit and mask with big moon on his forehead, remember," Shalvey told CBR News. "I will say this; Moon Knight investigates the strange and dark corners of the Marvel Universe, and boy, there are weird things there."
"The series starts full throttle with Moon Knight thrown right into a New York mystery. It's not a slow start," editor Steve Wacker explained of Ellis' opening story. "Each issue so far bring to light a new mystery for MK to resolve with his armory of personalities. It's a very easy place to jump into the character if you've read Moon Knight before and fits VERY comfortably among books like 'Daredevil,' 'Hawkeye' and 'Superior Spider-Man.'"
For Wacker, the book is not only a chance to work with Ellis again -- he noted that he pitches the writer on projects annually and joked of the "yes" he recieved to this series, saying, "I assume it was only to get me to leave him alone" -- but it was also a chance to build up a new take on Moon Knight that turned from past projects. "I worked on the second half of the [Bran Michael] Bendis / [Alex] Maleev run, but I pretty much just inherited that because [Tom] Brevoort was busy. Brian and Alex were well into their story by that point, so the heavy lifting had all been done," the editor noted. "This time, coming in at the ground floor, I've been able to see the project come together and it has so far fit into a classic mold for the character, but Warren is twisting things in a very logical way that is true to the character's roots. I read the original 'Moon Knight' series back in the early '80s and have always thought there was some real genius at work in what Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz did, so it's a thrill to be playing in that sandbox."
For the look of the series, "Declan and Jordie were the first and only art team that Warren and I discussed. They've both done work in my office over the past couple years and I had my eyes open for any project that could elevate their profile a bit," Wacker said. "Unfortunately as we started on 'Moon Knight,' they were safely ensconced (and recently announced) on 'Deadpool,' but ['Deadpool' editor] Jordan White and his team were very understanding and graciously help us work out a pln for them to come over to launch this book."
"Launching a new Moon Knight series with Warren and Jordie is an absolute dream gig. Every word in that sentence is a deciding factor," Shalvey said. "To make your mark on an underused character and do something new with them; to do something different from the ground up with collaborators who do quality work, well that's what I've always wanted to do. To finally have that opportunity is really exciting.
"When offered the project, first I was excited, then very intimidated," the artist added. "I thought about how long I've been reading Warren Ellis comics and I realized I'd been reading them for most of my life. I've grown with his stories and he've had an impact on me. I read his 'Excalibur' and 'Wolverine' runs when I was a teen. After art college, it was his work on 'The Authority' and 'Planetary' that got me back into comics. I think 'Nextwave' is some of the best comics made in the past ten years. I also realized how little comics he's done in the past few years. All this started to really intimidate me. In the end though, I just tried to put all that out of my head and just read the script with an open mind, and I loved it."