Marc Spector: Moon Knight #8-9 (1989): Acts of Vengeance; Flag-Smasher dies

We’re in full “Batman and Robin” mode now.  Moon Knight is the leader and Midnight is his follower.  I really don’t like this.  It feels contrary to Moon Knight’s whole personality (or “personalities”) and history.  This book is just not making good use of this character, and it’s chipping away at the integrity of Moon Knight.  If he’s just a cookie-cutter Batman clone, why does Marvel need him?

And if having a Marvel Batman in the 616 is important, then why not create one–why reject all of Moon Knight’s history to make him something he’s not?

And speaking of Batman analogues…Punisher lost his family to crime. Seems like he could be the stand-in Marvel needs.

In these issues, Marvel’s new dynamic duo team up with Punisher against Flag-Smasher, who is running a new group of racists called Ultimatum.

They’ve got a complex underground scheme, run on fear…

Punisher also notices that Moon Knight having a “robin” is unexpected.

In fact, they’re both loners. And yet they get along pretty well–and work well together–here.

They even have patter and banter.

I like the little touches: This adventure takes place over the course of a night, and Moon Knight’s costume gets shredded and he doesn’t have time to change it.

They also confront their differences, like the use of firing weapons.

It’s a bit of a copout for Moon Knight to say he doesn’t use guns but have them built into his custom copter so Frenchie can use them to support Moon Knight.

The main difference between them is killing. Moon Knight prefers the more labor intensive approach to storming the Ultimatum fortress…

Yeah, even though this is Moon Knight’s book, Punisher gets to do his usual internal narration.

Towards the end, Moon Knight talks Punisher (who wears a Rambo-style headband now) out of killing one of the enemies.

But then…

The final boss fight happens on a motorboat, where Moon Knight stuns Flag-Smasher then jumps off just in time before the boat crashes and explodes, “killing” Smasher.  

It’s not clear that Moon Knight intended the boat to crash, but it’s not clear that he didn’t, so I’m calling this a homicide or, at a minimum, a killing in self-defense.

I don’t like this as a “Moon Knight” comic, but as a straight-ahead street-level action book, it’s pretty good—like a B-. So I’m rating it overall as a C+.

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