MOON KNIGHT #1 (1980)

Moon Knight gets a full origin story.

Right away, Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz let everyone know that this was a new kind of comic. Grittier and with more realistic violence than what was standard in early ’80 Marvel. And certainly a departure from the earlier Moon Knight appearances, which portrayed him as a Werewolf-hunting-mercenary-with-a-heart. He still has a heart, though…

This first story introduces Bushman, the vicious leader of the crew that Marc Spector has signed on with.


Like I said: Right away, we’re shown how different and dark this series will be.

We also meet Marc’s ally and pilot, Frenchie.

It’s not his first appearance, but it’s the first time we’ve seen him as having a past with Moon Knight.

The man Bushman killed, above, was an archaeologist and the father of Marlene–Marc’s future girlfriend and another character we’ve seen before but without any kind of backstory.

Marc’s conflict with Bushman is elevated as he tries to protect her.

Bushman mortally wounds Marc, and leaves him for dead.

He crawls into an excavated tomb.

Therein is a statue.

This is the first appearance of Koshnu, who may or may not exist, but he’s getting a tag because he’s a major player in the Moon Knight legend. He is an expressionless statue in this issue, but he’s scary nonetheless–because Bill Sienkiewicz is an extraordinary artist.

Marlene is hiding in the same tomb.

But instead of dying from his wounds…

…He bolts upright!


Koshnu has raised him from the dead.

He stalks Bushman.

But Bushman escapes.

Moon Knight returns New York City with a girlfriend and an origin story. And not just any origin–one that had depth.  There was no simple origin.  Was he dead and brought back to life?  Or was he just delusional?  The creators trusted us, the readers, enough NOT TO TELL US.   And they continued to keep it ambiguous for their entire run.

I don’t think that had ever been done before in comics.

Once he’s back, he takes on the role of the protector of the night and, tracks down Bushman.

This is a fascinating comic–one of the top 100 of all time.

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