SCRIPT: Terry Kavanagh
PENCILS: Stephen Platt
INKS: Chris Ivy, Al Vey & Scott Koblish
COVER: Stephen Platt
We begin at PhalkonCorp, where Marlene is regretting her decision to help take down SpectorCorp. At the same time, Marc Spector's investigative team have broken into PhalkonCorps headquarters. They unknowingly trip an alarm and Seth Phalkon (AKA Seth The Immortal) himself confronts them. . .draining the life force of one of Spector's men and leaving the other an insane wreck. Marlene also hears the alarm and discovers the two investigators, but Phalkon has already left.
IN THE MEANTIME. . .Frenchie (AKA Bloodline) is getting severely beaten by two Hellbent (named Agony and Flare) at Chloe's apartment. After being thrown out a window and hanging from a fire escape, the pain and stress activate the Bloodline link and he transforms into the gigantic, savage form of his insane great grandfather, Pierre Latrec.
WHILE THAT'S GOING ON. . .Marc Spector is downtown at the police station identifying the body of his dead investigator and seeing the insane shell that the other has become. Blaming himself for their awful fate and now knowing there's something EXTREMELY shady going on at PhalkonCorp, he vows to avenge his friends and get to the bottom of things as Moon Knight!
BACK WITH FRENCHIE. . .ER. . .BLOODLINE. . .In his gigantic, transformed body, the two Hellbent are no match for the savage creature that Frenchie has become. He kills one of them (Flare) and brutally injures the other before the police arrive and he makes a quick escape.
LATER THAT NIGHT. . .Moon Knight breaks into PhalkonCorp headquarters and has to fight his way through an extremely extensive gauntlet of high-tech automated security measures as he makes his way to Seth Phalkon's office. When he arrives, he confronts Phalkon, but is shocked to discover that he looks exactly like Marc Spector!
To be continued. . .
Remember back in the review for issue #46 where I said that after Marvel failed to pull the trigger on a 90's style replacement Moon Knight they came up with a different 90's specific solution for the character later on?
Well. . .HERE WE ARE!
Image Comics hit the scene in 1992 (about a year before this comic came out) in a big way, kicking the door in on the comics industry with a defection of major comic talent (primarily artists) from DC and Marvel (mostly Marvel) by way of the sweet siren song of (among other things) independent ownership of their work. Their comics were blowing up the collector market and making a HUGE splash in the comic shops. Marvel and DC were left scrambling to catch up to the new kid on the block. . .especially Marvel, who were pretty much specifically targeted by Image.
These days, Image has carved out a well-deserved niche as the publisher to read if you're tired of superheroes. But in Image's early days, it was all superheroes, all the time. Nothing but spandex. You could almost hear every title scream, "LOOK! WE WANT TO BE THE NEW MARVEL!" Honestly, most of their output was directly aimed at trying to capture Marvel's audience with thinly-disguised "edgier" versions of Marvel's properties with a heavy focus on action and artwork instead of story.
Marvel (and DC to a lesser extent) fought back by. . .well. . .copying Image. They brought in a new batch of "hot" artists and started making edgier and more action-oriented comics of their own. Marc Spector: Moon Knight was one of the many titles involved with this 90's comic book artist arms race.
So what we have here is one of the more "collectible" issues of this run with the introduction of artist Stephen Platt. I'm not entirely sure if Marvel brought Platt in for an 11th hour effort to save the title, or as a way of testing reader response to his work before moving him to a more popular book.
In any case, Platt didn't stay with Marvel long (just these few Moon Knight issues), thanks to a second wave of Image luring Marvel talent to their company. . .sort of hilariously letting Marvel do all the work of finding and recruiting hot new artists in order to compete and then grabbing THOSE artists as well.
Platt's comic debut with this issue made a pretty huge splash. Sales of this title surged upward and the few issues that Platt did both covers and interiors for hit the top of Wizard's Top Ten list (I miss Wizard), with Platt also hitting Wizard's Top Ten artists list for a respectable amount of time. His style is an exaggerated, hyper-detailed style that is pretty obviously "inspired by" (putting it kindly) Todd McFarlane. . .who at the time was pretty much a comic book deity in the eyes of many fans, so ANYTHING close to his work was red hot.
Okay. . .enough about the elephant in the room. Let's look at the comic itself.
Honestly, it's not good. Not quite "Moonmobile" bad, but still not great. Platt's art is a major distraction from the story, and you can tell that he's got a way to go before he reaches the level of Todd McFarlane that he's trying to get to. The story is continued from threads laid out in previous issues, but you can pretty easily tell that the writing has been sort of shoved into the passenger seat in favor of the new superstar artist driving this series. You can definitely feel Terry Kavanagh shifting gears. . .especially in upcoming issues. . .to try and emulate the "Edgier" and more action-packed Image style that the art is pushing.
WELCOME TO THE 90's, FRENCHIE!
Overall, we have a pretty bad change in direction late in the game for this series. Marc Spector: Moon Knight basically becomes an Image comic for these final few issues, and it just ain't a good fit. Artist Stephen Platt may have made a big entrance with this issue, but reading it 28 years down the road just makes me sort of shake my head and chuckle in a somewhat nostalgic way as I remember the 90's.
MOVING ALONG. . .
ISSUES 56 - 60 POSTED IN PART 6B BECAUSE I'M A LOUSY EDITOR