Bon voyage to Moon Knight. How he – and my comic brain – developed

This week’s issue of Moon Knight – the conclusion of the Shadowland event – will be my last.

When Marvel asked me to consider tackling Moon Knight, I told them I’d only do it if I could do something really different, as the character’s last reinvention – at the hands of Charlie Huston (and taken over by Mike Benson) – had been solid, innovative, and clever. It had reintroduced Moon Knight to a new generation of readers while keeping a great, dark, street edge on the character. I didn’t want to do more of the same because I feared I would only be doing a pale imitation of what they had already done so well. So my decision was to do Moon Knight BIG, bigger than any comic I’d yet written. My early work focused on the Foolkiller, Punisher, and Wolverine – street-geared, noirish crime stories where the killer-hero toted a gun, a sword, or a samurai blades attached to his hands. This was a natural transition for me coming out of my novels, particularly off the Tim Rackley series, which I considered my action-meditation on vigilante justice.

For The Vengeance of the Moon Knight, I turned to a different inspiration: Mark Millar’s The Ultimates. It wasn’t until I read the first trade that I realized, Oh. Right. Comics can be this big AND this good. I’d read other huge, great comics, of course, but something about the timing of when I read Millar’s work clicked for me, and I realized that I needed to tap into not the crime novelist part of my brain, but the screenwriter/V TV series part for this puppy.

The goal was to reintroduce Moon Knight to the Marvel Universe in a major way, so I crash-landed him in Times Square on the first pages and never looked back. I brought back some old, favorite villains (Bushman, Hatchetman, the Scarecrow) and then took him through some team-ups with the hottest members of Marvel U (I’m lookin’ at you, Deadpool) and some all-time favorites. The Spiderman double-fister was especially fun for me, as it featured Sandman, a childhood obsession of mine, and the issue was in fact a throwback in every way to the Spiderman comics I used to buy as a skinny seventh grade kid. From there, Marvel and I moved Moon Knight into the Secret Avengers, where he saw his first mission carried out under the direction of Steve Rogers & Co. And finally, we served him up in a major Marvel event, having him play a key role in Shadowland. The whole time, I got to work with some of the finest artists in the game – Jerome Opena, Juan Jose Ryp, Lentil Francis Yu, Tan Eng Huat, Bong Dazo, Andres Mossa, covers by Alex Ross and the divine David Finch, Dan Brown (colors), and others, all of whom added to this character and this run and made it their own as well.

Looking back, it was a clear evolution, taking Moon Knight from street-level hero to a Marvel big-event cornerstone hero, though I wish I could say that looking forward the plan was as clear.

So, folks, as they say: I feel like my work here is done. As much as I love Moon Knight, I’m ready to move on to new characters to bang up and new worlds to destroy. Thank you to the team at Marvel for giving me this shot, the artists for bringing their A game, and most of all, to the readers who did what they do best and most passionately.