I Fought the Law and the Law Won
What is the law, you may ask? Don't judge a book by its cover. Sadly, I fought the age old law and I was promptly defeated. This is a horrible, horrible piece of writing that only has one particular saving grace; and that is the artwork. Without the artwork, and the absolutely amazing cover art, I would be struggling to even give this issue half a star. Allow me to justify my harsh attitude.
I knew only a very, very small bit about Moon Knight coming into this issue. I saw the cover in my store and was instantly drawn to it, but I decided not to purchase it until I did some reading into Moon Knight. At first, I just thought it was Marvel trying to copy Batman, but soon found out that Moon Knight is an exceptionally complicated character. Excellent, complicated character's are a selling point for me. I went out and bought the issue, alongside the first issue of Shadowland as well.
When I first read this comic, I liked it. But after I purchased some older Moon Knight issues (all written by Hurwitz), I saw how horrible this comic truly is. Let's jump straight into the biggest flaw: the inconsistent writing. It's a trait of Hurwitz, but he seems too focused with keeping the reader's attention with thrills. He forgoes the importance of establishing the who, what, when, where and why. For example, Randall came from seemingly nowhere. The guy is about to commit suicide, and is, within two panels, talked out of it instantly and becomes the next 'villain'. Am I the only reader who actually stopped and asked what just happened? He has powers (I'm sure Cyclops and X-Man are both upset about the specifics of his powers) that have absolutely no back story other than a vague theoretical 3 line analysis from a bad guy. Wasn't Marc Spector in the military as well, why isn't he shooting beams from his eyes? Where is the back story, Hurwitz? Why does Daredevil want Moon Knight? It's all so horribly rushed and lacking in planning that really causes me to shake my head.
According to the preface, Konshu is no longer an issue; so why is he constantly nagging Moon Knight? Secondly, why is Jake still talking about his other personalities when he had previously stated he finally has control of his mind and the one personality. Inconsistency. Marlene is absolutely irritating, and I couldn't find a worse damsel in distress stereotype than her. "Marc? Jake? Steven? Whoever you are, you scared the ... out of me!" So, I thought it was established that he is officially Jake? Shouldn't Marlene know who she is sharing a bed with if Jake himself is now certain? More confusion. Beyond that, the little plot revelation in the middle is shrouded with horrible, horrible dialogue. Spanking and various other references that I have had to forcefully remove from my memory. Even the last few panels have me asking questions. What was the reasoning for getting Daredevil's ninjas attention? Jake himself doesn't even seem to know.
Jake has no personality in this issue. He's sarcastic ... and that's it. He cracks a few jokes with 'Frenchie' and then slips on his two-dimensional mask once he's got the Moon armour off. What irritates me is that Hurwitz is capable of better than this, as I've read his earlier work with Moon Knight. Even the Secret Avengers tie-in he has ( Moon Knight #10) Jake exhibit more personality. It's all so unintuitive.
The artwork is the only nice part about Shadowland: Moon Knight #1. There are times where the shadows of skin is far too accented that it speaks to me that the artist is desperately trying to make the reader take this book seriously. Rather, the artist is more concerned with ensuring that the entire display is on the same standard as the front cover, which is a huge ask.
There's really not much else I can say about this issue. I was blessed enough to not be attached to Moon Knight's character before reading this, but after reading his older issues and becoming a big fan of him, I have to say that this issue is, by far, the worst Moon Knight comic I have ever read.