It’s been a little while since Moon Knight haunted the pages of Marvel Comics. But with April 24’s Marvel Comics Presents #4, writer Benjamin Percy and artist Juan Ferreyra will present a new horror-tinged look at “Mr. Knight”.
To set the stage, Newsarama spoke with Ferreyra and Percy about the way they’ll pull together the threads of Moon Knights various incarnations (including which ones might just show up) and how this story could set the stage for a Moon Knight comeback.
Newsarama: Ben and Juan, Moon Knight is a character that’s always evolving. Where’s he at when you pick up his adventures in Marvel Comics Presents #4?
Benjamin Percy: Fans who are familiar with the Lemire/Smallwood and Ellis/Shalvey runs will be right at home in the world we're conjuring. We play around with unreliability (since that's a central facet of Spector's character), and we channel Egyptian mythology (which gives the story an atmosphere of horror), and we create a moody mystery for Mr. Knight to chase down that ultimately erupts in a high-octane battle.
Juan Ferreyra: When I picked him up he was on page one of Ben’s script ... but I guessed he was on the the Lemire/Smallwood and Ellis/Shalvey runs cause Ben asked if I like those, which I totally did.
Nrama: What’s Moon Knight up against here?
Percy: The story is called "The Book of Dreams," and though I don't want to give too much away, let's just say that people (Mr. Knight included) are doing things, dark things they can't remember or control, while they're asleep.
Nrama: Ben, Moon Knight is a man of many identities and even personalities. Which aspect of the character are you focusing on for this story?
Percy: We only have ten pages at our disposal, but we pack a whole hell of a lot into them. If you look closely, you'll see that the moon serves as a time marker. Our story tracks its way through its cycle. When it is at its thinnest - a mere sliver - you'll see Spector wrestling with doubt, as he wonders whether he can be trusted, given the dark voices channeling through his mind. But by the time the moon fattens, he is at his strongest and most confident and ready to take down the threat that haunts him and his city.
Nrama: Juan, similar question – Moon Knight seems to have a different look for every incarnation. What visual direction are you taking him here?
Ferreyra: I loved the Smallwood take on the character, so I’m taking it from there but adding my own flavor.
I want him to be clean and direct, I want him to move like a gentleman, after all he has a white suit all the time, do you know how hard is to keep that clean on the streets of New York?
Nrama: Ben, you had a lengthy run on DC’s Green Arrow. What’s it like writing a vigilante in the Marvel Universe vs. in the DC Universe?
Percy: Green Arrow is a street-level character. That series was grounded in gritty realism. We occasionally defied the laws of physics - with some of those arrow tricks - but otherwise Ollie operated by the rules of the world, like a Daredevil or Punisher. But with Moon Knight, I'm able to crank up the volume and play around with horror and the supernatural, which is where my shadow-soaked mind tends to gravitate. It's been fun. I'd be lucky to spend more time with Mr. Knight in the future.
Nrama: Speaking of vigilantes, what do each of you think sets Moon Knight apart from other street-level superheroes?
Percy: He first appeared in Werewolf by Night, and that sort of says it all right there. He's street-level, sure, but he's ultimately a horror character. And that's why "The Book of Dreams" feels like some cross between Seven and Jacob's Ladder.
Ferreyra: Yeah I like how on a surface level he seems to operate in a real world setting that you can relate to. The difference is that when we notice something odd in real life, we move away, we don’t want to mess with strange weird things. Moon Knight though seems to enjoy going there and diving into the crazy stuff, and I love seeing him do so.
Nrama: Moon Knight is just about ripe for a relaunch. Did working on this story give either of you the hunger for more Marc Spector?
Percy: I'm always thrilled to partner with my buddy Juan - and our sensibilities are perfectly matched for Moon Knight. If it works out for us to keep playing in this sandbox (which is full of the blackest, foulest sand by the way), then I'd be...over the moon. And - by the way - don't think we didn't consider the possibility when working on "The Book of Dreams." It's a self-contained story, but it's also a potential prelude to a bigger narrative.
Ferreyra: Yeah, this was a teaser for me, it got me starving for more. It would be sweet to do a 12 issue maxi-series. It’s always fun working with Ben, he makes the best butter and toasts for me to eat while drawing.
Nrama: Bottom line, what can Moon Knight fans expect from this story in Marvel Comics Presents #4?
Percy: Menace and mystery. I hope fans enjoy it.