In the coming Heroic Age, many of the players in the Marvel Universe will see new opportunities and new challenges to face. Beginning with issue #9, Marvel’s Vengeance of Moon Knight will enter into the Heroic Age in his own unique fashion.
Since the character was brought back to the forefront of the Marvel U in 2006, Moon Knight has walked a tightrope – and fell off multiple times – in trying to deal with his multiple personalities, the ever-present guiding hand of the Egyptian god Khonshu, and his own drive to do the right thing.
Once known as Marc Spector, dramatic shifts in his life has brought a new personality out of his psyche – named Jake Lockley, a one-time fake name for Spector that grew into its own faceted personality. Calling Moon Knight fractured is putting it mildly, but this constant struggle between personalities and the influence of Khonshu while staying on the front lines against evildoers has brought a unique tension and sense of action to the title.Is this Moon Knight in the Heroic Age? In recent issues, writer Gregg Hurwitz has positioned Moon Knight as a driving force in the Dark Reign era of the Marvel U, gunning after Norman Osborn while tending with his own rogue’s gallery alumni such as Bushman. Displaying a more technologically-equipped suit and gear, Moon Knight has become a formidable player in the Marvel U and is on some readers’ short list for a spot on the upcoming Secret Avengers book from writer Ed Brubaker and artist Mike Deodato.
Although that speculation won’t be put to rest here, Newsarama did talk with series writer Gregg Hurwitz about the book and the Knight’s future in the coming Heroic Age.
Newsarama: So Gregg, what can you tell us about this shift for Moon Knight as he enters the era of the Heroic Age?
Gregg Hurwitz: Moon Knight enters the Heroic Age having established himself differently in the eyes of NY, the superhero community, and the world. He was called upon, at the end of [the "Shock and Awe" storyarc], to exercise a kind of restraint he's never known before as he faced down his nemesis in Bushman. And - against all expectations - he managed to pull it off and act lawfully, within the accepted code for superheroes. So Jake's entering the Heroic Age with the wind at his back. But we all know our boy's propensity for complicating matters...
Nrama: According to the text Marvel supplied us just before this interview, Moon Knight is carving out a new role in the Marvel universe. First off – how would you describe his role up until now from your perspective?
Hurwitz: He's always been an outsider. Unpredictable. A little loopy. Servicing a bloodthirsty god. He's going for mainstream, but there are a lot of chaos (and personalities) to fit under those vestments. So we're watching him on a tightrope walk to hold it all together.
Nrama: If he's walking on a tightrope.. what is he walking towards?Moon Knight #9 Cover, First Heroic Age Hurwitz: He'll either keep rising to the challenge or leave guts on the altar. Nrama Every hero can shift around sometimes, but Moon Knight … he can shift around on an almost daily basis. According to the last issue #5, it seems the Jake Lockley personality is still in control with Marc Spector still a big question mark in Moonie’s head. Is this coming Heroic Age coinciding with some shifts with the personality complex of Moon Knight?
Hurwitz: Yes. Jake walked out of this arc having faced down some of his demons. The question always remains: Will he deteriorate back into insanity again?
Nrama: One of the things I’ve really dug about your work on the series has been the little bird-skull-tormentor of Khonshu on Moon Knight’s shoulder. Is he sticking around?
Hurwitz: Hell yeah. But he ain't gonna be so little anymore. As much as Moon Knight triumphed in "Shock and Awe," Khonshu also made clear - he's gonna be heard. So he'll continue to play a role in the action - and bloodshed - to come.
Nrama: In the five issues out so far, Moon Knight has been after Norman but gets an old foe back after him with the Bushman. Will we be seeing more of Bushman and other classic MK villains?
Moon Knight: I'm keeping all options open moving forward. I definitely want to keep weaving MK into the fabric of the Marvel U. There will be plenty of cool appearances - including one coming up soon of an all-time classic Marvel villain.Nrama: Coming up according to advance solicits before the Heroic Age you have MK taking on Deadpool – Crazy meets nuts, but I couldn’t tell you which is which. What can you tell us about that? Hurwitz: Crazy meets Nuts - well put! It's gonna be a psychotic fun-fest. We have two guys not known for holding back going at each other. Hard. There's a lot these two can lay out and on the line, so there'll be plenty of head cracking, ###-kicking, and wickedness....
Nrama: One of the central tenants of MK returning in his own series is to get revenge on Norman Osborn. With Norman seemingly poised to get his comeuppance in Siege, what’s MK going to do if he can’t get his due revenge in?
Hurwitz: MK's aim is stay on his upward trajectory - to keep playing a role in the superhero community, to keep on the sane side of the street. We're gonna see him threaded through the Marvel U differently moving forward and impacting events - for better or worse.
Nrama: And before I let you go, one last thing: Marvel has left the name of your artist collaborator on this new Heroic Age of Moon Knight under wraps. I know Jerome Opena just finished his run, and Tang En Haut is doing some issues. Since Marvel is keeping it mum on the artist, can you just tell us maybe what you think an ideal MK artist needs and who in the past has been some of the standout artists on MK in your mind?
Hurwitz: MK's a tricky character to draw because it's tough to coax facial expression through the mask, but the best guys can paint a world of emotion literally through the shape of the eye holes. It's all the little things - posture, the tilt of the head, the expressiveness of the hands. I dig a lot of grit in the action sequences - there's always been something to MK for me that that doesn't fit neatly into a box, and the best artists capture that muscular street quality.
Nrama And who's some of your classic Moon Knight artists of yore?
Hurwitz: Perlin of course gets the first tip of the hat. For me, Sienkiewicz is the baseline - that's the Moon Knight I see when I close my eyes. David Finch's run blew me away - that variant cover he did for Vengeance is one of my favorite covers of all time. And I thought Jerome knocked it out of the park (and I'm not just saying that because it was my arc!).