VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT VOL. 1: SHOCK AND AWE (Marvel, 2010; softcover)
Collects Vengeance of the Moon Knight Nos. 1-6 (cover dates November, 2009- May, 2010)
Moon Knight has a very loyal, but very small, fan base. In this, his seventh (now canceled) series, we get a streamlined version of the hero. Gone is the harder edged, Marvel MAX-style Moon Knight from the 2006 series, replaced with a more heroic Moon Knight. I know that Marvel keeps canceling and rebooting his series to get the Issue 1 sales spike, but there will be a point where diminishing returns come into play and they just won't bother with him any more. The latest relaunch (not this series) is by the loathsome Brian Michal Bendis, whom I am certain will test my loyalty to this character to the fullest.
On to this series. The story by Gregg Hurwitz moves along at a brisk clip, thanks to decompressed storytelling. Artist Jerome Opena has a gritty style that is well suited to the material. All in all, I would rank this as an empty calorie read. A few minutes after you're done, you feel like you haven't read anything.
VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT VOL. 2: KILLED, NOT DEAD (Marvel, 2010; softcover)
Collects Vengeance of the Moon Knight Nos. 7-10 (cover dates June- September, 2010)
Wow, the train goes right off of the tracks here in Volume 2. You get a craptastic Deadpool guest appearance, then a movie continuity version of Sandman, complete with daughter and "good guy done wrong" motives. I really dislike all of the movie and Ultimate universe style continuity creeping into the main Marvel Universe. It has no place there and will ultimately render Marvel as incoherent as DC. I couldn't stand DC as a kid because nothing mattered because there wasn't any real, definitive continuity.
At least the artwork in Issues 9 and 10 by Juan Jose Ryp is an upgrade over Jerome Opena's from Issues 1-8. I really enjoyed Ryp's clean pencils, and the coloring by Andres Jose Mossa was equally tasteful. Issue 10 was a complete clusterfuck. Moon Knight is now in the Secret Avengers, and while I have that hardcover, I haven't read it yet. I walked into Issue 10 with no knowledge of the Secret Avengers, and this story was puzzling. It didn't serve as a conclusion to the series, and Moon Knight wasn't even the focal point of the story. Another gripe that I have is that all of a sudden Moon Knight has armor. Iron Man style armor. While his costume was modified in appearance in this series, and was made of some stronger bulletproof material, towards the end of the series it gets bootjets and all sorts of other stupidity. Moon Knight uses a samurai sword and has a bow and arrow all of a sudden, too. This series got really stupid really fast, and I was thankful to see it put out of its misery.
Battle: Los Angeles
Wow, this movie sucked. The worst thing to happen to science fiction movies is the incorporation of action movie elements. Big, dumb explosions, lame one-liners..they're all here! Michael Bay style nano-second camera angle changes are the norm nowadays, and since I have an attention span longer than 1.3 seconds it makes me queasy. The "running" camera angles give me a headache. They are the latest cliche, since The Matrix-style stop and spin camera angles have gone out of vogue. There is a general noisiness and out of focus look and feel to this whole movie, and it smacks of compensating for an inferior story. It's like Hollywood looks at a script and says "This is weak. Smother it with special effects." Then I imagine them getting a rough edit and saying "This still stinks. Shake the camera so that no one notices how lame this movie really is." I will still go and see comic book movies, but I am done with the Sci-Fi/ action movie hybrid.
The story is silly and derivative, making Independence Day seem like a trailblazing, genre-defining work of art. The aliens are never clearly shown and are decidedly low tech. Where are the death rays? Do yourself a favor and save your money. Stay home and read some comic books instead of subjecting yourself to this movie.