BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@ The Comic Blog
Moon Knight wrapped its first season and introduced a couple of new characters. It gives us plenty of keys to fawn over while we wait for Marvel to announce a second season. [SPOILER ALERT]
It took six episodes to get an entire episode with a full-fledged Moon Knight. For five episodes, there was a frustrating lack of the title character. As I previously mentioned, it was reminiscent of The Book of Boba Fett, but at least Moon Knight didn’t completely veer off course and give us two episodes that had nothing to do with the show’s protagonist.
In a lot of ways, it was the same mistake that many superhero movies and shows have made in the past. The filmmakers want to save the full costume for the final, climactic battle. There are times when a movie tells such a great story that discovering the person inside the suit is the more interesting character. Spider-Man 2 played this to perfection, and it ranks as one of the best superhero movies ever made. When it’s done wrong, we get a plodding story that frustrates the audience until the final moments. BOBF, The Hulk, and Iron Man 3 come to mind. For that matter, we can lump all the live-action Transformers movies into this category, since the main focus of the plots are more on the humans than the giant, talking robots fans paid to see.
Moon Knight fell somewhere in between Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 3 in that regard. We didn’t see nearly enough Moon Knight or Marc Spector, and most of the episodes were focused on the bumbling Steven Grant. Episodes four and five featured almost no Moon Knight, but the flashbacks to Marc’s past and the reveal of Steven’s origin helped make up for it.
Continuing that theme of not giving the audience what they want, we didn’t see Moon Knight give Harrow the beating he deserved. With Harrow somehow using Ammit’s magic like a laser beam, which made very little sense, he has Moon Knight pinned to the ground and has incapacitated Layla, who is sporting her Wonder Woman-meets-Falcon superhero gear. Just when MK is making his comeback, he loses consciousness and wakes up to destruction all around. What was originally a clever way to dial back the violence was simply frustrating at this point.
On the bright side, at least we got to see Layla as the Scarlet Scarab, and Jake Lockley was revealed in the post-credits scene. That brings us to the key issues you will want to watch.
MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #52
Although Marc’s third personality, Jake, first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #28, this alter ego began to develop his character in this issue. While he doesn’t exactly play a major role in the story, this is the first time readers saw him driving the cab, which would become synonymous with Jake. An interesting side note, the writer for this issue was one Steven Grant. Coincidence? I think not.
What is great about this issue is you can have a piece of Jake’s comic history without overspending for MS #28, which has been commanding increasingly higher prices for the past year. Instead, Two-In-One #52 will keep you within a safe budget range. The last time a graded 9.8 traded hands online, it brought $300 in December. More recently, a 9.4 sold for $150 in March. Don’t forget that Crossfire debuted in Two-In-One #52, so there’s an added bonus.
The MCU may have introduced a star of the future in Layla after she transformed into an Egyptian-themed superhero. While she wasn’t specifically named, the indication is that she is a female Scarlet Scarab.
As I previously mentioned, the heroic Scarab was introduced in 1982’s Thor #326. However, the character first appeared two months prior in Invaders #23 as part of a flashback. The premise was that Abdul Faoul discovered the magical emerald beetle during World War II. Turning into the superpowered Scarlet Scarab, he fought the British occupation of Egypt. This put him at odds with the Invaders, namely Captain America, Namor, and the original Human Torch.
By the time Thor #326 rolled around, Faoul’s son, Mehemet, took up the moniker. This time, the Scarlet Scarab was a full-blown hero, though he was mostly forgotten years later.
To this point, hardly anyone has cared about those Scarlet Scarab keys, which explains why there hasn’t been a graded Invaders #23 sold in two years. Back in 2020, even the 9.8 was selling for under $70. That should soon change as the raw copies have jumped from being $5 buys to $10-$20 comics.
MOON KNIGHT #1 (1985)
It’s easy to forget that Khonshu has more followers than just Moon Knight. Actually, since Marc and Khonshu are usually at odds, MK is not exactly what you would call a devoted follower. Since the Moon God has been in existence since Ancient Egyptian times, it goes without saying that he has met thousands of travelers before running into Marc. That brings us to the Priests of Khonshu.
These are three blind men who have worshiped Khonshu for 5,000 years. Where their immortality comes from is not specifically stated, but we can assume the power is Khonshu’s. While a second season of Moon Knight hasn’t been announced, it is likely in the works. My guess is that we will see the three blind priests in the next round of MK. That will make the 1985 Moon Knight #1 a wise investment. Just this month, a 9.0 sold for $79. The last time a 9.8 swapped owners online, it brought $145 in April.
SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #196
Although Ammut (whose name was spelled Ammit in MK) was the center of the series’ plot, she did not make her grand entrance until Episode Six. In the comics, the Egyptian crocodile goddess was part of the Hyborian age and interacted with Conan the Barbarian. It took place in 1996’s Savage Sword of Conan #196. She’s even on the cover art as an added bonus.
The curious thing is that it is another connection between the MCU and Conan. This is an indirect link and guarantees nothing, but it could build toward introducing the world’s most famous fictional barbarian to superhero cinema. It would help explain why he’s been placed in the modern world in the comics.
Need a copy to call your own? Earlier this week, a 9.6 brought $126, which is the highest grade sold this year.
The general consensus on Moon Knight was that most fans enjoyed the experience. Like all Marvel’s Disney+ entries, I am certain it garnered a large share of viewers. After the season finale, fans want more, especially now that Jake Lockley has been introduced. It would seem Disney has enough incentive to bring Moon Knight and Scarlet Scarab for another round, and I would imagine that announcement is coming soon.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.