You know it’s been a while, but I finally feel like I have motivation again to read comics more regularly and get you guys the reviews that you so obviously crave. I thought given what’s currently red hot in the MCU at the moment that it was time that I returned to a series that I hadn’t previously enjoyed; Moon Knight. The first two novels had left me quite confused as to what on Earth was actually taking place, and I hoped that watching the show would help enlighten me a little!
‘Birth and Death’ starts with a little flashback issue. We see Marc as a young boy growing up, and his first interaction with Steven Grant, one of his personalities. Marc’s father is naturally concerned and takes him to a psychiatrist where he’s diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder and must stay in the mental asylum. We then cut to present day where Marc has decided that for him to live his life fully, he needs to kill Khonshu. But before he can do that, he has to rescue his friend Crawley, whose soul is being held by Anubis. Anubis makes a deal with Marc stating that if can venture to an unknown land and bring back something dear to Anubis then he will let Crawley go. We are then given another flashback where we see Marc returning home from the hospital to attend his father’s funeral. From there he escapes and joins the military but unfortunately is dishonourably discharged after his mental health woes are discovered. Cut back to present day and the missing treasure that Anubis has lost is his wife, Anput, who is being held in a prison in the “Overvoid” where she has no powers. Marc tells her that Anubis has sent him and that he is here to help, however, he’s taken by the guards in this mystery realm outside to be sacrificed. We cut again to the past, where Marc has become a mercenary after being taken in by a man named Frenchie. After shutting down a drug operation on a job, the two are made an offer by “Bushman”, a crime lord who has a job for them. Back in the Overvoid, just as Marc is about to be executed, he’s rescued by Steven and Jake and Moon Knight, who are all separate entities here. They help him escape with Anput and the deal is complete. We return one last time to the past, to see Marc and Frenchie with Bushman on a job that sees them attempt to raid an ancient tomb. But when Bushman gets violent, Marc steps in only to be fatally wounded. Here he meets Khonshu for the first time. We return finally to the present and Marc is ready to face Khonshu. Will he really be able to kill the deity responsible for giving him his powers? And what tricks does Khonshu have up his metaphorical sleeve?
Now, usually, I’m pretty much an advocate for the idea that if there’s a film or TV series based on a book or a comic, then you should probably read some of the source material just to get a feel for what you’re about to see. That is true for almost everything. This novel is not one of those things. I had really struggled to understand the first two novels in the series, but this one seemed to be just fine. The only difference is that I’d see 4 episodes of ‘Moon Knight’ on Disney+ and understood the context behind much of Marc’s mental health issues. I thought the story was fairly simple but its execution was well done and there is evidently a lot of character development in ‘Birth and Death’ as Marc comes to terms with his other personalities and even Moon Knight who for some reason happens to be a completely different entity. I liked the mixing of flashbacks and the present, which can have the tendency to go wrong more often than not. If there was one thing I wished I saw more of, it was the actual fight with Khonshu who I think went down easy, but will probably reappear later in the series! Haha!
The artwork was to my liking and had this quite old school retro feel to it. The style was almost like it had been drawn and coloured in with crayons and not something I’ve seen much of before. The covers were intricate and beautifully drawn. Overall, this is a perfect example of why you stick with a series. It may just surprise you like this!
This literally sums up the entire character development seen in this arc!
Moon Knight. Well, Marc Spector. Kinda obvious why.
Story Arc: 13/20
Character Development: 16/20