Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1985 - Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu

Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu
June - December 1985
Writers: Alan Zelenetz (issues #1-3) and Jim (Priest) Owsley (issue #6)
Artists: Chris Warner and E.R. Cruz (issues #1-3)/Mark Beacham/Geoff Isherwood (issue #6)

Moon Knight’s first series ran 38 issues and was cancelled in July 1984. Almost a year later, a new series was released with the title Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu. Writer Alan Zelenetz wrote the last three issues of the first series and was called upon to kick off the new title and new direction.

Marc Spector tries to leave his other identities behind, retiring his Moon Knight, Steve Grant, and Jake Lockley responsibilities and going so far as to auction off the statue of Khonshu. As you might expect, it doesn’t last long as Khonshu calls Spector back to the Valley of Kings and he is reborn as Moon Knight with new weapons, a new costume, and new powers. He then battles against the avatar of Khonshu’s enemy Anubis and recovers the statue of Khonshu.

The first two issues have this wonderful Indiana Jones pulp feel to them and was a refreshing change from Moon Knight’s usual urban setting. One of the draws to this series was Chris Warner’s art and the inks by E.R. Cruz, the veteran artist who drew Marvel’s Classics, enhanced Warner’s pencils although they tend to overpower them at the same time.

Unfortunately, the creative team suddenly changes after issue #3 with other artists coming to finish Chris Warner’s breakdowns and the art takes a dramatic step backwards. With issue #6, the entire original creative team has been replaced and despite a pretty solid story by Jim (Priest) Owsley and Mark Beacham.

I couldn’t really find any details on what happened behind the scenes in this series and why the new direction was abandoned and why the series was cancelled so quickly. I’ve come across a few article that mention that this series was in fact a 6 issue miniseries, but flipping through the comics themselves, there’s no indication of that.

I did find an interesting tidbit on the letter page of issue #4 by editor Denny O’Neil: “Will there be a Secret Wars (probably meant Secret Wars II) crossover in Moon Knight? Funny you should ask... Yes. More on that next issue...”. But, of course, that item isn’t discussed in the last letter page of the series (in issue #5).

After this series, Moon Knight would join the West Coast Avengers and then go on to star in his third ongoing series in 1989.

One of my favorite Sienkiewicz Moon Knight covers:


  1. Could you please pass this on to Mr. Warner if possible?

    I recently came across Moon Knight V2 #2, featuring Dr. Arthur Harrow, a mad scientist using forbidden Nazi medical science to create an army of anesthetized zombies. This was published in 1985, shortly after I graduated from medical school. It was well known in my circle of friends that I liked comics, and always wanted to be a bad guy because they got the best lines. Also I had lectured on the ethics of Nazi medical research.

    I found this quite flattering, and have included it on surveys from my medical school when asked what I had been up to since graduation (supervillain, retired looks good on the old resume!) but I have been curious how the writers chose this name. Did someone know someone who knew me? I'm dying to know...

    Arthur S. Harrow MD

  2. Hey Arthur,

    Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately, I don't know Chris Warner. But maybe he or Alan Zelenetz the writer will come across this posting.

  3. Egad did they ever ruin Moon Knight! The original was so much better!



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