Writer: Charlie Huston
Artist: David Finch
Publisher: Marvel

“The Bottom”
I remember the first issue of Moon Knight that I ever purchased. I knew nothing about the character, but to be honest, he looked like Marvel’s answer to Batman. However, the cover drew me to it. It was drawn by then little known artist, Frank Miller (Dark Knight Returns, Sin City) with interior pencils by then little known artist, Bill Sienkiewicz (both would one day team up for the seminal, Elektra: Assassin).

Like Ghost Rider, Moon Knight is a fan favorite that keeps being resurrected; a character searching for an identity because no writer quite seems to be able to get a handle on him after Doug Moench’s initial run (much like The Punisher until Garth Ennis managed to get to the core of the character).

“Someone has to do this.” –Moon Knight

Mercenary Marc Spector found himself betrayed and left for dead in a tomb. He was resurrected to became the avatar of an Egyptian god, Khonshu. Transformed in the desert, essentially he repented, turned his back on the lifestyle he led, in order to craft a new life. From killer to hero, he became a soldier in service to his God, His “blade of vengeance.” Thus he became a silver wraith, an all white cowl and cape outfit which were akin to priest vestments.

The twist was that he had four secret identities: Marc Spector, Jake Lockley, Steven Grant, and Moon Knight. Each personality had their own quirks and morality clutching to sanity while seeking redemption. Even with his/their new lease on life, at best he/they were a “cracked vessel,” far from perfect, but struggling to be of use. In other words, his/their spiritual journey was just like the rest of ours.

“How could I live any other way?” –Moon Knight

I suspect that the chief draw of characters like Black Panther, Captain America, Batman, and Moon Knight is that they are fully human. Not being super-powered, it seems almost believable that any of us could be them with enough training and dedication. They are more relatable, their struggles mirror our struggles. This might even apply to their spiritual struggles.

Spiritual journeys have all sorts of twists and turns, peaks and valleys. There are times when you can hear God’s voice so clearly, feel Him moving in your life so purely. Then there are times, dark nights of the soul, when His voice seems silent. When you feel alone or that you’ve turned your back on the things you once knew. Where do you go from there?

Many of us are haunted by our pasts, feeling like we can’t get past mistakes we’ve made and people we’ve hurt. Or we’ve become, like Marc Spector, disillusioned when our ideas about our God can’t be reconciled with the reality of God. When it got hard, Marc Spector quit everything. He blamed God, turned his back on his community of friends, everyone but himself. He turned to alcohol and pills to try and dull the constant shrill of pain that his life had become. Until he hit rock bottom.

The thing about bottoming out is that if you let it, it provides prospective. For one, you have little choice but to look up, since you can’t get any lower, and maybe have one of those end of self moments. Sometimes we just need reminders of who we are, who were meant to be, what God has done in the past. In those quiet times, like Marc Spector, we may realize that our God has been with us the whole time, calling us, waiting for us to return, and sustaining us all along. Maybe we’ll experience another spiritual resurrection and have the opportunity to once again become a warrior-priest.

The Fist of Khonshu is set to return to the heights of his glory thanks to that able skill of acclaimed novelist Charlie Huston (Caught Stealing, Six Bad Things, and Already Dead). He’s been teamed with fan-favorite artist, David Finch (New Avengers). The story is long on mood and atmosphere, wrestling with the idea of what to do when you are broken and you feel like your God has forsaken you. It’s the narration that sets the book apart. Huston’s take on the character, both self-absorbed and possibly insane, longing to be a hero and yet pitiable, doesn’t make for typical comic fare. However, the story arc has Taskmaster and I’ve always loved him when done right and treated seriously.

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