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Marvel’s Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 Kicks-Off the Violent One-Shot – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 puts Moon Knight in his element as he swings his fists in a high-octane, action-driven tale full of violence.
Published by Marvel Comics, the Devil’s Reign event complicates life for the protectors of New York City. The duly elected mayor, Wilson Fisk, has outlawed all superhero activities under the newly drafted Powers Act. In addition to using the city’s law and order agencies to enforce it, Fisk has set up his own Thunderbolts team composed of a mixed bag of antiheroes whose task is to take on the heavy hitters. One of the first masked vigilantes to be arrested under this new law is Moon Knight. As brutal and violent as he is, Moon Knight never goes out without an epic fight. The new Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight one-shot is a testament to that fact, bringing the character’s tenacity for vengeance to light.
Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1, written by Jed MacKay with artwork from Federico Sabbatini and Lee Loughridge, shows exactly how dangerous and unhinged a personality like Moon Knight is. The story opens in the Myrmidon prison for super-criminals, where Fisk has locked up heroes and villains alike. Small-time crook Jeff Hagees, also known as the 8-Ball, shares his jail cell with the famed vigilante and gets on talking terms with him. Eventually, 8-Ball informs Moon Knight of an underground fighting ring where Man Mountain Marko is the reigning champion. Moon Knight then launches an unprovoked attack on his fellow prisoners, leading to his invitation to a cage match. Thus begins the Fist of Khonshu’s rampage as he punches his way to the top spot.
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Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is a story full of grit and gruel as the titular character situates himself in the prison atmosphere. It is only fitting that Jed MacKay, writer of the current Moon Knight series, takes the character on this vengeance-fuelled side quest. He lacks remorse or sympathy, making Marc Spector a force to be reckoned with. MacKay focuses on setting the stage and the ambiance and letting the action take the reins of the plot. The monotonous, self-ruminating narration of Moon Knight provides a cold reminder of his tendency for violence. It soon becomes clear that criminals are terrified at the mere mention of the man, but the story gives them even more reason for the fear. Eventually, Moon Knight lives up to these expectations in the goriest and most visceral style.
Federico Sabbatini’s artwork for Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 resembles the aesthetics of Japanese manga. Because of the application of minimal outlines and even fewer details, the panels seem like they lack depth. However, the use of liberal hatchings fills out any space in the background, giving off a lighting effect that immerses the characters in an aura. Sabbatini’s style of posturing and paneling makes the action look dynamic and over the top, which also helps tone down the inherent gore in the book. Colorist Lee Loughridge uses bright shades of ochre and green in the background to denote current events and darker shades of purple for flashback scenes. These colors are eye-catching and the radial lines complement and emphasize strenuous moments.
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Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 is a knuckle-cracking, tooth-breaking ride that moves at a breakneck pace. The action is just as raw as expected from a story centered around illegal cage fights in a prison facility built to hold superpowered individuals. There are moments when Moon Knight channels his inner Rorschach, reminding everyone that if there was ever a wild card character, it is him. He is a man on a mission with zero regard for the sanctity of his own life, let alone the lives of others. While the stylized art alleviates the uneasiness associated with the depiction of gore, the issue is still a violent story. Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight #1 concludes with a gruesome bare-knuckle brawl in which only one guy survives to call himself the top dog.
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Sayantan is a comic book fan based in India who loves good storytelling more than anything else. His power to bore people to death with Kaiju lore is only rivaled by his love for books and movies. He has a master’s degree in Energy Tech and loves to watch soccer. You can take a gander at his artworks here: @kenichikyuro

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