Escapades in New Egypt
Writer: Resty Grey
Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood headline as the duo depicting Moon Knight’s newest series in the Marvel Universe.
Marc Spector’s schizophrenia takes him into an asylum where he battles against an oppressive staff for his sanity.
Along with Smallwood, Lemire develops a familiar Moon Knight in an unfamiliar setting, a fascist asylum where the staff uses violence and drugs to subdue Marc before he can speak with Khonshu, the voice in his head, about his history as Moon Knight.
The details Smallwood depicts in his art create an ominous mood in the story that adds to the tone of Lemire’s writing. The panels with blank spaces contrast the panels heavily detailing the asylum, showing the constant battle Marc has recollecting his memory.
The staff in the ward consistently subdue Marc Spector before he can muster the energy to don his make-shift mask and assume his alternate persona. Despite the efforts of his oppressors, his even more unreliable asylum inmates and the voice in his head remind Marc of his previous escapades as Moon Knight.
The most fun I have with this comic is the unreliable narrator. Lemire and Smallwood develop Marc’s perspective well, creating sympathy for the character through the interactions Marc has with the asylum staff; however, Lemire and Smallwood also leave the audience questioning whether the Moon Knight story really existed.
Reading Moon Knight as a new fan to the series is welcoming considering the story benefits from the less the audience knows about Moon Knight. Marc’s schizophrenia is the main convention that characterizes the protagonist of the story, which benefits the audience best when the only information revealed to the audience is the information seen through the unreliable narrator, Marc Spector.
Marc Spector wakes up in an asylum with no memory of his past, a perfect starting point for this comic. Familiar readers of Moon Knight know his schizophrenia takes him to places he is not entirely in control of. New readers witness this happen.
Though the audience mistrust Marc’s unreliable narration, it is undeniable how the asylum staff treat Marc Spector. Spector is unjustifiably beaten and subdued to unconsciousness by menacing staff performing shock therapy to repair Marc Spector’s mind.
It will be exciting to see where Lemire and Smallwood continue Moon Knight’s storyline after revealing the reality of his situation contrasted beside what Marc Spector imagines. Which reality to believe is entirely up to the audience.