- MOON KNIGHT #1 – All-New Marvel Now! continues with another out-of-this-world relaunch of a C-list hero, this week with the white-bat-shit-crazy Moon Knight, suiting up and returning to the Big Apple to hone his detective skills. The good news: This is no longer your daddy’s wanna-be Batman! Moon Knight returns to ongoing glory — much in thanks to Warren Ellis (Next Wave) and Declan Shalvey (28 days later) — with a new lease on life as well as a new approach to the character. No longer donning the white cape and regular super hero pajamas, Marc Spector has taken a card right out of Barney Stinson’s book and is all suited up in white ready to solve crimes and dish out punishment. MK has seen quite the track record for great story-lines but less than stellar sales. Since Stephen Platt 90’s opus, the title has suffered from failure to launch and most have barely lasted a year. And even though high-profile creators have crafted exceptional MK runs (including just recently with Brian Michael Bendis), this relaunch sits upon its own pedestal. Ellis’ take is just about perfect for new readers and longtime fans; a must read in the veins of Marvel stalwarts such as Hawkeye. “I’ve died before. It was boring, so I stood up.” With those words and a new cool, Mr. Knight has returned in most impressive fashion. 4.25/5.
- WOLVERINE and THE X-MEN #1 – It feels like only yesterday that I opened up that first issue of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men and was left speechless. The series not only packed beautiful art each month, but had story lines that left me cracking up and just as intrigued with lesser-known mutants. Now 42 issues later, this brand new creative team on yet another All-New relaunch has some seriously big shoes to fill. Thankfully, Jason Latour continues the focus on the Jean Grey School’s combination of off-the-wall characters and recognizable teachers trying to guide these young wards. Graduate-turned-teacher’s-assistant Quentin Quire takes the focus this ish, which may not exactly thrill fans who are accustomed differently. Throw in the reemergence of Genesis, and this run requires far more patience than you’d like. But as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day and Aaron’s tremendous humor is going be a tough act to follow — putting it lightly. One of the cool new elements is the added focus on outside Mutant happenings, as we see in Paul Cornell’s Wolverine and a far more Rick Remender-resembling Fantomax than the bizarre one we witnessed over in X-Force. Mahmud Asrar is also a refreshment, penciling a more realistic style that shows more of an adult side — seeing how many of our prime players graduated — yet still retains that newness that set the first year apart on the shelves. If you enjoyed the previous run, this more Quentin-themed ride will still entertain…if you got more patience than a Wolverine. 3.5/5.
(Flip the page for a pair of bonus reviews from Monsignor Moody!)