All-New Marvel NOW!

All-New Marvel NOW! Q&A: Moon Knight

Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Steve Wacker plot the next phase for Marc Spector in the Marvel Universe!

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Moon Knight #1 cover by Declan Shalvey

By Paul Montgomery

Marc Spector returns to eclipse the New York underworld this March with the all-new MOON KNIGHT #1, by writer Warren Ellis and the art team of Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire.

Whether the influence of Moon Knight’s inner demons waxes or wanes as his patrol draws near, the man behind that wheel remains bent on taking back the streets. We spoke to Ellis and Shalvey along with editor Steve Wacker about MK’s homecoming and what it means for New York’s criminal element.

Marvel.com: Is it more appropriate to classify this next phase of MOON KNIGHT as a super hero adventure or something more along the lines of crime fiction?

Warren Ellis: The touchstone for this book, for me, has been "Weird Crime." Both ground-level action and high strangeness.

I didn't really read super hero comics when I was younger. One exception to that was Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL. Another was Doug Moench & Bill Sienkiewicz’ MOON KNIGHT. They were really reaching for something new in their run. It's that run, specifically, that I am bearing in mind as I write these stories.

Marvel.com: In terms of setting, there's a bit of an exchange happening. Just as Frank Castle relocates from New York to L.A., Moon Knight is making the reverse trip. How important is this change of venue to the super hero nexus of the Marvel Universe?

Moon Knight #1 black and white preview art by Declan Shalvey

Steve Wacker: So far, Warren is focusing on building up Moon Knight and his place in the city. No guest stars planned at least for a while. But you will see Moon Knight in some other big places around the Marvel U next year.

Marvel.com: Declan, we see different corners of New York each and every week in the pages of Marvel comics. How do you envision Marc Spector's New York?

Declan Shalvey: Dark and uncomfortable. The difference with Moon Knight's New York is that it's the underbelly of the Marvel New York. Moon Knight isn't swinging on a web looking down below; he's literally on the streets; on the pulse of all the twisted goings on. He gets dirty.

Marvel.com: What role, if any, does Moon Knight's splintered psyche play? Does he have those personalities under control? 

Steve Wacker: Moon Knight’s psyche is at the center of everything, right down to his choice of uniform. You’ll see a lot of this set up right in the first issue. But all the classic Moon Knight elements are in place.

Warren Ellis: This is a take on Moon Knight that unifies all the previous takes, making the character whole and taking him forward into a new kind of crime fiction.

Marvel.com: Does Marc Spector enjoy a social circle outside of his career as Moon Knight? Or do the voices in his head preclude him from forging relationships? 

Moon Knight #1 black and white preview art by Declan Shalvey

Steve Wacker: His personalities allow him to overlap several social circles but for the beginning of the series Warren and Declan are focusing on Moon Knight the psychopathic adventurer.

Marvel.com: Are we looking at longer arcs or more self-contained adventures? 

Steve Wacker: A little of both. Warren tends to excel at standalone stories that lead to a bigger whole. Declan and Jordie are an outstanding team on the art side, so it should make these very different stories feel cohesive.

Marvel.com: Declan and Jordie immediately struck me as perfectly suited for this character. What tone and atmosphere do they establish with their pages? 

Steve Wacker: It’s moody, but not despairingly so. New York is filled with every color even when it’s dark and I think Dec and Jordie have found a brilliant recipe for “vivid noir” that I can’t wait for everyone to see

Marvel.com: Declan, what was your approach to Moon Knight's costume and tech? He’s dressed for success.

Declan Shalvey: There is a very restrained approach to this take on Moon Knight. He has a suit; a three-piece suit. He has crescent darts. He has a big-ass tech limo. That is all. Or is it?

Marvel.com: The character always makes for a striking visual in that all white costume. How important is color—or the absence of color—in Moon Knight’s world?

Moon Knight #1 black and white preview art by Declan Shalvey

Declan Shalvey: Color is going to play an important role in Moon Knight; mainly, the absence of color. I've been talking a lot with [colorist] Jordie Bellaire about it. Moon Knight himself will be completely black-and white—no color tones, no rendering—while all his surroundings will be very textured and rich with color. I want Moon Knight to have a very strong visual element in this book so I very much want to push that striking aspect you mentioned. The one book you can do that in is MOON KNIGHT, so I really want to make the most of it. I'm trying to keep a graphic-design approach to how Moon Knight is depicted, and it's been really interesting so far.

As far as I'm concerned every storytelling page needs one graphic design element: gutters. They are what make the images panels, creating the sequence of images that are comics. With MOON KNIGHT, I'm using white panel borders but also keeping Moon Knight white. This will make him and the panel borders the only element of white space/negative space and will allow me to literally integrate him into the gutters, making him part of the page design, along with the gutters.

To be honest; it will be up to Jordie in the end. While I'd like him to be 100% white all the time, I trust Jordie completely, so if she thinks he needs a tone in a specific scene, then I'll go with her superior opinion.

Marvel.com: How does Moon Knight's mental state inform your line?

Declan Shalvey: I don't really want to elaborate on that just yet, but you'll see in issue #1 that Warren has an interesting approach which opens up a lot of possibilities for Moon Knight, and that's really exciting for me.

MOON KNIGHT kicks off in March, but you can get all the latest updates at the official All-New Marvel NOW! event page!

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