By Tim Stevens
This September, the man once known as Marc Spector returns to the Big Apple in a new ongoing series, VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT. But fans should not expect the same old vigilante. Under the direction of writer Gregg Hurwitz and artist Jerome Opena, this Moon Knight brings a new personality to the business of super-powered crime fighting.
"VENGEANCE opens with Moon Knight crashing back into the heart of the Marvel U as Jake Lockley—a brand new super hero with the gear and gizmos to make his mark," reveals Hurwitz. "We're gonna have a lot of fun with appearances from some staples from the Marvel U, and we get to see Moon Knight in a whole new way."
A big part of the "whole new way" can be owed to Moon Knight's reliance on his Jake Lockley personality. That personality will, in part, propel forward the opening chapters of the new title.
KNIGHT cover by
"One of the great things about MK is that you never know which personality you're gonna get," notes Hurwitz. "It's been a while since Jake Lockley's reared his head and the different manner in which Moon Knight is being Moon Knight unfolds over a few issues. There's a struggle there that Jake is fighting every minute of every day."
"There's a monster in Jake Lockley's closet that he's constantly pushing back," adds editor Axel Alonso. "To be the hero he craves to be, he must constantly rein in his darker impulses, hold back the full force of his fury."
Along with the change in attitude comes a new set of vestments for Lockley, something that caught artist Opena a bit off guard.
"I was hesitant, in the beginning, because I really liked the original design," he admits. "But a new look was what they wanted for the character to coincide with the re-launching of the title. So, with that in mind, I tried to keep the most important iconic aspects of the original design intact while also trying to satisfy what Gregg and Axel were looking for. It was a challenge to try to have all those new elements still fit the iconic image of Moon Knight and to keep him recognizable to everyone."
In-story, Lockley owes his new look to new alliances.
"Let's just say that he's hired a Marvel staple to design his gear," Hurwitz teases, "He's swinging through the city in a way that's gonna catch the eye of everyone on both sides of the spandex divide."
The new look and approach will not go without notice or concern from the criminal underground.
"There's a new Moon Knight in town and he doesn't look or act like the last guy we saw," Hurwitz explains. "So that sends a chill through the hearts of Marvel's villains. Who is this new teched-up hero and how do we deal with him?"
KNIGHT cover by
Leinil Francis Yu
"Gregg's an amazing writer, focused, passionate and meticulous," praises Alonso. "VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT provides the perfect platform for his skills. He knows how to write super heroes.
"Jerome is a future superstar who is right for just about anything. What makes him perfect for VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT is his uncanny ability to navigate between oftentimes claustrophobic psychological material and the widescreen, big budget action that drives a book like this."
Perhaps the biggest endorsement for the new team, though, comes from their own enthusiasm for their subject.
"I was very flattered when Axel presented the opportunity to work on the title to me earlier this year and it sounded really exciting because they were trying to go in a different direction with the character and to build his status within the Marvel Universe," says Opena.
"It's always fun to play with high-rises and alleys, and that endless sense that Manhattan offers—that anything can go horribly wrong at any minute," adds Hurwitz. "But also, it positions MK right in the beating heart of the Marvel Universe. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!"
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