Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Javier Garron
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: Cory Petit
The Age of Khonshu continues in Avengers #34 as Moon Knight follows the bidding of his god in the hopes of preparing to fight against an unspoken terrible evil. The story is presented as a fairly straightforward affair, but when we’re dealing with Moon Knight, you can never be sure the reality he knows is the same reality that everyone else knows.
So the story never feels like it’s written on entirely firm ground. First, of course, is the fact that what we know is filtered through Moon Knight, who is now established as having a tenuous grip on understanding what’s real and what’s not. While the depictions of Moon Knight’s possible and assorted mental illnesses are sometimes problematic from a rhetorical standpoint, from a comic book standpoint they mean that things are rarely as they seem to be.
Second, the story involves a large number of Avengers and the reshaping of Manhattan, but it isn’t impacting the Marvel books anywhere else. It would seem as though the Age of Khonshu would be a nice event. If it were “real.”
But ignoring debates of what is real and what is not real in our world of gods made manifest and teenagers who can crawl walls and throw trucks, Age of Khonshu looks great and is well-written. Is there a hero we can root for more than Moon Knight? Broken and dead, resurrected to serve as the avatar for a god who is far from benevolent, and a leaf on the wind of his own life most of the time, Moon Knight deserves a chance to reclaim some agency and be his own man.
He says he is, and he gives clues that lead us to believe he’s not just blindly following Khonshu’s commands. I hope that’s true.
This issue has some fine moments I don’t want to give away here. Good payoffs deserve to be experienced as the pages turn.
VERDICT: I have a soft spot in my heart for Moon Knight. I am enjoying seeing him in the center of this story. Let’s hope he gets to be in the center of his own life before too long. For me, a fan of just plain entertaining superhero stories, this is a BUY. Real or not.