Comics, Reviews

Moon Knight #23 Review: A Knight and His Apprentice

For one night only, Moon Knight and Venom team up to take down a masked mastermind and his gang of brainwashed villains!

Moon Knight #23
Image: Marvel Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:06 AM

Moon Knight #23

Moon Knight #23 Cover

Writer: Jed Mackay

Artist: Alessandro Cappuccio

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Release Date: May 2, 2023

Page Count: 28

Format: Comic

Moon Knight and Venom take down a group of thugs connected to the villain Sarnak in this fun one-night-only team-up.

The centerpiece of Jed Mackay’s run on Moon Knight has been the establishment of the Midnight Mission. It’s Moon Knight’s congregation where he welcomes anyone who travels at night and requests his help. This was the hero’s way of upholding his duty to protect night travelers after he rejected Khonshu as his master. Since opening his doors in a small corner of Manhattan, Moon Knight has battled against different creatures of the night, including vampires, werewolves, and even other followers of the Cult of Khonshu. One of the first people Moon Knight rescued was Reese, a woman who was unwillingly transformed into a vampire. Reese was eventually hired to be the Midnight Mission’s receptionist and has since been a mainstay in the series.

In his latest case, Moon Knight is hunting down the supervillain Sarnak. As a master of sonic mind control, Sarnak brainwashed people throughout Manhattan using mind-bending soundwaves. After controlling a pair of hitmen to kill informants close to Moon Knight, the hooded villain targeted a nightclub Reese was partying in, causing the whole building to go feral. Desperate to find a lead on the Sarnak, Moon Knight resorted to bringing out an old persona known as the Midnight Man to get some extra dirty work done in the shadows. But even after that, Moon Knight was left with a cold trail on the masked villain.

Moon Knight #23Image: Marvel Comics

Lethal Protectors of the Night

In Moon Knight #23, a new face with a familiar alter-ego comes knocking on the Midnight Mission’s doors. Dylan Brock, the son of Eddie Brock, turns to Moon Knight for help against a group of mercenary villains known as The New Enforcers. As the new host of Venom, Dylan is still struggling to live up to the mantle left behind by his dad. If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about being a super-powered antihero who others see as an unstable psychopath, it’s Moon Knight.

While the arrival of Venom on the scene may seem random at first, it eventually ties into the overall story of Moon Knight's current story arc. Moon Knight wonders why Venom needed his help in the first place, considering the New Enforcers are not exactly the heaviest hitters on the block. Venom reveals he’s been off his game as of late because the symbiote has been picking up strange sound signatures throughout the city. Learning that triggers a lightbulb in Moon Knight’s head, as it fits directly into what Sarnak has been plotting. This leads to the two antiheroes going on a good old-fashioned crackdown on the villain's hideout.

Moon Knight #23Image: Marvel Comics

The Perfect Mix of  Unlikely Allies

The biggest highlight of this issue was the unique dynamic between Moon Knight and Venom. It’s important to remember that these are two very different versions of such beloved characters. Much of Jed Mackay’s run has focused on Moon Knight’s path to atonement, making him embrace the quirks of his different personalities. Meanwhile, Venom is now a young kid who’s still growing into having one of the most powerful symbiotes coursing through his body. To see this more mature version of Moon Knight take Venom, of all characters, under his wing for an action-packed mission was a sight to behold.

Seeing Moon Knight in the mentor role was not something I knew I wanted. Moon Knight is at his best when he’s calculated and violent against his opponent. When The New Enforcers break into the Midnight Mission offices, we see the unlikely duo carefully dismantle the group following the calculated instructions laid out by Moon Knight. It showcases Moon Knight’s ability as a tactical fighter while also being a great teacher to Venom about what it takes to be a hero. The only downside to this issue is that it closes the door on the Moon Knight and Venom pairing for now, as they go their separate ways. After seeing what kind of damage the two can do together, I wish this little romp lasted longer so we could get more fun moments of teacher and student.

Moon Knight #23Image: Marvel Comics

Final Thoughts:

Moon Knight continues to be a solid series overall, with mixups to its usual formula here and there. Putting Moon Knight up with a younger, up-and-coming hero was a great way of showcasing how much the character has grown emotionally. Considering Moon Knight spends plenty of time throughout the series in therapy sessions, seeing him giving out his own brand of guidance to someone else was a wholesome sight. Even if that advice was about how to brutally take down B-tier villains in minutes. Moon Knight may have his problems, but he’s a hero’s hero down to his very core. At 23 issues and counting, this series keeps getting better with each new adventure.

TAGGED: Marvel, Reviews, Moon Knight