Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Moon Knight - Who.Am.I/Who.I.Am - Max Barnard

The Premise: Okay, I'll do this properly for once. I would want this story to be a deconstruction of Moon Knight, and subsequently the multiple personalities that make him up, to the extent of whether Moon Knight himself is seperate from the three core personalities, and if there are any others contained within the head of our multi-faceted protagonist.

Which brings us to this scene, taking place near the end of one of the issues. The core personality, Marc Spector, is within his own head, falling down a dark space, as you'll soon see, when things seem to change. I'd probably call this the penultimate page before the big cliffhanger, which I'll make a note of at the end.


Marc is still falling, naked through the dark abyss that is his own mind, his face a smoothed over blank space.

Marc(caption): I fall again, to the very depths of my mind.

A close-up of Marc's leg as it is grabbed by a man's hand.

Marc(caption): ... Until I pull myself up.

We move out to see Marc looking up at his saviour, who is indeed himself, albeit with a cocky-looking expression on his face.

Marc(caption): Jake Lockley.

Jake Lockley passed Marc up through the abyss to a new apparition, who is again himself, this time beaming a huge grin at Marc.

Marc(caption): Steven Grant.

Steven Grant continues the chain, passing Marc up to a Marc Spector-headed woman with large breasts and an hourglass figure.

Marc(caption): I don't... My feminine side, perhaps?

The Femme-Marc passes Marc up towards a bright white light, with nothing coming from it.

Marc(caption): They all save me.

Marc is reaching up at the white light, from which Moon Knight's gloved hand is coming down from, mere inches away from Marc's arm.

Marc(caption): Because we're part of the same person...

[And that's the page. The next page would be a splash of faceless Marc standing in front of Moon Knight in a vast white space, with the text "We're all part of HIM". But that'd be unrealistic to fit into this already chock-full page.]


  1. This page isn't bad - but I heard wanky organ music playing in the background the whole time. Is that normal?

    Is the title going for a Will.I.Am type thing...? If so, it doesn't work.

    I'm worried about this page being all black and so the movement lacking context. I'm sure a good artist could make it happen but it might be hard.

    My crazy edit for the week: I've been thumbing through Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and what I read last night might be my inspiration for this, so bear with me...do this all as one splash page, maybe break up little sections with inset panels (much like I always think of Aja doing) and have the narrative flow from bottom left to top right. It's unconventional but would really get across the idea that he is travelling up. If you start bottom left people will go there before reading the top right (that would just be really awkward and confuse them as they wouldn't know where to go.

    That would be my major re-jig of this page.

    As for your feminine panel - it's good, but makes the whole page, and thus my perception of the whole idea and arc you describe, different. A goody joke has no place in a page of self-discovery, unless you want goofiness to alway be available in this character - which is fine to do. Felt more like a Deadpool moment than a true Moon Knight one, though. Sometimes, Maxy, you have to kill your darlings, or kill everything else so your darling has enough oxygen to breathe.

  2. @ryan - wanky organ music is a to-be-expected side effect of my scripts, yes.

    The title's periods were out of a hope of making it all fit on one line on this page, but that didn't work out so well, and will alter accordingly. or not, to show my stupid choice.

    You have a point with the darkness. Outside of making the character smaller or larger in each panel to indicate going towards or away from something it's effectively dooming itself to not be clear to the reader. Perhaps a gradient could produce the desired effect?

    I love your suggestion of rejigging the page to be more of a David Aja style inset panel piece, something that I'd never even considered. Given the chance to do this again I think that's the main thing I would make sure to change.

    Finally, as to the feminine panel - You're right. It has no place within the idea, and changes how the page reads from how I originally intended. It came about more out of a fear of doing something so far removed from my usual material than anything, something that I clearly shouldn't have worried about.

    What I think I want to try in the future with this in mind is to create what Obata/Ohba describe in Bakuman as 'serious comedy', where a scene will be completely straight, with comedy to be found, if any is to be found at all, in the absurdity of the situation or background notes. Just to see if I can do it, like.

    Anyway, thanks for the notes, and hopefully this response is the sort of thing an editor would expect as a response, if not something a little TOO apologetic.

    And all the same I feel this is my best work on the site, if only because I did something that was (mostly) different to my usual output without it feeling like I was forcing myself in the slightest. Which for the sake of range is very much a positive.

  3. I like how you differentiated the personalities simply by their smiles. I thought that was a nice touch. I didn't understand the woman being in there though. If anything, the third helper should probably have been Khonshu, or probably before the others even.

    Anyway, it's a cool concept, and I don't think the whole "in his head" angle has fully been realised before, so it would be something new.

  4. Max, it's good to have you back. Interestingly, while thinking through my own story this week I came to the conclusion that we've never really established whether there is an actually "Moon Knight personality" (or if we have, I've missed that story) so I'm glad you chose to explore that. The femme-Spector seemed a little out of place (but mainly because it reminded me of Bendis' Ultimate Moon Knight who has a little girl as part of his split personality for no other reason than that BMB seemed to want to take the piss). Having said that, I don't think it's a bad idea - just one that needs exploring more than in just one panel.

    I liked Ryan's suggestion for the layout - I immediately saw it Marcos Martin style.

  5. Max, great script!

    I agree that the female version of Moon Knight threw me too. It kind of takes you out of the personal moment that we are sharing with Marc Spector. Not that it is a bad thing - it had just better lead somewhere, or as a reader I would flame your arse on teh interwebz (I wouldn't really, but if it was simply a throw away 'gag' without relevance, I'd be perturbed.)

    Oh, and @Ryan - keep it up! As a person who has had no editorial feedback on my writing, I love seeing your take on both mine and other's scripts from an editorial point of view.



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