Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why Moon Knight?

If you know me at all, then you knew this day would come. It was only a matter of when. I was planning on leaving this choice until May, when his new solo series is being released, but then I heard about Bendis’ plans for the character, and I was that annoyed, that I didn’t want this site to have any connection to it.

Fan-rant aside, Moon Knight is one of those characters that’s been hanging on for over 35 years now, but has never quite made the A-league. He’s had about 500 appearances in that time, which compared to the equally-aged Punisher, with just over 1000, is not quite on par.

Though Moon Knight may appear to be a Batman rip-off on first inspection, he was actually created as an enemy for Werewolf by Night. The moon is obviously a big part of werewolf lore, and the “Knight” part comes from the silver armour he wore--silver, of course, being a werewolf’s one weakness. He proved popular enough in this brief appearance to garner his own solo title, and the character went from there.

For those who aren’t familiar with him, Moon Knight is the alter ego of Marc Spector, a mercenary who was killed by a team-mate and subsequently resurrected by Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon and vengeance. In debt, Marc took on Khonshu’s image and became a vigilante, dealing vengeance in his name. To aid him in this venture, he created two more alter egos: Grant Lockley, a low-brow cabbie who was able to eaves-drop on the city’s underbelly, and Steven Grant, a wealthy businessman who could discover the wrong-doings of high-society.

From these alter egos, to his allies Marlene, Frenchie, and Crawley, to his unique rogues gallery, I'm sure you will find that there’s no shortage of writing material. So, my friends, please join me in showing Bendis, and everyone at Marvel, that you don’t need to drastically “reinvent” a character to make them fun and exciting!


  1. Moon Knight – Outer Demons - MK Stangeland Jr.

    There are four Moon Knights in this script, each one representing one of his alternate personalities (Marc Spector, Steven Grant, Jake Lockley, and the Moon Knight/Khonshu influenced persona) – while each will be referred to by their individual name, imagine for the purposes of this script that they’re all wearing a Moon Knight costume, though perhaps with variations in their costumes as to distinguish between them.

    (7 Panels)

    Panel 1: STEVEN GRANT just barely blocks punch from MOON KNIGHT.

    STEVEN GRANT: Just listen, would you?

    MOON KNIGHT: There’s only one Moon Knight!

    Panel 2: MOON KNIGHT kicks STEVEN GRANT across the face.

    MOON KNIGHT: And you’re not him.

    SFX: Wak!

    Panel 3: JAKE LOCKLEY grabs MOON KNIGHT from behind in a full nelson.

    JAKE LOCKLEY: (Line continues into Panel 4.) Am I really this frustrating all…

    Panel 4: MOON KNIGHT grabs JAKE LOCKLEY off his back and throws him over his head.

    JAKE LOCKLEY: (Continued from Panel 3.) …the tiiIIME?!

    MOON KNIGHT: Pathetic.

    Panel 5: MARC SPECTOR tackles MOON KNIGHT. In the background, JACK LOCKLEY is seen impacting with STEVEN GRANT as he lands, knocking the later back down onto his back.

    MOON KNIGHT: Khonshu shall smite you all fo-UGH!

    MARC SPECTOR: You are really getting on my nerves!

    Panel 6: MARC SPECTOR is on top of MOON KNIGHT, trying to hold him down, but MOON KNIGHT punches him in the face.

    SFX: bIFF!

    MOON KNIGHT: Off of me!

    Panel 7: STEVEN GRANT and JACK LOCKLEY join MARC SPECTOR in piling on top of MOON KNIGHT in order to hold him down – a “Moon Pile”, if you will.

    STEVEN GRANT: Only once you promise to settle down and listen!


  2. @MK: Interesting set-up. I'd like to know how it got to this point and where it would go. Nice work.

  3. @MK - not only a lot of words here but plenty of action, too. I would have started with the MK stating there's only one of him while kicking Steve in the face. Then have Marc tackle him, and the Moon Pile. Then the final line, 4 panels, boom. Keep it tight. You don't need to show him actually interact/fight with all 3 to sell that they're there.

  4. @MK - believe it or not, but I was going to do somethign very similar to this. I'm glad I didn't now as you would have totally shown me up. One question - is this happening in reality, or is it a battle to be the dominant personality?

    Oh, and you get +1 for using a wrestling hold descriptor.

  5. @MK - but I take that extra point away because it was only a full nelson. If someone had administered the figure 4 leg lock then I would have been impressed...future challenge? :)

  6. @MK - I like this, though I have to reiterate what ryan's said and state that it's a tiny bit visually packed. This is a problem I've come across endlessly with my scripts too, and I think it's key to look at each panel as 'less is more'. Present less in a single image and decompress the scene if necessary. a lot of small panels comprising a bunch of actions is stronger in the long run than one packed with information, especially if you can make them into a sequence that makes the most of what can be done with a page and the constraints of such things as panels and the like.

    But again, I like it, and over a couple of reworked pages it would totally work wonders.

    And bonus points for wrestling descriptive!

  7. @Ryan - A figure 4 Leglock? That would leave him too vunrable. A Full Nelson is the best way to go - Hell, even a Chicken Wing arm lock would be good. As for your do remember what one of my jobs is, right....?

  8. Yeah, I can see what you're talking about with it possibly being too crowded. Not my best work spacing wise. If I had to re-write it, I would probably stop with Panel 5 instead of adding those two extra panels in, except I was kind of rushing it a tad and initially felt like I could possibly squeeze those last two in.

    @benjum - It's happening in reality. Likely cause would be via magic (fitting thematically with the whole Khonshu thing), though I wouldn't rule out SCIENCE! of some kind, especially since the basic idea of the script (splitting Moon Knights multiple personalities into multiple real people) was at least partially inspired by the Batman: Brave and the Bold episode with Firestorm where he gets split into three Batmen.

  9. Hulk and Banner have been separated before, so I can't see why it couldn't be done here :)

  10. What If? – Secret Invasion

    Six panels. Panels 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 are arranged scattershot on top of Panel 4, which serves as a background.

    Panel 1: Close-up of MARK SPECTOR, straightjacketed, slumped in the corner of his poorly-lit cell. He’s been trapped for a long time. His face is haggard and he’s sporting a ragged beard. He’s in pain.

    CAP (MARK): The Skrulls decided not to keep me in a negative zone cell. Just tossed me in some lockup near the center of the earth instead.

    Panel 2: Shot of MARK’s foot. His sock and the skin on his big toe are worn through, and blood is seeping from the open wound, tracing a line along the floor as MARK drags his foot. We’re too close to see the full shape yet, but a bright white spark jumps from the blood tracing to MARK’s foot.

    CAP (MARK): Apparently, I’m no threat. Even if I were, there are power dampeners in every corner of this place.

    Panel 3: External shot of the cell. A charred crescent is burned into the floor where MARK just was, Outside of the shimmering forcefield, a Sktull guard frantically signals for backup.

    CAP (MARK): Not that it makes a difference.

    Panel 4: Tableau shot of VERANKE, the Skrull Queen’s palace, built atop the ruins of Manhattan. The palace is closer to a factory/fortress, belching smoke into a heavily contaminated atmosphere. Go for a real “raped earth” feel. A massive, dome-shaped forcefield surrounds the site, allowing only the smokestacks to penetrate the shell.

    CAP (MARK): Veranke’s palace is stuffed to the brim with guards. The throne is protected by an organic-exclusion field that can only be deactivated by her personal command.

    Panel 5: Long shot of VERANKE at her throne, behind all of her defenses and swarms of guards. The room is huge, so when I say that the scene should feel crowded, know how much stuff I mean.

    CAP (MARK): It doesn’t matter where I am. Or how protected she is.

    Panel 6: Extreme low angle shot from VERANKE’s hip. She’s staring forward, imperious and oblivious. Above her, MARK plunges down from the shadows of the vaulted ceiling in full Moon Knight regalia. His wide eye-holes blaze an unnaturally bright blue, and in each fist, he clutches three of his crescent-shaped throwing blades.

    CAP (MARK): I have my god at my back.
    CAP (MARK): And an entire world to avenge.

  11. @Aryeh - you sold me instantly from the straight jacket opening. Love it, it just makes me feel wonder and awesome and I don't know why I didn't write something with him locked up. Damn.

    I really like that final line. Solid.

    Overall, this is actually pretty tight. I'd look at ways to tighten up some dialogue - panel 2 is one example. You could shuffle the words to get just the right flow - 'Power dampeners lay everyone low. But they don't bother with me, I'm no threat." That sort of thing, but overall there's no major flaws I see.

    When you mention he has his God I wish you'd made him say "And he loves me." That line would have sold this completely.

  12. MK - I prefer to think of this happening in some twisted reality rather than just in MK's head... now if you came up with some bizarre way to explain THAT happen, I'd be really impressed! (nb. alternate realities is a cheat ;-)

    Aryeh - this has a powerful drive and a real sense of MK at the end of a rope - where, presumably he'd be most dangerous / unpredictable. It also plays well against the religious aspects of Secret Invasion. It's MarC though, not MarK.

  13. @Aryeh: Really loved the page, though I'm kind of lost as to how his blood burnt through the floor. Is there something I'm missing?

  14. @Rol: Shwoops. Can NOT believe I missed that. Right after I read a whole bunch of Moon Knight, too.

    @Danial: The blood crescent was supposed to be his way of invoking Khonshu's power to escape the cell. The burnt blood was an aftereffect of whatever teleportation ritual he pulled off.

  15. Ah, sounds cool. I'd never thought of MK using magic before, but it would fit with the whole mystical aspect of being on a first-name basis with a god :)

  16. @ Aryeh - I like the idea, but something that sticks out at me as feeling off is the description of post-invasion Manhatten. I got the impression that the Skrulls wanted Earth as some kind of promised land or new homeworld, so it looks kind of weird to then get this post-apocalyptic description for it.

    But maybe that's just me.

  17. @MK: I will fully admit that I took some liberties for dramatic effect. The Skrulls did want earth as a homeworld. That said, I don't remember the promised land bit (though you could easily be right). But look at it this way-when you move into an apartment, even if you like the layout, you're going to want to personalize it. Make it your own. Now imagine the remodeling you'd have to do when you move to new planet.

  18. @Aryeh - cool script. Am I the only one who, first time around, thought that the psychotic Marc had somehow worn the skin of his toe down to the bone and was using his OWN TOE BONE to pick the lock? No? Yeh, I'm tired.

    *After re-reading it, I'm stupid to think that. Pay me no mind.*

  19. @benjum: Dammit! Now that you said that, I wish I had written it!

  20. Dangit, ben! Now I can't get that image out of my head! And believe me, it's a pretty disturbing image, too. >_<


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