Friday, August 31, 2012

Knight Of The Moon!

Covers by Gil Kane

The Moon Knight I prefer is the original created with such gusto by Doug Moench and Don Perlin in 1975 in the pages of Werewolf by Night, as a nemesis for the lycanthropic Jack Russell. Perlin's design is sleek and modern, using the notion that the Knight is clothed in silver to excellent effect.

Here's a the second page ever to feature Moon Knight, as the debut story begins with the Werewolf and the Knight battling out.

Cover by Don Perlin

Cover by Jack Kirby

After the debut, some value was seen in this character and so he was tried out the next year in 1976 in his two-issue turn in Marvel Spotlight. He's essentially the same swashbuckling character we'd seen in the debut. Sadly Marvel Spotlight #28 was the only time Perlin ever drew his creation on a Marvel cover.

Covers by Ed Hannigan & Al Milgrom

In 1977 the Moon Knight returns yet again, this time featured alongside other offbeat heroes in four very bizarre issues of The Defenders.

Keith Giffen's rendition of the Moon Knight in this issue begins to cleave away a bit from Perlin's original, but still is slick and attractive.

Covers by Dave Cockrum & Keith Pollard

Another year passes, then in 1978 Moon Knight joins up with Spidey in the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man to quell the threat of Cyclone.

But more importantly Moon Knight gets his own ongoing feature, albeit in the back pages of Hulk magazine. This time he gets drawn by Gene Colan, and the Knight we knew is well on his way out.

Cover by George Perez & Joe Sinnott

The following year in 1979 the Thing crosses paths with the Knight, giving him some vital cover exposure. His was still all but a stealth project in the Hulk book.

And then with the appearance in 1980 of Marvel Preview the new and not-necessarily improved Moon Knight gets a cover by Bob Larkin.

It features the new simpler design created by Bill Sienkiewicz, the artist most associated with the character by most fans, and the artist who would draw the character when he finally got his own ongoing self-titled comic in late 1980. It's an effective and dramatic design, but I miss the old styling with the stronger contrast between silver and black.

But for me the prime artist for Moon Knight will always be Don Perlin.

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