03rd Jun2020

‘The Avengers #33’ Review (Marvel Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Jason Aaron | Art by Javier Garron | Published by Marvel Comics

Continuing my trawl of picking up books I haven’t checked in on in a long while, I have found myself with issue 33 of The Avengers. Couple of reasons I chose this. One, I’ve loved The Avengers for over 40 years now, having a near complete run from the late 1970’s to the late 1980’s, The Avengers heyday. Two, it both features Moon Knight, a character I’ve a lot of time for, and seems to be the beginning of a major storyline revolving around Moon Knight, The Age of Khonshu. Looks promising. One quick observation though. Like at least a few other readers I’m guessing, I’ve been out of the loop on this book, so have no idea on current members, recent events etc. It would have been helpful to give a decent text piece at the beginning to get new readers up to speed. Marvel used to do this, but no longer does.

As you would expect with a Jason Aaron script, the book grabs you hard in the first 2 pages. Moon Knight, or Fist of Khonshu as he seems to now want to be called, has lured Iron Fist to K’un-Lun. Looking for a team up against the bad guys, asks Danny innocently. Nope. He’s here for the Iron Fist, literally, the ability not the man. We get a pitched martial arts fight that is as brutal as you would expect, and a little supernatural Moon power sees Moon Knight win out, stealing the power. What is going on here? Next up Dr Strange is attacked at home by a horde of mummies and, again, Moon Knight, albeit looking a lot different. He uses the power of the Iron Fist to take down Strange. One quick pit stop to steal Ghost Rider’s car, then it’s off to Wakanda. Can even the Panther stop him?

Actually, no, and the Panther doesn’t even try. He doesn’t want to risk Wakanda’s destruction against Khonshu’s undead army, and also confuses Moon Knight when the ankh doesn’t suck out his power because it’s actually in T’Challa’s blood. Next up, Thor, who’s spotted Moon Knight on the Moon. Surely Thor is a whole power level above him? Well, yes and no. Moon Knight reveals to Thor that Mjolnir is actually composed of ancient moon rock, and as such he can control it. So Thor is partly taken down by his own hammer. I say partly, because the whole load of alien moons also thrown on him to crush him may have played a small part as well.

So, just what the hell is going on? Moon Knight has had many issues in the past with mental illness, and the strain of being an actual god’s chosen champion. Usually not a very loving god either. Aaron hints a little at the multiple personality aspect, when at the end Moon Knight acknowledges that Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and Jake Lockley all acknowledge the role they have played this day, all the same man. So why has Moon Knight been taking out friends? Has he gone bad? Usually things are not quite so black and white, and this is the same this time round. Moon Knight has been amassing power. The Iron Fist, Dr Strange’s orb, Thor’s Hammer, Ghost Rider’s car etc. Why so? It seems Khonshu has tasked him with saving the world, and he’s going to go through everyone he has to to do it. Talk about tough love.

This certainly got off to a great start, and as an intro issue to a new storyline certainly had me intrigued. Jason Aaron always writes big and brash and the story comes off that way, giving it a big widescreen epic feel. I enjoyed the story, but did a couple of times think this more a Moon Knight mini-series book than an issue of The Avengers as they were essentially cannon fodder for Khonshu. Things may develop in later issue though. The art was excellent throughout, Garron making it look sleek and clean even though there was a lot to pack in to each panel and each page. Nice work all round.

It’s Moon Knight Jim, but not as we know it.

**** 4/5

The Avengers #33 is out now from Marvel Comics.


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