REVIEW: Marvel’s Moon Knight #12

Marvel's Moon Knight is a man on a mission, commanded by the ancient Egyptian God of the moon, Khonshu, to protect the mortal world from nightly terrors. Despite the darkness swirling in his mind, Marc Spector has moved away from cutting faces off and murdering people to find more composed and creative solutions to his problems. With the latest Moon Knight series from Disney+ introducing the character to new fans, the ongoing comic series tests Marc's commitment to his newfound ideals as the villainous Zodiac looks to destroy everything and everyone the vigilante has touched.. Written by Jed MacKay with artwork from Alessandro Cappuccio and Rachelle Rosenberg and lettering by VC's Cory Petit, Moon Knight #12 is the highly anticipated finale to the Zodiac arc.

In the previous issue, Zodiac abducted Moon Knight's Avengers-appointed therapist, Dr. Andrea Sterman, and used the distraction to launch an assault on Midnight Mission, Marc's base of operations. Running out of time, Marc calls upon Khonshu for help, who warns that his assistance always comes at a price. Moon Knight #12 opens with Tigra and Moon Knight running through the plane where Marc's predecessors rest in peace. Woken from their slumber, the mummified Moon Knights pursue the Marc and Tigra like feral beasts. But Zodiac has something even more dastardly in store for the hero.

Jed MacKay has been turning his titular hero into a symbol that protects the innocent and the weak from all manner of predatory creatures. But Moon Knight is aware of his true nature and wants to atone for his past mistakes. Even though his recent brand of justice earns him a few friends, it does not sit well with others who want to return Moon Knight to his "glorious" past. Moon Knight #12 starts with Zodiac making good on his ultimatum, setting Marc on a dark road of untethered violence. With the narrative jumping from one action sequence to another, every character gets a role to play in this chaotic finale. But somehow, in all the chaos, the story seems to maintain a cohesive rhythm, balancing aggression and sentimentality well.

Cappuccio's artwork can display the characters in dynamic action and douse the book in a mystical aura whenever the need arises. He uses a plethora of hatching lines and shadowy inking on the backdrop to create an undoubtedly dramatic setting. Cappuccio uses the framing of the panels to great effect, using Dutch tilts and low-angle shots to emphasize the intensity and velocity with which the characters move. Meanwhile, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg cooks up a storm using bright, fiery colors amid the darkening scenery, creating a sharp contrast. As usual, Moon Knight looks shiny in his white vestments as the background changes color depending on the mood.

Moving at a breakneck speed, Moon Knight #12 is end-to-end action that brings the curtain down on an intriguing arc with the same amount of ardor as at the beginning of the series. While Greer and Marc's relationship throughout the series has been surprisingly healthy, this issue is the first time that Marc extends a warm hand to Reese to soothe her in her time of need. Despite the sharp dialogues and dynamic art, the main villain problem persists. Zodiac is a one-dimensional supervillain whose antics are cliched and add nothing substantial to the character growth of Moon Knight. That said, Moon Knight #12 ends with the anticipated return of one persona that rights the wrongs perpetrated in both literal and metaphorical senses.