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Moon Knight: City of the Dead #4 Review

4 min read
There's a satisfying element to all of it as it unfolds with sharp writing, good narration, and strong artwork to keep it all cohesive.

“An Unquiet Grave”

Creative Staff:
Story: David Pepose
Art: Marcel Ferreira, Jay Leisten
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

What They Say:
Nothing is more feared in the City of the Dead than the ancient crocodile goddess known as AMMUT THE DEVOURER. Unfortunately for Marc Spector, he is currently being digested inside Ammut’s belly, memory by memory. Can Moon Knight survive the weight of his own horrific past, or will the JACKAL KNIGHT rule triumphant across the realms of both the living and the dead? All hope may be lost… That is unless the SCARLET SCARAB has anything to say about it!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Moon Knight has been a favorite of mine for far too many decades, though I’m a lapsed reader to be sure and the continuity is as fun as it is when it comes to Marvel. The draw of this series that brought me back was to see what David Pepose would do as I’ve enjoyed some of his work at other publishers the last couple of years and he doesn’t disappoint here. It also doesn’t hurt that the incredibly talented Marcel Ferreira is working with Jay Leisten and Rachelle Rosenberg to bring it to life. The art team does a fantastic job throughout in showing the power and action when it comes to Moon Knight but Rosenberg elevates the whole thing once they pass through to the other side as the color design enhances everything in a distinct and perfect way that has me wanting to spend a lot of time outdoors in this place.

As we get into the fourth installment we get a lot of action elements on the move but also a lot of repetition in the big picture sense. Marc’s caught up in the Ammut side of things but so much of it is just filled with the constant self-flagelation over his past. It’s trademark Marc at this point but it’s exhausting as he blames himself for everything and all the deaths, which are revisited in different ways. This is sometimes the problem with characters stuck in a particular place and unable to move forward because everything we get here it feels like we’ve seen so many times in the past decade. That it’s at the core of who Marc is isn’t a surprise, but it’s a well that’s gone too way too often. It works well enough so I understand it and allowing Marc to find a way past it through one particular person in the afterlife that forgives him, and reminds him of what he’s accomplished, is worthwhile. But as a whole, it’s just a tangent that I find exhausting, even for the grim fist of vengeance.

Thankfully, we get some fun action on the flip side of things with Layla doing her best to get Khalil to the gates of Osiris so they can save his life on the other side. That he’s the vessel through which Osiris will reconstitute himself is an interesting twist to things and how it factors into how this city operates but it also means that his existence means he’s a huge target. Layla fending off the group that Randall had put together makes for a solid couple of sequences while carrying the limp body of the kid and even getting help from some pretty powerful entities goes on so far with what’s at stake here overall. Randall getting some form of success here is about as expected and it certainly lets him revel in it, which is executed well even and especially because I hate the character, but knowing that Marc’s going to come at him from the other side of his own event adds a certain predictability to all of it.

In Summary:
My frustrations aside with an all-too-common aspect of modern comics when it comes to the repeated history of the character being explored, this is a pretty solid issue. The action is good, the narrative holds everything together well with a cohesive flow to it, and it sets up for what’s to come with the scale of what’s happening. The gang that Randall has put together isn’t the greatest but they don’t get a lot of time here either as it feels like a group thing and threat more than anything else. Layla makes out well with some time highlighting her journey through this and that helps and you definitely feel for Khalil. The artwork continues to be great and it’s a fun title overall even with what frustrates me.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 11th, 2023
MSRP: $3.99

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