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Marvel Comics Reading Recommendations

10 Moon Knight Stories You Should Read

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After dying in an Egyptian tomb, mercenary Marc Spector was reborn to serve the moon god Khonshu. As Moon Knight, he protects those who travel at night, fighting horrors man-made and supernatural. At his disposal is an array of high-tech gadgets, a dedicated supporting cast, and different personas brought on by Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s through these unique ingredients the Moon Knight comic has told stories that range from street-level heroics to the unusual.

Looking to start reading Moon Knight after seeing his adventures in the MCU? Below are ten of the best comic book stories to read. This list includes a nice mix of hard-hitting street-level action, surreal character explorations, and supernatural heroics that should scratch your reading itch.

Happy reading!

Werewolf by Night #32 cover by Gil Kane and Al Milgrom.
Werewolf by Night #32 cover by Gil Kane and Al Milgrom.

The Stalker Called Moon Knight

Written by Doug Moench. Art by Don Perlin and Howie Perlin.

Before Moon Knight had his own comic book series, he appeared in a title called ‘Werewolf By Night’ in 1975. In it, he’s paid by a group of shady businessmen to capture the werewolf so that they can use it for their own personal gain.

Beyond the fact that it’s his first appearance, this story is an interesting curiosity in what character elements are and are not present from the beginning. His costume and weapons align with how fans perceive him, but the more supernatural elements are not established yet. In addition to that, Moon Knight is positioned more as a villain, with the added shades of grey that come with being a hired mercenary.

While not a definitive Moon Knight story, it’s an interesting curiosity in how the character started and his potential for future tales.

Single Issues: Werewolf by Night #32-33
Collected Edition: ‘Marvel-Verse: Moon Knight’ or ‘Moon Knight Epic Collection: Bad Moon Rising’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 1’
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BONUS PICK: Plot elements from this story were followed up in Moon Knight (1980 series) #4 – which also retroactively included story details to the above story to align with the one below.

Moon Knight (1980 series) #1 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.
Moon Knight (1980 series) #1 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.

The Macabre Moon Knight

Written by Doug Moench. Art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Moon Knight would appear sporadically after his first appearance in various Marvel titles before settling into his own title in 1980. The first half of this tale looks back at how Marc Spector became Moon Knight. In the other half, set in present-day New York City, the hero takes on a villain intrinsically tied to his past.

This story introduces many concepts that are firmly established with Moon Knight. Most notably are his multiple personas. While future comics will establish this as Multiple Personality Disorder, or the more physiologically correct Dissociative Identity Disorder, this tale positions our hero as a man of many faces. This is interesting as heroes usually don’t incorporate their non-hero identities into their mission to the same extent.

This is a good place to start if you’re looking for a jumping-on point. Thanks to the deep-dive into Moon Knight’s and the setting up of many concepts, you don’t need to have read any previous appearances.

Single Issues: Moon Knight (1980 series) #1
Collected Edition: ‘Moon Knight Epic Collection: Bad Moon Rising’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 1’
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Power Man and Iron Fist #87 cover by Denys Cowan.
Power Man and Iron Fist #87 cover by Denys Cowan.

Heatwave

Written by Denny O’Neil. Art by Denys Cowan.

This story begins with Moon Knight in hot pursuit of a criminal in the middle of a New York City heatwave. However, through some unfortunate events, he finds himself injured and trapped in a disused water tower as the harsh sun beams down on him. Luke Cage and Iron Fist have been hired to find him before it’s too late.

Moon Knight is only a guest in this issue, but he’s definitely the highlight. O’Neil and Cowan nail the desperation and despair as the injured hero tries everything possible to escape. As a reader, you almost give up hope of him getting out as you follow along with the inner dialogue, which is coupled with intimate panelling that focuses on the hopelessness on his face.

If that all sounds too dire, don’t worry. The Luke Cage and Iron Fist parts are a lot of fun and help balance out the issue well. 

Single Issues: Power Man and Iron Fist #87
Collected Edition: ‘Power Man and Iron Fist Epic Collection: Revenge’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 1’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 2’
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Moon Knight (1980 series) #7 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.
Moon Knight (1980 series) #7 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.

The Moon Kings/Night of the Wolves

Written by Doug Moench. Art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

While Moon Knight’s origin and first appearance contained supernatural elements, the early issues of his first solo series were grounded in street-level action. However, with this two-parter, Moench and Sienkiewicz strike a balance between that action and something more surreal.

After receiving a tip-off, Moon Knight heads to Chicago, where the city’s water supply has been spiked by domestic terrorists. It has driven the citizens mad, with our hero needing to find a way to stop the chaos.

While it’s a great premise with high stakes, this tale shines through the inclusion of surreal and fantastical elements. These are present in extended hallucination scenes, where readers are shown what Moon Knight perceives and what’s actually happening side-by-side. It ramps up the tension, as the reader knows the real danger amongst the mayhem in the city.

Single Issues: Moon Knight (1980 series) #7-8
Collected Edition: ‘Moon Knight Epic Collection: Shadows of the Moon’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 1’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 2’
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Moon Knight (1980 series) #23 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.
Moon Knight (1980 series) #23 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz.

The Dream Demon/Perchance to Scream

Written by Doug Moench. Art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

This two-parter takes the street-level action and the supernatural elements of previous stories and brings it into survival-horror territory. The dream demon Morpheus has returned*, more powerful than ever and looking to take revenge on Moon Knight. The result is a horror-induced action-tragedy that’s the high-point of the original run. 

The whole thing is elevated by Bill Sienkiewicz’s art. Earlier issues show brief flashes of his unique flair, while it slowly evolved with each story. However, in Perchance to Scream, readers finally see it all come together for the first time. It’s a visual feast with loose line work, hatching, ink splatters, halftone patterns, and slanted panels. All of it in combination elevates the nightmarish horror in twisted and eerie ways. 

*Morpheus originally appeared in Moon Knight (1980 series) #12. Don’t worry if you haven’t read it. There’s enough exposition in this story for you to get up to speed.

Single Issues: Moon Knight (1980 series) #22-23
Collected Edition: ‘Moon Knight Epic Collection: Shadows of the Moon’ or ‘Moon Knight Omnibus Volume 2’
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Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1 cover by Leinil Francis Yu.
Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1 cover by Leinil Francis Yu.

Shock and Awe

Written by Gregg Hurwitz. Art by Jerome Opena.

In 2006, crime novelist Charlie Huston and artist David Finch did their version of Moon Knight. It was a regressive take on the character, excessively violent, and didn’t have much to say. (As a result, it’s not on this list)

When it came to kicking off a new Moon Knight series in 2009, the character needed a characterisation restoration. As a result, Shock and Awe see the pendulum swing the other way. In it, Moon Knight is actively trying to rise above what happened before and be a hero. Although, it won’t be easy when internal and external forces test Moon Knight’s determination to do better.

This interpretation of Moon Knight still has hard-hitting action but through non-lethal methods. These look great thanks to Jerome Opena’s dynamic art. His composition makes the action exciting and is visually stunning due to a great sense of depth in his characters and environments.

Don’t worry too much about continuity. While this story plays into some contemporary continuity, it’s written in a way where there is enough exposition to get you up to speed.

Single Issues: Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1-6
Collected Edition: Vengeance of the Moon Knight Volume 1: Shock and Awe
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Moon Knight (2014 series) #1 cover by Declan Shalvey.
Moon Knight (2014 series) #1 cover by Declan Shalvey.

Slasher

Written by Warren Ellis. Art by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire.

Before digging into this selection, it’s worth noting that writer Warren Ellis has been accused of misconduct and emotionally abusive behaviour. I should also say that this story recommendation is not a recommendation of the man and his actions. In the end, it has been included as Ellis’ collaborators deserve recognition too. (I highly recommend reading the statement in the link as to what those who have spoken out aim to achieve.)

More than previous tales before it, Slasher is presented as a hard-hitting procedural. In it, Moon Knight must track down a murderer who has been targeting men at night. Shalvey and Bellaire do a great job presenting this corner of New York City as a grimy and dangerous place through textured strokes and a muted colour palette. It’s uninviting and looks like the kind of place that a deranged killer would live.

This story also goes a long way to modernise the mental health elements of the character. Where lesser stories would position him as “crazy”, here it goes down a more physiological route and diagnoses him with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

Single Issues: Moon Knight (2014 series) #1
Collected Edition: Moon Knight Volume 1: From The Dead
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Moon Knight (2016 series) #1 cover by Greg Smallwood.
Moon Knight (2016 series) #1 cover by Greg Smallwood.

Welcome To New Egypt aka Lunatic

Written by Jeff Lemire. Art by Greg Smallwood, Wilfredo Torres, Francesco Francavilla, and James Stokoe.

Marc Spector and his friends wake up in a mental institute, not knowing how they got there. Soon after, more fantastical elements begin to bleed their way in, which will have them question if what they’re experiencing is even real. From there, they’ll go on a cosmic odyssey through Marc Spector’s mind.

This opening arc is visually striking, with primary artist Greg Smallwood crafting art that’s, at times, evocative of Bill Sienkiewicz. Pages are laid out cleanly, with movement and action flowing well into the next, while also contextually experimenting with different shapes for panels.

As the story progresses, Marc Spector’s other personas are introduced and drawn by other artists. Wilfredo Torres’ clean art reflects the perfect world of billionaire Steven Grant; Francesco Francavilla covers Jake Lockely with a pulp sensibility; and James Stokoe helps introduce a new aspect, with a detailed science fiction jam. 

Originally released as a traditional comic book, Marvel have recently repackaged it in the vertical scrolling format on Marvel Unlimited. It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of webtoons.

Single Issues: Moon Knight (2016 series) #1-5
Collected Edition: ‘Moon Knight Volume 1: Lunatic’ or ‘Moon Knight by Lemire and Smallwood Complete Collection’
Buy: eBay | Kindle Comics

BONUS PICK: If you enjoy this then you’ll want to continue reading this series with Moon Knight (2016 series) #6-9. These issues go deeper into Marc Spector’s different personas and bridge the gap with the next pick.

Moon Knight Volume 3: Birth and Death TPB cover by Greg Smallwood.
Moon Knight Volume 3: Birth and Death TPB cover by Greg Smallwood.

Birth and Death

Written by Jeff Lemire. Art by Greg Smallwood.

Building off the previous pick, Lemire and Smallwood conclude their cosmic odyssey through Marc Spector’s mind with Birth and Death. Throughout the surreal adventure, the comic gives readers a look at Marc Spector’s history with mental illness as a child up to the origin of Moon Knight.

By exploring his past, readers see how he confronted mental illness and how it influenced his decisions. They also work well to juxtapose his acceptance and willingness to confront his mental health head-on, albeit in a more fantastical and surreal manner.

Single Issues: Moon Knight (2016 series) #10-14
Collected Edition: Moon Knight Volume 3: Birth and Death or ‘Moon Knight by Lemire and Smallwood Complete Collection’
Buy: eBay | Kindle Comics

Moon Knight Volume 1: The Midnight Mission TPB cover by Steve McNiven.
Moon Knight Volume 1: The Midnight Mission TPB cover by Steve McNiven.

The Midnight Mission

Written by Jed MacKay. Art by Alessandro Cappuccio.

In this opening tale of the current comic book series, Moon Knight has rededicated himself to protecting those who travel at night. As part of this, he’s opened up what he calls The Midnight Mission, an agency where people can come to him when things go bump in the night. So far, he’s taken on vampire pyramid schemes, possessed senior citizens, and much more. 

This series also expands the supernatural law around Khonshu. While Moon Knight has always been the “Fist of Khonshu”, The Midnight Mission established that there is a second fist out there.

While Moon Knight is in a better place mentally, the series still finds a way to explore this side of him through therapy sessions. Instead of tackling his DID, it looks at other ideas like why he undergoes his mission and his relationship with Khonshu.

Single Issues: Moon Knight (2021 series) #1-6
Collected Edition: Moon Knight Volume 1: The Midnight Mission
Buy: eBay | Kindle Comics

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