Monday, May 23, 2011

In which I confess my cultural ignorance, and Moon Knight isn't helping.

OK, tell me I'm not the only one that thought Bluebeard was a pirate. Like Blackbeard's cousin or something. In actuality, it's a French fairy tale about a murderous nobleman, a houseful of locked doors, and a wife that pokes her nose where it doesn't belong. It's also been the subject of an opera, Bluebeard's Castle by Bela Bartók. Perhaps less famously, Bluebeard was also the subject of an issue of Fist of Khonshu: Moon Knight, #4, "Bluebeard's Castle" Story by Alan Zelenetz, breakdowns by Chris Warner and Larry Hama, and finishes by Danny Bulinadi.

In my defense, he does look pretty pirate-y there. Bluebeard drags another 'bride' into his dungeon-basement, chaining her up after somehow subduing her with his keys. He only needs one more for a full set, apparently, that he will then kill.

At the apartment of the most recently kidnapped woman, long-suffering supporting character Lt. Flint chases a reporter out of the crime scene before Moon Knight shows up. Stuck in his investigation, Flint tries to call in a favor, but MK cops out. After pulling a patented Batman/Commissioner Gordon exit, Spector admits to himself that he's in a weird place in his life: he currently has super-strength that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon, every so often he gets weird messages from the priests of Khonshu, and he's pining for his ex, Marlene.

Unluckily for Spector, Bluebeard's next 'bride' is an old friend of his, a publisher of a New York tabloid. The priests of Khonshu put Moon Knight on the case, and Spector laments having to always learn things the hard way.
Total EC Comics vibe, there.

Since this is a comic book, though; it's not weird enough for Bluebeard to just be kidnapping women or being Bluebeard: his keys are actually a neuron-ray, which is a gimmicky twist that would've been too much for the old Batman TV show. Without that bit, this would've been an overall OK issue. Actually, that could apply to all six issues of this incarnation of Moon Knight: the Khonshu stuff and the gritty crime drama never gelled together. And I hate the altered costume: he should have gloves, but doesn't, except it might just be a coloring error...repeated many times.

To wrap this one up, expand your horizons just a smidge, and check out part of Bluebeard's Castle, the opera, after the break!

What do I know about opera? Just about nothing, so I couldn't tell you if this was good, bad, or other.

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