Marvel's Moon Knight Is Cancelled With Issue #12

Seems like Moon Knight was just too much man for one comic book series… Or given the character’s multiple personality disorder, maybe too many men, as series writer Brian Michael Bendis announced on his message board yesterday that the Marvel comic will end with issue twelve:

“I look at it as a 12 issue maxi series that kicked incredible ass,” said Bendis. “Which was what me and Alex [Maleev] were hired to do. I do wish it sold better, and I do wish it was continuing with another team. But I wish that about every comic on Earth. I am grateful we got to do our entire 12 issues… When you get to 12 you'll see we got to tell our entire story uninterrupted which is very nice. And for you guys that supported it you'll have a nice whole thing. As for me and Alex, back to Scarlet!”

For those of you who haven’t been reading the book (and given Bendis’ comments, that seems to be quite a lot of you), the series had a new take on the Fist of Khonshu, with Marc Spector taking residence in Los Angeles as the producer of a TV show about his adventures, while at night battling evil as Moon Knight. The added wrinkle was that Spector harnessed his multiple personality disorder to create the personalities of Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine… Making Moon Knight a team book in all but name.

Over the course of the series, Moon Knight found a leftover Ultron robot head (which started the lead-up to Bendis’ upcoming Ultron War/Age of Ultron storyline), dated deaf superheroine Echo, and found out that olde timey villain Count Nefaria was the new kingpin of Los Angeles.

The series, which was the fifth volume of Moon Knight published by Marvel, started with high hopes as the title was the reteaming of Bendis and Maleev, who revamped Daredevil for a new generation. And despite the pedigree, generally good reviews, and a tie-in with fellow series Secret Avengers (where Moon Knight also appeared), it seems there just isn’t market for Moon Knight comics right now: at twelve issues, this is the shortest run on Moon Knight since volume 2, which was retitled "The Fist of Khonshu” and only ran six issues.

That said, Moon Knight has always been a cult character, at best… Both the original series, and the series that ran right before the Bendis/Maleev run (“Venegance of the Moon Knight”) didn’t even break forty issues, while the longest run on the character was the third volume, which ran sixty issues from 1989 to 1994. Compare that to say, Alpha Flight, another cult title, which ran 130 issues and two annuals the first time out, and you get the idea: this was an uphill battle.

As for where the character will appear next? Not Secret Avengers, as that team also gets revamped sans Spector this month… Though given the Ultron storyline running through what we can now call a maxi-series, we imagine he’ll end up tying into Bendis’ upcoming plans for the Marvel Universe, whatever those may be. And for the team, as the writer says, they’ll still be collaborating on their anarchic Icon series Scarlet.

Moon Knight #12 hits comic book stands in April.

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