Moon Knight vs. Thor in the Post-Spoiler Age

SPOILER WARNING: The following post spoils Moon Knight #1 at the very same time it’s pooh-poohing Moon Knight spoilers. Try not to overthink it. There may also be some mild spoiling of the Thor movie, but probably nothing you don’t already know. Everybody knows the bad guy turns out to be Rocket Racer, right? Or have I said too much?

This week, I actually got bitten by the spoiler snake a little bit. It was more of a nip than a fatal, fangs-deep mauling, but I felt it.

Generally speaking, I’ve made uneasy peace with the fact that we are in the post-spoiler age. I live on the internet in a way that would shame the Lawnmower Man. I work here, frankly, so I’m going to hear things. I’ve spent years in a world where the trailer bottle-feeds you the entire movie and comic book publishers put out press releases ruining the blessed plot twist before the blessed book is even available for blessed sale.

You can only tear at your hair and rend your garment over things like this so many times.

As much as you sincerely believe that staying spoiler-free enhances your enjoyment of the things you love, after you spend enough years running out of rooms with your fingers in your ears, going, “LALALA STOP TALKING I HAVE NOT WATCHED IT YET,” you have to take a long look at your wrinkled brow in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this principle of mine improving my quality of life, or is it making me a miserable porcupine of a human being?” If you’re not careful, the amount of joy you’ve preserved by not knowing whodunit will be more than outweighed by the energy you’ve expended building a fallout shelter around your head. Better in 2011 to stop worrying about What Happens and take in how it’s done.

This philosophy, which has kept all my marbles in my head since roughly season three of Lost, did me no damned good at all reading Moon Knight this week.

How great was Moon Knight, by the way? This had to have been my third attempt to read a Moon Knight book in the last five years, and this is the only one that made me see myself buying issue #3. The real beauty of this volume’s premise is that it practically comes with a built-in No Prize, because Moon Knight is the only definitely real person in the book. Why doesn’t anyone remember the Pride? Why doesn’t Spider-Man understand adamantium? Why does everyone’s costume look screwy? Because Moon Knight doesn’t know that stuff, and he’s talking to himself.

I just wish I hadn’t known that going in.

I don’t even remember where I heard it. I didn’t read much about the book in advance, because I didn’t have to. When I read “Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev,” I don’t need to read what the book is about; I’m already buying it. (I’m not a big “watch and rewatch the trailer for a movie I’m already sold on” kind of guy, at least not since The Effing Phantom Effing Menace. Don’t you wish someone had spoiled the hell out of that one for you, if only as a kind of psychic cushion?) Still, whatever three sentences I read about Moon Knight in advance were enough to take me out of the moment when the book found its way into my hand. During the opening pages, I immediately thought, “This is the TV version of his life,” and the second Moon Knight met with the Avengers I thought, “Well, none of those people are standing there.”

Did I enjoy the book anyway? Certainly, I did.

Would I have enjoyed it a lot more without having all the twists mapped out? This time, I think I would have.

(Will I take any opportunity I can to interview myself like Robert Evans? You bet your ass I will.)

A few days after reading Moon Knight, I joined the rest of America and went to see Thor as required by law. As movies go, I went into this one relatively unspoiled, but in hindsight I’m convinced you could have told me literally everything about it while we waited in line and I would have enjoyed it exactly as much (although I would have probably been more distracted and paranoid at that screening, having just murdered you in front of a whole line of people). Knowing there would be a Donald Blake reference and Volstagg was in it and that might have been the Eye of Agamotto or whatever-the-hell else would not have affected my night at the multiplex or the smile on my face one iota.

Even so… periodically throughout the film, I couldn’t help thinking, “Would the plot of this movie be blowing my mind right now if I’d come in with no idea who Loki was?” His manipulations are so subtle at first, the fact that he was a lying trickster instead of a loving brother would completely creep up on the right person. If that person exists anywhere on earth. Actually, he probably does exist, in Mrs. Carter’s third grade classroom. He had a great weekend, and more power to him.

Unfortunately, you can’t always tell when something’s going to be a Moon Knight and when it’s going to be a Thor. All you can do is muddle through and hope for the best. It’s not always easy to navigate the post-spoiler age. I’m sorry if I’m telling you something you didn’t already know; I know some people like to be surprised.

 


Jim Mroczkowski, during his zealously anti-spoiler days, once got into a physical altercation over a remote control while trying not to watch a preview. In twelve-stepper circles, this is what is known as “rock bottom.”

Comments

  1. I went to Thor with my fiancee this weekend, who knows very little about comics and far less about Norse mythology. I kept fighting the urge to lean over and whisper, “you know Loki’s the bad guy, right?” I managed to win this battle, and afterwards I asked her how soon into the movie she figured it out and she said something like “Um, almost immediately. He just looked like a stereotypical villain – dark, greasy, sinister.” So, I don’t know that there were any huge plot twists that an average person in the crowd didn’t see coming. (Although I did lose the battle on having the urge to explain to her during the movie why Hawkeye was relevant.)

  2. I’m pretty sure you heard the spoiler here. Cause when the book was first announced everybody called the twist and we discussed it for the day.

  3. Also, I hate to point out the obvious but:

    What else would you expect in the book with that cover? Kinda obvious.

  4. @TheNExtChampion – Good Point.

    @Jim – I completely agree about wishing you had not known it.  BMB tweeted “Read the book a second time and keep in mind what you learned at the end”, and I thought “I already knew all of that going in… you said it on Word Balloon”.

    I love Meleev, so I really liked the book.  I think, without having known the ending, I would have been blown away.

    Instead I got to the last page and said “Yep. As promised.”

    Still really good.  Hoping for a long consistent run from the team. 

  5. @TheNextChampion  From the cover i was expecting Moon Knight to be channeling the other heroes as fighting in the style of them, thinking tatically like them or outright talking like them, i was not expecting them to just be figments of his imagination that he uses to talk out problems.

  6. @RoiVampire Well that’s a good point and I can see that.

    However, Moon Knight is a character who has suffered from multiple personality disorder. Plus those personalities visually show themselves to Spector. Knowing that history I was able to figure the big twist and I’m sure others did too.

    Although I definitely see why people wouldn’t get it if they know nothing about the character.

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I was on the press call with Bendis when we first heard the details of this book and the guy still managed to bamboozle me. I guess I was expecting Cap, Wolverine and Spidey to influence him in the first issue and for the delusions to manifest later on. 

  8. The weird thing about is, wouldn’t their first appearance in the book have to be real in order for him to learn about the shipment?  I mean that’s a pretty big hole to be driving a plot through.  His imaginary Avenger friends tell him about the possible new kingpin of LA and the illegal shipment he has coming into port so he can go investigate it.  Unless I missed something in that issue it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as it is.  Maybe it will be explained later or is just a bad plot device.  Who knows…

  9. I actually did know absolutely nothing about Moon Knight (including the fact that he’s crazy) when I read that book. I did think Cap, Spidey, and Wolverine were all real (I had no reason not to) but thought they were all acting a bit off… and had no idea why those three were in L.A. I was actually a bit worried that this book might have come out a bit too early continuity-wise and had Steve back as Cap cause that clearly wasn’t Bucky. So I’m reading the story, enjoying it for the most part, and then I get to the end, and my reaction was “Oh, wait. Were those other heroes not really there? Were they not real? I guess they weren’t real. Was any of that real?” Based on the last page, I came to the conclusion, based on the last page, that Moon Knight was real and that he actually had an Ultron head, but other than that, I couldn’t trust anything I’d seen in the previous pages. And I’m not sure I liked that.

    Anyway, I guess my point was, the ending didn’t really blow me away, and I think I might have enjoyed the issue more had I known that Moon Knight was crazy/delusional going into that.

  10. He spoiled the entire thing on Word Balloon and then the cover and on here somehow.

    I thought it was all his imagination from the get go and I literally no nothing about Moon Knight. I have never read a solo moon knight story before in my life nor read any such wikis. He said even on WB that the first issue had to be ruined so people would buy it or whatever.

    I didn’t actively seek out much info about this book but the spoliyness was in the air and on the airwaves.

    It’s almost like Issue #1’s should be Issue #0 now because creators basically give the whole thing away before hand. 

  11. My bad PRELUDES. 

  12. @ResurrectionFan: I vouch for the ‘not trying to find spoilers’ part of you rant. All I did was read the announcement article on this site and a preview on CBR and I figured it out right away. Plus the cover is pretty much a dead give away, with the only thing you could try and fool is by saying Moon Knight is ‘mimicking’ the powers of those heroes. But that doesn’t make any sense because Moon Knight doesn’t have that ability.

    So Bendis, and Marvel to an extent, didn’t do a good job trying to not spoil it. But hey it’s the world we live in now. Other than Robert Kirkman I can’t think of any creator or company that can hide spoilers from the public. 

  13. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I’d say getting into a fist fight over the remote control because you’re trying to not watch a trailer on TV is a pretty good way to not watch said trailer. “I’ll just karate chop this guy’s throat and… Damn. Almost got the controller that time. Wait. Did Charlton Heston just say that Soylent Green is a steeple? What does that…? Whoops, here comes that guy’s fist. I’d better duck.”

  14. i don’t like the fact that spoilers are part of marketing nowadays. Its one of the biggest reasons why i don’t pre-order or go anywhere near Previews. It just kills the fun for me. 

    Moon Knight wasn’t that big of a deal for me…i kinda saw it coming, But FF Johnny Storm and BD Swamp Thing..mainstream media ruined those for me before i even got my books. There is just no fun in reading these stories for me if i already know whats going to happen.  

    Conversely i got The Walking Dead Compendium (50% off!) and i’m reading it fresh. Having only seen the show, the enjoyment in reading is in the surprises. I’m so glad i didn’t wikipedia the hell out of that series.

    So in summation. The era of the Spoiler is not my favorite thing.  

  15. @wallythegreenmonster what MSM outlets are you watching that talk about Swamp Thing?

  16. @jonnyflash –i think i saw it on the front page of Yahoo or another general news site like like that…might have been a news blog. I honestly don’t recall..i was just surprised and pissed at the same time, since i tried extra hard to avoid comic news on those days. 

  17. @PaulMontgomery  yeah thats what i thought was happening too. i remember bendis talking about cap and them showing up and moon knight feeding off of their personalities. what a trickster

  18. One of the oddest things about all this to me remains the Kirkman Spoiler Bubble. It is not his brilliant genius and careful interviewing style keeping his books unspoiled; his audience has risen up in unison and made some sort of social contract that talking about his plots publicly is off-limits. No one else enjoys this privilege. I don’t know what kind of voodoo talisman he has in his desk drawer, but God bless him.

  19. @Jimski –or the name of them thar crossroads that he made his deal at =)

  20. spoiler!!! if you read thunderbolts you know that hyde is on the raft not living in L.A so was the fight real?

  21. The real twist is one of his alternate personalities is actually the kingpin of LA. And all of his superheroing is just a delusion he’s trapped in so Marc can’t take back over.

    //haven’t actually read it yet, but seems plausible