In my last post, I asked the question “What is obscure?” and I think that Moon Knight qualifies as obscure. He’s known, but in my opinion, he’s not as well known as, say, Luke Cage. Yeah Moon Knight. I just said you aren’t as popular as Luke Cage. What are you going to do about it?
In this issue of Moon Knight, our hero faces off with a gang of street thugs known as The Studs. You see, The Studs are the laughing stock of the world of gangs. But, they’re going to show everyone: they’re gonna get enough money to throw a dance with a live band, and then no one will laugh as The Studs walk by. Of course, they are going to extort money from the business owners on Dough Row.
However, Dough Row, situated in what i assumed to be the Bronx, isn’t filled with as much dough as it used to be. The businesses are on the verge of Bankruptcy and the pickings are slim. The business that is thriving: A pawn shop owned by a man of Jewish descent. At this time all we learn about the Pawnbroker is that he is Jewish, and he recognizes Lenny, a high ranking member of the gang.
The Studs’ attempt at getting money from the Pawnbroker when Moon Knight shows up. Seems like he was tipped off by some kids that there was going to be trouble. He comes in and kicks ass. The whole gang runs, leaving Lenny at Moon Knight’s mercy. Moon Knight tries to convince Lenny not to stay on with the gang, but Lenny refuses, as its the only way he can get money. Moon Knight lets Lenny go, but not before Lenny drops the Pawnbroker’s name: Lewis.
Moon Knight returns to the neighborhood and finds the merchants arming themselves with axe handles from the hardware store. He discourages the merchants’ course of action, but Lewis defies Moon Knight, pointing out the flaw in Moon Knight’s plan.
Moon Knight: Police take a dim view of vigilantes…
Lewis: Do you not take the law into your own hands… telling us to sit still and be polite little victims.
Moon Knight: “That’s different – I…uh…I know what I’m DOING.”
With Moon Knight’s debating skills questionable at best, he resorts to saying that they’ll all have to go through him first. For a moment, I imagined all these middle-aged and older men beating the holy Hell out of Moon Knight, but they eventually stood down.
We follow Lenny home where his mom is playing a music box that she bought when Lenny was a child. We see where this is going and he snatches the thing while she sleeps. You see, The Studs were planning to go back to the Pawn Shop and break in, but Lenny wants to do things the right way: he tries to pawn the music box.
Lewis refuses to take it, telling Lenny that he doesn’t want to buy people’s dreams with just a few cheap dollars anymore. He’s tired of being responsible for changing dreams into trash for money. This is when Lenny reveals that Lewis might have been his father.
What? The sentance reads in a funny way. Was Lewis Lenny’s father, or was he just old enough to be Lenny’s father? These are the questions of our time.
Lewis eventually relents, allowing Lenny to pawn the music box. When Lenny returns home, his mother is in tears. Someone stole the music box and she’s very upset. Lenny says he knows who did it, and that he’s going to get it back. The story ends with Lenny walking to the pawn shop, the scene dran with a view of Lenny’s leather jacket that has a skull on it and the words Savage Studs.
Overall, this was a much better comic than I imagined it would be. 80’s silliness aside (A gang that wants to throw a dance? Is this Breakin’?), it created several compelling little scenes. Inner city turmoil, what makes a super-hero vigilante better than some Joe on the street vigilante, and a swerve ending all work together to make something that was actually a pleasure to read.
Oh yes. And Moon Knight never fights with a spirit that was locked inside of a music box.