Robot 6

Ellis and Shalvey address their departures from ‘Moon Knight’

moon knight4Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey have commented on Wednesday’s announcement that they’ll leave Marvel’s Moon Knight after August’s Issue 6, with the artist revealing he’s taking a break from monthly comics.

Part of the publisher’s All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, Moon Knight debuted solidly in March, landing in Diamond’s Top 20 and earning praise for both the characterization by Ellis and the art by Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire (she’ll remain on the series).

“Issue 1 went to three printings, and 2 and 3 went to two printings, and so I consider that a job reasonably well done,” Ellis wrote in his email newsletter. “The job has been, simply, reactivating Moon Knight as a productive property for the Marvel IP library. And, in personal terms, producing six single stories that held together, because I thought it would be amusing to provide a book that could be entered at any point and still give the reader a complete experience. Which goes against the grain a bit, because the modern commercial-comics reader has been very much entrained to expect long arcs rather than singles. I’m sure there are plenty of complaints out there about the lack of character arcs or long stories. But the book is still getting bought and reordered. So I guess we found an audience after all.”

On his blog, Shalvey said the departure of Ellis left him with the choice of working with another writer or making way for a new creative team. “No matter who took over as the writer, if I stayed on the collaboration just wouldn’t be the same,” he wrote, “and there would be a change in the work as a result, which would probably be unfairly blamed on the writer. I felt it would be better to step aside with Warren, leaving on a high note, making our run ‘Moon Knight Season One’ and let a new team do their own thing right from the first issue of the new arc.”

Shalvey said he’ll use the opportunity to take a breather from the monthly grind. “I’ve been busting my arse non-stop for the past 4 years at Marvel, as well as short stints at DC, Dark Horse, etc. I’m taking a holiday, doing some short stories (including a Murder Book story with Ed Brisson) I’ve long promised to folk, some cover work and after that, we’ll see,” he wrote. “I had something planned, but it looks like that won’t happen for a while. In any case, I’m just gonna take a little break from monthly mainstream comics and work on something of my own.”

Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood will begin their run on Moon Knight with September’s Issue 7. Moon Knight #4, by Ellis, Shalvey and Bellaire, is in stores now.



Simon DelMonte

June 6, 2014 at 7:08 am

So this means that Trees is the “something of my own?” Or is that going to have massive delays? Because if it’s the latter, it’s further incentive to wait for the trade.

Shalvey isn’t the artist on “Trees”.

Simon, it was Shalvey who said that, not Ellis.

Simon DelMonte

June 6, 2014 at 8:06 am

Never mind that.

I smell cancellation

Ellis did a great job with Moon Knight. That’s why I’m disappointed to see him leave. I’d rather see him do a year or two on it. He definitely successfully rebooted the franchise in a way Bendis was unable to do. The character is viable. All another writer has to do is keep him on this model and things will go well. I don’t want to read about a guy who is completely crazy. A guy who WAS crazy but who has pulled his $%*% together and has hints of madness, and access to some supernatural resources (in the form of occasional divine guidance, etc from Khonshu) plus Batman esque skill set? Yes please.

I’m worried Wood will shy away from the supernatural stuff.

My question is simply: Why did he leave the book? Yes, he brought the character back and did a great job with it (though I’d still like to see the Lockley and Grant personas return at some point, but that’s me being old-school) but why can he not stay on for a while? I genuinely don’t mean this as sarcasm, but is he such a brilliant mind that he has a low boredom threshold?

Good luck to the next writer of the book. I hope that I will enjoy it as much as I did the Ellis run.

I knew better than to invest in this character again.

Is anyone actually going to stick with this book once Ellis leaves? Wood’s X-Men was the most disappointing book of 2013 so I won’t be buying his Moon Knight.

Instant drop after issue #6. Best book marvel was publishing by a mile. Ellis bucked the need to do stretched, padded, embarrassing six-issue arcs that don’t ever hold up in trade (because you can see the hacky teams stalling) and gave readers smart, concise, shots of entertainment and a fresh take on the character that could be picked up, read, and re-read in any order really. Great series that celebrated everything the medium is supposed to be. If you’re reading about men in costumes and taking it seriously, like these hilarious six-issue arcs try to make you do, you’re wasting life. This is children’s entertainment. I wish these writers would understand that.

Anywho, the new team will be cancelled within a year. This is like when Brubaker left Winter Soldier. His personal stamp was so indelible to the character that the hacks that took over for him when he left sunk it in, what, six issues? Same thing will happen here. This is bad news indeed. First marvel book I’ve read in years.

Brian Wood deserves the chance to work on it. You have no idea yet if it is good or bad. Maybe try it when it comes out instead of being a bitch about a book not even out yet. So X-Men was bad? Guess what? A lot that he has done has been really good and this could be too.

I leave with Ellis. Wood can’t write a character to match established characterization with a gun to his head so I won’t be missing anything!

Beware Of Geek

June 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm

As I’ve said elsewhere, this was Ellis cashing a paycheck with inventory scripts. I’m not surprised he’s leaving the book.

Which goes against the grain a bit, because the modern commercial-comics reader has been very much entrained to expect long arcs rather ”

Gee, I wonder why? It’s not because about ten years ago, there was a thunderous blowhard of a creator drowning everyone else out saying that was The Only Right Way to Do Things, was it? In fact, tons of creators followed suit?

Who was that guy? I can’t remember his name, it’s on the tip of my tongue….

people asking “why didn’t he do more issues?!” as though his utter fucking apathy for the comic isn’t BLEEDING out of every word in that statement

So now 6 issues is “Season 1″? That used to be called “A story”. How can 6 issues of decompressed comics be considered a respectable run these days? How will fans ever become invested in short timers like this?

@Dan Coyle: It is kind of funny that Warren Ellis has spent the last five or so years overturning industry trends that he helped start. Sustained story arcs became the fashion while his career was taking off, driven by trade sales and novelistic ambitions that have both dried up a bit in the interim, so now Ellis plays the iconoclast with one-issue procedural plots that still make sense when you read them out of order. He coined “widescreen comics” but then retaliated against his own influence by treating the nine-grid as a high concept. Coherent “seasons” come into vogue, so he starts abandoning stories halfway through.

But then it’s not such a bad thing that he reacts to trends a little faster than the industry at large. That contrarianism keeps the cycle churning, but I could do without some of the self-congratulatory pronouncements. On that count, though, Ellis is more concise and less obnoxious than some of the other big names in his generation. I guess it was a thing.

Actually Scott in this age of decompression 6 issues wouldn’t even equal 1 issue of Chris Claremont’s classic run on Uncanny X-Men. Not the stuff he did when he returned to the titles years later but his original run. Even those 1 issue stories had a lot more crammed into it than most trades tpb’s these days.

Hmmm, Self-contained single issue stories, referring to the first six issues as Season One…sounds like Marvel hired him to revitalize the IP for Netflix – Phase 2, maybe? MK would definitely fit with the street-level vibe Marvel and Netflix are pursuing.

Ellis’s statement is so terribly cynical… “The job has been, simply, reactivating Moon Knight as a productive property for the Marvel IP library.” We should all keep this in mind.

Outstanding story there. What happened after?

Take care!

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