Khonshu has collected the Spirit of Vengeance, the Power of Thor, the title of Sorcerer Supreme and the Iron Fist, but to complete the set, he needs the Starbrand. The remaining Avengers try desperately to stop Khonshu and Moon Knight from usurping the Avengers’ powers and potentially leaving Earth defenseless against Mephisto. Will Moon Knight see reason? Only time will tell. Minor spoilers for Avengers #36 ahead.
Avengers #36 begins with Moon Knight and Black Panther locked in combat despite agreeing not to fight at the end of Avengers #33. This is of course due to Khonshu’s tampering, making Black Panther appear to be Mephisto in Moon Knight’s eyes. The Fist of Khonshu is strong in the night, but is he a match for the King of Wakanda?
Meanwhile, Captain Marvel and Iron Man attempt to escort the child with the Starbrand power away from Earth only to be intercepted by Khonshu himself wielding the Hellfire Chain.
Jason Aaron throughout this whole event has been incredibly fun and action-packed. I cannot deny how entertaining it is to see Moon Knight go toe-to-toe with the Avengers throughout these last few issues. However, it was about time that he confronted Moon Knight’s twisted psyche and made him question his faith in Khonshu. Khonshu has always been malicious towards his Fist, yet Moon Knight almost always seems to justify the Moon god’s actions. However his confrontation with a certain omnipotent being in this issue forces him to face the truth, that Khonshu is acting selfishly and only desires power, particularly power over the Avengers. He knows what Khonshu is doing might be unnecessary and believes he deserves repentance for his sins. This repentance of course comes in the form of Black Panther beating him senseless.
Speaking of which, the actual fight between Moon Knight and Black Panther is easily my favorite in The Age of Khonshu so far. The conflicting ideologies, the compassion T’Challa shows towards Moon Knight and the heavy blows the two deliver against each other are displayed brilliantly in Javier Garron and Jason Keith’s art. It would appear that the two are an even match, but even with the Moon amplifying Moon Knights’ powers, it still seems like Black Panther is going easy on him. The final panel, with Moon Knight accepting his responsibility and choosing to face Khonshu is spectacular, but I cannot wait to see how the final reveal will be used in the next issue.
Avengers #36 is the issue I was the most excited for. The fight between Black Panther and Moon Knight was just as great as I had hoped it would be. I am not fully sold on the rest of the Avengers’ involvement in the story, but I am interested to see how they react to Moon Knight’s new appearance in Avengers #37.