Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, Moon Knight is essentially Marvel's answer to the question "What if Batman were somehow even more psychologically damaged?" That's not a bad premise, frankly, and the character has had some highly regarded writers and artists telling his stories over the years: Moench, Perlin, Bill Sienkiewicz, Chuck Dixon, J.M. DeMatteis, Kevin Nowlan, Brian Michael Bendis, and Mark Farmer, just to name a few.

Yet despite a history of talented creators, Moon Knight has never quite stuck; of the five attempts at a Moon Knight solo series, none have surpassed 60 issues, and the two most recent, launched in 2006 and 2011, only reached 30 and 12 issues, respectively.

But Marvel believes in the character. As such, this morning the publisher announced Moon Knight #1, from acclaimed writer Warren Ellis and artists Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, to launch next year.

In an interview with Hero Complex, Ellis showed obvious enthusiasm about writing new stories for the character, whom he described as "demented in more interesting ways than I think Batman ever was. [His] cape is actually a crescent moon and he goes out only at night and dresses in reflective white so you can see him coming. Now that’s nuts…. I like that.”

Moon Knight suffers from multiple personality disorder. As a result, the character, whose alter ego is Marc Spector, has had many identities over the years, from mercenary to millionaire to cab driver. Coming on to a new series, there might be a temptation to ignore some of that and start fresh, but Ellis plans to include it all, while taking the character toward the direction of a different kind of crime fiction: “The best Moon Knight stories for me were always ground-level but weird crime. ‘Weird crime’ has kind of been the touchstone for me for this revival.”

Though the most recent series featured Spector as a TV producer in Los Angeles, this new ongoing will see him return to New York. Ellis's run will be heavily influenced by the critically acclaimed work Moench and Sienkiewicz produced in the character's first solo series, but the writer confessed that part of the appeal of taking on the title is the fact that it has never known significant commercial success: “You can have a play with something knowing that there’s not an audience of hundreds of thousands waiting with their knives out to cut things off just for getting it wrong.”

Along with Shalvey, whose gritty linework is very well-suited for the title, and Bellaire, one of the most highly sought after colorist in the industry, this is clearly a book Marvel is putting heavy emphasis on, giving it every chance to succeed. Like he has been in the past, Moon Knight is once again in very capable hands.

Part of the publisher's All-New Marvel Now initiative, Moon Knight #1 arrives in stores in March.