Marvel has been hitting it out of the park with tons of new content and rehashing of old favourites. This year they’re paying homage to a lesser-known superhero – Moon Knight.
So who is Moon Knight anyway? Some call him “Marvel’s Batman”, which might be true if Batman was blessed by an Egyptian God with superhuman powers. Sadly Bruce Wayne only has his money and the ability to conquer his fear of bats. What Moon Knight has are blessings from the moon and dissociative identity disorder.
Before Moon Knight comes out on Disney Plus on March 30th, we’re going to give you the lowdown on what to expect. We don’t know what they’re going to be keeping, changing or removing from the comic books for the TV series. So watch out for potential spoilers.
Moon Knight Comic History
Moon Knight was created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin in 1975 as a villain. He made his debut in Werewolf by Night #132 as a minion of the Secret Empire tasked with bringing in the werewolf Jack Russell and his sister.
By the end of Moon Knight’s two-part debut story, Moon Knight discovered that the Secret Empire planned to use turn Russell’s sister into a werewolf and use both of them as weapons. He turned against the Secret Empire to help the captives escape.
Due to his popularity, Marvel gave Moon Knight his own antihero story and the rest is history.
Moon Knight Origin
Marc Spector alias Moon Knight is the son of a Jewish rabbi who escaped from Germany to America. Because… ya know. In America, he became a boxer, joins the Marines and later is enlisted to work in the CIA.
After the death of Marc’s girlfriend at the hands of his brother, Marc left the military and became a mercenary with his friend Frenchie. They took a job in Egypt for an extreme terrorist going by the name of Bushman to fight off enemy combatants and eventually excavate a tomb for an archaeologist. Bushman betrays and kills Marc during a showdown, and in the harsh Egyptian desert leaves Marc Spector to die.
While dying he manages to lay at the feet of an idol to the Egyptian god Khonshu. Marc has a dream in the afterlife of Khonshu offering to resurrect him if he becomes the God’s avatar on Earth. He accepts and awakens with enhanced abilities in the silver shroud of Khonshu. Thus Moon Knight was born, as the one who delivers vengeance in Khonshu’s name.
Marc returns to the United States, to fight crime. To do this and distance himself from his past he creates two other personalities to aid him in his war on crime. Millionaire entrepreneur Steven Grant and the cab driver Jake Lockley. (It looks like in the TV series Steven Grant is a museum worker, not an entrepreneur).
Moon Knight Abilities
Marc Spector was already a boxer turned CIA agent turned mercenary, which endowed him with not only a high degree of strength and endurance but gave him strategic, tactical and weapons skills. In addition to boxing, he also knows a variety of martial arts, is a talented gymnast and can speak several languages. It seemed that Marc Spector was already going into this superhero gig fully armed, even without the moon blessings.
After being blessed by Khonshu, Marc was blessed with enhanced strength during the night of the full moon, as well as prophetic visions and the ability to drain someone’s life energy through physical contact.
In most of his stories, Moon Knight has no supernatural abilities beyond occasional visions of mystical insight. He relies on his athletic ability, intelligence, advanced technology, and expert combat skills. Since becoming Moon Knight, there have been multiple occasions when the character has died only to then be resurrected by Khonshu, although how many times he may be resurrected is unknown.
For a time, Moon Knight’s strength and resiliency to injury could reach superhuman levels depending on the phases of the moon, but this ability later vanished.
Marc Spector’s mental illness is in the form of dissociative identity disorder and it’s a big part of the story. In fact, some of the comic book arcs have ended up just being all in his head.
We don’t know whether his mental disorder is due to childhood trauma or the result of his psychic connection to Khonshu. The connection could compel Moon Knight’s personality to shift between the four major aspects of the moon god’s multi-faceted nature – “the traveller”, “the pathfinder”, “the embracer”, and “the defender of those who travel at night”. Khonshu claims he created a psychic connection with Moon Knight when the latter was a young boy, decades before he was ready to be fully recruited as his avatar on Earth.
Throughout the comic book series, Marc Spector’s mental illness often gets ahold of him. With new personalities being added, disruptions in his friendships and love life as well as some visits to a mental institution.
The Enemies Of Moon Knight
No great superhero can truly be great without an equally if not more memorable villain.
Moon Knight’s biggest antagonist in the series is his own brother Randall Spector, who goes by the name Shadow Knight. In boyhood the two were close and both joined the US military together and later became mercenaries. However, during an assignment, Rand killed Marc’s girlfriend. In response, Marc hunted his brother and threw a grenade at him, which he thought would kill him.
Spurred on by revenge and jealousy of Marc’s blessings from Khonshu, Rand watched his brother from the shadows. Sending a mind-controlled ‘Hatchet-Man’ to attack his new girlfriend. Eventually, through technology or a re-resurrection by Khonshu (there are two stories here), he was able to turn himself into the Shadow Knight. A dark duplicate of Moon Knight except that he can emit radioactive blasts from his eyes.
Dr Arthur Harrow
The Moon Knight TV series however seems to be focusing on the main villain as Dr Arthur Harrow.
Dr Harrow is a genius-level scientist that became famous for his work in pain theory. However, his research was funded and carried out by a shady organisation known as OMNIUM. In his research, he conducted some harrowing secret experiments in Auschwitz-Birkenau, performing intense human experimentation that he hoped would cure his own trigeminal neuralgia.
If we look at the trailer it seems that Dr Harrow will be playing mind games with Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight.
Anton Mogart is a renowned art and jewel thief, infamous for his crimes around the world. His thefts generally take place at midnight which earned him the name Midnight Man.
One day during an art heist, Midnight Man was stopped by Moon Knight and the subsequent battle resulted in him falling into a river. Mogart didn’t drown however but was instead carried into the wastes of a sewer that left him deformed and insane. Blaming Moon Knight for his deformity he vowed revenge.
His son Jeff Wilde eventually went on to become Moon Knight’s sidekick Midnight. But that’s a whole different story.
“The series follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.”Marvel
Moon Knight is created and written by Doug Moench (Harley Quinn, Young Justice) and directed by Mohamed Diab (Amira). The series’ first season is set to include six episodes, which will be released weekly on Disney Plus from March 30th.
So far the confirmed cast members of Moon Knight include Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector. Ethan Hawke as Arthur Harrow. Gaspard Ulliel as Midnight Man/Anton Mogart and Lucy Thackeray as Donna.