Marvel is finally opening up the can of worms that is Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight in a new television series on Disney+, but if you aren't familiar with the character you aren't alone. Moon Knight is very much a cult favorite in the Marvel Comics Universe and has never been as big a hero as the Iron Mans, Captain Americas, and Black Widows of the world. That said, for those who have followed Moon Knight throughout the years, you've likely found an endearing but troubled gold mine of a character that has gone down some very different avenues in the past, and any of them would be interesting to see on the small screen. So, we're giving you a quick crash course on who Moon Knight is and what makes him so different from other heroes.
Moon Knight was actually created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin as an enemy of Jack Russell in Werewolf by Night in 1975 (specifically issue #32 volume 1). He only appeared in two issues of the series, though readers quickly latched onto the character, and so Marvel would feature him in several books like Spectacular Spider-Man, The Defenders, and more. He wouldn't get his own comic series until 1980, but that series established many of the concepts fans still love to this day.
Those concepts included his origin, which saw him mortally wounded by a man named Raoul Bushman after Bushman murdered an archaeologist in Sudan just to get the potential riches that resided within a tomb he was researching. Spector decided not to help Bushman and tried to help the archeologist's daughter escape, but Bushman beat him within an inch of his life. Spector would make his way to the ancient tomb and died in front of a statue of the Moon God Khonshu, but he didn't stay among the dead. He would return to the living thanks to Khonshu, who now called him to serve as his deliverer of vengeance, and he would then deal with Bushman and become the Moon Knight from that point on.
The other thing introduced in those early runs of the character was the fact that Spector was troubled mentally, and through the years various writers have played with the idea that Spector isn't a servant of Khonshu at all, but is imagining it. That concept was ditched at various points, but the splintered mind element stayed, and thus Spector has three other identities living inside of his mind.
Aside from Spector, who is the former CIA operative and the one who mainly steers the ship, there was also Steven Grant, a rich socialite who can get into places of high society and the rich and famous. There's also Jake Lockley, a cab driver who keeps his ear to the street and often becomes the one in control when Spector can't stomach what needs to be done. The fourth is actually Khonshu himself, or his avatar, who is more even-keeled and pragmatic than Spector and looks to keep the peace between the other personalities.
That's not for nothing either, as they all have had various issues coexisting in the past, though at times they also find a way to work together to accomplish one goal. Either way, this process is always compelling, and it's become one of the major reasons why Moon Knight is so different from other superheroes.
While Moon Knight has often been compared to Batman, he wears his emotions more on the outside than the Dark Knight, and that vulnerability and the various personalities in his head can lead to him to some dark places, places that even Batman might not go. Moon Knight isn't afraid to get his hands bloody if the situation calls for it, especially if it involves protecting his trusted ally Jean-Paul Frenchie DuChamp, the love of his life Marlene, or his recently discovered daughter Diatrice, who is actually the daughter of Marlene and Jake and was hidden from him by ...well, himself. Yeah, I told it gets screwed up sometimes.
As for what Moon Knight can do, that at times depends on the writer, but overall he is actually not superpowered at all. The character's history involves not only his time in the CIA but also his experience as a heavyweight boxing champ, and since then he's added several other forms of martial arts and combat to his arsenal. He's also skilled with all sorts of weapons, both melee and ranged, and has fashioned them into customized versions that don't put safety first in any way.
His greatest asset though might be his fighting style though, which is all about putting his own safety aside and intimidation. You see this in a fight against Taskmaster, who can't stand mimicking Moon Knight due to his willingness to take lots of punishment so he can just keep hitting, and he often makes it work. That was apparent in this throwdown between the two, as Taskmaster continues to be surprised at what Moon Knight can take and ends up regretting ever taking this assignment.
Moon Knight is much more of a street-level hero, but he does get around in style, using various vehicles like the MOoncopter and Angelwing and even a slick white limousine at one point, and we're definitely curious to see if any of those make it into the show.
Alright, so that's Moon Knight in a nutshell, but there's plenty more to explore with the character, so make sure to come back to ComicBook.com for more Moon Knight analysis. Let us know what you love about Moon Knight in the comments and you can always hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things Moon Knight!