To be clear, James Gunn is not making a Moon Knight movie, but this isn't the first time that the fan community has shown a strong desire for Moon Knight to be adapted to live action. Rumors have circulated on multiple occasions that Moon Knight was being considered for a Netflix series and they've always been greeted with excitement from Marvel's fanbase.
The passion over Moon Knight may surprise some more casual fans since the character is hardly a household name. Just is the hell is Moon Knight anyway? He's sometimes described snarkily as "Marvel's Batman," but that doesn't do either character any credit.
Here's a rundown of Moon Knight's history to help you familiarize yourself with one of Marvel's most popular B-list characters.
When Moon Knight was created by Dough Moench and Don Perlin in 1975 he was conceived as a villain. He made his debut in Werewolf by Nigh #132 as a minion of the Secret Empire tasked with bringing in 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.
Moon Knight proved far more popular that Marvel had expected, and so the publisher set about turning him into a gritty antihero who could carry his own stories. As such, this first appearance was retconned so that Moon Knight was never really working for the Secret Empire. Instead, Moon Knight had only taken a job for the Secret Empire in order to infiltrate the villainous organization.prevnext
Moon Knight was revealed to be Marc Spector, the son of a Jewish rabbi who escaped from Germany on the eve of the rise of the Third Reich. Marc refused to follow in his father's footsteps and instead becomes a boxer and then joins the Marines and later worked with the CIA.
Marc worked with his brother Randall. Randall killed Mac's girlfriend because she discovered an arms running scheme. Marc responded by killing Randall, or at least that's what he thought. Randall would survive to become one of Moon Knight's greatest enemies.
Marc Spector left the military and became a mercenary with his friend and pilot, Frenchie. They took a job in Egypt for a warlord going by the title Bushman that involved excavating a tomb for an archeologist. The archeologists' daughter, Marlene Alraune, would go on to become Moon Knight's great love interest.
Bushman betrayed Marc Spector during the mission. Spector helped Marlene and her father escape and tried to hold off Bushman and his men, but was killed. He lay at the feet of an idol to the Egyptian god Konshu. Khonshu resurrected Marc, giving him the enhanced physical abilities he would later use to become Moon Knight, one who delivers vengeance in Khonshu's name.prevnext
Marvel Comics fleshed out Moon Knight's character in a series of backup stories in other Marvel Comics before giving him his first solo series. Moon Knight #1 launched in 1980 from writer and co-creator Doug Moench and artist Bill Sienkiewicz.
Most of the comparisons to Batman come from this first Moon Knight seires. Marc Spector had invested his mercenary money wisely and became a rich socialite and financier by day while seeking vengeance on street-level criminals at night.
It was during this era that Moon Knight began cultivating other personas. To hide his past as a mercenary, Marc posed as etrepreneur Steven Grant for public events. He then developed the persona of Jack Lockley, a cab driver, in order to keep his ear to the streets.prevnext
Fist of Konshu
The psychological stress of trying to maintain three different personalities took a toll on Spector. The Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu miniseries that followed the cancellation of the first ongoing series established that Spector was suffering from schizophrenia.
Marc Spector hung up his cloak as Moon Knight for a time. However, it didn't last. Khonshu summoned Marc back to Egypt and infused Spector with his lunar-based strength, granting Moon Knight increased abilities depending on the phase of the moon.
During the era that followed, Moon Knight moved away from street level stories and took on more cosmic threats, battling Khonshu's fellow gods like Seth. He also became a member of the West Coast Avengers.
Marc Spector died again, only to have Khonshu resurrect him once more. Moon Knight eventually took on sidekick named Midnight, which didn't help to fend against Batman comparisons, and Marc Spector, Moon Knight became his longest-running solo series to date at 60 issues, but his popularity waned through the 1990s.prevnext
In 2006, Marvel Comics brought Moon Knight back to his noir, grim and gritty roots with a new Moon Knight series from crime novelist Charlie Huston and star artist David Finch.
The series brought Marc Spector to rock bottom. His body was broken from at terrible fall in a fight with Bushman, and he had to climb his way back up.
This was also the era of the first Civil War and Moon Knight, reluctantly, signed the Superhero Registration Act at the behest of Khonshu so that he could continue his mission uninterrupted.
A few years later, Moon Knight joined up with the Avengers once more, this time running with Steve Rogers' Secret Avengers team.prevnext
The Swiss Army Avenger
Brian Michael Bendis, a top writer for Marvel Comics, and frequent collaborator artist Alex Maleev launched a short-lived Moon Knight series in 2011.
The series put a new spin of Marc Spector's multiple personalities. Though he was working solo, Spector believed he was still a member of the Avengers working with Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
These other Avengers were actually just in Spector's head. Moon Knight was actually going out and dressing and acting as if he was these Avengers, becoming four Avengers at once.
During this era, Moon Knight would also pop up in several major Marvel events, including Shadowland and Avengers vs. X-Men.prevnext
A new volume of Moon Knight launched with Marvel NOW! Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey tackled the character and put still a new spin on his multiple personalities.
This series introduced fans to Mr. Knight, the dapper persona that Moon Knight used for investigations and dealing with the police. The Moon Knight persona, which got a new costume design, was shown as Marc Spector's vigilante battle mode, ready to deal with all manner criminal. The Fist of Khonshu persona was also introduced as an avian armor-wearing hero who dealt with supernatural threats.
The series also made clear why Moon Knight, who often fights at night, always wears white: he likes them to see him coming.prevnext
The most recent Moon Knight series launched following Secret Wars with writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood.
The series has put Marc Spector's psychological issues under a new light as it launches with the hero in an insane asylum along with most of his friends and allies.
Spector mounts and escape finds New York City buried in sand with Pyramids erected all around and dog men patrolling. He also discovers that Khonshu and his fellow gods may be extradimensional aliens attempting to take over.0comments
The series also introduced a new persona, a version of Moon Knight battle werewolves in space. The most recent arc also introduced Steven Grant as Spector's childhood imaginary friend, suggesting that his psychological issue predates his superhero career.
It is hard to tell what is real and what is an illusion in the current Moon Knight run, which is part of the fun. It also means that everything we know and love about the character may be turned on its head by the time the series is over.prev