To the Moon Knight and Back

As recounted on this blog nearly one year ago, my life as a full-time comics buyer got its start around March/April of 1976. Before this, I was exposed to comics here and there, at the barber shop, during shore trips, and through hand-me-downs from older family and friends, always anxious to snag a Spider-Man comic when I found one.

But once I started purchasing comics on the regular, I started developing some odd buying habits (though granted, it was still mostly superhero-related stuff I was buying, just a little bit further out there on the superhero spectrum). I still loved Spider-Man, of course, but once I got my webhead fix, I would try to find something different to fill out my $1 per week allowance. Sometimes it would be Superman, Batman, Hulk, Avengers, Defenders, sure… but I also started getting into more esoteric characters and titles like Secret Society of Super Villains, Deathlok in Astonishing Tales, Freedom Fighters, Marvel’s Captain Marvel, the LSH in Superboy Starring the Legion of Super-Heroes, Werewolf by Night, The JSA and the “Super Squad” in All-Star Comics, and Ghost Rider.

Two of the earliest examples of my attraction to unusual characters were bought at the same time (and same place—the Smoke Shop, as I recall): Tigra the Were-Woman in Marvel Chillers #5 (Jun. 1976), and Moon Knight in Marvel Spotlight #28 (Jun. 1976). Boy oh boy, did I ever love these comics. I mean I loved everything about ‘em: the characters, the artwork, the designs, the stories, everything. I literally read these comics to pieces.

…But only one of these characters is about to star in their own live-action Disney+ series beginning at the end of this month, so that’s the one I’ll be discussing today.

“The Crushing Conquer-Lord!”

“Moon Knight” is a bit of a weird name, no? I mean, what is a “Moon Knight”? But maybe that weirdness played into his appeal to me. Whatever the reason, the name and that cover to Marvel Spotlight #28 just mesmerized me.

Then the story proper opens with one of my all-time favorite action sequences.

One guy jumping into a crowd of seven dudes and then whupping all their asses—this is what I loved most about superhero comics at that age. Like many kids who love comics, I also greatly enjoyed creating my own, with whatever paper, pencils, pens, markers, and crayons I could find. And I can recall recreating (or more accurately, swiping) this opening sequence many times. The level of superhero-type action throughout the issue never let up for very long, which was all that was needed to utterly captivate me.

Which was fortuitous, because the larger story, as well as the character of Moon Knight himself, was beyond my grasp when I first read it. Standard secret identities I could readily understand at that point, but this was the issue that introduced MK’s multiple secret identities, from the Moon Knight to mercenary Marc Spector to millionaire Steven Grant to cabbie Jake Lockley. As I returned to this comic over and over (and over and over) in succeeding years, I eventually caught on to it. But there were other complicating factors as well, like MK’s very large supporting cast, which included Frenchie, his copter pilot; Marlene, girlfriend and gal Friday; Steven Grant’s butler, Samuels; Abner Skrooney and Jesse, Lockley’s co-workers at the taxi garage; Gena the waitress; and Crawley the snitch.

As if this wasn’t enough, our villain of the piece, Mr. Quinn/Conquer Lord, brought in still more characters that were aligned with him. There was this ugly crony named Weasel; Merkins, a Conquer Lord stooge posing as Steven Grant’s valet; plus a small army of other unnamed goons and corrupt cops that were on his payroll. All of them working toward Conquer Lord’s ultimate goal, the assassination of New York City’s mayor. With all the details that went into this story, no one can accuse Doug Moench of not working for his paycheck!

It would be a major omission on my part if I failed to bring up the art as well. Don Perlin was just superb here, fleshing out all these characters with distinct features, from their faces, build, and hair, to other little touches, like Crawley’s disheveled clothing and the flies that were always buzzing around him. Perlin got a bad rap in later years, but at his height during the 70s, particularly here and in Werewolf by Night, he was a GREAT comic artist. Let’s not forget he was also the designer of Moon Knight, and the look he gave him was another big factor in the character’s appeal—the balance of the black and white was perfect, and the way the mask, cowl, and cape (clasped to his wrists) came together, MK just looked so different and utterly unique. (And while we’re at it, Perlin did a pretty fine job on the design for Quinn/Conquer Lord, too.)

I didn’t catch the next issue, Marvel Spotlight #29 (Aug. 1976), when it was originally published; it wasn’t until around 1980 that I finally stumbled across it (with that great Jack Kirby cover) in a back issue bin somewhere, either at the U. S. #1 Flea Market in New Brunswick or Quality Comics in Somerville, if memory serves. (Which means I was left dangling with that cliffhanger ending—“The mayor’s been shot!!”—for at least four years!) It was a wild and chaotic two-parter, but also a very fun ride and I was left ga ga over Moon Knight.

What I didn’t know at the time was that this version of Moon Knight had already been significantly changed from his first appearance less than a year earlier. What I also didn’t know, and couldn’t know, was that MK would eventually wind up being one of the most revised, retconned, ripped-apart-and-sewn-back-together characters in the history of comics.

Werewolf by Moon Knight

Moon Knight made his debut in Werewolf by Night #32 (Aug. 1975), the first issue of a two-parter that would conclude in #33 (Sept. 1975). As I noted earlier, Werewolf was a title I got into when I first started buying comics every week (or so) in the spring and summer of ‘76, with my first issue being #40 (Sept. 1976). In hindsight, it’s probably safe to say it was that one-panel cameo in Spotlight #28 that piqued my interest in the character (that and the fact that I was predisposed to like anything remotely canine in nature). Although WBN only had three issues/six months left in its run by the time I started with it, I would pick up back issues nearly every time I went on a buying spree thereafter. By ‘80, ‘81, I was probably just seven or eight issues shy of having the full run, with the two Moon Knight issues among the first I hunted down. (MK also made a kind-of appearance in WBN #37 (Mar. 1976), though this was only in the form of a quasi-illusion. I only bring this up so as to avoid the inevitable complaint from someone out there that I forgot an issue.)

When I first read WBN 32-33, it felt odd. On the surface, Moon Knight wasn’t all that different from his turn in Spotlight—the only things missing, appearance-wise, when he got to Spotlight were his cesti, which was understandable, as superheroes didn’t punch people with spiked knuckles back in the 70s. (They would have by the 90s, but not the in 70s. In the 70s, only the bad guys used such weaponry.) The real difference was in their personalities. In this respect they were completely different characters, as the Spotlight MK was a traditional, wisecracking Marvel superhero, while the Werewolf MK was… well, he was a jerk. A jerk whose first priority was money.

He also didn’t care for his working name at all.

The character also seemed to have undergone a powers tweak in the interim. While showing Quinn a slide of Moon Knight battling the Werewolf, Weasel relates that due to being bitten by the creature, MK “Supposedly, as a result of the creature’s saliva entering his bloodstream… has been endowed with the extra-normal strength and instinct of a ‘werewolf.’ Most of our sources consider the story as myth– and this particular slide as fake. However, the Moon Knight does possess strength far greater than that of any normal man.” MK would back this up later in the same issue when thinking to himself, “The lousy moon is only quarter phase. Which means my strength ain’t what it is when the moon’s full. In fact, it’s only a little better than it is under sunshine.”

Based on this internal monologue, one might logically conclude that the werewolf bite must be the reason for his superior strength, since Moench hadn’t offered any alternative explanation. And maybe this was, in fact, the correct conclusion Moench had in mind at the time, but as noted, Moon Knight would go through a lot of revisions and retconning, and another explanation was still to come.

Fan Response

Moon Knight seemed to be a big hit with the fans from the moment he first appeared. In Werewolf by Night #36 (Jan. 1976), the lettercol ran a positive letter from a fan named J. Doug, followed immediately by this editorial response:

AND NOW: STUNNINGLY SPECTACULAR SUPER-SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT (FOR REAL) TIME: The prelude is over, troops, and we’d like to thank J. Doug for providing us with a letter which neatly exemplified the sentiments expressed in a large number of other WEREMAIL BY NIGHT appeals…

Namely, you people have been clamoring for more of the Moon Knight—and preferably starring in a new mag all his own. That makes us, quite simply, very happy—and we’d love to accede to your demands. But we can’t—at least not fully, and not just yet.

However (ahem), the Moon Knight will star in a mag of his own for at least two issues—#’s 30 and 31 of MARVEL PREMIERE, our newly revamped “showcases” title. [NOTE: This ended up being Marvel Spotlight 28-29, obviously.] This two-part “premiere” story will be on sale sometime early next year, presented by Devil-May-Care Doug Moench and Don (Peerless) Perlin, the very same team which originally introduced the Moon Knight in the pages of WEREWOLF BY NIGHT. Doug and Don are already deeply immersed in the first issue and describe it as “an attempt to get back to the basics of the good old superhero strips we all loved—but with more than one offbeat twist and more than a little sophistication to keep it excitingly fresh and appealing.” And as you may have guessed from those words, our indefatigable writer and inexhaustible artist are convinced they have a hit on their hands. Should you readers agree (and buy enough copies to prove it). the Moon Knight is just itching to step out of the pages of MARVEL PREMIERE and into a brand-spanking-new mag called (what else?) THE MOON KNIGHT.

Marvel Spotlight #30 (Oct. 1976) then ran reactions to Moon Knight’s story in Spotlight #28, with nothing but glowing reviews yet again. By the end of the lettercol, it was declared:

Well, People, judging by the mail received on MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #28, MOON KNIGHT was a resounding and unqualified hit. Indeed, the above brief sampling of comments is thoroughly indicative of the consensus of opinion; each and every one of the many, many letters received was clamorously favorable—with nary a ripe tomato or brickbat tossed from the bulging bunch.

Now… if the enthusiastic reception exemplified by your letters is echoed by the Sinister Sales Report…

Well, let’s just say we’ll see ye in the pages of MOON KNIGHT #1.

Until then, be good.

Despite all the positivity, it would be a while before MK would finally get that book of his own. In the meantime, he would make several appearances elsewhere, including a fun little run fighting alongside the Defenders in their mag, along with a guest spot in Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man. Then he would land his own solo backup slot in the pages of the color magazine, The Hulk (which had formerly been the B&W magazine, The Rampaging Hulk).

Rampaging Knight

Moony’s solo feature first appeared in The Hulk #11 (Oct. 1978), just one issue after the mag was retitled and went color. His solo feature would continue in issues 12-15, 17, 18, & 20. Issues 11 and 12 were penciled by Gene Colan and Keith Pollard respectively, while issue #13 (Feb. 1979) marked the debut of Bill Sienkiewicz drawing Moon Knight. The writer remained Doug Moench, who would be the sole writer of all of Moon Knight’s stories for the first eight years (or so) of the character’s existence.

One odd little nugget of trivia: As mentioned, Rampaging Hulk started out B&W, then the mag was retitled simply “The Hulk” and went color with its tenth issue. By the end of its run, it went back to B&W again for the last few issues. The odd part is that Moon Knight only appeared in the color issues and never in the B&W, even though his B&W costume design would have seemed to make him an ideal subject for the format. (Between MK’s stint in Hulk and the launch of his solo mag, he did appear in a B&W story in Marvel Preview #21 (Spring 1980), again by Moench and Sienkiewicz, but Preview was printed on something closer to newsprint than the slick paper used for Hulk. The result was more Black & Gray than B&W.)

These Hulk stories were all good stuff, and once Sienkiewicz came aboard as penciler they became must-see. At the time, Sienkiewicz was still a young unknown; today he is widely recognized as one of the most talented artists to ever work in comics. In 1983, Marvel would publish a three-issue series on Baxter paper titled Moon Knight Special Edition, reprinting all the Sienkiewicz material from the Hulk magazine. (That Preview tale, “The Mind Thieves,” would be colorized and also reprinted in the third issue.)

Now despite Moon Knight’s history of being revised and retconned, none of the tales from this Hulk run (or Preview, for that matter) offered any alterations of such a kind; nor did it give us any fresh insights on the character’s origins or his deeper background. (Aside from revealing Moon Knight’s brother, Rand Spector, as a gruesome, serial-killing axe murderer—a fact that, to the best of my knowledge, was never brought up again.)

Sienkiewicz’s cover spread for Moon Knight Special Edition #2 (Dec. 1983), featuring MK’s axe-murdering brother.

Still, there is one curious bit I found noteworthy: In issue #13, Moon Knight gets involved in a criminal exchange of cash for a golden statuette of the Egyptian God Horus. He will later remark to Frenchie, “I ain’t exactly Egyptian, Frenchie, but seems to me this Horus bird watches over life and death, or maybe the afterworld… hope it ain’t an omen.”

I make note of this because it conflicts with future retcons, which we’ll get into… right now.

“The Macabre Moon Knight!”

…At least I think this was the title—it’s in the “Stan Lee Presents” box atop the opening full-splash page with nothing else resembling a title in sight, so let’s go with it.

The first issue of MK’s original solo series, Moon Knight #1 (Nov. 1980), hit newsstands and specialty stores in the summer of 1980, with Moench and Sienkiewicz remaining the creative team. It was here that they got into a fuller, more detailed origin story for the character; an origin with deep ties to Egyptian mythology.

We open on a flashback, with Marc Spector, mercenary, working in North Africa with Frenchy alongside a terrorist monster named Bushman—a guy with a skull tattooed over his face and steel teeth. Spector and Frenchy had already decided they would soon cut ties with him when Bushman finds out about an archeological expedition nearby that might have uncovered some gold relics. Turns out this expedition is run by Marlene’s father and she’s there with him. When they arrive, Spector stops Marlene’s father from killing Bushman (an action Spector takes reflexively and regrets instantly), and Bushman almost immediately kills the old guy in retaliation, using his steel teeth.

With his dying breath, the old man begs Spector to save his daughter, which he does, helping Marlene make her escape in a jeep. Then, after Bushman executes a number of innocent civilians via firing squad, Marc Spector can take no more and attacks Bushman, losing the fight in rather short order. Bushman then dumps him in the desert, leaving him there to die of exposure. Spector’s (apparent) corpse is eventually discovered by Marlene and her displaced expedition. Marlene is alone with the body, talking to herself as a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu looms in the background. And then, suddenly, Marc Spector is alive again. As the caption tells us, “Perhaps, it is a natural phenomenon which causes Marc Spector’s heart to resume throbbing… perhaps it is something else.”

Not only is Marc Spector alive, but he’s in something of a frantic state, uncertain where he is or even who he is. When he sees the Khonshu statue, he somehow recognizes him as “one of the gods of the moon.” Claiming the cloak adorning the statue as his own, Spector declares, “I’m a ghost now. A spectre of the moon. The moon’s knight of vengeance—and I’ve got work to do.”

Sidebar: By the time Moon Knight #1 appeared, I already fancied myself something of an expert on mythology (I think my parents actually got me a copy of Bullfinch’s Mythology the prior Christmas, in addition to all I had learned earlier from those mythology books by the D’Aulaires), and I had never heard of Khonshu. For many years I just assumed he was a made-up deity by Moench. I was likely in college before I finally learned he was based on a real Egyptian deity, though his name was more typically spelled “Khonsu,” with no extra “h.”

Getting back to the story: So Spector, in his quasi-Moon Knight cloak, goes on to decimate Bushman’s terror cell, though the villain himself manages to escape. Then, after a one-panel recap summing up Moon Knight’s different identities and general modus operandi, we’re back in the present, where we quickly learn that Bushman has returned and is operating in New York. Moon Knight goes after him, finds him, and nearly beats him to death before Marlene stops him, telling MK that he’s not like Bushman, that he’s not a killer. And we end on the prone form of Bushman on the floor, under the shadow of a crescent moon, as cast by MK’s signature crescent dart.

There was a lot to absorb here, but I feel they pulled it off masterfully. With the exception of just a couple fill-in jobs, the Moench-Sienkiewicz team would continue through Moon Knight #30 (Apr. 1983). I don’t believe there’s a true Moon Knight aficionado out there who would argue against this run as being the absolute height of the character. And while I don’t have any numbers in front of me, my understanding is that this debut issue set a record (at the time) for direct-market sales. So MK was not only a creative success, but a commercial one as well.

In addition to the new origin story, some more revisions and retcons took place over course of this run. First, the connection with Khonshu would become the explanation for Spector’s strength and overall physical prowess. (Or so Spector would believe, at least.) Likely the biggest retcon, however, concerned Moon Knight’s very first appearance in Werewolf by Night, where his interactions with the nefarious Committee were retconned by Moench into an undercover-type mission designed to take down the group. It took some heavy-duty stretching to make this work, but in the grand scheme of things, it was an inoffensive retcon.

The retcons that were to come, though? That’s a horse of a whole ‘nother color. But before we get into those, there are still a few other elephants in the room left to address.

Marvel’s Batman?

They are both superheroes who operate at night with millionaire secret identities, so it’s only natural to see Moon Knight and Batman as similar characters. But I wouldn’t call Moon Knight a rip off of Batman, as many others have. In fact, when you dissect the character, I believe you’ll find that MK has a lot more in common with Batman’s forebear, the Shadow.

For starters, Marc Spector was a mercenary, much like the Shadow’s true identity of Kent Allard. That’s right, kids—Lamont Cranston is the Shadow’s manufactured identity, just as the Moon Knight’s is Steven Grant. Keep digging and you’ll find further parallels, from their crime-fighting set up, organization, and allies, to the Marlene/Margo Lane parallel (which might be the most obvious of all).

While on the subject of Moon Knight’s Shadow-like multiple identities, allow me to stress that, at least at this time, that’s multiple identities, not multiple personalities. Did he (and others in the cast) sometimes muse on which identity was “real”? Yes, but he did not suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder and did not have multiple personalities. He was simply a superhero with a few extra secret identities. And there were specifically four identities for a reason—they were meant to represent the four principal lunar phases of the moon, which are: new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last (or final) quarter.

Sienkiewicz illo of the four lunar phases of the Moon Knight.

Then there are the ties to Egyptian myth to consider (which, granted, didn’t get tacked on until 1980, but still, they’ve been there for the vast majority of the character’s existence now). This added a fresh, exotic flavor to the character, though I will concede that when Moon Knight was at his height under Moench & Sienkiewicz, he was a street-level hero, and works best as such, just as Batman does. The mythological ties were surface dressing and didn’t play any real, practical role in the narrative.

Back then, Khonshu was never his own “character” in any story. In fact, it was always debatable whether Khonshu was even “real” in story terms, or just some hallucination on Spector’s part that resulted from his near-death experience. This ambiguity actually led to some great stories and packed some narrative power; the last thing any good writer would ever want to do is make a definitive statement on the matter one way or the other. (The last portion of the preceding statement is what we English Majors call “foreshadowing,” people. Hang on, I’ll be getting back to this in just a bit.)

Finally, we should remember that Moon Knight was not originally created to be any kind of superhero; he was created to be an antagonist for Jack Russell/the Werewolf. Whatever else one might think, you can’t credibly say that the character was created with the idea of becoming Marvel’s Batman in anyone’s mind.

The Name Game

As we’ll get into shortly, Moon Knight has come and gone from the comic racks MANY times over the ensuing decades. Why do they keep bringing him back, one might wonder? What makes him so interesting and/or popular? Could it be as simple as the name? Phonetically, “Moon Knight” slides over the tongue much like the word “midnight,” only with the addition of the word “moon,” with all of its mystical and mythical connotations. Add in the homophonic nature of night/knight, and you’ve got yourself an intriguing appellation, it would seem. In a 2017 interview conducted by Christopher Larochelle for Back Issue, Doug Moench recalled:

I came up with a list of something like 15 different names, and Moon Knight was just one of them. Len Wein, who was the editor at the time, called me and asked what I had coming up in Werewolf by Night. I told him that I was creating this new villain who was also a hero, and I had a bunch of possible names. “Read them to me!” Len said. So I read him all the names and I think that Moon Knight was maybe the fourth name, and he stopped me. He said, “Oh, I really like Moon Knight! Moon Knight… that’s a good one.” (“Pro2Pro: Moon Knight: The Doug Moench/Bill Sienkiewicz Era,” Back Issue #95, April 2017, p. 2.)

As for Moon Knight’s enduring popularity, Moench offered:

You know, it was odd. I probably underrated the character more than anyone. I didn’t really think beyond that first appearance, and it was other people who kept asking and pushing for him. I was already assigned to the main feature for the Hulk magazine, and Ralph Macchio, who was the editor, asked if I could do the backup, too. He suggested giving the space to Moon Knight, and I thought it was a good idea. (Ibid., p. 3.)

…I never pushed for anything with Moon Knight… everything came about from people liking the character.

LAROCHELLE: You mean, fans writing in and saying that they liked what was going on?

MOENCH: I mean, editors at Marvel, like Marv Wolfman and others. They just always wanted to see what other Moon Knight stories there were, and I was happy to tell them. (Ibid.)

Moench would go on:

With Moon Knight, it was kind of all unexpected. He was just supposed to be a villain, and it just kept growing and growing. By the time that Moon Knight had his own title, it made me think that this really was a major thing, if not quite for Marvel itself, for me personally. (Ibid., p. 11.)

The Downward Spiral

That beautifully-perfect 1980 series ran 38 issues, ending midway through 1984. Just a year later, they tried bringing Moon Knight back as “The Fist of Khonshu,” with a slightly revamped look that replaced the silver crescent moon on his chest with a yellow ankh. Yeah, yellow. Everything else was still B&W, but that ankh was a garish yellow (or occasionally orange). Thankfully, the new series only lasted six issues, but that ugly-ass ankh would persist through the character’s stint in West Coast Avengers.

Then came Marc Spector: Moon Knight in 1989. They restored the moon on his chest (thank the heavens), but I found the stories here rather lackluster. Somehow, this inferior version of Moon Knight, sans Moench & Sienkiewicz, would become the longest running MK series to date, lasting five years/60 issues.

Moench would return for the Moon Knight Special one-shot, teaming MK with Moench’s other baby, Shang-Chi, in 1992. Strangely, that Marc Spector series was still ongoing when this came out. (I mean, why not just put that story in the regular series then? Why the one shot?) Four years after this third iteration of MK finally ended in 1994, Moench took back the reins for a four-issue miniseries in ’98, followed by another four-issue mini in ’99. These were okay, but compromised somewhat by the bad creative that preceded them. The art for that ’98 series by Tommy Lee Edwards was also not the greatest; I much preferred Mark Texeira’s Sienkiewicz-like efforts for the ’99 one.

This is where my firsthand knowledge screeches to a halt, as I would never buy a new Moon Knight comic again. According to my web research, however, Moon Knight would return in a new series again in 2006, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2021. It was sometime during this stretch that they really started doing weird and misguided things with the character, like turning his multiple identity schtick into actual Dissociative Identity Disorder (and even adding more identities/personalities, thus ruining the lunar phase symbolism), and making Khonshu into some kind of recurring, real character. Again, I only know this via the scuttlebutt I’ve read and heard, not through firsthand knowledge.

The craziest stuff of all may have happened between the ’17 series and the ’21 series, when they apparently had some kind of crossover event in 2020 called the “Age of Khonshu.” According to Wikipedia (which I need to consult because I wouldn’t read this dreck for myself if you put a gun to my head):

Deciding to take over Earth in order to protect it, Khonshu compels Moon Knight to acquire power for him. With enhanced abilities and insight, and convinced that Khonshu’s plan is the only way to protect Earth from the demon lord Mephisto and others, Moon Knight takes the power of Iron Fist, Ghost Rider’s hellfire, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and some of Dr. Strange’s magic. With this and more, Khonshu begins to reshape Earth. During a battle with the Black Panther, Moon Knight temporarily becomes a host for the cosmic Phoenix Force. But rather than allow the Phoenix power to “cleanse” the Earth by wiping out humanity, Moon Knight releases the power even while the Avengers defeat Khonshu. The Asgardians imprison Khonshu and Moon Knight is allowed to return to his activities. The Black Panther offers him membership in the Avengers again, but he refuses, preferring to focus on battles he understands and angry at Khonshu’s extreme actions.

Sweet Mother of God, this sounds like the stupidest, most ridiculous mess one could ever conceive. Can you imagine Daredevil or Spider-Man wielding the friggin’ Phoenix Force? This is supposed to be Moon Knight now? The same Moon Knight who teamed with Spidey, DD, Power Man, and Iron Fist to thwart the criminal machinations of the Kingpin and the Purple Man in Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 in 1981?

While we’re on the subject, is Khonshu a Celestial now or something? I think I heard this in an Eternals review somewhere; could this possibly be true?

Scratch that; don’t answer; forget I even asked, as I really don’t wanna know.

But as long as we’re here, we may as well see what Wikipedia says about the latest Moon Knight comics series that began last year:

Despite believing that Khonshu is a god unworthy of his worship, Marc Spector still considers himself to be spiritually connected to the deity, and decides to continue acting not only as a knight of the moon god but also as a priest of his teachings. He creates the Midnight Mission, a religious congregation following the teachings of Khonshu. As its high priest, Marc adopts his Mr. Knight suit and mask as his official religious vestments. Living at the Midnight Mission, he offers aid to listen to anyone who visits and needs his help. As Moon Knight, Spector frees several people who were kidnapped by vampires and unwillingly made into vampires themselves. Rather than condemn them, he offers them sympathy. One of the new vampires, a woman named Reese, takes a job as Marc’s assistant at the Midnight Mission.

He crosses paths with Dr. Badr/Hunter’s Moon, who proclaims himself to be the second fist of Khonshu and believes that Moon Knight’s path must be “corrected’ after straying from Khonshu’s methods of vengeance. After defeating Hunter’s Moon in combat, Moon Knight confronts enemies sent after him by the villain Zodiac, leading to a direct confrontation between the two.

During the “Devil’s Reign” storyline, Mayor Wilson Fisk passes a law that outlaws superheroes. Moon Knight is the first to be apprehended where he is tackled by Thunderbolts members Agony, Electro II, Rhino, and U.S. Agent.


Okay, sorry, I needed a minute or two to calm down there.

While I know complaining is useless, I just have to say that Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, would never run for mayor. Fisk has no interest in public office, has no interest in being a public figure of any kind; he is a criminal mastermind who works the puppet strings from behind the curtain, never in front. Not to mention how this pretty much destroys Frank Miller’s classic Cherryh storyline in the pages of Daredevil; a storyline that led into the-even-more-classic Elektra vs. Bullseye story, which…

Ah, never mind…. I just wish they would stop doing this.

I know they’re not going to stop doing this.

I know my constant complaining will not make them stop doing this.

I will likely continue to complain all the same.

The Show

Anyway, the point of all this is that it looks like they’re going with the mystical, crazy-ass version of the character with this new Disney+ show, as we can see in this featurette.

And knowing Disney and the MCU, they likely made some entertaining television out of this, though I’m sure it took a hell of a lot of work. You know what would have taken a lot less work and probably would have resulted in an even better show? Just restricting yourself to the Moench & Sienkiewicz stuff for your source material.

But hey, what do I know? I’ve only been a Moon Knight fan for nearly forty-six years now.


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