Marvel had a stacked slate of releases in 2021 and it isn’t slowing down this year. One of the many Marvel TV shows making its way to Disney+ this year is Moon Knight, which will introduce us to a new and mysterious vigilante.
Here’s what we know about Moon Knight so far.
Who is Moon Knight?
So, who exactly is Moon Knight?
Moon Knight is a vigilante crime-fighter with a supernatural twist. Under the hood is a man named Marc Spector who was once left for dead in the desert while working as a mercenary and was revived by an Ancient Egyptian moon god.
In terms of powers, the character bears a lot of similarities with Batman. He employs expert martial arts skills combined with high tech gadgets to take on foes, but in some storylines, he has exhibited superhuman strength and endurance during different phases of the moon.
Spector also represents a big step forward for representation in the MCU as the character in the comics is both Jewish and suffers from dissociative identity disorder.
Moon Knight has a long history in Marvel comics, first appearing in Werewolf By Night (another title soon to be adapted on Disney+) and eventually crossing paths with the likes of Spider-Man, the Avengers and other Marvel superheroes.
What do we know about Moon Knight on Disney+?
The Disney+ series featuring Moon Knight was announced three years ago at San Diego Comic-Con. At the time we didn’t know much about the new show and, to be honest, we still don’t.
Marvel has revealed that Moon Knight will be a “new globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. The multiple identities who live inside him find themselves thrust into a deadly war of the gods against the backdrop of modern and ancient Egypt.”
The official synopsis for the show uncovers a bit more, saying:
[Moon Knight] 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.
First introduced in the pages of Werewolf by Night #32 in 1975, Marc Spector, already the Moon Knight, was a mercenary tasked with capturing the titular lupine protagonist of the book by a villainous group called the Committee. Although his first appearance was distinctly antagonistic, Marc quickly teams up with Werewolf by Night and is reframed as more of a dark, but still noble hero. He’d have several appearances as a guest star in series like Marvel Two-In-One and The Defenders for several years, but it wouldn’t be until 1980 that Moon Knight got his own solo series, from Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz, that would largely flesh out the framework for Marc’s origin as the hero.
That series established that before becoming Moon Knight, Marc was a former Marine who became a mercenary after being discharged from the military. Teaming up with the villainous mercenary Bushman, Marc is eventually betrayed and left for dead on a mission in the Sudan when he tries to stop Bushman from looting an ancient tomb and killing a team of archaeologists investigating it. Barely making his way back to civilisation, locals take the near-dead Marc to a temple of the Egyptian moon god and purported protector of night travellers, Khonshu, where he succumbs to his wounds… only to miraculously be reborn, declaring that Khonshu not only saved his life, but has made him an avatar of his will as the Moon Knight.
Who is in the cast?
Leading the cast of Moon Knight as Marc Spector is Oscar Isaac, stepping into his first Marvel role since X-Men: Apocalypse (which we do not speak of).
The other cast members we know of are May Calamawy and Ethan Hawke, whose roles haven’t been announced. Many have assumed that Hawke will be playing the villain of the series.
Jeremy Slater (The Umbrella Academy) is the head writer on Moon Knight which is directed by Mohamed Diab along with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.
Who’s Ethan Hawke Playing?
Hawke’s character — who we only know is going to be an antagonist in the series — is left unnamed for his brief appearance in the trailer, outside of an ominous warning telling Marc to “Embrace the Chaos.” But closed captioning confirms the character’s name as Arthur Harrow, a very obscure Marvel pull.
Harrow has appeared in a single comic so far — the second issue of the aforementioned Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu miniseries in 1985. A doctor specialising in pain theory, Harrow suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia, paralysing the left side of his face and leaving him in constant pain. When it was discovered that Harrow was secretly experimenting on human test subjects in order to try and find a cure for his illness, desensitising them to any level of horrific pain, Moon Knight tried to stop Harrow, but the scientist escaped, never to be seen again. Just how much of this background will be used in the show however, remains to be seen — Moon Knight could simply be using Harrow’s name on an entirely different interpretation of the character, which wouldn’t be a first for the MCU.
Is there a trailer?
The first Moon Knight trailer debuted along with the NFL Super Wild Card game in the U.S. on January 18. You can try and make sense of it below.
A first look at the show is also available in Marvel Studios’ 2021 Disney+ Day Special which is streaming on Disney+ now.
From all the clips shown so far, it looks like Moon Knight will be a darker and more violent story than Marvel has done before. The story appears to be leaning heavily into the impact that issues like insomnia and dissociative identity disorder can have.
Why Is Oscar Isaac Using… That Accent?
When Marc’s backstory was first fleshed out — in ways that only further made audiences draw parallels between the character and DC’s Batman — he adopted different identities to obfuscate anyone seeking to track down the identity of Moon Knight. There’s still Marc Spector the mercenary, but there’s also Steven Grant, a Wall Street speculator and businessman who takes Marc’s savings and turns them into millions, in order to fund his vigilantism. We see an alternate iteration of this in the Moon Knight trailer, where Steven isn’t a billionaire, but a shy, British museum gift shop employee. Not glimpsed, however, is a third identity: Jake Lockley, a down-to-earth taxi driver that Marc adopts in order to glean information from the streets. In later stories, he would add a fourth, simply known as Mr. Knight, an alternate, business-suit wearing iteration of Moon Knight who worked as a police consultant.
Originally, these were simply personae that Marc adopted interchangeably depending on what needed doing. But the miniseries Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu by Alan Zelenetz and Chris Warner in 1985 retconned these identities as alternate personalities, establishing that Marc suffered from dissociative identity disorder. The illness was brought on by the stress of both Khonshu establishing a psychic connection with him as a child, and a traumatic childhood experience uncovering that a rabbi with close ties to Marc’s own rabbi father, Elias, was actually secretly a Nazi serial killer targeting Jews. Ever since, Marc’s struggles with his mental health — as well as being unable to perceive whether or not Khonshu is actually real or just another personality in his mind — have been a foundational aspect of the character, as they appear to be in the upcoming show.
As for the accent Isaac uses in the Steven persona… have you heard British people before? They’re very silly.
What Does Moon Knight Actually Do?
He’s… well, as previously stated, he’s basically Marvel’s answer to Batman. A night time defender of the weak and a vengeful warrior who relies on fear and intimidation, Moon Knight has long been one of the publisher’s most famous and darkest “street-level” heroes. But both in the comics and potentially in the MCU itself, Moon Knight represents a connection between that largely-grounded area of superheroics — in so much as anything in comics can be largely-grounded — and the supernatural Marvel universe.
Moon Knight has been a member of the Defenders, an occasional Avenger, and part of smaller groups like the Marvel Knights or the Midnight Sons — and as the MCU looks to flesh out this smaller-scale sided of its universe going forward, Moon Knight as a character is a chance to link that world to the supernatural and magical elements we’ve recently been seeing played with in WandaVision or the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (which will debut just after Moon Knight begins streaming). Plus, given the horror-tinged tone being explored with Isaac’s Spector, it’s an opportunity to provided a different lens on that mystical, magical corner of the MCU… with a lot more bloody fist fights along the way.
When and where can you watch Moon Knight?
Along with the first trailer, Marvel officially announced Moon Knight will release on March 30, 2022.
Like all Marvel Studios’ series, the show will stream exclusively on Disney+ in Australia.
The series will have six episodes, which we can assume will follow the weekly schedule of other Marvel series. This means Aussies will be able to watch new Moon Knight episodes each Wednesday at around 6 pm AEST.
This article has been updated since it was first published.