It’s almost Moon Knight time, Marvel fans! So far, early critical reception is off the charts, with critics lauding the series for its departure from the usual MCU formula. It’s already on most folks’ radar for the cast alone, including two award-winning heavy-hitters, Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke.
While Isaac’s resume boasts a few genre properties like Star Wars and X-Men, Moon Knight marks Hawke’s first real foray into comic book territory. This move should indicate the caliber of the project. If you can get an actor who typically shies away from super hero stuff to participate in something like this, Moon Knight must offer something meaty into which Hawke can sink his teeth. That or the Marvel paycheck is too hefty to pass up (I kid, I kid).
So, in breathless anticipation for what’s sure to be a home run of a Marvel series, I’ve compiled a list of things from Moon Knight’s comic book history that we’d love to see onscreen.
Marc Spector Winds Up in a Mental Institution
This arc is plucked straight from the pages of Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s Moon Knight run. Marc Spector learns he’s a patient in a mental institution alongside his lover, Marlene Alraune, and his friends Frenchie Duchamp, Bertrand Crawley, and Gena Landers. He’s bereft of his powers, and there’s a heaping helping of medical records to prove he’s a longterm patient of said institution. Was he ever Moon Knight, or was it all a hallucination?
While I can’t imagine the Moon Knight Powers That Be will utilize this story right out of the gate, I think it would be fun to explore it later in the season after Marc gains the abilities of Khonshu. Plus, seeing the character’s dissociative identity disorder not be used as a gimmick would be a breath of fresh air.
We know Marvel’s modus operandi is snarky humor, but we’ve also seen how profound and poignant the entertainment juggernaut can be with WandaVision.
Every super hero origin series needs at least a handful of flashbacks into the main character’s past — it’s a prerequisite. Hawkeye disappointed me with its lack of Clint Barton-related flashback sequences, but that doesn’t mean Moon Knight needs to barrel down the same path.
I’d love to see glimpses of Marc’s time in the Marines and, most certainly, the events triggering his dissociative identity disorder. In the comics, Marc was born in Chicago, the son of a rabbi who, as a child, escaped Nazi persecution after Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
Trauma would eventually cause Marc’s disorder to emerge. In early adolescence, Marc discovered that a family friend, Rabbi Yitz Perlman, was actually a Nazi deserter. He was also a serial killer named Ernst who targeted Jews, including Marc. He managed to escape Ernst’s grasp but the fight triggered the onset of his disorder. You can’t tell a story about a character like Marc Spector, probably one of the most nuanced/complex heroes in Marvel’s canon thus far, without delving into his formative years. We need to see why he is the way that he is.
Glimpses of Other Personalities Like Jake Lockley
Moon Knight will lean heavily on one of Marc’s personalities, billionaire Steven Grant, based on the trailer and clips. I’m sure Oscar Isaac’s noticeable (and intentionally awful) British accent also gave that away. But there’s one personality missing: cab driver Jake Lockley.
When Marc developed his illness, Steven Grant and Jake Lockley were the first identities to rear their heads. Grant is the successful investor who combined Marc’s mercenary earnings with lucrative business deals. Moon Knight makes a few tweaks, such as planting Marc in an art gallery.
Meanwhile, Jake Lockley is a cabbie who can do the “dirty work” that Marc and Steven can’t by keeping his finger on the pulse of the metropolitan underbelly. He can also maintain street contacts. Jake even starts a family and raises a daughter, with Marc being none the wiser. Here’s hoping the MCU hasn’t forgotten about him.
Then, there’s Mr. Knight. He’s more subdued and lowkey than the over-the-top Moon Knight — he dons a suit and is a law enforcement consultant. Regardless, I’m all for giving the versatile Oscar Isaac more room to showcase his talents as an actor onscreen.
That One Time Moon Knight Became Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man
In Brian Michael Bendis’ run of Moon Knight, Marc Spector is a top-tier Hollywood producer, and Moon Knight is an Avenger. Or is he? Marc ditches his alternate personalities, Steven Grant and Jake Lockley, for some famous Marvel heroes: Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.
Now, I’m not saying the show needs to morph Marc into a Hollywood producer and steep him in the world of the Avengers. Part of Moon Knight’s charm is his aloofness and inability to play nice with other heroes. His story is somewhat insular. That said, I love the idea of Marc’s personalities being other popular Marvel characters. Additionally, it allows the series to develop more of a connection to the MCU.
Moon Knight’s Network of Street Informants
We only know of a few characters appearing in Moon Knight besides Marc Spector. We’ve got Arthur Harrow, Anton Mogart/Midnight Man, Khonshu, Layla El-Faouly (an MCU original character who could replace Marlene Alraune as Marc’s lover), and Donna (Marc’s co-worker at the art gallery). Of course, the series could have more aces up its sleeve since Marvel’s brand is all about secrecy. However, I’d love to see Marc’s street informants join the cast in some capacity. My guess is they’d mostly interact with Marc’s personality, Jake Lockley.
Firstly, there’s Marc’s best friend Frenchie, followed by the homeless Crawley, and then diner owner Gena. Marc relied upon these informants in the early days of his career. Their addition could also lead into the Jeff Lemire storyline about Marc winding up in a mental institution.
Jeff Wilde Eventually Taking Up the Midnight Mantle
Anton Mogart is an extremely skilled art thief who hails from New Jersey but manages to evade authorities all over the world. He earned the moniker “Midnight Man” since his thefts take place at midnight on the dot. Anton gets into a scuffle with Moon Knight and falls into a river. He was presumed dead but survived, with the waste in the sewer melting his face, leaving him permanently deformed. Anton blames Moon Knight for his deformity.
After discovering he’s dying from cancer, Anton seeks out his son, Jeff Wilde. Anton teaches Jeff the tools of the trade and later dies while challenging Moon Knight for a final time. Jeff takes up the Midnight mantle and starts as a sidekick of Moon Knight but morphs into a villain against his late father’s wishes.
I’d love to see this happen toward the end of the season. Jeff’s introduction could spawn more MCU stories and give him various opportunities to interact with other Marvel characters.
Arthur Harrow’s Backstory
Arthur Harrow is a cult leader and religious zealot claiming he’s linked to Ammit, an ancient Egyptian god known as the “Devourer of the Dead.” Arthur was a doctor in the comics, selected as a Nobel Prize candidate for his pain theory work. He’s the main antagonist of Moon Knight, and, like any villain worth their salt, he deserves a backstory deep dive.
Arthur’s connected to scientists who performed nefarious experiments at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It’s unclear if Marvel will omit that from his story or use it. Arthur also shares a link with O.M.N.I.U.M., a think tank organization. Retaining Arthur’s origins could even bring Dr. Victoria Grail into the fold.
While Arthur boasts a genius intellect, his weakness is his trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic pain condition pulling the left side of his face into a perpetual snarl. Based on the trailers and clips for Moon Knight, it doesn’t look like the show will embrace that aspect of Arthur Harrow.
Amid the Infinity War arc in the comic books, Marc encounters Moon Shade, an evil twin of himself. Moon Shade was created by Magus, who himself was a villainous copy of Adam Warlock. Perhaps the inclusion of Moon Shade speaks to my desire to see Oscar Isaac pull a Tatiana Maslany (soon to be She-Hulk) in Orphan Black by portraying multiple personas.
Still, I think this could also draw Moon Knight into the cosmic elements of the MCU with Adam Warlock. Warlock’s already linked to the Guardians of the Galaxy, but since the MCU is moving toward cosmic storylines, as shown in Eternals, the more interconnectedness we have, the better.
In addition, the Infinity Crusade plot introduced Marc to the Goddess, another facet of Warlock. The Goddess deemed Marc one of the most spiritual beings on Earth. This story could also be fun to explore. Cosmic stuff is the bee’s knees!
What would you like to see in Moon Knight? Let us know in the comments!