Superhero Profile: Who the hell is Moon Knight?
While I am a die hard comic book geek and have been since I was 10 years old, there are so many superheroes out there that there are still plenty I don’t know much about. Growing up in the Middle East I had limited access to comic books and had to read whatever I could find, so I missed out on a lot compared to my fellow geeks in the states. So now as a mature 33 year old geek I feel like a bit of a fraud being unable to write about some of the characters in great detail.
Therefore I am making it my mission to learn more about the unknown heroes of the superhero universe … well, unknown to me that is.
Marvel Comics’ Moon Knight
I never really heard about Moon Knight until the inter-web starting raving about him and demanding that he be one of the next characters to get his own Marvel/Netflix show. So I set about finding out more about this fan-favourite character that looked like a creepy cross between Spawn and Gentleman Ghost.
Who the hell is Moon Knight?
OK, this is the short version of what I’ve found out so far: Moon Knight is Marc Spector, a man who had a long and troubled past, spending time as heavyweight boxer, a US Marine, a CIA agent and then as a mercenary. His backstory is a long and convoluted mix of government conspiracies, evil dictators and family betrayal that eventually left his dying in the middle of the desert before being brought back to life by an ancient Egyptian Moon god called Khonshu (as you do).
Spector created a new life for himself and his allies in New York (where else, this is Marvel after all) where he fights crime and corruption on the streets of NYC.
Marvel’s Answer to Batman
I’d heard Moon Knight had been compared to Batman and having read more about him I understand why. Spector created new identities for himself when he began his career as Moon Knight, one of which was a millionaire called Steven Grant. So he’s a millionaire crime fighter with no special powers and wears a cape and cowl in order to inspire fear in the hearts of criminals. Basically Batman in a white outfit.
Moon Knight has worked with several other heroes (and villains) in his time, with some loose connections to the West Coast Avengers (which we would all probably like to forget existed) and the Defenders. However most of the time Moon Knight is a solo act, dispensing his own form of badass justice without answering to anyone else.
Moon Knight for Netflix
Having read Moon Knight’s history I’ve got to say that I agree with every single person out there who wants Moon Knight to be featured in the next round of Marvel/Netflix characters (assuming there are more after the Defenders).
His origin story is basically Marvel’s Bourne Identity and would make for an incredible first series. He has a list of great support characters including an evil brother he will be forced to eventually throw off a rooftop and a werewolf character called Jack Russell (which is just THE most ridiculous name I’ve ever heard… brilliant).
Moon Knight is like Batman in many ways but is also bat-shit crazy. Batman may be weird and spooky but Moon Knight is a certifiable schizophrenic of his own making. His multiple cover identities taking on a life of their own would make for some brilliant TV if done well.
His original storyline is complex but still very grounded in the real world, which is perfect for the small screen, leaving the magic and aliens for bigger budgets and bigger screens.
Who Would Enjoy Moon Knight?
My personal comic book tastes call for a character with a little more flair and significantly less grit. I’m not a huge fan of the Batman comics or those characters without powers. For me it’s all about mind-bending sorcery and pan-dimensional adventures, so the Moon Knight comic wouldn’t really hold my interest for that long.
However if you like your characters full to the brim with flaws, quirks and real-life grit, then get reading those back issues now!
Prefer Batman over Superman? Wolverine over Cyclops? Get reading Moon Knight now! Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s From the Dead series is a great place to start if you don’t have the time to read every issue printed since 1974.