"Wait, who is Moon Knight?" is the question on many lips right now, as Disney Plus is about to drop a new show that, unlike recent Marvel TV projects, is based on a character who has yet to make their MCU debut. And this upcoming Marvel series looks as interesting as it looks confusing.
Real name: Marc Spector
Played by: Oscar Isaac
MCU Allies: Spider-Man, The Thing, Defenders
Abilities: Unarmed (martial arts) and armed combat
First appearance: Werewolf by Night #32 (Aug. 1975)
And now that we've seen the trailer for Marvel's Moon Knight (opens in new tab), and learned when the show is coming out, it's time to try and do our best to answer that question. Moon Knight has drawn comparisons to Batman, but he's a much more supernatural being, and one with a much more complicated psychological profile.
For more about the show, after you've watched, check out our story that dissects what we just saw, as we've got the Moon Knight episode 1 ending explained.
While much of the story of the Moon Knight show has not been revealed yet, we do know that the titular role will be played by Oscar Isaac. And we also know that this series looks dark in both its visual composition and subject matter. Oh, and since we've already seen the show's first episodes, check out our Moon Knight review to see why we love it.
And since Moon Knight is a character with a bit more complexity than your average hero, he's also one deserving of an explanation. So, with the caveat that some of this is likely to change because Marvel Studios can't really stick explicitly to the comics (characters have so many iterations over the years), here's everything you need to know about Moon Knight.
Moon Knight's real name and origin story
Marc Spector has lived many lives in Marvel comics, and that's not just a reference to his dissociative identity disorder (not schizophrenia, as some comics have claimed). A former Marine and CIA operative, who then became a mercenary, Spector's past makes for a perfect match with Moon Knight's after-hours work of leaping across buildings and fighting.
A son of a rabbi, Spector left the merc life because of how colleague Raoul Bushman did business, including an incident when Bushman killed an archeologist named Dr. Alraune. After saving the life of the archeologist's daughter Marlene (likely played by May Calamawy — a casting decision that has yet to be confirmed), Spector was defeated by Bushman in combat.
But while Spector's body is then brought into a tomb, he doesn't die. Instead, he's healed. It turns out Spector's body was placed near a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, and Spector believes that Khonshu wants him to be his surrogate on earth as the moon's knight — hence the name Moon Knight. Khonshu's basically commissioning Spector to make up for all his past acts of violence by being a protector of the good.
This connects to the trailer, because someone (likely Marlene) calls Spector and is shocked he's still alive. But Spector doesn't know why the person on the other end of the line is calling him Marc.
In his work as Moon Knight, Spector works with Marlene Alraune and a colleague named Jean-Paul "Frenchie" DuChamp. There are no signs of Frenchie having been cast yet.
Moon Knight's powers
In the comics, Moon Knight is a lot like Batman, at least in terms of his powers. Which is to say his powers mostly revolve around his skill and expertise in fighting, as you can see in the Moon Knight trailer:
Thanks to various trainings over the years in the comics (with time as a boxer and a U.S. Marine, among other jobs), Spector/Moon Knight is highly capable in combat. In fact, he's so highly athletic that we laughed at the moment in the elevator where Spector feigns having dropped a contact lens.
And, as seen at around one minute and 39 seconds into the trailer, Spector's Moon Knight armor can form around his body. While the trailer makes this look supernatural, the armor in the comics is triggered to form to his body. This took place during the Dark Reign series, which happens after the comics' Secret Invasion storyline.
Moon Knight's enemies
Bushman is a recurring bad guy in the Moon Knight world. Moon Knight's other enemies — Sun King, Crossfire, Shadowknight, Zodiac, Maggia and Jester — have yet to be seen in the MCU.
In the trailer, when Moon Knight is seen in a bathroom, he appears to be beating up one of his other foes — Werewolf by Night — whose series he debuted in.
That said, the Moon Knight show does already have one potential villain, Dr. Arthur Harrow (played by Ethan Hawke). Seen in the trailer as a man with long hair and a seemingly cult-like following, the Harrow in the comics was a scientist whose work was stolen by Nazi scientists, who soon started kidnapping innocents.
Moon Knight's alter egos
In addition to Marc Spector, there are other identities at play in Moon Knight, per his dissociative identity disorder.
One of those is a boy named Steven Grant, who Marc thought was another boy he met as a child. YouTuber Emergency Awesome (opens in new tab) thinks suspected that the Grant personality is the one that answers the phone and asks why he's called Marc. We're hoping that Isaac's odd accent in the trailers is only dedicated to Grant, or just some of the alter egos.
Then there's Jake Lockley, the alter ego whose appearance pushes Marc's parents to send him to a psychiatric hospital. Lockley becomes a taxi cab driver, while the suited Mr. Knight is Moon Knight's more business-formal alter ego.