Moon Knight’s alter egos will figure.
Moon Knight suffers from dissociative identity disorder. He was born Marc Spector, a troubled ex-Marine-turned-mercenary for hire. In the comics, Spector also cycles between his Steven Grant and Jake Lockley identities. Steven is the aforementioned millionaire playboy, while Jake is a streetwise cab driver.
Moon Knight’s troubled mind is divided into three distinct personalities. Art by Greg Smallwood (Image Credit: Marvel)
However, the MCU looks to be taking a slightly different approach. Both the trailer footage and Marvel’s official description for the series suggest we’ll be seeing the conflict mostly through the eyes of Steven Grant rather than Marc Spector. And unlike the comics, this version of Steven isn’t a rich American playboy. Instead, he’s a British man who works at the London Museum gift shop and is drawn to the museum’s Egyptian artifacts for reasons he can’t explain. Marvel’s description also makes no mention of Jake Lockley, which could suggest he’s being eliminated from the dynamic or being saved for a later season.
Grant doesn’t seem to fully understand his own mental condition, though he’s clearly aware enough to try and stop himself from falling asleep or leaving his apartment. Over the course of the series, Steven will discover just how dark and twisted his other life truly is.
One scene in the trailer shows Steven answering Marc Spector’s phone, and we learn he seemingly has no idea who Marc is. As for that woman on the other end of the line, she could be Marlene Alraune, Marc’s frequent love interest in the comics.
Another scene shows the Steven Grant identity taking over in the middle of one of Marc Spector’s missions, where he’s clearly disturbed to find himself holding a gun and driving a strange truck with an unconscious body in the back.
The Moon Knight Costume
Moon Knight may fit the Batman mold in some ways, but unlike the Caped Crusader, he has actual superhuman powers, not to mention a relationship with a literal Egyptian god.
The god in question is Khonshu, who in the Marvel Universe is the god of the moon and the designated protector of “those who travel by night.” We see glimpses of Khonshu in the trailer. As in Marvel’s contemporary Moon Knight comics, Khonshu manifests as a white-cad figure with a gigantic bird skull for a head.
Art by Greg Smallwood (Image Credit: Marvel)
The trailer reveals one major deviation in the MCU. In the comics, Moon Knight designs his own costume and gadgets to help fight crime (and occasionally werewolves). But in the show, we see his costume manifesting entirely out of thin air. This supernatural costume with all its wrappings is clearly inspired by Egyptian mummies, and we can see Marc’s eyes glow with inhuman power.
It remains to be seen just what powers Moon Knight will have in this series. His abilities vary in the comics, depending on whether Marc is working as Khonshu’s faithful servant or rejecting his godly benefactor. Often, Moon Knight is shown to have increased strength and stamina that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.
Who Is Ethan Hawke’s Villain?
Prior to the trailer’s release, the biggest question surrounding the series was the identity of Ethan Hawke’s mysterious villain character. The trailer doesn’t explicitly reveal that character’s identity, but Marvel has since confirmed Hawke is playing Arthur Harrow.
This obscure villain only appeared in a single Moon Knight comic, which depicts him as a mad scientist obsessed with ending pain in the human body. Obscure or not, that character is only more relevant in 2022, a time when pain management is a trillion dollar business and the effects of the opioid crisis continue to be felt everywhere.
That said, many fans are already speculating Hawke’s character may be a fusion of multiple Moon Knight villains. In the trailer we see Harrow appear as a disheveled religious figure who preaches to onlookers in the middle of the street.
We can’t help but be reminded of the Sun King, a fairly recent addition to Moon Knight’s rogues gallery. As his name suggests, the Sun King is basically the antithesis of Moon Knight himself. He serves Khonshu’s rival, the sun god Amon Ra, and has pyrokinetic powers. The Sun King has a long history of mental illness of his own, and he’s gathered a legion of followers who worship Amon Ra.
Hawke’s character may well be a combination of Arthur Harrow and the Sun King. After all, Marvel Studios is very fond of introducing new heroes by pitting them against their polar opposites. Iron Man had Iron Monger. Thor had Loki. Black Panther had Killmonger. And Moon Knight may have the Sun King.
Art by Jacen Burrows. (Image Credit: Marvel)
Comic fans may be wondering where Moon Knight’s
other big nemesis is in all of this. Before the Sun King was introduced in 2017, Moon Knight’s main archrival was Raoul Bushman. This bloodthirsty mercenary was once partnered with Marc Spector before leaving him for dead in the Egyptian desert. That’s how a dying Marc discovered Khonshu’s tomb and became Moon Knight in the first place.
The trailer could be showing us the MCU version of that origin scene, but Bushman himself is nowhere to be found. Is Marvel saving that character for a future season, or is Bushman being kept under wraps for now? We’ll find out when Moon Knight debuts on Disney+ on March 30.
For more on the future of the MCU, check out
our breakdown of Spider-Man: No Way Home’s ending and see everything coming from Marvel in 2022.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter .