Moon Knight

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Moon Knight
Cover art for Moon Knight (vol. 3) #1.
Art by David Finch and Frank D'Armata.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975)
Created by Doug Moench
Don Perlin
In-story information
Alter ego Marc Spector
Team affiliations Secret Avengers
Avengers
West Coast Avengers
Defenders
Marvel Knights
Heroes for Hire
Notable aliases Steven Grant, Jake Lockley, The Fist of Khonshu
Abilities Superb athlete
Master at martial arts and hand-to-hand combatant
Resistance to some psychic assaults
Skilled acrobat, gymnast, and detective
Expert aviator and marksman
Possesses both traditional and sophisticated weaponry
Moon Knight
Cover art for Marc Spector: Moon Knight #1 (1989). Art by Carl Ports, Sal Velluto and Kevin Nowlan.
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero
Publication date (vol. 1)
November 1980 – July 1984
(vol. 2)
June – December 1985
(Marc Spector: Moon Knight)
June 1989 – March 1994
(vol. 5)
June 2006 – December 2009
(vol. 6)
July 2011 – April 2012
(vol. 7)
March 2014 – Present
Number of issues (vol. 1): 38
(vol. 2): 6
(Marc Spector): 60
(vol. 5): 30
(vol. 6): 12
(vol. 7): 6 (as of August 2014)
Creative team
Writer(s) (vol. 1)
Doug Moench, Alan Zelenetz
(vol. 2)
Chuck Dixon, J. M. DeMatteis, Terry Kavanagh
(Marc Spector)
Alan Zelenetz
(vol. 5)
Charlie Huston
Penciller(s) (vol. 1)
Bill Sienkiewicz, Kevin Nowlan, Bo Hampton
(vol. 2)
Sal Velluto, Ron Garney, Gary Kwapisz, James Fry, Stephen Platt
(Marc Spector)
Chris Warner
(vol. 5)
David Finch, Mico Suayan
Inker(s) (vol. 2)
Mark Farmer, Tom Palmer
(vol. 4)
Danny Miki

Moon Knight is a fictional character, a superhero who appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character exists in the Marvel Universe and was created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin. He first appeared in Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975).

Publication history[edit]

The character debuted in the title Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975), written by Doug Moench with art by Don Perlin, as an enemy of the title character in a two-part story continuing in issue #33. The character proved popular with readers, and was granted a solo spot in Marvel Spotlight #28–29 (1976), written by Doug Moench with art by Don Perlin.

He then had appearances in Spectacular Spider-Man issues #22 and #23 (September/October 1978), both written by Bill Mantlo with art by Mike Zeck on #22 and Jim Mooney on #23; Marvel Two-in-One #52, written by Steven Grant with art by Jim Craig; and Defenders #47–50. Moon Knight then gained a backup strip in the Hulk! Magazine in issues #11–15, #17–18, and #20, as well as Marvel Preview #21 (on which he was the cover feature), all written by Doug Moench. Art was done by Gene Colan in #11, Keith Pollard in #12, and Bill Sienkiewicz on the rest. These were reprinted in Moon Knight Special Edition #1–3.

A new ongoing series was then launched (November 1980), titled Moon Knight, which also had writing by Doug Moench and art by Bill Sienkiewicz. With issue #15 (January 1982), Marvel pulled the series from newsstand distribution, resulting in it being only available through direct market purchase at comic book stores. The series continued until #38 (July 1984), at which point the comic was cancelled. A new series, Moon Knight – Fist Of Khonshu by Alan Zelenetz and Chris Warner followed the cancellation to try and establish a new status quo, but it was cancelled after six issues. Afterwards, the character was incorporated into the pages of West Coast Avengers from issue #21 through issue #41 and Annuals #1–3. After an appearance in Punisher Annual #2 in 1989, the character was once more given an ongoing series, this time titled Marc Spector: Moon Knight. At the time, Moon Knight also had a major guest star role in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man, as The Amazing Spider-Man #353–358 served as the conclusion to an ongoing storyline in the pages of the character's title, as far as the character's war with the Secret Empire. The series was canceled with issue #60 (March 1994), with four of the last six issues drawn by Stephen Platt, who was hired by Image Comics based on the strength of his work on the series. Two one-shots were published during the run of the title, (Marc Spector: Moon Knight Special Edition #1 and Moon Knight: Divided We Fall) were published, followed in January 1998 and January 1999 by two further four-issue limited series, which resurrected the character who had died in the final issue of the 1989 series.

A Moon Knight ongoing series was launched in April 2006, written by Charlie Huston with art by David Finch.[1][2][3] As of issue 14 of this series, Mike Benson took over writing duties[4][5] with Huston acting as story-outline adviser according to Benson in an interview with Marvel published as a one-page excerpt in various Marvel comic books throughout late 2007 and early 2008.[citation needed] Peter Milligan also wrote a 2008 seasonal one-shot "Moon Knight: Silent Knight" with artist Laurence Campbell.[6] The 2006 series ended with issue #30 (July 2009), and only one Annual in the series was printed in 2008.

That series was followed by a ten-issue series titled Vengeance of the Moon Knight, beginning in September 2009, written by Gregg Hurwitz and drawn by Jerome Opena.[7] After Vengeance of the Moon Knight was canceled, Moon Knight was placed in the team book Secret Avengers (appearing for the title's first 21 issues), in the Shadowland three issue storyline and in a 2010 relaunch of Heroes for Hire.

In April 2011 a new series was launched, by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, which ended in 2012 after twelve issues.

In March 2014, Marvel launched a new ongoing series as part of the All New Marvel NOW! initiative.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

Moon Knight #1
Art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marc Spector is an American rabbi's wayward son. As an adult, Spector spends time training to be a heavyweight boxer, a U.S. Marine, and a mercenary. He becomes a skilled combatant and befriends the French pilot Jean-Paul DuChamp, whom he calls "Frenchie." While working for the African mercenary Raoul Bushman in Egypt, the group stumbles upon an archaeological dig whose crew includes Dr. Peter Alraune and his daughter Marlene. The dig had uncovered an ancient temple where artifacts included a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Intent on looting the dig, Bushman kills Dr. Alraune. In response to Alraune's murder, Spector challenges Bushman to personal combat but is beaten nearly to death and left to die in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night.

Roaming Egyptians who worship the ancient Egyptian gods find Spector and carry him to their temple. Helpless before the statue of Khonshu, Spector's heart stops. Khonshu appears to him in a vision, offering Spector a second chance at life if he becomes the god's avatar on Earth. Spector awakens, wraps himself with the silver shroud that covers Khonshu's statue, and again confronts Bushman. He defeats Bushman and returns to America with Marlene Alraune, Frenchie, and the statue of Khonshu. Deciding to become a crimefighter, Spector creates a silver cloaked costume, based on the silver shroud, and becomes the Moon Knight.

After his return to the United States, Spector invests the money that he had accumulated as a mercenary and develops a small fortune. To distance himself from his mercenary past he creates the identity of millionaire entrepreneur Steven Grant, using this identity to purchase a spacious estate. To remain in contact with the street and criminal element he also creates the identity of taxicab driver Jake Lockley. As Lockley, he has acquired civilian allies such as Bertrand Crawley and Gena Landers and her sons.

In the character's first appearance, the criminal organization the Committee supplies Marc Spector with the name Moon Knight, his costume and weapons (using silver) to hunt down Jack Russell. In Los Angeles, Moon Knight captures the Werewolf for the Committee, but then frees him and halts the Committee's plans, fighting Russell again.[8] He battles Conquer Lord,[9] teams up with Spider-Man to fight Cyclone,[10] and fights Lupinas[volume & issue needed] and Randall, the Hatchet-Man.[11]

His origin of being "created by The Committee" is explained as a ruse set up by Frenchie so Marc can shut the Committee down.[12] He then encounters the Midnight Man[13] and returns to Chicago to prevent the poisoning of its water supply by a group called the Werewolves,[14] encounters Morpheus[15] and teams with Daredevil to fight the Jester.[16] He then first encountered Stained Glass Scarlet.[17] Later, he battled the Werewolf once again,[18] battled Bora, and met the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.[19] He then encountered Doctor Strange.[20]

Fist of Khonshu[edit]

Spector abandons his Moon Knight, Grant, and Lockley identities after the effects of Russell's bite (lunar cycle-based strength)[21] fade away, and functions as an independently wealthy man opening art galleries around the world, with the help of art historian Spence. Spector's estranged relationship with Marlene ends when she finally leaves him for her ex-husband when he becomes Moon Knight again.

The cult of Khonshu telepathically summons Spector to Egypt and supplies him with a new arsenal of moon-themed projectile weaponry, originally designed by a time-traveling Hawkeye in ancient Egypt. Khonshu himself appears to Spector and enters his body, giving him the same lunar abilities he previously had.[22]

As the agent of Khonshu, he aids the West Coast Avengers, but at the cost of alienating Frenchie and further distancing Marlene.[23] He time travels to 2940 BC to rescue the Avengers, where he learns of his weapons' design by Hawkeye.[24] He officially joins the West Coast Avengers[25] and enters a relationship with Tigra for the remainder of his tenure on the team.

While investigating the Phantom Rider with Daimon Hellstrom, Moon Knight and the Avengers are attacked by soldiers working for Khonshu's rival, Seth, who is invading Asgard. Khonshu abandons Moon Knight to battle Seth after explaining it was his wish to join the team, not Spector's. Moon Knight resigns the team,[26] and reunites with Marlene and Frenchie,[volume & issue needed] only to die and be resurrected by Khonshu once more.[volume & issue needed]

Marc Spector: Moon Knight[edit]

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #39
Art by Gary Kwapisz.

After "Fist of Khonshu", a third Moon Knight volume was published. It was the longest-running series, lasting sixty issues.

This volume introduces Moon Knight's teenage sidekick Jeff Wilde, also known as "Midnight." Wilde is actually the son of Midnight Man, a villain from the first volume. Moon Knight first encountered the Black Cat and Midnight.[27] Midnight makes a few appearances until issue #24. Turned into a cyborg by the Secret Empire, Midnight is seemingly killed in the "Round Robin" story arc of Amazing Spider-Man, spanning issues #353-#358. Midnight later reappears in Moon Knight volume 4, where Moon Knight apparently finishes him off for good.[28]

Alongside the Punisher, he battled ULTIMATUM.[29] During the "Acts of Vengeance", he battled Killer Shrike, Coachwhip, and the second Ringer.[30] He then encountered Silver Sable, Sandman, and Paladin.[31] As Marc Spector, he was tried for murder in Bosqueverde, South America.[32] He teamed with Spider-Man and the Punisher against the Secret Empire.[33]

While fighting with his brother Randal Spector over who is destined to carry the mantle of Moon Knight, Marc discovers Khonshu is not the god of vengeance but the god of justice.[34]

Starting with issue #38, Moon Knight appears in adamantium armor rather than his Kevlar costume. In the comic storyline it is explained that Moon Knight needs the armor to hold his body together after being infected by the then-possessed Hobgoblin. The disease is revealed to be the villain known as Demogoblin trying to possess him. With the help of Doctor Strange and Mister Fantastic, the Demogoblin parasite is removed. In issue #50, Moon Knight seemingly severs his ties to the Avengers by burning his membership ID card after being brought in by Thor to answer charges in regard to his illegal actions against Doctor Doom. By the end of the series, Moon Knight is killed violently, sacrificing himself to save his loved ones from a computerized villain called Seth and his "Zero Hour" program.[35]

Resurrection War[edit]

In 1998, writer Doug Moench, artist Tommy Edwards, and inker Robert Campanella brought the deceased hero back in a four-part miniseries. In 1999, Moench and artist Mark Texeira worked together on another four-part series called "High Strangeness" which was nominated for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan award for Favorite Limited Series. The title of the story was mistakenly given as "High Strangers" on the covers of the limited series. The correct title of the story, "High Strangeness," appeared on the title page of each issue.

Minor appearances[edit]

In 1998 Spector uses his Ka to help a critically injured Black Panther through the Kingdom of the Dead.[36] In 2001 and 2002 Moon Knight joins the "Marvel Knights" non-team. After making a brief appearance in the "Avengers Disassembled" story-arc, he makes a minor return in the 2005 Marvel Team-Up miniseries, fighting alongside Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the Punisher.

Moon Knight (2006)[edit]

The first arc of the 2006 re-launch by writer Charlie Huston and penciller David Finch, titled "The Bottom", explores Marc Spector's return to crime-fighting following his self-imposed exile. His retirement comes after a brutal battle with Bushman. Although his body is broken after a tremendous fall, Moon Knight finally defeats Bushman by carving off his face with a crescent moon dart. The series highlights Spector's supposed spiritual connection to the moon god as well as his own psychologically damaged state of mind. After returning to his role as Moon Knight, Spector continually receives guidance by what he believes to be Khonshu in the form of a faceless Bushman. This storyline also updates Marc Spector's timeline, suggesting he fought in the Gulf War and that his time as a mercenary was during the 1990s. It is also revealed that Frenchie is in love with Marc Spector; he indicates this is why he stuck around for so long.

In the second issue, Huston introduces the Profile, an amoral character analyst whom the Committee brings in to help them entrap Moon Knight. He escapes after the plan collapses, and later becomes a reluctant source of information for Spector himself.

The next arc, "Midnight Sun", takes place during the Civil War and follows Moon Knight as he investigates a string of murders perpetrated by Midnight, his former sidekick. This arc also depicts Moon Knight's first contact with other Marvel heroes since his return. Spider-Man attempts to contact Moon Knight but is rebuked.[37] Captain America pays him a visit to deliver a warning and they quarrel.[38] The Punisher and Moon Knight have a lengthy conversation about the nature of their vigilantism and their shared past.[39] Moon Knight is forced into a final confrontation with his former sidekick Jeff Wilde (a.k.a. Midnight), seemingly killing him for good.

Iron Man also investigates Moon Knight's activities by placing him under close surveillance. Finding his mental condition unstable, Iron Man decides that arresting Moon Knight under the Registration Act might make his mental instability worse. However, Moon Knight is identified as one of the 142 registered superheroes appearing on the cover of Avengers: The Initiative #1.[40]

Moon Knight begrudgingly applies for registration after much prodding from Khonshu, not wanting the law to keep him from his work. The law requires him to submit to a psychiatric exam. The psychiatrist controlling the exam, along with the government and Tony Stark, has no intention of granting Marc Spector approval for registration. After speaking with Spector's repressed alter egos Jake Lockley and Steven Grant, the psychiatrist begins the process of officially turning him down, suggesting possible future imprisonment. Spector breaks the doctor's will by speaking in the voice of Khonshu and pointing out the doctor's own antisocial tendencies, told to him by the Profile. The psychiatrist not only approves his application, but bows to worship him as well. However, later on, Marc meets the Profile with their dialogue suggesting that the personalities above were just an act to be approved for registration.[41]

In the subsequent arc, "God and Country", writer Mike Benson and artist Mark Texeira take over the series, with Charlie Huston still co-plotting. This arc centers itself on Moon Knight's ability (or lack thereof) as a "registered hero" and Marc Spector's ability (or lack thereof) to hold on to the people around him. This arc sees the return of the classic Moon Knight villain Black Spectre. In this story, Carson Knowles, recently released from prison, falls back into his ways as the Black Spectre and yet again attempts to destroy Moon Knight and hurt the city. In issue #19, the finale of "God and Country", Moon Knight pushes Knowles off a building apparently to his death. This arc also features a large role for Tony Stark, as the head of the Initiative, and lead dissenter of Moon Knight's vigilantism.

In issue #21, a new story arc began, titled "The Death of Marc Spector". This arc is written by Mike Benson, and it involves the Thunderbolts, led by Norman Osborn, who are now on the hunt for Moon Knight. Tony Stark and his second-in-command Maria Hill argue with former Avengers government liaison Raymond Sikorsky, now a representative of the CSA, who desperately wants for Moon Knight to be apprehended with extreme prejudice. Marc Spector himself busts up a drug deal while wearing an entirely black costume, while going through an internal monologue about how crime-fighting is much easier without the burden of his reputation and 'costume recognition'.[42]

Several weeks later, after barely surviving an altercation with the Thunderbolts, Spector pleads for Khonshu's forgiveness for turning his back on him and for the god's renewed assistance. Khonshu appears and informs Spector he doesn't need him anymore, as he now has other worshippers. Spector returns to his Moon Knight costume to aid Frenchie DuChamp in gaining revenge on the Whyos gang for attacking his restaurant and injuring Frenchie's lover Rob, only to find the Whyos' attack was designed to draw Spector into another conflict with the Thunderbolts when he is ambushed by Venom.[43] After a brief fight Moon Knight is captured, but escapes when S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up. Frenchie agrees to help Spector, and Ray joins the reformed team as well. Bullseye is released to kill Moon Knight, as Spector prepares to go out with a bang.[44]

Moon Knight is next seen battling Bullseye in the streets of NYC. He eventually leads Bullseye to a bunker/warehouse where he has planted several explosives. Bullseye narrowly escapes as Moon Knight ignites the explosives. Later that day two press conferences are held: one by Norman Osborn to announce the Thunderbolts' success and Moon Knight's death and the other held by Tony Stark who denounces the methods used by the Thunderbolts. At the end of the issue it is revealed that Moon Knight has faked his death, escapes from the warehouse through a secret passage in the floor, and is hiding in Mexico. It is also revealed that the Marc Spector persona has "died" and that Jake Lockley is now in control.[45]

Vengeance of the Moon Knight[edit]

Moon Knight returns to New York after faking his death with Jake Lockley as his dominant personality, but still struggles against his violent nature and is hounded by Khonshu in the form of a small imaginary tormentor resembling a man in the Moon Knight costume with a bird skull who goads him to kill. While trying to walk the path of a hero he makes a bold return taking on many criminals but killing none of them; now the people of New York begin to see him as a hero and not a murderous vigilante much to Norman Osborn's disdain. Jake's personality has been one of struggle against the inner demon trying to get him to kill while juggling sobriety.[46]

Later, the Sentry takes Moon Knight across the city while he saves people and stops crimes telling Lockley that eventually he will be tested and that he will fail, to which Moon Knight replies "So will you". They stare each other down for a moment before Moon Knight eventually leaves.[volume & issue needed]

After sending the Sentry to confront Moon Knight,[47] Norman Osborn summons The Hood and The Profile to take down Moon Knight. The hood uses his powers to bring Moon Knight's longtime foe Bushman back to life. Bushman resumes to gather an army by enlisting Scarecrow to break into Ravencroft Asylum, where they lobotomize the prisoners to make them more compliant.[48]

Jake Lockley tries to make amends to Marlene and Frenchie for his previous behavior and mental breakdown. Under the Jake Lockley persona, he is regarded as more sane; Marlene mentions that his "eyes are clear". Bushman's army and the Scarecrow soon attacks New York and Moon Knight defeats them. Bushman himself manages to escape, only to later be confronted and subdued by Moon Knight. A growing Khonshu screams for vengeance, yet Moon Knight manages to defy him and spare Bushman's life. At the conclusion, Bushman winds up in jail and Jake Lockley begins to start a new life with Marlene.[49]

Secret Avengers[edit]

Moon Knight became a featured member of Secret Avengers, beginning in May 2010. The series was originally written by Ed Brubaker with art by Mike Deodato and features Steve Rogers, War Machine, Valkyrie, Beast, Nova, as well as the redemption thirsty Moon Knight.[50] He remained with the Secret Avengers until the line-up was reshuffled by Hawkeye.[51]

Shadowland[edit]

During the Shadowland storyline, Moon Knight ends up fighting Profile who was sent by Daredevil.[52] During Moon Knight's fight with Profile, it is revealed that the second Avatar of Khonshu who is working with Profile is none other than Moon Knight's brother Randall Spector in the alias of Shadow Knight.[53] While Moon Knight is able to best him, it was at the cost of gaining his Marc Spector personality back.[54]

Relaunch (2011)[edit]

It was announced at the New York Comic Con that 2011 would see the launch of a new Moon Knight series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, which Bendis has described as a "complete reinvention of the character on every conceivable level."[55] This volume launched in May 2011 and ended with issue #12 in April 2012.[56]

In the series, Spector is shown in Los Angeles as the creator of a TV show based on his origin and superheroics dubbed "Legends of the Khonshu". Later on as Moon Knight, he intercepts a delivery of an Ultron robot body. Spector has also developed three new multiple personalities based on Spider-Man, Wolverine, and the original Captain America who help guide him.[57] Moon Knight gets the head of the Ultron, and attacks a strip club as Spider-Man to get to the mysterious L.A. Kingpin. Moon Knight beats the club leader Snapdragon, but gets shot by a guard before getting answers. It was the superhero Echo who saved him, but she lost her cover in the process.[volume & issue needed] Moon Knight and Echo then team up against the Kingpin.[volume & issue needed] Meanwhile it is also revealed that Spector hired ex-SHIELD agent Buck Lime to design his weapons while posing as a soldier of fortune consultant for his TV show.[volume & issue needed] After a fight with the Night Shift(sent by Snapdragon), Moon Knight and Echo formally team up against the Kingpin. Buck, however, informs the Avengers of Ultron's head, and they visit Spector who convinces them (and later Buck) that he knows what he is doing. Together with Buck and Echo, Moon Knight beats the Kingpin who turns out to be Count Nefaria, and captures Snapdragon (although Nefaria got away).[volume & issue needed] But Moon Knight and Echo keep targeting and attacking Nefaria's bases of operations.[volume & issue needed] Soon, however, Nefaria strikes back, and Echo is killed. This sends Moon Knight's Wolverine personality into berserker mode and it seemingly kills the Captain America and Spider-Man personalities. Moon Knight proceeds to violently attack Nefaria who gets beaten up badly. Nefaria, however, survives and sends his daughter, Madame Masque to retrieve the Ultron head, who succeeds. But Moon Knight and Buck retaliate and attack her. Madame Masque is about to beat Moon Knight, but just then he develops an Echo personality, who tells him to not let her die in vain. Moon Knight fights back, and defeats Madame Masque. Meanwhile the police have Snapdragon testify against Nefaria, and get a warrant for his arrest. Nefaria angrily attacks the police station, and is about to kill Snapdragon, but Moon Knight intervenes again. In the ensuing battle, Moon Knight is beaten, and Nefaria orders him to return the Ultron head, and work for him. Moon Knight tells Nefaria that the head is outside, but the tables were turned as Moon Knight had called the Avengers, and Nefaria was defeated. The next day, Tony Stark commends Marc Spector for a job well done, and tells that Ultron is waiting and planning a robot holocaust. After Stark leaves, it seems that Spector developed an Iron Man personality as well. In the epilogue to the series, Spector leaves Hollywood.[58]

During the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Moon Knight is partnered with Falcon and She-Hulk as part of a small team of Avengers assigned to watch over the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.[59] During the ensuing skirmish initiated by Frenzy, Moon Knight is rendered comatose by Rogue.[60] He is last seen at Stark Tower as one of the many former Avengers celebrating the return of Janet Van Dyne.[61]

All New Marvel NOW![edit]

A new Moon Knight series was launched in 2014, written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Declan Shalvey with colors by Jordie Bellaire.[62] Spector, having returned to New York, now utilizes two costumed personas. The first is Moon Knight, using a plethora of high-tech equipment such as a voice-controlled glider/drone,[63] alongside magical trinkets such as an enchanted skull helmet and other shamanic dressings.[64] As Moon Knight, Spector deals with familiar territory, often delving into the supernatural. The second persona is Mr. Knight, dressed in an all-white business suit, gloves and mask, who consults with the New York Police Department and deals with common thugs and crimes such as kidnapping.[65]

Character analysis[edit]

Charlie Huston, writer of the 2006 re-launch of Moon Knight, attempted to answer the criticism that Moon Knight is an ersatz Batman in an interview with Comixfan.[66] The interviewer noted that the comparison is not baseless, as both Moon Knight and the Dark Knight are wealthy, "normal" humans that use gadgetry to fight crime.

Huston accepted that the two characters had their similarities, but went on to contrast the two by noting in particular differences in origin, motives, and personality. "Bruce Wayne", he said, "fights crime to avenge the murders of his parents", whereas Moon Knight "beats up whoever has it coming because he believes he is the avatar of the Egyptian god of vengeance and it helps him to feel better about all the people he killed when he was a mercenary." Thus, while Batman is motivated by vengeance for wrong done to his parents, Marc Spector is motivated by vengeance as a concept. Huston further notes that Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego, takes on other personalities merely to aid in his fight. However, Moon Knight has three alter egos which aid him as much in dealing with personal demons as fighting law-breakers, and which have taken a further psychological toll of causing dissociative identity disorder. In the question of his sanity, Spider-Man remarked "Moony. Rhymes with looney."

Powers and abilities[edit]

Over the course of his life as a boxer, U.S. Marine, C.I.A. operative, mercenary, and costumed superhero, Marc Spector has become an expert at hand-to-hand combat techniques and various martial arts. He is an Olympic-level athlete and a skilled acrobat and gymnast, and excels as a combat strategist. He employs a variety of weapons over the course of his career, including throwing darts, nunchaku, and a truncheon. He is skilled with most weapons, and an expert with throwing weapons. He is a superb driver and can pilot a helicopter.

Taskmaster, who has the ability to copy and replicate anyone's fighting style, has stated that he prefers not to copy Moon Knight's style, as Moon Knight would rather take a punch than block it.

Promotional art of Moon Knight descending from the Mooncopter. Art by David Finch.

Spector gained his superhuman powers as a result of a visitation by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Moon Knight's strength, endurance, and reflexes are enhanced depending upon the phases of the moon.[67] The fuller the moon, the more strength Moon Knight derives from it, though even during a new moon, he can lift several hundred pounds. He has some degree of superhuman strength during the peak of a lunar cycle. It's not known how much of this strength is mystical and how much is simply the result of self-hypnosis due to his psychological instability. Due to his multiple personalities, he is also resistant to some psychic attacks and sometimes receives prophetic visions. During the 2008 run of the Moon Knight series, Spector states that he no longer has any superpowers.

At one point, Moon Knight is given special weapons by the cult of Khonshu, including bolas, golden throwing crescent-darts shaped like scarabs, an ivory boomerang, throwing irons, and a golden stick in the shape of an ankh that glowed in the presence of danger that can be used as a throwing weapon or bludgeon. These items are replaced with duplicate weapons crafted by Hawkeye. He later retires these items to his personal museum after abandoning the "Egyptian" motif in favor of updated versions of his original styled-gear, including a truncheon/staff/nunchucks combo, and a compound bow. He has also used an axe-shaped lasso-grapple.

During the third series, Moon Knight's silver-white costume includes adamantium, and he acquires an array of high-tech weaponry including an adamantium staff, a truncheon capable of firing a cable line, and gauntlets that fire crescent darts. He has also been depicted using spiked knuckles, worn on the left hand.

Later on, Moon Knight's costume uses carbonadium as armor, and has joint-locking functions, allowing him to support weights far greater than what he can normally lift.[volume & issue needed] Moon Knight makes use of this at one point to leave his costume supporting a building while defending himself in his underwear. Additionally, Moon Knight can 'suit up' by use of a remote control device which assembles the individual pieces of his armor onto his body, similar in fashion to Iron Man.[68]

For transportation, Moon Knight employs a variety of sophisticated aircraft. These include the Mooncopter and Angelwing, featuring VTOL (vertical take-off and landing), a rope ladder, and 20 mm cannons. Later, Moon Knight utilizes a remote controlled white limousine when acting as "Mr. Knight," and a similarly remote controlled crescent-shaped drone/glider when acting as Moon Knight.[69]

Rogues gallery[edit]

While Moon Knight fights villains such as Bullseye and Taskmaster which are enemies of other heroes as well, he has also accumulated his own rogues gallery. Villains include:

Reception[edit]

Moon Knight was ranked by Wizard magazine as the 149th greatest comic book character of all time.[70] IGN also listed Moon Knight as the 89th greatest comic book character stating that the Moon Knight is more or less the concept of what would happen if the Batman were to suffer a multiple personality disorder.[71]

Other versions[edit]

2099[edit]

The one-shot 2099: Manifest Destiny (March 1998) introduced a female Marvel 2099 version of Moon Knight, fighting crime in the lunar city of Attilan. Manifest Destiny was the last comic published in Marvel's 2099 line and the character has not reappeared since. Her identity, abilities, and motivations were never revealed.[volume & issue needed]

House Of M[edit]

Moon Knight appears in House of M as part of Luke Cage's Sapien Resistance against Earth's rulers, the House of Magnus (Magneto and his children, Quicksilver, Polaris, and the Scarlet Witch), although he is not wearing his costume in this timeline.[72] He also appears in House of M: Avengers wearing his costume. A little more of his back story is uncovered as well, still following Khonshu and still suffering from multiple personalities.[73]

Infinity War[edit]

In the Infinity War crossover, the alien double of Moon Knight had ambitions. Using a source of cosmic power (the child Franklin Richards), he became the multi-dimensional Moon Shade. He then murdered the majority of the Multiverse's alternate versions of Moon Knight.[74]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In Marvel Zombies, Moon Knight is one of the superheroes infected by the zombie plague. Previously he had been part of the resistance organized by Nick Fury, but presumably turned into one of the zombies in a later battle.[75] He is attacked by 'Deadites', reanimated versions of many of the dead humans, which seemingly tear Moon Knight apart.[76] (he presumably escapes, as he is seen in the first issue of the regular Marvel Zombies series, which is set after Army of Darkness) He is later killed by Deadpool, who appears on the Marvel Zombies Earth, who cuts his head off.[77]

S.H.I.E.L.D.[edit]

In April 2010 S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 features an Egyptian version of Moon Knight. This version is similar in appearance to the Khonshu statue that Marc Spector worshiped in the past. He can be seen holding a staff that has a crescent moon at the top.[78]

Ultimate Moon Knight[edit]

Ultimate Moon Knight on the partial cover to Ultimate Spider-Man #80. Art by Mark Bagley.

The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Moon Knight is a former Navy SEAL that is the product of a Super Soldier experiment gone wrong. Prior to becoming Moon Knight, he worked for the Roxxon Corporation as Paladin. It is also noted that he has a form of dissociative identity disorder. Within the comic, the "personalities" of Steven Grant, Marc Spector, Moon Knight, an unnamed red-headed little girl, and Ronin interact through internal monologue. He lives with his girlfriend Marlene. She displays knowledge of his Moon Knight identity.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Moon Knight first appears in Ultimate Spider-Man #79 during the Warriors story-arc. He is an active participant of a gang war waged by the Kingpin and newcomer Hammerhead.[volume & issue needed]

During the battle, he is impaled by the assassin Elektra. Although gravely wounded, Moon Knight subdues Elektra with a moon-blade to her head before slipping into a coma. Upon waking up, Moon Knight escapes from custody and engages in a fight with the Punisher, Spider-Man, and Daredevil. After the battle, Daredevil invites Moon Knight to join an organization of superheroes with the goal of bringing down the Kingpin.[volume & issue needed]

As part of this group, Spector adopts the identity of Ronin to infiltrate the Kingpin's ranks. The idea of turning 'Ronin' into the main persona is made by the Steven Grant and Marc Spector personalities, who oppose the Moon Knight persona and the concerns of the small girl persona. In doing so, they create a far more ruthless personality who the Kingpin would find suitable. Moon Knight himself is angered by this decision, but is seemingly destroyed by the Ronin personality.[volume & issue needed]

The Kingpin discovers that Ronin is working for Daredevil and orders his execution. He survives, however, and after regaining consciousness goes to the police claiming that the Kingpin ordered his execution. This provides a charge for the police to arrest the Kingpin, but he has to reveal his secret identity for a charge to be placed. It also seems that the Moon Knight persona is still alive after the Ronin persona decides to wake him up.[volume & issue needed]

Universe X[edit]

In Universe X, Moon Knight is locked in a never ending battle with the Sons of Set, over the statue of Khonshu. It's actually stated that Marc Spector has been dead from the beginning, and just as the moon reflects light, Spector has been "reflecting" the form of a living man, making him effectively immortal.[volume & issue needed] Moreover, it is also suggested that the original inspiration for the moon god Khonshu was the Watcher Uatu who watches the Earth from his base on the moon.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Marc Spector's name is mentioned in passing in the pilot episode of Blade: The Series. Spector is described as an expert in werewolves. Marc is also said to be a colleague of vampire specalist Professor Melvin Caylo. The character of Spector did not appear in the series before it was cancelled.

Video games[edit]

  • Moon Knight is one of the default playable characters on the next-gen consoles (Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3) versions of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Phil LaMarr. He can wear his Classic, Ultimate, and Khonshu costumes. A mod available for the PC, PS2, PSP, and Xbox version of the game unlocks him as a playable character, adding a fourth costume which is labeled as 'Modern' which closely resembles his action figure costume with the arm and leg gauntlets, previously black body suit 'Retro'.[80]
  • Moon Knight appears in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. Spider-Man first encounters him in his Mooncopter at the top of Spector Tower when Black Cat makes her escape and Spider-Man defeats Kingpin's forces. He and Vulture argue about the idea of Spider-Man busting Tinkerer out of Ryker's Island when it came to the symbiotes' invasion, yet still gives Spider-Man a ride to the facility if he chooses the red suit path. He later helps S.H.I.E.L.D. in fighting the symbiotic invasion. After the defeat of Symbiote-Vulture, Moon Knight flies Spider-Man to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier that Venom and his symbiotes are attacking if the player has a Red Suit alignment. Artwork shown on the end credits of the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii versions depict a Symbiote-Moon Knight, but this concept was not used in the actual game. In the PSP version, he is an assist character who will use his lunar attacks on enemies.[81]

Collectibles[edit]

Action figures[edit]

Moon Knight has had five figure renditions over the years (six including a variant in the most recent figure). The first figure was an exclusive mail-away figure in the "Marvel Gold" Line. It was a simple figure based on a ToyBiz base sculpt, with a thin latex-like cape and belt (reminiscent of the costume style employed by artist Stephen Platt). The figure was painted white, with a black head. Moon Knight's second figure was from the 10" Marvel Universe Line. This figure was a repaint of a base sculpt (used for Spider-Man, Daredevil, and many others) and included a cloth cape. The figure was painted white, had yellow arm bands, and a black head. More recently Moon Knight has been included in the Marvel Select line from Diamond Select Toys. This version of the figure comes with a rubber cape and rubber crescent dart accessories, as well as a Khonshu Statue. The figure is painted a Greyish color, with a black head, white arm bands and boots. Moon Knight has also appeared in a recent series of the Marvel Legends line. This figure is painted black, with white gloves, boots, and cape. It comes with both a nunchaku and staff accessory, and its cape is made of rubber as well. It also has a printed cardboard background. This figure also had a rare variant version. The variant was identical in that the costume was shiny silver instead of black. Most recently, Moon Knight has been released in the 334" Marvel Universe line. In this line, Moon Knight is white with a black face, and comes with a rubber cape, a crescent shaped throwing dart and staff.

In addition to these more traditional action figures, Moon Knight has been included in the Super Hero Squad toy line from Hasbro as part of a two-pack with Spider-Man. A Moon Knight figure was also released in series 29 of the Marvel Minimates figures, as part of a two-pack with Armored Daredevil.

Statues[edit]

Numerous commercially released statues have been created of the character Moon Knight. The first was a mini bust created by Bowen Designs in the late 1990s. It features a him in his white costume from the waist up. The second rendition was another mini bust from Diamond Select in 2006. It depicted only his torso and head, and featured a darker costume and white cape. In 2006 Bowen Designs released a full body statue of Moon Knight sculpted and designed by the Kucharek Brothers. This statue came in two versions. The first was painted a dark silver, and the second, which was far more rare, was painted white. In 2013 Gentle Giant released yet another mini bust of Moon Knight. This statue featured a waist up depiction of moon knight with his arms prominently displayed.

Bibliography[edit]

Eponymous series[edit]

In addition to appearing in other Marvel titles, Moon Knight has headlined the following series and one-shots:

  • Moon Knight Vol. 1, #1–38 (1980–1984)
  • Moon Knight Special Edition #1–3 (1983–1984, reprints Hulk Magazine and Marvel Preview stories)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 2, #1–6 (1985)
  • Marc Spector: Moon Knight #1–60 (1989–1994)
    • Moon Knight Special one-shot (1992, cover reads Marc Spector: Moon Knight Special, but indicia indicates simply Moon Knight Special)
  • Moon Knight: Divided We Fall one-shot (1992)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 3 #1–4 (1998)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 4 #1–4 (1999)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 5, #1–30 (2006–2009)
    • Moon Knight Annual #1 (2007)
  • Moon Knight: Silent Knight one-shot (2009)
  • Moon Knight Saga one-shot (2009)
  • Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1–10 (2009–2010)
  • Shadowland: Moon Knight #1–3 (2010)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 6, #1–12 (2011–2012)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 7, #1- (2014-)

Collected editions[edit]

  • Essential Moon Knight Vol. 1 (collecting Werewolf By Night #32–33; Marvel Spotlight #28–29; Spectacular Spider-Man #22–23; Marvel Two-In-One #52; Hulk Magazine #11–15, 17–18, 20–21; Marvel Preview #21; Moon Knight vol. 1, #1–10; 560 pages, softcover, Marvel Comics, February 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2092-0)
  • Essential Moon Knight Vol. 2 (collecting Moon Knight vol. 1, #11–30, 608 pages, softcover, Marvel Comics, October 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2729-1)
  • Essential Moon Knight Vol. 3 (collecting Moon Knight vol. 1, #31–38; Moon Knight vol. 2, #1–6; Marvel Fanfare #30, #38–39; Solo Avengers #3; Marvel Super-Heroes #1; 528 pages, softcover, Marvel Comics, November 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3070-3)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 1: The Bottom (collects Moon Knight vol. 3, #1–6, 152 pages, Marvel Comics, hardcover, January 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2542-6, softcover, August 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-1907-4)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 2: Midnight Sun (collecting Moon Knight vol. 3, #7–13, Moon Knight Annual #1, Marvel Comics, 224 pages, hardcover, January 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-2289-0, softcover, April 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-2290-6)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 3: God & Country (collecting Moon Knight vol. 3, #14–20, Marvel Comics, 184 pages, softcover, November 2008, ISBN 978-0-7851-2521-1)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 4: The Death of Marc Spector (collecting Moon Knight vol. 3, #21–25, Moon Knight: Silent Knight one-shot, Marvel Comics, 152 pages, hardcover, March 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3218-9, softcover, June 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3298-1)
  • Moon Knight Vol. 5: Down South (collecting Moon Knight vol. 3, #26–30, Marvel Comics, 120 pages, softcover, October 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3171-7)
  • Vengeance of the Moon Knight Vol 1: Shock and Awe (Collects Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1–6, Marvel Comics, 144 pages, softcover, July 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-4106-8)
  • Vengeance of the Moon Knight Vol 2: Killed, Not Dead (Collects Vengeance of the Moon Knight #7–10, Marvel Comics, 128 pages, softcover, December 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-4107-5)
  • Shadowland: Moon Knight (collects Shadowland: Moon Knight #1–3 and Thunderbolts #148–149, Marvel Comics, 112 pages, hardcover, March 2011, ISBN 978-0-7851-4889-0, softcover, October 2011, ISBN 978-0-7851-4995-8)
  • Moon Knight by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Volume 1 (Collects Moon Knight vol. 4, #1–7, Marvel Comics, 176 pages, hardcover, December 2011, ISBN 978-0-7851-5169-2)
  • Moon Knight by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Volume 2 (Collects Moon Knight vol. 4, #8–12, Marvel Comics, 144 pages, hardcover, June 2012, ISBN 978-0-7851-5171-5)
  • Moon Knight: Countdown to Dark (Collects Hulk Magazine #11–15, 17, 18, 20, 21 and Marvel Preview #21, Marvel Comics, 168 pages, hardcover, September 2010, ISBN 978-0785148692 )

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huston Talks Moon Knight, Newsarama, July 25, 2005
  2. ^ Dark Side of the Moon Knight: Huston talks "Moon Knight: The Bottom", Comic Book Resources, August 8, 2005
  3. ^ Waxing Moon Knight: Huston talks "Moon Knight", Comic Book Resources, February 1, 2006
  4. ^ Mike Benson: Of Moon Knight and Redemption, Comics Bulletin, August 31, 2007
  5. ^ Bring on the Knight: An Interview with Moon Knight's Mike Benson, Comics Bulletin, March 4, 2008
  6. ^ O Holy Knight: Milligan on Moon Knight Xmas Special, Comic Book Resources, November 18, 2008
  7. ^ [1], Comic Book Resources, June 19, 2009
  8. ^ Werewolf by Night #32–33
  9. ^ Marvel Spotlight #28–29
  10. ^ The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #23
  11. ^ Rampaging Hulk! #17–18
  12. ^ Moon Knight #1–4
  13. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #3
  14. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #7–8
  15. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #12
  16. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #13
  17. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #14
  18. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #29–30
  19. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #35
  20. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 1 #36
  21. ^ Moon Knight volume 2
  22. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 2 #1
  23. ^ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #21
  24. ^ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #23
  25. ^ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #24
  26. ^ West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #41, February 1989
  27. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #4–5
  28. ^ "Moon Knight" Vol.4 #12
  29. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #8–9
  30. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #10
  31. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #15
  32. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #18
  33. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #19–21
  34. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #37
  35. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #60
  36. ^ Priest, Christopher (w), Velluto, Sal (p), Almond, Bob (i). "Nightmare" Black Panther v3, 2 (September 2000), Marvel Comics
  37. ^ Moon Knight #7
  38. ^ Moon Knight #8
  39. ^ Moon Knight #10
  40. ^ Slott, Dan (w), Caselli, Stefano (a). "Happy Accidents" Avengers: The Initiative 1 (June 2007), Marvel Comics
  41. ^ Moon Knight #13
  42. ^ Moon Knight #22
  43. ^ Moon Knight vol.4 #23
  44. ^ Moon Knight vol.4 #24
  45. ^ Moon Knight vol.4 #25
  46. ^ Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1
  47. ^ Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1-2
  48. ^ Vengeance of the Moon Knight #4
  49. ^ Vengeance of the Moon Knight #6
  50. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=25817
  51. ^ Secret Avengers (vol. 1) #22
  52. ^ Shadowland: Moon Knight #1
  53. ^ Shadowland: Moon Knight #2
  54. ^ Shadowland: Moon Knight #3
  55. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=29174
  56. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=36560
  57. ^ Moon Knight #1 (2011)
  58. ^ Moon Knight (vol. 4) #12
  59. ^ X-Men Legacy (vol. 1) #266
  60. ^ X-Men Legacy (vol. 1) #267
  61. ^ Avengers (vol. 4) #34
  62. ^ http://comicsalliance.com/warren-ellis-moon-knight-declan-shalvey-jordie-bellaire-all-new-marvel-now/
  63. ^ Moon Knight (2014) #2
  64. ^ Moon Knight (2014) #3
  65. ^ Moon Knight (2014) #1, 5
  66. ^ "Charlie Huston: Shining Light on Moon Knight", Comixfan, August 17, 2005
  67. ^ Marvel Spotlight #28
  68. ^ Vengeance of the Moon Knight #5
  69. ^ Moon Knight (2014) #1-2
  70. ^ "Wizard's top 200 characters. External link consists of a forum site summing up the top 200 characters of Wizard Magazine since the real site that contains the list is broken.". Wizard magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  71. ^ "Moon Knight is number 89". IGN. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  72. ^ House of M #4, 6-7
  73. ^ House of M: Avengers #1-5
  74. ^ Moon Knight Vol. 3 #42
  75. ^ Marvel Zombies: Dead Days #1 #1
  76. ^ Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #5
  77. ^ Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #8
  78. ^ S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol. 1 #1
  79. ^ "The Java Hut" 10 June 2008.
  80. ^ Denick, Thom (2006). Marvel Ultimate Alliance: Signature Series Guide. Indianapolis, Indiana: Brady Games. pp. 54, 53. ISBN 0-7440-0844-1. 
  81. ^ [dead link]
  82. ^ [2]

External links[edit]