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What is Moon Knight's Backstory: Explained


What is Moon Knight's Backstory: Explained
Credit: Marvel

Moon Knight is the latest addition to the continuously expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. The recent announcement that the Moon Knight series will be added to the collection of Marvel shows in Disney+ has many fans excited and interested in Moon Knight.

With his mysterious name and bold defiance against Edna Mode’s rule against capes, Moon Knight may seem like the MCU’s white version of Batman, but who is he really? And what stories are kept behind the white mask of Moon Knight?

Who Created Moon Knight?

The Moon Knight series was originally created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin. Throughout the years, the series has been handled by many writers. This meant that the lore has shifted from time to time, with different writers adding or removing parts of the story.

In the series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, Moon Knight is fighting crime in the streets of LA, mixing his style with other Marvel superheroes like Spider-Man and Wolverine. Meanwhile, in the Ultimate Universe, Moon Knight has even more alternate storylines. He was a failed super-soldier experiment that damaged his psyche, a hired gun called Paladin, and an undercover agent called Ronin.

Marc Spector is lying in bed thinking about his life as Moon Knight, the new superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who suffers from a form of mental illness
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Credit: Disney
Marc Spector contemplating his life choices.

The consistent plot point throughout all the versions of Moon Knight is Marc Spector and his distinctive alternate personalities, brought about by his condition called Dissociative Identity Disorder. Marc Spector is an ex-Marine and former-CIA-agent-turned-mercenary who offered his services as a hired gun all around the world. After being betrayed and left to die during an assignment at an archaeological site, Marc somehow dragged himself into an ancient tomb where he is miraculously revived by Khonshu, the Egyptian moon god.

After he was revived, it became Spector's life mission to seek revenge against the one who betrayed him, turning him into a hero fighting criminals along the way.

What Does Moon Knight Suffer From? Dissociative Identity Disorder: Explained

Spector suffered from traumatic experiences as a child and his exposure to the strong force that came with his connection to Khonshu caused him to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder. A person enduring Dissociative Identity Disorder has two or more distinct identities, with each identity possessing its own personality, behavior, memory, and thinking.

Out of his man identities, Moon Knight is the one who steals the show the most. Moon Knight is a masked vigilante, serving his own brand of justice. Moon Knight is much like Batman, using gadgets and swishing his cape as he jumps across the rooftops to catch criminals.

Aside from the obvious difference in their colors (with Moon Knight preferring to dress in white so that his enemies can see him), what really sets Moon Knight apart from Batman is how brutal he can get. Moon Knight takes all the hits, even the ones he can dodge. He also does not hold back when beating up his enemies.

Moon Knight's eyes glow white as he connects with Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the Moon, who gives Moon Knight his powers.
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Credit: Disney
Moon Knight connecting with Khonshu

Moon Knight is not Spector’s only persona who wears the white mask. We recently Mr. Knight, a well-dressed and subdued foil to the ostentatious and energetic Moon Knight. Mr. Knight acts more like a crime-fighting consultant for the police, focusing on investigating rather than letting his fists do the talking.

Another of Spector’s multiple identities is Steven Grant, his business persona. In the original comic, Grant took Spector’s savings as a mercenary and invested them to build a million-dollar business. However, in the new Moon Knight show, Grant is a timid museum gift shop worker.

Every now and then, Spector also has an alternate personality who moonlights (get it?) as a cabbie. That is Jake Lockley. Lockley spends his time driving around town, gathering information about criminals and villains on the ground.

Who is Marc Spector in Moon Knight?

There were still some bright spots in Spector’s seemingly bleak past. Despite being erratic and in a constant state of disarray, Spector became friends with a Frenchman named Jean-Paul DuChamp during his mercenary days, whom he renamed “Frenchie”. Frenchie stayed with him even after his mercenary life, turning into Spector’s pilot/sidekick.

Spector also found love. His main love interest was Marlene Alaurune, the daughter of an archaeologist who was murdered by the same man that betrayed Spector. He first met Alaurune in Khonshu’s tomb when he was on the brink of death.

Who is Moon Knight's Villain?

SPOILER WARNING! In the comic book series, the primary antagonist is Spector’s old friend, Raoul Bushman, the man who betrayed him in some origin stories. The other villains in different Moon Knight comic book series are his brother, Randal Spector who becomes Shadow Knight, and the Jester.

Marc Spector, the primary personality, is shown talking to his alternate personalities as his reflection.
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Credit: Disney
Marc Spector talking to his alters

Meanwhile, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Moon Knight’s archnemesis is Arthur Harrow, a doctor focusing on pain research. Harrow also appeared in the comic books, but the MCU gave him a glow-up and turned him into a bigger villain.

What is Moon Knight About?

Moon Knight offers us an insight into the world of a person who has faced great adversity and coped in a human way. He developed multiple personalities to help him survive and to reach his goal - to pay for the violence he has lived by protecting the innocent and avenging the weak. Through his different identities, he manages to win battles against criminals while settling internal conflicts, almost always emerging victorious.

Moon Knight is a multiverse himself, all wrapped up in one person, waiting for a chance for his stories to be unmasked.

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