image via IMDb

My Mixed Feelings on Marvel’s ‘Moon Knight’

Through the first two episodes of Marvel’s newest Disney+ show, Moon Knight, I am conflicted. If you’re new here, welcome. If not, you already know: I am a huge Marvel fan. DC, Marvel, and superheroes in general have always been of immense interest. So when I say I’m conflicted with Marvel’s newest show, you should know that’s significant for me.

I have gone into Moon Knight pretty blind. Truthfully, I don’t know much about the character, other than the fact that when he debuted in 1975, a lot of people thought he was Marvel’s attempt at making a Batman, but that isn’t the case in this show. Originally, Marc Spector was the main Moon Knight character, with Steven Grant being the billionaire alias. However, we see in the show that Steven Grant is the main man, with Marc Spector (the prime Moon Knight and user of Khonshu’s magic) taking a back seat.

Steven Grant suffers from dissociative identity disorder, often times coming between Marc and Khonshu’s goals because Steven just wants to live his life and has no idea what is going on. When Marc takes control, he keeps Steven in a constant loop of mundane activity to keep him unaware of what is going on. However, Marc alludes to Steven at the end of episode two that he may not be fully complicit in his actions on behalf of Khonshu, but rather indebted to him. Steven also seems to have taken on many interests and hobbies of Marc’s wife, Layla. I think Oscar Isaac has done a really good job so far through two episodes playing two different characters, if you haven’t noticed yet, reflections are a huge motif in this show.

Ethan Hawke has been a special kind of villain in this. He’s been soft spoken and calm through all of his scenes thus far, which is menacing. Playing Arthur Harrow, we learn he was the previous Moon Knight, and he knows all about Khonshu, even being able to predict what he has been saying to Steven word-for-word. Harrow is the leader of a cult who worship a different Egyptian god, Ammit, who judges people for their past, present, and future, in order to “rip out evil from the root.” Whereas Khonshu is the “fist of justice” seeking to avenge those who have already done wrong. The two god’s and their human counterparts pose an interesting philosophical question similar to the baby Hitler dilemma

I heard the complaints of the people: that Moon Knight was not going to be able to properly represent the character because he is supposed to be very violent, and Disney would never allow a violent show on their streaming app. The good news is, with the recent reacquisition of Netflix’s Marvel properties such as Daredevil, Disney+ has made a TV-MA setting that you must enable in order to have those shows accessible. While we have only been given snippets of Moon Knights brutality, it certainly hasn’t been on full display. Episode two left us with Marc in control again and in Egypt. Considering Moon Knight is only set to run for six episodes, I expect the action and violence to pick up a bit over the next two, now that the plot and motives are established. 

Mostly setup through the first two episodes, we can piece together what to expect moving forward, so let’s see if Marvel delivers. My biggest question is how Marvel fits Moon Knight into the greater whole? We have seen them fully introduce the idea of heroes being intertwined with mythology with The Eternals. Maybe Moon Knight will fit in with Kit Harrington’s Black Knight and Mahershala Ali’s Blade somehow? 

I will reassess this show in its entirety, and decide where it lands in the Disney+ MCU shows tier list, in a few weeks when it wraps.

Stay tuned.

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