If you’re a die-hard Marvel fan, you’ve probably been looking forward to the release of Moon Knight. (No, it isn’t a Western version of Chang’e.)
For the uninitiated, Moon Knight is the title of the new six-episode TV miniseries by Marvel, and the first episode of the series was released on Disney+ yesterday (30 March).
And if you have no idea what the series is about at all, here’s the official trailer to get you started before we dive right in:
Judging by the comments section in this video, it seems like Marvel fans across the globe have been incredibly hyped for this brand-new series, which is definitely a good sign.
And if you’re as excited as me after watching the trailer, here’s all you need to know about Marvel’s newest TV series before you jump right in and binge all the episodes.
Series Premise and Characters
The series, which features Oscar Issac, Gaspard Ulliel and Ethan Hawke among other actors, mainly revolves around the life of characters Steven Grant and Mark Spector.
But here’s the twist.
Steven Grant is Mark Spector.
Marc Spector is also Moon Knight.
Yup. In this series, Spector (or Grant) suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), which causes him to have various different personalities that engage in different ways of life.
For example, Spector is a Jewish-American mercenary while Grant is a British museum worker.
In the series, Spector ends up being trapped in a mystery along with multiple Egyptian gods and his different identities, and often struggles with memory loss and the inability to piece the various parts of his life together.
Other characters in the series include Arthur Harrow (played by Ethan Hawke), who is a “religious zealot and cult leader” who views Moon Knight as a hindrance to his journey in “healing the world”, as well as Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy), who is an archaeologist and adventurer from Spector’s past.
Apart from that, in contrast to most Marvel films and series, a good part of Moon Knight is also built on Spector’s psychological trauma and mental illness, which has piqued many people’s interest.
And even though Moon Knight has been compared to the iconic Batman due to how both series feature alters, it’s pretty evident that the storylines of the two characters are rather different, with Moon Knight going much heavier in terms of showing Spector’s psyche and mental struggles.
With regards to how the show handled DID and mental illness, which are issues that often get overlooked or portrayed incorrectly in mainstream media, Issac told Vanity Fair, “The way that we approached the show was making everything about what it’s like to deal with a mental health crisis.
“That was the way to respect it, and completely dive into it, and orient the whole story around somebody experiencing this mental crisis, and make the journey one of healing and integration.”
Of course, with the series marketed as an action-adventure and psychological horror series, many also expect it to be much darker than the other Marvel shows we’ve been used to watching, so do take note if you’re planning to catch the series.
The History of Moon Knight
As the titular character of the series, avid fans may know that Moon Knight actually first appeared in the Marvel universe all the way back in 1975.
However, this superhero has always been considered to be one of those who have been continuously over shined by other Marvel characters, and so many fans are thrilled to see Moon Knight finally get the recognition and spotlight that he deserves.
As the creation of writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, Moon Knight was first introduced in the comic Werewolf by Night #32.
After a near-death experience where Spector ends up in front of a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, he believes that Khonshu wants him to be the “moon’s knight” and have the “Fist of Khonshu”, where he will be able to redeem himself through protecting the innocent and seeking revenge on behalf of them.
Additionally, in the original comics, Moon Knight actually already has DID, but the cause of his DID is still up for debate even now.
It has been said that his DID may have been caused by childhood trauma, but in other instances, it has also been argued that his symptoms were caused by “brain damage” due to his psychic connection with Khonshu.
Other than the identities discussed earlier, there are also other identities that Spector assumes in the comics, which include taxicab driver Jake Lockley.
As for his superpowers, Moon Knight might be one of the less “powerful” superheroes, depending on how you look at it. Apart from occasional visions of mystical insight, Moon Knight depends on his strong athleticism, advanced technology, combat skills, as well as a high pain tolerance that he has cultivated through willpower, training and experience.
Although many may argue that a series dedicated to Moon Knight has been long overdue, it’s also apparent that Marvel is trying to venture into much darker themes as compared to their usual work, and it does seem like the audience has been pretty receptive to it so far.
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Featured Image: Twitter (@moonknight)
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