If you were watching the third episode of Disney+’s Moon Knight closely enough, you probably picked up that Steven Grant and Marc Spector share their body with at least one other entity – a violent personality that startles both of them.
In truth, the comics version of Moon Knight has a myriad of personalities that have emerged over the character’s nearly 60’s years of history. Most of the Moon Knight stories – whether he’s in his own book, Werewolf by Night (getting its own Disney+ special later this year), West Coast Avengers, or Midnight Sons – focus on the 6 principle identities of the undead Fist of Khonshu.
When comics superstar Doug Moench introduced Marc Spector, he was a marine turned mercenary with a conscience. When he fights another merc over his careless slaughter of an archeologist, he’s defeated and left for dead before an unearthed Egyptian tomb. Crawling into the tomb, he reaches out and clasps a small stone statue of the god Khonshu (which also appeared in episode 3). He dies, and is miraculously resurrected – as Khonshu’s avatar.
At the time, Moon Knight was compared, sometimes unfavorably, to another Dark-er Knight – not surprising, given Moench’s long-standing work scripting Batman comics for the Distinguished Competition. And it didn’t help that when Spector’s Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was revealed a little while later, his other primary personality was billionaire playboy Steven Grant – clearly not the angle they chose for the Disney+ series.
Here are the 6 Prime Personalities in Moon Knight:
We first meet Steven in the Disney+ series as a mousy, fearful, confused gift shop attendant in London. He leaves daily voicemails for his mother – or does he? – can’t catch a break or a bus, and while he has a vast knowledge of Egyptian history and culture, can’t parlay that into a job as a tour guide. He’s oppressed by his catty boss and nothing to write home about. As the series progresses, it’s obvious why his personality is important – despite that weird accent Oscar Issac forces out – he is the archaeological brains of the operation.
While Marc is the first face we meet in the comics, in the show, he’s largely relegated to glimpses in mirrored surfaces – well executed by both Isaac and director Mohamed Diab. Finally, he is able to take over and help Steven out of several jambs – after which, Steven, somewhat begrudgingly, returns the favor. Spector is a mercenary, is married to May Calamawy’s Layla El-Faouly, and, we get the impression was the main man behind the mask prior to the show starting. He is the best he is at what he does – without causing too much damage.
When both Layla and Marc are screaming at Steven to summon the suit, he does his best – and while it may have seemed like a funny play in the show to emphasize the difference between Steven and Marc, the debonair version of Moon Knight in his three-piece suit, is well established in the Moon Knight canon as his own personality, Mr. Night. He generally emerges when the hero needs to interact with police and civilians in need, without scaring the bejesus out of them. Clearly, the Disney+ series is playing with it a bit, but I expect it’ll be integrated by the end of the first (and only?) season.
After Steven lets Marc out to play, he summons the “real” suit – the one we expected to see and becomes Moon Knight. The comic plays fast and loose with real-life DID, so like in the show, Marc and Moon Knight are aware of each other – and all the personalities can hear Khonshu – but in the comics, he’s kinda, sorta meant to be his own man, I guess? Moon Knight is more than just the suit. He’s embodied with invulnerability and several of the powers of Khonshu – at least when the god permits it. Although given that he’s exiled into stone at the moment, but Moon Knight is still operating, they’ve allowed for some flexibility.
Jake is one of the personalities we haven’t seen in the Disney+ series – at least not directly. In the comic, Lockley is a blue-collar cab driver (or sometimes a boxer) who has cultivated a network of underground and street informants – begging another Batman comparison – that of his go-to alter ego Matches Malone. Lockley is rough around the edges, but not particularly violent, although it is entirely possible that the TV series adaptors reworked him in a similar fashion to the new iteration of Steven Grant. Lockley, as the other major personality, looks like the best candidate for the lost time in episode three, as well as the memory flashes Steven has in episode one, rather than Spector’s fault.
We have not yet seen the redheaded girl identity Inner Child in the Disney+ series, which makes some sense – Oscar Isaac is talented, but still. I mostly mention this personality (who appears solely in the mind of whichever alter is “awake”) because she appears in the Ultimate Marvel continuity (aka Earth 1610), a branch off of the normal Marvel continuity created by Brian Michael Bendis that has heavily influenced the MCU as well as the Sony SpiderVerse.
The other option for the violence that has so far appeared mostly off-screen is our old friend Khonshu. Voiced by F. Murray Abraham, Khonshu has certainly been an avid advocate for violence when other personalities are awake. Yes, Khonshu is the moon god who is the source of Moon Knight’s powers and suit(s), but he hasn’t always been considered an outside force. It’s been implied in the comics before that he might all be in Marc or Steven’s mind. Further, there is history in the comics of Spector’s body being taken over by a personality that presented itself as Khonshu resurrected in human form.
Moon Knight has experienced several other personalities in his years dealing with DID, including impersonators of various Marvel characters and even taking on the Ronin identity for a storyline. In the comics, he also briefly exhibited a Jewish rabbi, modeled after Spector’s father.
We also have the question of Steven’s mother, and who is sending Steven postcards – likely both are manifestations of his DID or variations on personalities seen in the comics.
Expect the remaining episodes of Moon Knight to delve deeper into its portrayal of a man dealing with DID, albeit with many of the inaccurate tropes on screen visions of the psychosis often exhibit. It will be interesting to see how many more versions of Moon Knight’s personality emerge. And how they aid or hinder him. As shown in episode three, Steven is helpful to Marc, and Jake may be valuable as well. In the comics, though briefly, there is an effort to integrate all of the personalities, and perhaps that will be the endgame of the limited series. There is also a chance a certain other hero who’s been integrated may appear – opening the door to his cousin – She Hulk’s upcoming Disney+ series.
Or perhaps Moon Knight will be the first truly stand-alone MCU property – but that’s doubtful given the recent push to connect the street level Hell’s Kitchen (formerly Netflix) series even tighter to the MCU continuity. One way or another, I’m sure we’ll be seeing Marc Spector for a while after these six episodes are concluded.
More From Wealth of Geeks
- ‘Moon Knight’ Doesn’t Know What to Think about Justice
- Review: ‘Moon Knight’ Succeeds With Dark and Gritty Storytelling, But Fails With Mental Health Representation
- ‘Moon Knight’ Cast and Creators Talk Costumes, Filming Locations, and Marc Spector
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Image Credit: Disney+.