Protector of Travelers at Night: Thoughts on the Upcoming Moon Knight

  • Created by Jeremy Slater
  • Based On the Character Moon Knight by Doug Moench and Don Perlin
  • Marvel Productions
  • March 30, 2022
  • Disney+

Known Cast (So Far…)

  • Marc Spector / Moon Knight-Oscar Isaac
  • Arthur Harrow-Ethan Hawke
  • Anton Mogart / Midnight Man-Gaspard Ulliel
  • Role Undisclosed-May Calamawy
  • Khonshu as himself

It’s not often that I discuss a trailer on my blog. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever discussed just a trailer here but today I am going to discuss the trailer as well as my thoughts and feelings on the upcoming Moon Knight series.

I have waited over forty years for a live action Moon Knight series. Or cartoon. Or movie. Prior to this the only direct depiction I was aware of was an appearance in the animated The Spectacular Spider-Man and that was aside from a few vague cameos in assorted Marvel cartoons from the 90s. In Spectacular he was a punchline rather than a character though they used the amazing Declan Shalvey version of the costume.

I really have high hopes for this series. My hopes for what they will give us are as lofty as what people had for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Moon Knight has been my favorite superhero for over 40 years. It was the first comic book I ever got regularly (in the mail when such things happened) even before Star Wars arrived. I am not sure how that ever came to be, but I was addicted from issue one.

I knew nothing about the character prior to receiving the series. Really. I never knew he existed before the first issue arrived in my mailbox. I was unaware of his origins in Werewolf By Night yet there in my eager young hands was a comic book starring a character which quickly became a favorite of mine.

His first series, which I feel is the gold standard of the character, gave him a supporting cast of relatively normal individuals. At least as normal as one might find in a superhero series. In his regular crimefighting duties he was aided by a colleague from his mercenary days named Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp and his lover Marlene Alraune. There was diner manager Gena Landers and her sons Ray and Rick and regular diner patron Bertrand Crawley, who is homeless and is Spector’s street informant.

I had hoped some of them would appear in this series. Maybe not Gena or Crawley but at the minimum Frenchie. That particular character had a long-time relationship with Marc Spector. As much as the villainous Raoul Bushman was responsible for the creation of the character, Frenchie was responsible for the character flourishing and being able to do many things he did.

I am getting a little ahead of things. Let me give you the short version of his official origin. In the pages of that series he was introduced as mercenary Marc Spector in the employee of Raoul Bushman in the Sudan. There they stumbled across Dr. Peter Alruane and his daughter Marlene at a dig site. Bushman wanted to kill both in order to steal the Egyptian gold Alruane had discovered but only succeeded in killing Marlene’s father because of Marc’s interference. He then nearly killed Marc in revenge and departed the area. Near death Marc had a vision where he believed he was resurrected by the Egyptian god Khonshu in order to act as his avatar.

Using the money he earned as a mercenary, Marc leaves behind his past and takes on the identity of the wealthy Steven Grant. In his efforts to fight evil he takes on the identity of Jake Lockley to gather street level information on the villains he faces.

With successive writers on successive series those identities became separate personalities that manifested in his youth and the character suffered from dissociative identity disorder. From there the stories began to focus more and more on whatever problems his mind could generate (or some entity could create via his mind) with actual villains becoming fewer and fewer. Not that a story like that is bad. The character of Morpheus gifted Moon Knight with some great stories that occurred largely in his mind but that is a different thing than a trip through Marc’s head as he confronts his inner demons. One of my bigger fears is that this series will be all about his mental illness and not about him engaging in any kind of superhero type story.

A regular complaint I have heard (and I myself have voiced) is that Moon Knight is often handled by writers that don’t get the character. They don’t understand what has made the character appeal to longtime fans nor do they know how to keep those elements as they create new, modern stories.

Why do I bring this up? Because it appears that from this trailer and some other things that have come out in the media that those working on this do not seem to quite get the character. Moon Knight is a brutal character. He will take a punch or many punches and keep on going and dish out as good as he got. Given the design of the costume and this weird accent Isaacs sporting I’m curious if those behind the show get the character. I’m thinking they might not.

And what is up with that accent? Oscar Isaac is sporting some weird British accent in the trailer. Steven Grant, which is the identity some have gone with for him in the show, was never implied to be anything other than American. In the comics Spector is the Jewish-American Chicago born son of a rabbi. Not British at all.

I also have an issue with the costume. I expected a redesign of some type but not something where they try to make Moon Knight look like a mummy with a cape. It borders on silly and leads into my thinking that this whole series might lean into camp rather than be something serious.

The whole point of the costume was to make Moon Knight look like a ghost and not a mummy. A ghost. In story he wanted the baddies to see him coming. If they were going to do anything they probably should’ve taken a hint or two from the Declan Shalvey design which was my absolute favorite redesign of any of them. I’m not saying it because I liked it the best (which I do) but because it had the most potential to become something cinematic.

I find the design reminiscent of a 90s series called Mummies Alive! Do not be upset if you never heard of it. It came and went in a flash. I will not bore you with details but the included clip here might illuminate you on why I thought this.

At the moment there is a very little concrete out about this show. We know some character names and from the looks of it some characters from other Marvel shows or movies will be crossing over into this. That is the general template that has worked so why change?

I think that’s a bit of a mistake. At his best Moon Knight was never directly connected to the larger Marvel Universe. He certainly existed within it, but he was not integrated into it. He had his own subset of villains. Occasionally a street level character like Daredevil or the Punisher might show up but he was not integrated to the larger Marvel universe.

With the casting of Ethan Hawke, I was at first convinced that the villain of the series was going to be Sun King-a recent character that was the avatar of Ra and originally presented as being the new archnemesis of MK. Sun King was a disappointment after he was introduced. Scratch that. Sun King was a joke after he was introduced.

The character had a cult on an island but by the end of the series in which he was introduced he came off more as a goof than an actual threat or character. Sun King was perhaps the worst character introduced for Moon Knight in his entire existence.

Officially though Hawke is playing Arthur Harrow (Google though called him ‘Randall Spector’ in one of my searches) who in the barely mediocre Fist of Khonshu series was a Nobel Prize level scientist researching pain due to him suffering from trigeminal neuralgia. The characters design reminded me of Flintheart Glomgold from Ducktales for some reason. However the character description (so far) sounds a great deal more like Sun King. Specifically the whole cult leader aspect. My theory is this will be some merger of the two.

I’m not sure why they didn’t use a character like Bushman or Morpheus who have been much more significant to the character. As noted earlier Bushman was essentially responsible for MK’s origin. Why not him? Or if you are interested in something deeper use Stained Glass Scarlet? She touches on so much and has perhaps the most complex relationship with Moon Knight.

Moon Knight is premiering this year on Disney+. I am certainly hoping for the best and I will be watching this despite my reservations and concerns that I have voiced here. I have waited so long and want this so much. It is something I wish to be great and hope for the best with.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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