Moon Knight standing

Finally, after years of waiting, fans of Marvel’s Moon Knight are going to get to see the hero adapted to live action. News broke in October 2020 that Oscar Isaac would be playing Moon Knight in Disney+’s upcoming series, which is expected to drop sometime in 2022.

So what are fans expecting? Or, more to the point, what is it they want to see? Compared to other Marvel heroes, Moon Knight is a complex and mysterious character. Among other things, he’s been taken in some wildly different directions over the years. What version of the hero do fans want to see? Which villains do they want introduced? What classic stories do they want referenced? Should any established MCU heroes make appearances, or should the star of "Moon Knight" stand all on his own?

With over to 4 decades to pull from, not to mention everything we’ve already seen in the MCU, here’s what we think fans want to see in Marvel’s "Moon Knight."

Moon Knight’s multiple personalities

Moon Knight and his alternate personas

One of the things that sets Moon Knight apart from Marvel’s heroes is that the hero suffers from a pronounced mental illness. Once known as Multiple Personality Disorder, Moon Knight has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) due to the personas he utilizes after becoming the servant of Khonshu.

After being gifted with his moon-based abilities, Marc Spector creates two new identities to help shield his activities as Moon Knight — millionaire Steven Grant and taxi driver Jake Lockley. While initially these serve simply as multiple secret identities, over time they become something more. Not only does he speak and act differently while using the different names, but even in some of his earliest stories Moon Knight’s closest allies view his identities as separate people. For example, while Marc Spector is almost always portrayed as the dominant persona, his love interest Marlene feels differently. Whether he’s got his mask on or not, Marlene sees Steven Grant — not Spector or Lockley — as her lover, and calls him by that name.

Links to the MCU’s mystical world

Moon Knight and Dr. Strange

Ask comic book fans who Marvel’s answer to Batman is, and the name Moon Knight will inevitably come up — and not without reason. Both Bruce Wayne and Marc Spector have money to spare, both use various gadgets and stylized vehicles, and both mostly do their vigilante work at night.

But one major difference between Moon Knight and the Dark Knight is the former’s connection to the mystical world. Moon Knight, after all, received his powers from Khonshu — the ancient Egyptian god of the Moon. In fact, he’s often referred to as the Fist of Khonshu. While he tends to work alone, Moon Knight does occasionally join forces with other heroes — often from the more magical side of Marvel’s pantheon. It’s not out of the ordinary to see Spector cross paths with Doctor Strange, vampire hunter Blade, and Ghost Rider among others.

So while we might not necessarily expect to see a Benedict Cumberbatch cameo in "Moon Knight," fans will definitely be looking for connections to mystical heroes. It might not be out of the realm of the possibility to see Mahershala Ali make an appearance as Blade, particularly with some reports putting the release date for "Blade" in 2022 along with "Moon Knight."

A realistic depiction of mental illness

Moon Knight speaking to one of his alternate personas

Assuming "Moon Knight" deals with Marc Spector’s DID, the series could be tasked with a challenging but important job — portraying mental illness in a more genuine and responsible way than Hollywood is used to.

Comic book inspired media doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to realistically depicting mental illness, but it doesn’t have the worst either. While plenty of experts gave 2019’s "Joker" low scores — particularly in terms of linking mental illness with violence — Netflix’s "Jessica Jones" was praised for its portrait of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A 2019 column in The Hollywood Reporter expressed the hope "Moon Knight" will offer "a thoughtful look at the mental health issues the titular hero struggles with." It further praised FX’s "Legion" and HBO Max’s "Doom Patrol" for their handling not only of mental illness, but DID specifically. For now, we can only hope the creators take a cue from those earlier series to deliver a Moon Knight who isn’t defined by his DID, but nevertheless has to confront it in order to move forward.

The "Lunatic" storyline

Part of the cover of 2016's Moon Knight #1

In one of the many relaunches of "Moon Knight," writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood came up with a concept that could be perfect for a TV series. With 2016’s "Moon Knight" #1, readers find Marc Spector not only suffering from DID, but no longer completely sure he’s Moon Knight. For the "Welcome to New Egypt" storyline — later rebranded as "Lunatic" for reprints — Spector finds himself in a mental institution where a doctor and her cruel orderlies insist his belief about being a vigilante is a delusion. The fact that he sees someone else on TV acting as Moon Knight doesn’t help his fragile hold on his sanity, nor do the visions of bizarre desert landscapes, or one in which he’s in a space suit and is pursued by a pack of werewolves.

Handled correctly, the story would be perfect for adaptation to a television series. Just as viewers kept tuning in to "WandaVision" to figure out what was going on, they’d likely be just as intrigued trying to figure out where Spector really is and why, assuming he really is Moon Knight and not as deluded as his doctor claims. It would also offer a unique option to fast track Spector’s origin story, since it and everything else foundational about the character could be introduced as part of Spector’s supposed fantasy.

Moon Knight vs. The Committee

The Committee

Moon Knight was portrayed a bit differently in his first appearance. When he first shows up in 1975’s "Werewolf by Night" #32, it’s as an antagonist to the titular shapeshifter. He works as a mercenary hired by a shadowy organization calling itself the Committee to capture the wolfman. Moon Knight succeeds, though he eventually frees the werewolf while pocketing the dough he earns from his mysterious employers.

As Moon Knight’s story was fleshed out, the earlier tale was retconned: Spector was now working undercover the entire time. Since then, while they’ve clashed with other heroes like Spider-Man, Moon Knight has been the group’s most constant target. A collection of powerful businessmen, the Committee usually uses mercenaries like the Taskmaster to act on their behalf.

While Moon Knight certainly needs some more physical bad guys to contend with, the Committee would be the perfect behind-the-scenes organization to be gunning for the hero — kind of like Spector’s own version of Hydra or The Hand.

Moon Knight vs. Crossfire

Crossfire

First appearing in 1979’s "Marvel Two-In-One" #52, the cybernetic master spy Crossfire has a plan to get all of the world’s superheroes out of his way at once. He’s developed an ultrasonic brainwashing device with which he hopes to force all of the world’s super powered champions into a fatal battle royale. When he kidnaps the Thing to test his new toy, Moon Knight shows up to give the Fantastic Four’s strongman a hand.

Crossfire isn’t a villain Moon Knight fights often in the comics, but he’d still potentially be a perfect choice for two reasons. First, we learn in Crossfire’s first appearance that he and Spector worked together in the CIA. That kind of backstory could lead to an interesting and powerful dynamic, not unlike what we see between Frank Castle and Billy Russo in Netflix’s "The Punisher."

Second, in the comics Crossfire is family with a villain we’ve already seen in the MCU. Crossfire’s real name is William Cross, and his cousin is Darren Cross who Corey Stoll played in 2015’s "Ant-Man." That connection could help bring Moon Knight closer to the MCU mainstream.

Acknowledgement of Moon Knight as a Jewish hero

A shot from the story of Moon Knight's childhood

Marc Spector is one of the most notable Jewish superheroes in Marvel Comics. While Fantastic Four’s Thing and Doc Samson showed up in the comics long before Marc Spector, they weren’t written as Jewish until much later. Marc’s Jewish heritage becomes clear in 1984’s "Moon Knight" #37, when Spector thinks back on his childhood — particularly his peace-loving Rabbi father — after a synagogue is set on fire and Moon Knight hunts the perpetrators.

Fans and critics have made it clear they want Marvel to mention Moon Knight’s Jewish background in the upcoming series. Marvel has already weathered criticism for a lack of overt Jewish representation, particularly in terms of what some have called the whitewashing of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. When it was announced Oscar Isaac was cast as Moon Knight, quite a few fans took to social media to express their disappointment in Marvel’s choice to not go with a Jewish actor.

Even before Isaac’s casting, Josh Weiss of Forbes warned that it was important to not forget Spector’s background in the show. Using the example of Daredevil — who we see regularly visiting a Catholic priest for confession in Netflix’s "Daredevil" — Weiss wrote, "Marc Spector’s Jewish background is just as important to Moon Knight’s growth as Matt Murdock’s Catholicism" is to Daredevil’s.

The Egyptian pantheon

Marvel's Khonshu

In the Marvel Universe, the ancient gods of countless civilizations coexist and interact all the time. Figures from different mythos like Thor and Hercules forge friendships and clash in epic wars. Yet so far in the MCU, we’ve only gotten a chance to see the gods culled from Norse myth like Thor, Loki, and Odin. Meanwhile, gods and goddesses from Greek, Egyptian, and Celtic civilizations and more have played major parts in the comics.

Hopefully, "Moon Knight" will give us a chance to look beyond Asgard to the myths and legends of the ancient Egyptians. Often referred to as the "Fist of Khonshu," Moon Knight is the servant of an Egyptian god. In ancient Egyptian myth, Khonshu was known as the god of the Moon. More than just a neutral entity, Khonshu was seen as a protector of travelers, since the Moon’s light would part the darkness and help reveal dangers.

Khonshu has appeared physically in the comics, though not as often as gods like Odin or Zeus. Featuring him in "Moon Knight" would broaden our understanding of the amazing fictional universe Marvel Comics created.

Moon Knight’s twisted brother

Shadowknight

If we’ve learned one thing from the "Thor" films, we know that sometimes brothers can be the deadliest of enemies. This is perhaps even more true for Marc Spector and his brother Randall than it is for Thor and his adoptive brother.

Before he had his own series, Moon Knight’s adventures were told as a back-up in the "Hulk!" magazine. In 1979’s "Hulk!" #17, we learn that a serial killer known as "Hatchet Man" is Marc’s brother Randall — and he’s looking to murder both Moon Knight and his lover Marlene. Years later, in 1992’s "Marc Spector: Moon Knight" #35, Randall returns and in the following issue becomes Shadowknight — a super-powered member of the Cult of Khonshu. His last appearance was in 2010’s "Shadowland: Moon Knight #3," when his outfit was a ragged, dark reflection of his brother’s.

With familial ties and a look clearly meant to make him the anti-Moon-Knight, Shadowknight could be the perfect Big Bad for the upcoming Disney+ series. In fact, upon news that Ethan Hawke would be joining the series, the possibility that he was cast as Randall Spector was one of a few theories thrown around the online rumor mill.

A link to the Avengers

Moon Knight and other Avengers

Like Daredevil and Wolverine, Moon Knight is the kind of loner who would usually scoff at the idea of joining a team like the Avengers. But, just like those others two heroes would eventually find themselves in the fold, Moon Knight becomes a part of Earth’s mightiest heroes in 1987’s "West Coast Avengers" #21 as he aids the team in a time travel adventure. He leaves the Avengers just before a major creative team shift in 1989’s "West Coast Avengers" #41, but he’s returned to their roster since. Steve Rogers recruits him into a black-ops Avengers squad in 2010’s "Secret Avengers" #1.

Fans are definitely going to be watching the series and waiting for some kind of connection between Spector and the team to be revealed. If membership isn’t outright offered, there could be a cameo from an established MCU Avenger, planting the seeds for a future meetup.

A nod to the Hawkeye: the man who created Moon Knight’s weapons

Clint Barton in Avengers: Endgame

In late ’80s, Marvel Comics created a surprising connection between Moon Knight and Hawkeye, and fans would get a kick of seeing this given some kind of acknowledgement or nod in the series.

In 1987’s "West Coast Avengers" #23, the team finds itself bouncing around time, including the team being split up. In ancient Egypt, part of the team — minus Moon Knight — fight the servants of the villain Rama-Tut alongside priests of the moon god Khonshu, the god Moon Knight serves. In order to help the priests defend themselves, Hawkeye designs projectile weapons for them such as boomerangs and darts. When the Avengers are reunited, we learn Moon Knight’s weapons in the present are the ones designed by Hawkeye in the distant past.

It would seem unlikely for that specific story to be adapted even if Jeremy Renner were to make an appearance on "Moon Knight," but we’re sure the writers could come up with some clever way to hint at the connection between Spector and Clint Barton.

More than a single season

Moon Knight

So far, it seems like most of Disney+’s shows are intended to be mini-series rather than regular shows with at least a couple of seasons. For example, it wouldn’t seem likely we’d get a second season of "WandaVision." But "Moon Knight" will likely be one of the first Disney+ Marvel series to focus on a solo hero who hasn’t already appeared in the MCU. If the first season is a hit, it’s likely fans are going to be clamoring for a second.

With more than 4 decades worth of stories from which to pull, there’s certainly enough source material to fill multiple seasons. Not to mention that, should Spector show up on the big screen and perhaps even join the Avengers, there’s always the possibility that we could get already established MCU characters making guest appearances in the series. Considering how experienced he’s likely to be with powerful mystical forces by Season 2, he probably wouldn’t be too impressed with Jimmy Woo’s sleight-of-hand tricks … but an appearance by Doctor Strange or Blade would seem appropriate.

A definitive version of the character

Moon Knight

Depending on who you ask, Moon Knight is either the servant of an ancient god, a mercenary, a mystical protector of travelers, or just an obvious Batman copycat. His history and even his identity have grown muddier over the years, and in part this is because up until now he’s been a Marvel Comics C-lister. It’s not at all rare for writers who drastically change the foundation of a marquee hero like Spider-Man or Captain America to endure death threats for their new takes, but doing the same for, say, Howard the Duck isn’t going to attract the same kind of fan rage.

For example, when Warren Ellis helped redesign the character in a new volume that was released in 2014, he consciously chose to shift away from talking about Spector’s DID, in spit of many readers seeing it as a defining aspect of his character. When speaking to the L.A. Times in 2013 (via CBR), Ellis explained his reasoning with, "you can’t catch DID just from pretending to be other people. If that was true, every actor in L.A. would be hospitalized."

We’re guessing that in light of this, fans are hoping the release of "Moon Knight" and its presumed success will put an end to the character getting such drastic makeovers every few years, and finally set one version in stone.