Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight


Sami Isenberg, Staff Writer


The first episode of Marvel Studios’ newest series Moon Knight aired on March 30th. Starring Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, and May Calamawy, the series has 6 episodes that air weekly on Wednesdays on Disney+. 


Moon Knight was first introduced in an issue of “Werewolf by Night” by Don Perlin and Doug Moench in 1975. Five years after his first appearance, Moench worked alongside Bill Sienkiewicz to produce a solo Moon Knight comic. This collaboration lasted from 1980 to 1983. In the Moench and Sienkiewicz version, Marc Spector, a soldier of fortune, is killed while on a mission in North Africa. However, he is then revived by the spirit of Khonshu, an Egyptian moon god. After becoming an agent of justice, Spector operates in New York City under various aliases: a billionaire named Steven Grant, the mercenary Spector, and a cab driver named Jake Lockley. He was originally hired to capture the Werewolf. However, later, mental illness and Egyptian mythology become crucial aspects to his origins. Other writers have given him dissociative identity disorder. Along with his classic look of a white cape, mask, and hood, the new series’s showrunner, Jeremy Slater, stressed an emphasis on his glowing white eyes. 


In Disney’s series, Isaac stars as Steven Grant, who is a gift shop employee at a British museum – not a billionaire like he is in the comics. Grant is a victim of numerous blackouts and by the end of the first episode, he learns that while unconcious, his body has been inhabited by alias Marc Spector. Ethan Hawke plays antagonist Arthur Harrow, a methodical cult leader. Harrow is out to “make the Earth as much like Heaven as possible” and worships the Egyptian goddess Ammit. 


Ammit is an Egyptian deity commonly known as the “Eater of Hearts” and the “Devourer of the Dead.” These epithets have been created due to her role in the afterlife. In the afterlife, upon death, one’s heart was judged by Anubis, god of the dead. If their heart was found to not be pure, it would be fed to Ammit, leading the person to die a second time.


Villain Arthur Harrow first appeared in 1985’s Moon Knight vol. 2 #2, written by Chris Warner and Alan Zelenetz, where he is introduced as a Nobel Prize-nominated doctor left in constant agony due to trigeminal neuralgia. However, MCU Arthur Harrow is a completely different character. 


Questions have been speculating around the idea of another billionaire vigilante who protects the city and wears a long cape – is this just Marvel’s own spin off of Batman? Showrunner Jeremy Slater steered clear of that side of Moon Knight when proposing this idea. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige insisted that Slater focus on the character’s ties to Egyptology. Mohamed Diab, an Egyptian filmmaker, was hired to direct four episodes in order to highlight this. Producers of Moon Knight also worked with mental health experts to ensure they were sensitive to Moon Knight’s struggles with dissociative identity disorder.


This show, like many others of Marvel’s series, is set to be a hit. It will also bring new appreciation for Moon Knight, his aliases, and his enemies.