“Moon Knight” was another one of my favorite comics growing up, that I have recently revisited for the “Comics That Should Be Made Into Movies” series. There was talk about a television show a few years back, but I guess that fell through. Here are the basics:
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marc Spector is an American rabbi’s wayward son. As an adult, Spector spends time as a heavyweight boxer, a U.S. Marine, and a mercenary. He becomes a skilled combatant and befriends the French pilot Jean-Paul DuChamp, whom he calls “Frenchie.” While the pair work for the African mercenary Raoul Bushman in Egypt, the group stumble upon an archaeological dig whose crew includes Dr. Peter Alraune and his daughter Marlene. The dig had uncovered an ancient temple where artifacts included a statue of the Egyptian god Khonshu. Intent on looting the dig, Bushman kills Dr. Alraune. In response to Alraune’s murder, Spector challenges Bushman to personal combat but is beaten nearly to death and left to die in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night.
Roaming Egyptians who worship the ancient Egyptian gods find Spector and carry him to their temple. Helpless before the statue of Khonshu, Spector’s heart stops. Khonshu appears to him in a vision, offering Spector a second chance at life if he becomes the god’s avatar on earth. Spector awakens, wraps himself with the silver shroud that covers Khonshu’s statue, and again confronts Bushman. He defeats Bushman and returns to America with Marlene Alraune, Frenchie, and the statue of Khonshu. Deciding to become a crime-fighter, Spector creates a silver cloaked costume, based on the silver shroud, and becomes the Moon Knight.
Moon Knight is often criticized as an ersatz Batman and the parallels are indeed apparent. Charlie Huston, writer of the 2006 re-launch of Moon Knight, attempted to answer these criticisms in an interview with Comixfan. The interviewer noted that the comparison is not baseless, as both Moon Knight and the Dark Knight are wealthy, “normal” humans that use gadgetry to fight crime.
Huston accepted that the two characters had their similarities, but went on to contrast the two by noting in particular differences in origin, motives, and personality. “Bruce Wayne”, he said, “fights crime to avenge the murders of his parents”, whereas Moon Knight “beats up whoever has it coming because he believes he is the avatar of the Egyptian god of vengeance and it helps him to feel better about all the people he killed when he was a mercenary.” Thus, while Batman is motivated by vengeance for wrong done to his parents, Marc Spector primarily seeks redemption from crimes he committed in his mercenary past. Huston further notes that Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, takes on other personalities merely to aid in his fight. However, Moon Knight has three alter egos which aid him as much in dealing with personal demons as fighting law-breakers, and which have taken a further psychological toll of causing dissociative identity disorder. In the question of his sanity, Spider-Man remarked “Moony. Rhymes with looney.”
Powers and Abilities
Over the course of his life as a U.S. Marine, boxer, mercenary, C.I.A. operative and costumed superhero, Marc Spector has become an expert at commando hand-to-hand combat techniques and various martial arts. He is an Olympic-level athlete and a skilled acrobat and gymnast, and excels as a combat strategist. He employs a variety of weapons over the course of his career, including throwing darts, nunchucks, and a truncheon. He is skilled with most weapons, and an expert with throwing weapons. He is a superb driver and can pilot a helicopter.
After his first appearance, but before the beginning of his first ongoing series, Moon Knight is said to have superhuman strength derived from the bite of a werewolf interacting with the silver in his armor (although characters in the story express some disbelief at this story). He is said to be as strong as ten men under the full moon, though his strength is normal under a new moon or an eclipse.
Spector gained his superhuman powers as a result of a visitation by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Moon Knight’s strength, endurance and reflexes are enhanced depending upon the phases of the moon. The fuller the moon, the more strength Moon Knight derives from it, though even during a new moon, he can lift several hundred pounds. He has some degree of superhuman strength during the peak of a lunar cycle. It’s not known how much of this strength is mystical and how much is simply the result of self-hypnosis due to his psychological instability. Due to his multiple personalities, he is also resistant to some psychic attacks and sometimes receives prophetic visions. –Source