Fans have been waiting to see Moon Knight debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years, largely due to the great story potential available for creators to work with when bringing Moonie to live-action. Moon Knight has had a number of different series over the years that cross genres and have re-imagined the character over and over again, providing a wealth of source material to work with.
Today we are going to look at over 40 years of Moon Knight storylines that the upcoming Disney+ live-action series might pull from to bring Marc Spector/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant/Moon Knight to the MCU. Some are good, some are bad, but all could be useful when adapting Marvel's white knight.
Moon Knight's debut came in the pages of a horror comic called Werewolf By Night, which starred lycanthrope Jack Russell. Werewolf By Night was launched by Marvel amidst a wave of other horror-themed characters following the relaxation of restrictions by the Comics Code Authority.
Moon Knight was hired by The Committee (though this was later retconned) to adopt a silver costume and call himself Moon knight in order to take out the Werewolf By Night, but Spector realized the real enemy was the Committee, and he began his turn towards heroism. It remains to be seen if the Disney+ series will explore his supernatural connections, but it's likely we'll at least see an easter egg regarding Moon Knight's first appearance.
While Moon Knight first appeared in Werewolf By Night as a villain, his growing popularity and frequent back-up stories led to the release of his own title in 1980. Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz spent the first couple of issues redefining the character and moving him further away from his initial beginnings as a werewolf hunter.
"The Macabre Moon Knight" detailed Marc Spector's mercenary beginnings and first associations with Raoul Bushman and Marlene Alruane, both of whom would prove to be lasting influences on Spector. The origin also initially planted doubt in the reader's minds about Khonshu's actual involvement in Spector's "resurrection" which would become a recurring theme in Moon Knight's stories.
Moon Knight's initial series developed the character and his supporting cast and firmly established Moonie's place as a street-level hero of New York through a series of connected but standalone stories. Later a new mini-series was released that took the character in an entirely new direction that could be another angle the Disney+ series chooses to use to bring Moon Knight to the MCU.
Moon Knight: The Fist of Khonshu introduced the Priests of Khonshu, an ancient secret society whose goal was to help guide Marc Spector in his role as the Avatar of Khonshu by equipping Moon Knight with a new costume and mystical gold weapons. We would expect some of the mythology laid out in the mini-series to potentially play a role in the live-action adaptation, though hopefully, they leave the costume in the comics.
It may seem a bit hard to believe due to Moon Knight's long-running loner status, but he has been a member of the Avengers on a few occasions. The first saw him join Hawkeye's team after a message across time brought the lunar avenger together with the West Coast Avengers.
When the West Coast Avengers missions were "Lost in Space-Time" and stuck in ancient Egypt, Hawkeye made a deal with Khonshu to help get his team home. Hawkeye would end up crafting the gold weapons that Moon Knight would later receive in the Fist of Khonshu mini-series. While we might not see the WCA in the first season, Hawkeye and the Avengers have a history with Spector that Moon Knight could certainly explore further.
When Terry Kavanagh took over as the writer of Marc Spector: Moon Knight, he introduced a number of interesting changes to the mythology of the character that tied Moon Knight into an ancient race of characters known as the Hellbent, who were led by the Knight Templar known as Seth the Immortal.
Moon Knight's heritage as a member of the Hellbent was largely forgotten after this series, but this era did introduce some potentially appetizing locations and organizations that show producers might be keen on developing. Spector created his company Spectorcorp that was housed in his high tech HQ Shadowkeep, and even put together a think tank known as the Shadow Council that laid the groundwork for the "Team Flash" style of superhero TV.
Also known as Moon Knight Vol. 3, the "Resurrection War" mini-series resurrected Marc Spector for the second time after his sacrifice at the finale of the Marc Spector: Moon Knight series. Khonshu brings Spector back to life again to deal with another plot from the Hellbent's Seth Phalkon.
While Seth's actual plan is less than spectacular, throughout the storyline he does resurrect a few of Moon Knight's greatest villains like Bushman, Black Spectre, and Morpheus. Depending on how deep the Disney+ series plans to dive into Moon Knight's mythology, "Resurrection War" might be a good way to utilize a number of Moon Knight's themes and characters in one cohesive story.
Charlie Huston and David Finch's "The Bottom" kicked off the fifth volume of Moon Knight, and is easily the storyline most likely to be adapted for the Disney+ streaming service for a number of reasons. The storyline revamped Moon Knight for a new era of comics by bringing Marc Spector to rock bottom and forcing him to rebuild himself and reestablish his faith with Khonshu.
The series also reintroduced the Committee and brought in the Profile to rehash Moonie's origins (which would work perfectly on the small screen), but is probably best known for showcasing the many differences between Moon Knight and the other MCU heroes, which would make for incredibly new and exciting television in a world worried about superhero fatigue.
While Moon Knight generally works best on his own as a solo hero, that doesn't necessarily mean we won't see him working alongside other heroes in the Disney+ series. There was a time that Moon Knight worked quite well as a solo operative with the Heroes For Hire.
The Heroes For Hire were initially created By Luke Cage and Iron Fist, though this iteration was put together by Misty Knight. If the Disney+ series were looking to continue any of the dangling threads left from Netflix's canceled Defenders shows, Moon Knight could very easily see the return of Misty and Colleen Wing as they work with Spector as Heroes For Hire.
Comic superstar Brian Michael Bendis reteamed with his Daredevil collaborator Alex Maleev for Moon Knight's sixth volume. The series sees Spector in Hollywood making a show about his own exploits as Moon Knight called The Legend of Khonshu, which is kind of the perfect setup for a series looking to fill in some origin scenes quickly.
One of the biggest changes to the character in this series that could translate very well to the MCU is Spector's replacement of his usual alternate personalities with other Marvel heroes. Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine filled in for the Steven Grant and Jake Lockley identities, which could offer an interesting option for an MCU-set Moon Knight.
Moon Knight was again re-imagined by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey, who further developed the white-suited Mr. Knight identity Ellis first created during his Secret Avengers run. While Moon Knight's origins and superheroic history were left unchanged, he now served a new role as a kind of supernatural specialist on the streets of New York who worked closely with the police.
This version of the character has been in a constant state of flux since he debuted but originally felt like a fantastic synthesis of his horror-based origins with his superhero career that could work very well on the small screen and offer fans an entirely different kind of superhero to experience.