The MCU got a little bit darker (brighter?) last night with the trailer debut of their upcoming show based on and named after the hero Moon Knight. The character will be played by the very talented Oscar Isaac. The villain opposite Isaac is Arthur Harrow and he will be played by the equally talented Ethan Hawke. The series focuses on the character of Moon Knight, who can best be described as Batman with mental health issues. Let’s break down who Moon Knight is and what we could get out of the upcoming show when it drops on March 30th.
The character of Moon Knight is really three people who are really just three different personalities of the same human being. Marc Spector, Jake Lockley, and Steven Grant are all the different personalities of Moon Knight. The comic long explored the mental health of Grant — who is the main name the MCU has chosen — and how it ties into his role as a superhero. He’s probably more accurately described as an anti-hero, who isn’t afraid to take a hit nor is he afraid to kill. If he reminds you a bit of Frank Castle from that description, good. Moon Knight and the Punisher often cross paths because they mete out similar forms of justice.
All of this makes it the perfect show to introduce the darker characters from Marvel’s street level heroes. Marvel branded these characters as Marvel Knights in the 90’s and they included characters like Blade, Punisher, Elektra, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, Elsa Bloodstone, Daimon Hellstrom and others of a similar ilk. Aside from Daredevil and Doctor Strange, the other characters have no compunction with killing people or beating them severely to extract information. The fight against crime is dirty and these are the characters who are willing to meet that fight in the middle with their own form of justice.
It’s even clear from the trailer of Moon Knight that this property is going to head into darker territory than we’re used to seeing in the MCU proper. Fans of the Netflix shows will be used to this tone and the darker thematic elements, but for the people who never did watch the shows or who are just now getting started with the MCU, it’s going to be quite a radical departure from the campy humor of WandaVision or Hawkeye. It will retain the drama of LOKI, but will venture into much darker subject matter including mental health.
Fans who have never read or heard of Moon Knight are in for a treat. When I say he’s like Batman with health issues, I truly mean that. He’s super rich, he comes with his own butler, and his origin story involves a gun. Okay, that last one was a reach, but fans really do call him Marvel’s Batman. More so than Tony Stark, Moon Knight prowls the rooftops late at night and his philosophy is that if he’s close enough to get hit by his opponent, it means he’s also close enough to finish them off. He’s willing to take a hit… or thirty… if it means that he can get closer to his objective or enemy to finish them off. He’s packed with tons of gadgets and he even has crescent shaped Moon boomerangs.
In an upcoming column for BSO, I’ll explore more of the mental health side of this show and character. It’s extremely important to the fabric of the character and part of what makes him so compelling and interesting. Half the time you’re just trying to figure out if any of this is even happening or if it’s all in his head. Moon Knight is a very different type of character and it’s because of those differences that we will see a very different type of show than we’ve previous been given. It’s sure to please die-hards and casuals alike.
Check out the Moon Knight trailer below. The show drops on March 30th. BSO will have continued coverage on this and other Marvel shows. You can follow the author of this column on Twitter: @FightOnTwist