Produced by Jeremy Slater and directed by Mohamed Diab, the Moon Knight series introduces a brand new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): Marc Spector, a.k.a. Moon Knight, a.k.a. the vengeful fist of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the Moon. Moon Knight was originally created in 1975 by Doug Moench and Don Perlin in Werewolf by Night #32. In the beginning, Marc Spector is a simple mercenary who takes on the costume of Moon Knight. But with time, the character is largely developed.
Marc Spector creates different alternative identities to blend in. In addition to his own identity, Marc Spector becomes in turn, Steven Grant and Jake Lockley. The first one is a billionaire playboy (contrary to the series which chooses a very different direction), while the second is a simple cab driver. Two identities will end up controlling him and develop a strong identity disorder.
In parallel, the authors offer Moon Knight an unexpected background. The character becomes the avenging arm of Khonshu and thus the avatar of this Egyptian god of the Moon. A way to give him more powers and superhuman abilities, and to give him a fantastic scope never seen before for the character. Marc Spector changes his status, leaving his simple representation of the mercenary who turns to the highest bidder to become a masked vigilante who punishes the bad guys in the name of Khonshu.
Episode 6 of Moon Knight concludes the first season of this mini-series. A half-hearted ending, which does not fully succeed in offering this emblematic character a series worthy of him. The dark and tortured aspect of the protagonist is often sanitized by Marvel Studios, which tries to stay in the usual beaten tracks of the firm. The darkness and the madness of the hero are often too lightly touched to really stick with the psychological abyss of the protagonist.
Anyway, Moon Knight is an excellent series for those who don’t know the basic material. The show deals with all aspects of the character: his different personalities, Khonshu, and his duty as a vigilante. But the series also often stays on the surface, so as not to throw off MCU aficionados too much. Marvel Studios missed the opportunity to offer a violent, potentially R-rated show, to delve into the psychological depths of the character, and to offer dark and disturbing action sequences. But MCU obliges, all this remains very conventional. An approach that is all the more frustrating when we see the post-generic scene, full of the potential that we can constantly glimpse in the show, and which finally introduces Jake Lockley.
Warning, the rest of this article contains SPOILERS for viewers who have not yet seen the last episode of Moon Knight. In the very last moments of the series, Khonshu finds the trace of Harrow. The Egyptian god of the Moon once again uses Marc Spector as his avenging arm. The hero, played by Oscar Isaac, finds his enemy and brings him back to Khonshu, ready to punish him. A final confrontation that ends in the death of the antagonist. A 360° turnaround that will seduce Moon Knight fans. Indeed, this sequence is heavy with meaning for several reasons.
The first is because it finally introduces Marc Spector’s third identity: Jake Lockley. Indeed, at several moments in the series, Mohamed Diab implies that his hero has a third hidden identity. The director leaves here and there some clues concerning his next introduction: inexplicable flashes, small sentences left there by Harrow, a mysterious sarcophagus in episode 4, etc… Finally, after long episodes of waiting, the post-generic sequence passes the step and really presents Jake Lockley to his spectators.
Who is Jake Lockley?
For the uninitiated, Jake Lockley is a rough cab driver who evolves in the criminal underworld of the city. He is the exact opposite of Steven Grant in the comics and allows Marc Spector to move through the worst parts of his city. Jake Lockley is not afraid to get his hands dirty and does the dirty work that his other two identities are unable to do. In the show, the character doesn’t hesitate to murder Harrow in cold blood, which is an unexpected twist to the usual Marvel Studios formula of never breaking the hero code. Here, nothing to do, Moon Knight is much more complex than the simple vigilante who spares his enemies. And that’s good!
His presence also gives even more strength to Khonshu. Once again, the Moon God knows exactly how to control his avatar, and uses Jake Lockley’s identity to keep a grip on Marc Spector. Spector is still unaware of Jake Lockley’s existence (unlike in the comics). And the Egyptian god, in his superb new costume, a direct reference to the comics, will thus use this flaw to keep his hold on his avatar. It is in any case a sequence that recalls the violence and darkness of the character. A scene that reminds us that Moon Knight is not a child at heart. And we really hope that Marvel Studios will take the character towards darker voices in the future.