Greetings from the Odinson,
Steven Grant. Jake Lockley. Mr. Knight. Fist of Khonshu.
Marc Spector has many aliases, one for each of the many personalities that float around in that complicated little head of his. But the name he is most known for, the name that strikes fear in the hearts of evil doers everywhere is Moon Knight.
Moon Knight joins the MCU with his live action series on Disney+, a series that looks fantastic and one the Odinson is extremely excited about. With that in mind, to get ready for the live action debut of the Fist of Khonshu, the Odinson is going to revisit some of his favorite Moon Knight stories and appearances.
So, strike a match, light a candle, ignite a torch, or grab a flashlight and let’s venture out into the night.
The Odinson’s Must Read Moon Knight
Whoever Fights Monsters… – We were first introduced to Marc Spector in the pages of Werewolf by Night #32-33. Here Moon Knight is presented as a monster hunter and antagonists for Jack Russell’s lycan alter ego. The fact Moon Knight has a foot in the worlds of crime-fighting and the supernatural has always been a crazy cool aspect of this character.
As a hero of the night, Moon Knight’s strength also increases and recedes with the phases of the moon. The brighter the moon, the stronger and more unstoppable our hero becomes, even gaining a degree of superhuman strength when the moon is full.
Moon Knight has made a career of fighting lunatics and monsters and his rivalry with the werewolf continued into the pages of Moon Knight #29-30 where Bill Sienkiewicz, arguably the definitive Moon Knight artist, puts on a clinic.
Around-the-Horn – Over the years, Moon Knight has fought alongside and against just about every hero in the Marvel Universe. Here are some truly notable team-ups.
The Amazing Spider-Man #220: Moon Knight goes undercover to take down a crime syndicate from the inside, however Spidey was not in on the ruse and believes our hooded hero has gone rogue.
Iron Man #161: Moon Knight and Shell Head must work together to stop A.I.M. from turning an underwater power plant into a weapon.
Moon Knight #13: The Fist of Khonshu and the Man without Fear battle each other and their foes in this caper of misunderstandings and kung fu.
Power Man and Iron Fist #87: In this classic nail biter, Moon Knight is injured and floats helplessly inside a water tank as the hard rain slowly fills it up. Meanwhile, our intrepid Heroes for Hire race against the clock to find Spector before he drowns.
Punisher Annual #2: This team-up goes south quick when Frank gets infected with a toxin that makes him want to give Moon Knight the Punisher treatment.
The West Coast’s Mightiest Heroes – For a time in the late 80s, Marc Spector really tried to get his act together and go mainstream superhero. He even joined the Avengers after his god, Khonshu, drew him into the events of Lost in Space-Time. While on the west coast, he investigated a castle located in the mountains of Santa Monica and has an awesome showdown with fellow hooded nightcrawler, The Shroud. Moon Knight once helped the Defenders take down Scorpio and his Zodiac gang, a defeat the villains did not soon forget as they sought to take it out on MK’s new friends the Avengers in Zodiac Attack.
War with a Secret Empire – This is an epic story that an entire season of a TV show could be built around. The Midnight Man is an old foe of Moon Knight. So, when Marc Spector is confronted by the masked Midnight, he thinks his old enemy has returned. However, it turns out this Midnight is Jeffrey Wilde, the son of the original, and it isn’t long before Moon Knight takes on Jeffrey as his new sidekick. However, in Marc Spector: Moon Knight #19-21, when Moon Knight, Spider-Man and the Punisher set out to take down the Secret Empire, young Jeffrey is K.I.A. Or is he?
Now, this is where it gets interesting.
Turns out Jeffrey wasn’t killed after all. He was taken by the Secret Empire, brainwashed, and rebuilt into a superhuman cyborg killer! Now, feeling betrayed by his mentor, Jeffrey sets out to even the score. This part of the tale plays out in the exciting page-turner Round Robin: The Sidekick’s Revenge where it takes the combined efforts of Moon Knight, Spider-Man Nova, Night-Thrasher, and the Punisher to bring this conflict to a tragic close.
At the end, our heroes are left facing one unescapable truth. All wars have casualties.
The Bottom/Midnight Sun – After wallowing for several years in the shallows of creative anonymity, the Fist of Khonshu returns with a vengeance. Seriously, if you did not think Marc Spector was force to be reckoned with than check out this bone-crunching caper written by novelist Charlie Huston and featuring next level art by the unbelievably talented David Finch.
Moon Knight is back and he has to deal with the return of his deadliest enemy, Bushman, operating in a world where a superhero Civil War is trying to a force him to choose a side, and a showdown with the always dangerous Taskmaster that leaves one of these men begging for his life (guess which one).
Wendigo Armageddon – Remember the sheer frenzied terror of 28 Days Later? Dawn of the Dead (2004)? World War Z? Now replace zombies and infected with flesh-eating Wendigo’s! Yeah, the horror just got cranked up to eleven!
When a Wendigo outbreak threatens to turn Las Vegas into a murder-land, the Sentry, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight stand in as a pseudo incarnation of DC’s Trinity and join the Incredible Hulk in a heroic effort to contain this potentially apocalyptic event. And it’s all drawn by the incomparable Art Adams!
There are no political agendas here. No higher message. No finger wagging. No, this is simply good ole fashion fun. It is superheroes punching monsters in the face! ‘Nuff said.
The Dead Trilogy – This is easily one of the most unique takes on the character to date. In these three acts, (From the Dead by Warren Ellis, Dead will Rise by Brian Wood, and In the Night by Cullen Dunn), we get to meet the Mr. Knight persona of Marc Spector, a white suit, white tie-wearing crime investigation consultant for the police who is always polite until it is time to not be polite.
Mr. Knight also consults with a psychiatrist and together they explore the origins of his psychosis, the ramifications of divine intervention and resurrection, the purpose of his split personalities, and whether it all is just in Marc’s head, it is real, or somewhere in between.
If nothing else, this is worth the time even if only for the great revelation that Moon Knight wears all white so the bad guys can see him coming.
Crazy Runs in the Family – This is as straight forward superhero affair as you can hope to get from a story starring Marc Spector. This arc makes my list just because of the gorgeous artwork and covers provided by Jacen Burrows.
The Age of Khonshu – With his cape and cowl, nocturnal activities, his questionable mental stability, and his wealth and gadgets, right down to his Mooncopter, it’s not a stretch to say Moon Knight has a lot in common with DC’s Caped Crusader. Many times, Batman has proven he can take out the strongest heroes and villains in the DCU, including the Justice League (see Tower of Babel).
Moon Knight has never been more Batman than in this caper that saw the Fist of Khonshu face off against and systematically take out the entire roster of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!
If that isn’t so Batman, I don’t know what is.
The Midnight Mission – In the wake of his missteps in The Age of Khonshu, Marc Spector embarks on a quest of atonement. He has carved him out a few square blocks of New York City and has decided this is his turf. Here he will protect those that travel at night and woe to anyone, or anything, that would visit harm on those under his protection.
He establishes the Midnight Mission, a very Angel Investigations like venture whose doors are open to anyone that needs help (i.e., to help the helpless) complete with a motley team of allies. Reese, a feisty vampire receptionist with ties to both the natural and supernatural worlds (i.e., Cordi). Soldier, a street wise informant with unique skills (i.e., Doyle). Tigra, an Avengers liaison there to help keep Marc on his true path (i.e., Lorne). Hunter’s Moon, a cantankerous rival/partner (i.e., Spike). And, the House of Shadows, a haunted building serving as his headquarters (i.e., the Hyperion Hotel).
Only time will tell, but this latest take on Moon Knight is shaping up to be one of the best yet.
With his live action series hitting Disney+ this month, it is an exciting time to be a Moon Knight fan. These are some of the Odinson’s favorite Moon Knight stories and absolute must reads for anybody looking to revisit or familiarize themselves with the stalwart Fist of Khonshu.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: For past entries of the So Sayeth the Odinson blog, over a decade’s worth of comic book and pop culture articles and reviews, click HERE. Also, be sure to check out my novels The Survivors and Autumn Dawn, which were inspired by 1980s horror – HERE and HERE