Mr. Knight for President
Briefly on the subject of there being no article last week: my computer crashed and, somehow, overwrote my saved article with a file containing only the title. So that was fun. Now, onto our regularly scheduled bullshit.
So this week’s article is another suggestion, coming to us from u/Zthe27th over on Reddit (which is apparently the only place where people comment on these), who is awesome and writes some seriously great X-Men articles on their blog called the Xavier Files. If you want what is essentially a way more cohesive and X-Men themed version of this series, you should go check that out. Actually, just check it out anyways, because it’s awesome.
So, on the subject of this week’s character, we’re gonna be looking into Moon Knight this time around. Now, chances are you’ve heard a bit about Moon Knight in recent years, as he’s taken a bit of an uptick in popularity. This is mostly due to the fact that he’s a weird character that the weirder (i.e. usually better) writers seem to gravitate towards, but also because he’s essentially the closest thing Marvel has to Batman, which makes him absolutely bitchin. Do… Do people still say bitchin? Ah, who cares, I’ll bring it back.
So, without further ado… Let’s fake an education in comics.
I’m Still Kind of Disappointed that he’s not an Actual Knight
SCENARIO: I uh… Does Moon Knight have a confirmed adaptation coming up yet? Can I reuse that plot again? No? Shit.
Ok, uuuuh… No biggie, I got this.
Ok, so let’s say you’re into more obscure, niche characters. You’re with a friend, and you get into a discussion about this sort of thing. Almost immediately, it becomes clear that their interest in the matter is purely superficial, with their contributions to the conversation mostly being the sort of “obscure” facts that have been posted and reposted around the internet ad infinitum. Eventually, Moon Knight comes up, because this is my narrative and I can make something convenient for me if I have to. Of course, this person, being largely uneducated on the character, goes off an a tirade about how Moon Knight is “just a lame Batman knock off”, followed up by a pretentious statement about how Batman is lame on his own anyways.
So, you’re about to just UNLOAD on this person. But then you pause. Do you really know enough about Moon Knight to do that?
Well, you’re about to. Strap in, nerd.
Step One: Who dat Ninja?
Marc Spector (no, seriously) was the child of a Rabbi who escaped Nazis in Czechoslovakia. Marc, being born in the US, far far away from that nightmare, was a bit out of touch with his father’s religious roots, not understanding how someone could be so passive (read: nonviolent) in the face of tyranny. So, logically, he became a prize fighter, because violence is pretty cool sometimes I guess. So right away, you might notice that theres some differences between Marc and Batman, namely, the lack of privilege in Spector’s early life. Eventually, his dad tries to stop him from fighting, and Marc knocks him the fuck out, panics, and joins the Marine Corps the very next morning. He would never see his father again. This is arguably preferable to seeing your parents shot in front of you, but still sucks pretty hard. He was a pretty good soldier, up until his friend murdered his girlfriend with a hatchet, which is hands down the fifth most brutal weapon for a casual murder. Marc retaliated with a grenade, which ranks several points below hatchet due to how impersonal it feels in comparison. After this incident, he would join the CIA, because he’s kind of a sick badass. Making some good money in South Africa and other places, he would invest most of his profits in… things that make you rich, I guess. Look, you and I both know you don’t give a crap about a comic book characters financial investments, unless you’re the biggest nerd in the universe, in which case, hi, Grant Morrison! Thanks for reading this article! Also, I kind of love you!
After the CIA, Spector took on some independent contracts as a mercenary. On one of these jobs, he kind of, uh… died? Yeah, he pretty much died. One of his partners unceremoniously dumped his bullet ridden carcass underneath an idol to the totally-not-made-up Egyptian moon deity Khonshu, who gives him a dream vision where Marc swears servitude to her (him? it kinda goes back and forth, but I’m gonna stick to female pronouns in this article, mostly because the last thing I read with Khonshu in it was some Secret Wars stuff where he was a she.) in exchange for resurrection and some vaguely defined mystical powers that may or may not be real. He got enhanced human abilities, accelerated healing, loose manipulation of Chi (Chi is, you may notice, not really an Egyptian thing, but still pretty cool), what can best be described as “Super-Schizophrenia” (he could develop alternate personalities to best suit his own needs), a ridiculous pain threshold, and the ability to instill fear in others. This is a kickass set of powers for a super villain, but not quite a superhero. More Owl Man than Batman. Nevertheless, Moon Knight was born, and with his vast, sometimes nonexistent abilities, he patrolled New York and fought crime.
He also developed the semi-permanent split personalities of Steven Grant (finances) and Jake Lockely (cab driver), to create a smokescreen around the true identity of Moon Knight as well as gather informants in the criminal underworld. Also because, you know, he’s kind of crazy.
Step Two: The Moon and the Bat
So right off the bat, Moon Knight is a crazy person. One could argue that Batman is also a crazy guy, seeing as how he’s a rich man who refuses to accept that his true identity is not, in fact, a guy in a bat suit. Plus, only a crazy person would think that the best therapy for a little boy who got his family murdered would be to wear a speedo and a cape while punching grown men. Another one of the obvious points is the choice in theme, with Batman evoking, you know, bats and darkness and night and stuff. Meanwhile, Moon Knight wears an absurdly bright shade of white, emulating the moon in service of Khonshu. Neat little tidbit, the moon is often associated with insanity, hence the word lunacy coming from Luna, a word for the moon. Fun little connection there.
Closing out the more obvious bits, ain’t no way Bruce Wayne could rock a white tux like this:
Those are the blank, featureless eyeholes of a man who has so much sex it makes him angry. Like, he has better things to do, but he’s honor-bound to satisfy all comers. Literally.
On a slightly more serious note, Moon Knight and Batman represent two fundamentally different ideological stances. Batman, as I have stated in another article, represents pure, uncompromising justice, in service no one man or law, but in service of the idea itself. Justice for the sake of justice, if you will. Moon Knight, on the other hand, represents a sort of divine wrath, a cosmic punishment for man’s sins made flesh, driven by a force we can barely comprehend. No justice unless Khonshu mandates it, no justice unless it pleases his mistress. Tirelessly, he labors under her yoke, giving his body to the supernatural and his mind to insanity. Whereas Batman is the representation of the pinnacle of humanity, Moon Knight is, arguably, humanity’s low points given form. He is the desperation of the masses, he is the prayer cried out into the night, pleading for vengeance, pleading for salvation. Batman is alone, surrounded by many. Moon Knight is many, all inside one. Batman is the shadow of night, a darkness under which good work is done. Moon Knight is the light of the moon, casting a judgmental eye down upon the masses, killing at his mistress’ leisure. Batman serves an ideal, Moon Knight serves the divine.
A lot of points about Batman in relation to another character are made using the concept of the coin. Batman and Joker are two sides of a coin, one cannot exist without the other, but both are opposites. I wouldn’t say this applies to Moon Knight and Batman, for a few reasons, mostly because they exist in different universes, but also because they’re too similar to be opposites. Rather, they’re closer to a Yin Yang. One of the core tenets of the Yin Yang is (unless I’m severely mistaken, in which case, hey, go ahead and tear me a new one) that there is always light in darkness, and darkness in light. They are one and the same, in many ways. Likewise, Batman is darkness with a light shining from within, while Moon Knight is a light with a dark heart.
Plus, you know, Batman isn’t really magic or quasi-immortal, and he DOESN’T FUCKING KILL PEOPLE, ZACK. Meanwhile, Moon Knight will absolutely kill someone if he feels like it. He cut off a guy’s arm with a plane once, it was sick.
Step Three: Team Dynamics
Sometimes I forget that Moon Knight likes to have giant spikes on his knuckles. So yeah, people don’t typically come back from a fight with Moon Knight. And if Punisher were there too? Oh geez, you’re dead. You’re double dead. Moon Knight will strangle you until you die, and then save your life with some mystic bullshit so that Punisher can blow your head off.
Anyways, Moon Knight has had some pretty cool interactions on teams, mostly because he’s crazy, and tends to make people squirrely around you if they have to work with you on a regular basis. He hung out with the Defenders briefly, because that’s pretty much street-level superhero initiation. I guess Dr. Strange and Hulk were also in the Defenders, but it’s definitely a street level team most of the time. He was also on the West Coast Avengers, because that’s where a lot of characters wound up when people had no idea what the fuck to do with them. It was a team that had Wonder Man AND USAgent in their lineup at the same time, you can’t tell me that’s coincidence.
Oh also Moon Knight totally banged Tigra. Just thought you would like to know.
He was a part of the Secret Avengers, which was… a really weird decision, but one that I think ultimately worked out. It’s always nice to have a lesser known character show up on a big-time team, if only to give them more exposure. Like the West Coast Avengers, but sliiiiiiiiightly less dumb. Still, I have no idea why Cap would pick a batshit crazy lunatic with a history of, you know, actual murder, but hey, there’s comics for ya.
Eventually he moved to LA for… some reason. While he was there, he was approached by Cap and the Avengers to help keep crime out of the West Coast and exclusively in New York, where it belongs, apparently. He didn’t really work much with those Avengers, mostly they just talked, because, in what was actually a really, really good twist you guys, they were all new alternate personality/hallucination things in Marc’s head. The bigger twist was that this was somehow the best team thing that Moon Knight has ever been a part of, despite the fact that it wasn’t even real.
Meanwhile, Batman hangs out with tightly knit “families”. That’s not a knock on Batman stories with teams in them, just a comment on the differences between the two.
Step Four: But Seriously, HOW DOPE IS THAT SUIT THO
What. A fucking. PIMP.
If you wear that suit in real life, muffled rap music follows you no matter where you go. If you get into a fight in that suit in real life, the rap music is clear and loud. Bullets won’t harm you, because they’ll be too scared to touch you. It totally stains easy though. That’s just a given. But still, a small price to pay for looking really fucking cool.
In summation, if you cosplay this, you’re probably getting laid.
Moon Knight and Batman, though similar, are very, very different. Also, white suits are great as long as you have the right skin tone or, alternatively, wear white shit everywhere in order to cover up your skin.
Once again, this was suggested by u/Zthe27th on reddit! Go check out their X-Men stuff, it’s awesome. If you have any suggestions, be they characters you want to see or ways you think I could improve whatever the hell it is I’m doing here. Until next time, folks.
P.S.: If I had remembered that it was April Fool’s, I would have done this article on Condiment King, but I’m kind of a human garbage fire trapped in the dumpster of life, careening down the busted up street that is the universe.