Gearing Up for the All-New Moon Knight in March - Part 3 of 3 | Fanboys Anonymous

Gearing Up for the All-New Moon Knight in March - Part 3 of 3

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Friday, January 17, 2014
Hello once more, Fanboys and Fangirls! Welcome to the end of Dan's and my (Orion's) Moon Knight article series, and congratulations for sticking it out this far! In Part 1, we introduced you to Marvel's Fist of Khonshu, and in Part 2, we talked about our absolute favorite Moon Knight stories for you to check out in preparation for March 5th's all-new Moon Knight monthly ongoing comic book series by creative all-stars Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire. Finally, we'll get to talk about a few of Moon Knight's mention-worthy appearances in other comics and entertainment avenues and present our individual perspectives on a fan debate that has long plagued the legacy of Moon Knight. Let's get to it, then!

The Mentionables
by Orion

After everything we just went over, there's more? Oh yes, there's a lot more to Moon Knight that what we've covered in this article series, but we can't cover it all—and not all of the stories and series are sure fan favorites. There are series worth—and not worth—an honorable mention, despite their relative inferiority to Dan's and my favorites.

Follow Moon Knight's adventures with the Secret Avengers on the Marvel Comics app
For instance, we have Moon Knight's run in the Secret Avengers (first series). Just as with the main Shadowland event book, Moon Knight is pushed to the side of the team to make room for a core group of characters in the spotlight. I only followed Secret Avengers in its early days for Moon Knight (and later on for Agent Venom in the team's second roster), so you can imagine how miffed I was when he got only one or two lines in per issue and little to no development. There may have been a few redeeming factors about his inclusion in the series, and I liked the series overall, but Secret Avengers just doesn't rank up there with the likes of the third series and Vengeance of the Moon Knight.

Additionally, Brian Michael Bendis' twelve-issue monthly Moon Knight (fourth series) deserves another honorable mention. At the time this series was coming out, I hated it. I firmly believe that Bendis can't write Moon Knight or Venom, and the pace at which this story was told over the span of its monthly publication didn't do it justice.

Read Brian Michael Bendis's Moon Knight on Comixology
Having reread it, though, I'll give Bendis some credit. He presents a solid story, and it's enjoyable when read in one or two sittings. It loses points, however, in the classic Moon Knight department. None of Moon Knight's supporting characters were present; the setup that Bendis intended the series to do for the "Age of Ultron" cross-title event was completely unused within that event, which was a catastrophe in and of itself; Marc's struggle with Khonshu felt completely forgotten about; and all of his main alternate personalities besides Marc Spector—including Jake Lockley and Steven Grant—were utterly replaced by Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine mimic personalities. He even had Buck Lime (a new supporting character) create web swingers, a star-spangled energy shield, and retractable claws for whenever he switched personalities in combat. I like my Moon Knight to stay as he is and not try to copy other heroes, thank you very much, Bendis.

Let's Play Marvel Ultimate Alliance Gold Edition on Xbox 360

Aside from the comics, though, Moon Knight has three video game appearances worth a mention, plus an upcoming appearance that will surely impress. Moon Knight's very first appearance in video games was as a playable character in the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance game, exclusively for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Unlike other playable characters, Moon Knight only got three alternate costumes as opposed to four (including his neoclassical silver suit, the Ultimate Moon Knight suit, and the Fist of Khonshu suit; see above). This game is definitely worth picking up if not for the playable Moon Knight, though.

Moon Knight also makes an awesome appearance as an NPC ally in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC, complete with his Moon Copter and craziness for Khonshu. He has a pretty bad-ass design for this game, too and was planned to have been possessed by a symbiote like other supporting heroes and villains in the game, but only the concept art for symbiote Moon Knight made the cut and was featured in the game's end credits.

The Lunar Crusader also got his own themed table for Marvel's Pinball FX 2 and Zen Pinball 2 game app series for Android, Xbox Live, Microsoft Windows, Wii U, PS3, PS4, and PS Vita as a part of the Marvel Pinball: Vengeance and Virtue expansion pack. The game features some of Moon Knight's classic villains, including Bushman, Midnight (the son of Midnight Man), Morpheus, and the Black Spectre, as well as the Vengeance of the Moon Knight design of Khonshu. The table is incredibly fun and full of classic Moon Knight dialogue and banter.

Moon Knight is set to make his debut in Marvel's second MMO game, the Marvel Ultimate Alliance-esque Marvel Heroes, on the PC as a purchasable hero. No details about the character have been released yet, but you can preorder him as part of a Deluxe Advance Pack for $129.99 or a Standard Advance Pack for $99.99, depending on how many other yet-to-be released playable characters you're willing to preorder. I'm going to wait until late February—his estimated release date in line for Game Update 2.3, and most definitely after their next hero release: Nightcrawler—and hopefully he'll only cost 400 Eternity Splinters (in-game collectible currency), which I have already accrued thanks mostly to the recent Holiday Event.

Download the Asgardian Packs for LEGO Marvel Superheroes on Xbox Live Marketplace

Other honorable mentions include Moon Knight's unlockable and playable minifigure in LEGO Marvel Superheroes for pretty much every last- and next-gen gaming platform on the market, and his playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online for PC and OS X. The former appearance is only exciting for Moon Knight's minifigure design and unique crescent throwing darts, but otherwise he didn't get his own voice actor or any special moves outside of throwing his darts (he was pretty much your basic brawler). I can't attest to his gameplay in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online as I don't care to even try it (even if it has my two favorite Marvel vigilantes—Venom and Moon Knight—as playable characters).

Moon Knight doesn't appear in any TV shows, movies, or animations, but Marc Spector was mentioned by name as an expert on werewolves in the short-lived 2006 Blade: The Series TV show. A Moon Knight TV series was announced in 2006 as being in production, but the project fell through, and there has since been no news on the subject. Hopefully Marvel's deal with Netflix will shine a light on our Lunar Avenger for any future live-action show plans, but outside of TV, video games, and comics, you'll find little else across entertainment sources.

Now to the end of our exhaustive article series. Before we release you, though, there's a small debate we'd like to address about a stereotype concerning…

Moon Knight vs Batman
Dan's Perspective

One argument that I've seen raised quite a lot is the comparison between Moon Knight and DC's original emo child, Batman. I really must say that having paid more attention to the tone in which the subject was raised, I have no sympathy for those sorts of temper tantrums. By all means have your own preferences, but don't berate the preferences of others, right? So, when Orion suggested that we should make our own comparisons as completely biased judges on the matter, I agreed in a heartbeat!

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I like Batman, I really do, but it would be false of me to say that I know my DC comics. It would otherwise be a more accurate statement if I were to say that I prefer the concept of Batman to many past series that have used it. I love some of the comics, and I love the Keaton and Bale movies. To compare Bats with the White Knight, however, is nothing more than a pissing contest.

First, the opposing Knights have completely different origins. Bruce Wayne may have been guided onto the path of vigilantism after the murder of his parents, but he wasn't a mercenary, and he didn't die at the hands of a tyrant in order to be resurrected by an ancient Egyptian god and become a living specter of bloody vengeance. Batman may be the alter ego of Bruce Wayne, but Marc Spector himself is almost mythical, like The Usual Suspects' Keyser Söze, as the alter ego of Moon Knight has come to dominate his own reality.

In favor of Moon Knight having similarities to Batman, yes, he has several vehicles resembling Batman's; you could compare the Crescent Dart to the Batarang. Ooohh, and he has a cape (actually a cloak). Well, take a look around the comic book industry. Capes and cloaks are very bloody fashionable, as are signature weapons. You won't be seeing Batman carrying a pistol, a pair of spiked brass knuckles, or a set of Hellraiser-style hooks and chains anytime soon, though. Plus, Batman dresses to blend in with the shadows; Moon Knight wants you to see him coming.

Find out who would win in a fight, Batman or Moon Knight, on

As a friend once defined the Rocky movies: it may not be the very first boxing/blood sport movie, but it's the first of its kind—a successful blueprint that has been drawn upon ever since by other filmmakers looking to ensure popularity and success. Unlike Marvel's Deadpool being compared with DC's Deathstroke (because Wade is way more entertaining and successful than Slade), Moon Knight being called a second-rate Batman is damaging to his reputation.

There will always be similarities in comics, and you can't just thank Superman and Batman. Much of the source material in this grand arena has come from ancient legend and mythology since day one. Such is the fantasy element of comic book superheroes. However, Moon Knight is truer to those sources than Batman, and he always has been. If anything, I'd compare similarities with Spawn and Grendel Prime.

So as for aesthetic similarities, there are very few! Superhuman similarities? Also very few. One of the few instances in which Batman would prove superior to Moon Knight is that although Moon Knight may be impervious to most things when the moon is full, Batman's plot armor makes him untouchable. Just as well, Moon Knight had the ability to see into the future, and he'd have seen his fans laughing off troll nerds so long as this silly argument continues to exist!

Orion's Perspective

There's so much that could be said in Moon Knight's defense against this accusation. I could write a whole essay on the topic, but I think we've tested your patience and eyesight long enough, so I'll try to keep this short for sanity's sake.

Buy the Dark Knight Trilogy Special Edition Bluray DVD set on Amazon
Okay, they do look like twins in these examples.
I'll give you that much.
I think the biggest issue for accusers to get past is the appearance of similarity between Moon Knight's and Batman's alter egos. When he's not dressed in black, Batman is Bruce Wayne: a millionaire playboy philanthropist (to borrow from Marvel's The Avengers film). When he's not dressed in white, Moon Knight is usually (classically) one of two characters, the most predominant being Steven Grant: a millionaire philanthropist (playboy exclusively to Marlene—not counting Echo in the fourth series). It's easy to say Steven—who is the younger of the two in publication history—is Marvel's copy of DC's Bruce, but that's where their similarities in alter egos end.

Bruce was born into his family wealth and almost naturally developed his philanthropy from it; Marc Spector wasn't born Steven Grant, nor was he born into wealth and philanthropy. Marc grew up relatively poor in a highly religious household, which he had selfishly rejected for violence and fortune. It wasn't until after his experience in the desert with Khonshu that he decided to turn his life around. He created Steven to be the man he knew Marc could never be: a caring, cultured, honorable man. He invested his riches as Steven (initially)—a false identity—not as Marc.

Watch The Shadow with Alec Baldwin on Netflix
When it all boils down, the Moon Knight versus Batman debate is just silly. To say one copies the other is equivalent to throwing stones in a glass house. You want to talk about characters copying other characters? Batman was influenced heavily by pulp classic characters like the Shadow, Zorro, and the Black Bat—from whom he also borrows his thematic vigilantism! It all comes down to influence, not blatant imitation. Even Moon Knight borrows influence from the Shadow: they're both men with regrettable, violent pasts that define them and their mission to better themselves. They both become grim vigilantes with low-level superhuman abilities derived from their defining origin stories. No matter what they do, though, they can't seem to shake the violent history, and they both have a singular, attractive love interest as partners in (and victims to) their vigilantism. Also, that whole thing about the New 52 Joker cutting off his own face and wearing it? Totally a Moon Knight move.

Read Batman: A Death in the Family on the DC Comics app
Granted, Marc was wearing Bushman's face.
Influence: it defines every mainstream and derivative character in pop culture. Get over it.

In Closing: Defining the Character of Moon Knight
Review by Dan

There are a lot of contrasts between Moon Knight’s solo series and his spells with Heroes for Hire and the Secret Avengers, and that's because, quite frankly, so many so-called heavy hitters are intellectually so far behind that Moon Knight would make most of their solo adventures look like child's play. They often are, but that's the biggest reason I can think of why you want to pick up Ellis' Moon Knight series this year. When a legend such as this states that he's going to redefine a character he’s loved from an early age, you know you have a lot to look forward to, and something that will be a serious contender with Marvel's big-name superhero books. Moon Knight will not be the watered-down version you may see in team features such as the ones I've mentioned.

Another comparison I wanted to make, and another reason I've enjoyed Moon Knight so much, is in regard to the villains of Moon Knight's colorful yet shady history. With Moon Knight being the ray of sunshine that he is (sarcasm), it's only sensible that a hero of any kind has a contrasting villain. True to character, Moon Knight, Marc Spector, Jake Lockley, and Steven Grant all seem to have had their own defining nemeses, but four stick out in my mind: Shadow Knight, the Profile, Midnight, and Bushman. All of them are intriguing and uniquely dangerous characters in their own right, especially in the eyes of our titular hero.

Buy Moon Knight: The Bottom by Charlie Huston at Barnes & Noble
When you look at Shadow Knight specifically, he is a personal demon of the highest order: he's Marc's own brother, psychotically driven to find ways to kill him and take his place and power. For how crazy and sometimes demonic as Moon Knight may appear to the heroes of Marvel, he's a sweetheart in comparison to the religiously-brainwashed Randall, but the theatrical similarities and contrasts make for great comic mythology. That's a villain who cuts closer to the bone than the likes of Red Skull, Loki, or Norman Osborn could ever hope to achieve, and one who perfectly defines the necessity for a dark hero such as Moon Knight. I was reminded of that scene in the Michael Shannon movie, The Iceman, where Richard visits his brother in prison, who tells him he'll never be a true father and husband because of the monster that he really is underneath. That may ring very true of Steven Grant because of Marc Spector.

2014 could be a great year for Marvel fans, and I hope that Ellis's Moon Knight #1 marks the beginning of a long ongoing series. The chances are that if you've never read a Moon Knight comic in your life, you'll be able to start here and never look back. However, I recommend that you do look back. Moon Knight really has so much to offer, especially if you're looking for that perfect medium between glorified heavy-hitters and non-powered street-level characters; a dark and troubled personality that shines brighter than some of your most popular heroes!

Sound off, Fanboys and Fangirls! Did you survive to the end of this article? Are you excited to jump into Moon Knight's world? What are some of your favorite Moon Knight moments? Drop us a comment below, and let us know how we did! If you missed out on reading Parts 1 and 2, you can reach them here and here. Thanks again for sticking with us, and we hope you've found a new legacy to follow with us!

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