Explaining that “Duchamp” Easter Egg in ‘Moon Knight’

The new MCU series Moon Knight seems to be taking a somewhat unique path to introduce and explore the titular character. We see nearly the entire first episode through Steven Grant, who knows nothing of the conflict among the Egyptian gods happening around him. So far, Moon Knight is not tracking any particular comic run, so predicting what comes next is not easy. But the first episode did supply an interesting Easter egg that might have legs to be more than just a nod to the comics.

When Steven discovers what turns out to be Marc Spector’s stash, he goes through the flip phone and sees countless missed calls from Layla. Placed amongst all of those missed calls was a “Duchamp.” A Moon Knight comic reader might recognize that name as Jean-Paul Duchamp, otherwise commonly called “Frenchie.”

Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight

Duchamp made his first appearance alongside Moon Knight himself in 1975’s Werewolf By Night #32. In that way, Duchamp is actually older in the comics than Marc Spector or Steven Grant. Like Moon Knight, Duchamp has a long and colorful history in Marvel comics. He is an ex-member of the French Foreign Legion and met Marc Spector while they were both mercenaries. Duchamp became, most notably, a close friend of Marc’s as well as a sort of sidekick to Moon Knight, and he was a long-time pilot of the Mooncopter.

Marc Spector: Moon Knight

But was Duchamp’s name on the phone simply an easter egg or could the character make an appearance in Moon Knight? Simply having the name listed somewhere a fan could spot seems like one-off reference territory, but the shot curiously lingered on the name for longer than you would expect it to if it didn’t pack more meaning. The episode barely introduces Marc, so there is plenty of room down the line for Marc’s character to be developed. That could include not only his personality and relationship to Khonshu and Moon Knight but also the other relationships–like Layla–that identity has made throughout his life.

From the little the first episode showed, it looks like Moon Knight has been around for some time. Steven seems to have had control over his own life for a significant period of time, meaning that Moon Knight may have been established or created potentially years ago. That is plenty of time for Marc to have a network around him. What’s more, it looks like Steven is scrolling through relatively recent missed calls on Marc’s phone, meaning Duchamp may have tried to reach out recently. This could suggest that they are still in contact or that Duchamp is at least trying to get involved. Perhaps he had been helping Marc carry out his Moon Knight activities, or maybe he is just a close confidant. If the classic character makes it into Moon Knight, by all guesses he would not have the screen time to truly develop. But there could be plenty of room for Marc Spector and his classic supporting cast to be explored more in the future.

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