Over the past few weeks, we’ve delved into how Moon Knight show has continuously referenced a number of comic runs either within its greater storyline or with small details that helped make the show so rewarding when familiar with the source material. Following Episode 1, we looked at how the show explored Marc Spector’s dissociative identity disorder compared to the comics. In Episode 2 Mr. Knight was introduced through a rather different take than in the comics and in Episode 3 Layla’s backstory, along with her dad’s, was approached and so we delved deep into how those same events were presented in both the original Moon Knight comic run and the more recent Lemire/Smallwood one. After the twist ending of Episode 4, we again looked at the ways that the series was inspired by the psych ward introduced in that latter run something that continued into episode 5 with Marc becoming Moon Knight.
As for episode 6, finding a specific moment that was worth exploring in terms of its comic counterpart became an issue in and of itself. With Marvel Studios so keen on being as unpredictable as possible when it comes to its storylines, especially its third acts (that obviously also include all series/season finales), the comics end up being referenced in a less obvious way. The thematic correlation is still there, and so being that’s perhaps the way to go about it: Focusing on what the show is trying to do that the comics already did—albeit in different ways—, and what that might hint towards the future of these characters.
Two of the major takeaways from the latest Moon Knight episode were presented in the post-credit scene. There, we found out that despite Marc deciding to go against Khonshu’s will towards killing Harrow, the God of the Moon and the Night Sky was still very much determined to keep his body as his earthly vessel. And with that in mind, his third alter was finally revealed with Jake Lockley making this on-screen debut, showing himself to be the most unhinged and violence-prone of the identities sharing said body. Both these particulars seem to hint at a larger story being told, more connected to Marc’s dissociative identity disorder (DID) than to his superhero endeavors.
The relationship between Marc and Khonshu never seemed to be one based on mutual interests, and so this abuse is sure to strain it even further leading to greater altercations down the line. As we watched throughout the show, Marc’s motivations for going along with Khonshu’s greater plan were basically attached to concerns over Layla’s well-being. Even with his prominent sense of duty, the deal he made with Khonshu that led to him becoming his Fist of Vengeance did not seem worth keeping, as death was something Marc welcomed in order to escape his fate. Unless, of course, that meant that Layla would then have to endure his burden. Much as in the aforementioned Lemire/Smallwood run, Marc ends up understanding that a rejection of Khonshu’s ways was absolutely necessary in order for him, even with the other identities, to ever feel comfortable in his own skin.
But this wasn’t always the case as Marc at times determined that the other identities were the issue. It wouldn’t be until later on that he understood that each personality was but a piece of the tapestry that made him whole and that Khonshu was the unnecessary appendage that only kept him down. This is somewhat similar to what we got to see in the show, as the initial confrontations between Marc and Steven then led to one of the best scenes in the entire show when both understood that they were so much less when trying to reject and keep each other at bay. Jake’s introduction will serve the purpose of giving the plot an extra layer of complexity as Marc and Steven will have not only external but also internal threats they must overcome.
Khonshu is then proving himself to be, if not the main villain in the series we just watched, the antagonist that will prove the biggest adversary for Marc, Steven, and possibly even Jake. Much as in the comics the several personalities ended up working together in order to obliterate Khonshu’s influence over their shared body, and so too it seems that this might be the way to go in future storylines on future live-action Moon Knight projects.
Moon Knight is now streaming, in its entirety, only on Disney+.