‘Moon Knight’ Might Have Just Closed the Door on a Major Comics Villain

With the fifth episode of Moon Knight now available, we break down how it might have closed the door on a villain from the comics.

Moon Knight Episode 5 dealt little with the future of the character, and it instead opted to explore the titular character’s past. The journey through the Underworld combined with the search through rooms full of Marc Spector’s memories made for quite an emotional episode. While it did more to develop Marc’s and Steven Grant’s characters more than anything else, the episode also left clues about the way in which the Marvel Cinematic Universe might (or might not) deal with some of Moon Knight’s classic supporting cast and storylines from the comics.

The heaviest and darkest aspect of Episode 5 came from the series’ take on Marc’s childhood trauma. It was revealed that his dissociative identity disorder and Steven’s personality manifested at least in part from the emotional and physical abuse he suffered from his mother, because she blamed Marc for the accidental death of his little brother. The inclusion—and death—of Marc’s brother might have major implications for a major comics villain’s presence in the MCU.

In the comics, Randall Spector was the younger brother of Marc Spector. Randall, like Marc, joined the military but later became a mercenary. Randall had an interesting journey into villain territory, generally beginning when he killed a woman Marc was involved with during a mercenary assignment. Randall had a stint as a serial killer and subsequently became motivated to kill Marc to supposedly take on the Moon Knight mantle for himself. He also spent time as a member of the Cult of Khonshu, and was enhanced with powers by goddess Nephthys.

No Shadowknight in the MCU?

‘Shadowland: Moon Knight’

Randall is most known, however, for his supervillainous role as Shadowknight in the Shadowland: Moon Knight comics arc. Convinced he was the next avatar of Khonshu, Shadowknight carried out numerous murders to get Marc’s attention. The ensuing fights between the two killed even more bystanders, and Moon Knight ultimately decided he had no other option but to kill Randall. 

‘Shadowland: Moon Knight’

The fact that Marc’s younger brother dies as a child in Moon Knight immediately raises the question: does that mean Shadowknight does not have a future in the MCU? Nothing is ever totally off the table for Marvel Studios, but if they wanted to bring the supervillain to live-action, it seems as though they would need to take a non-comics-accurate approach. With the ensuing multiverse hanging over the MCU, the options will always be limitless. But without dipping into that line of storytelling, the series does not suggest that Randall Spector is around to take on the mantle of Shadowknight.

While Randall Spector is memorable in the comics, he is arguably not one of Moon Knight’s most iconic or classic villains. His storylines were, though, often melodramatic and hyperviolent in nature. So, fans that are hoping for Oscar Isaac’s superhero to move into the violent and brutal space might be a bit disappointed that a comics character in that realm might not be a viable option for Moon Knight’s future. While someone other than Randall could call themselves Shadowknight, that sibling relationship and drama would be lacking. 

Whether or not the MCU will adapt a version of Randall Spector and Shadowknight will, in theory, never be truly answered until the MCU comes to an end. Still, the fact that Moon Knight just seemingly eliminated his traditional backstory is evidence that perhaps the franchise might not have long-term plans for the villain.

The first five episodes of Moon Knight are now streaming exclusively on Disney+.  

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