The newest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Moon Knight, finally premiered its this week. The series feels determined to keep the viewer in the dark (for now) similar to how the protagonist Steven Grant is taking everything in. The Disney+ show has not given the impression that it intends to take much of its direction from any particular comic book run or even any Moon Knight era. While that makes theorizing where the series is headed much more difficult, the first episode is already leaving major clues and Moon Knight easter eggs to work with. For one, there is a clear nod to classic Moon Knight character Jean-Paul “Frenchie” Duchamp. But Frenchie is not the only long-established comic’s character to be referenced.
In fact, another major character may have actually already appeared. Actor Shaun Scott is credited with playing “Crawley”, who is the gold-painted human statue Steven Grant seems to be very one-way friendly with. Moon Knight fans will reconize “Crawley” as a reference to Bertrand Crawley, a classic comics character. And he could have major implications for the series and its hero.
In the comics, Crawley is a homeless man living in New York City, who befriends and becomes an informant for one of Moon Knight’s personalities, Jake Lockley. It is emphasized how close this character is to Moon Knight in comic runs such as the popular Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood run, where the character plays a major role in Marc Spector grappling with psychological and supernatural chaos. While that certainly seems on par for Moon Knight, Crawley’s introduction could say a lot more about our protagonist’s past and future.
While the Crawley in the comcis is quite a bit more mobile and talkative than the human statue in Moon Knight, he could be the perfect plant for Moon Knight…or one of his personalities. In a busy area of London, Crawley can blend right by looking like a tourist magnet or street performer. By staying quiet and still, he would not bring much attention to himself and might simply have unfettered ability to observe things happening nearby and act as a fly on the wall without suspicion. But why would Moon Knight be interested in that?
Crawley is generally the definition of a street-level character. While Moon Knight is currently set abroad, the titular hero spends most of his time in the comics as a caped vigilante in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. We have little to go off now with respect to Marc Spector and Moon Knight’s history within the MCU, but everything points to a larger-than-life supernatural conflict against Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow. If Crawley is someone in Moon Knight’s life, though, that would suggest that the hero may have spent a significant amount of time as a crime-fighting vigilante in London. That could connect the hero to other classic characters and villains like Midnight Man, who is meant to appear in Moon Knight. In other words, the classic comic book portrayal of the character might still be in play.
It also raises interesting questions about the relationship between Moon Knight’s separate identities. In the comics, Crawley is very much connected to the Jake Lockley personality, who has yet to appear or be advertised. While Crawley could certainly tease Jake’s future introduction, there’s also something to be said about Steven’s own interactions with the human statute. Steven seems very drawn to him, which emphasized how lonely and awkward the character seems to be. But if another personality knows Crawley and works with him, maybe Steven subconsciously gravitates towards him. That would be another indication that Marc Spector, Jake Lockley, or Moon Knight are already using him as an informant by the time we meet Steven in the first episode.
There is always the possibility that Crawley the human statue is meant to be no more than an Easter egg and an acknowledgement of the character. But while the Frenchie reference was merely a name in a cell phone, Crawley is an actual flesh-and-bone character that has physically appeared in Moon Knight and has passively interacted with Steven Grant. While that could mean that Crawley is an already-existing and significant part of the MCU’s Moon Knight’s activities, it could also be a setup for the future. If Moon Knight does mostly explore an Egyptian mythology storyline, Moon Knight and his personalities could very well find themselves at a somewhat fresh start at the end of a wild and weird psychologically-dense series. Perhaps he leaves some of his obedience and dedication to Khonshu behind him–as he does several times throughout his comic book history–but still decides to use his skills and background for fighting crime in London. If he needs help, he already knows a guy.