‘Moon Knight’: Why the ‘Black Panther’ Reference is Such a Big Deal

Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight hasn’t shied away from introducing audiences to Egyptian mythology. It has in fact made it as central as possible to the overall storyline. But even though the future of the titular character in the MCU isn’t all that clear due to contractual issues, there are several details and other broader concepts that can, and in all likelihood will be used as stepping stones ahead of their return in future feature films of TV shows. Episode 5 was yet another great example of this.

Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight (2022)

Following the episode 4 cliffhanger where Steven and Marc are greeted by Taweret, she is quick to try and calm them down by elucidating where they found themselves. She then clarifies that they are in the Realm of the Duat, the realm of the dead in ancient Egyptian mythology. And that due to the Duat’s true nature being impossible for the human mind to comprehend, they may be perceiving the realm as something more easily recognizable. Hence, the psych ward. But the most interesting thing shared by the goddess of Women and Children, of childbirth and fertility, is that this realm is only one of several of its kind:

“An afterlife, not the afterlife. You’d be surprised how many intersectional planes of untethered consciousness exist. Ah! Like the ancestral plane! Oh! Just gorgeous.

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther (2018)

Getting this Black Panther reference right after introducing the Duat, while extremely cool, it’s also very helpful in driving home the idea that these planes, even though they might have common characteristics and a shared purpose, are very much their own thing. This means that the MCU isn’t combining concepts from different mythologies into a single unified vision, allowing for the future introduction of different pantheons from different cultures spread around the world and their unique takes on the Underworld. God plurality seems to be the way forward for the MCU, something we have already delved into in the past, and that continues to pay dividends each time a Marvel Studios project delves into the subject.

Following the depiction of Olympus in Thor: Love and Thunder’s first teaser trailer, and seing that Gorr the God Butcher is that movie’s main antagonist, it wouldn’t now be too big a reach to think that the Greek ferryman Charon and god Hermes might show up as gods themselves could end up having to cross the river that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead in Greek mythology. And when it comes to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which might end up introducing Aztec gods to the MCU due to an association with Namor, Xolotl, the god of fire and lightning could be next on the list as he was a soul-guide for the dead in Aztec mythology, commonly depicted as a dog-headed man.

Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

So either Gorr the God Butcher ends up being extremely successful in his endeavor to kill all gods or the MCU is definitively moving into a new age where every polytheistic religion will bring us their set of deities that will only help to enrich what is already a packed Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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