Marvel Studios’ first 2022 project is set to introduce the titular Moon Knight to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even though its trailer quickly became the most-liked Disney+ series trailer on YouTube soon after its release, the character isn’t exactly a household name. Moon Knight is a caped vigilante; he was seemingly revived by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, often dresses in all-white so that bad guys see him coming, and he may very likely be the MCU’s most violent and brutal character to date. But those aren’t exactly his most interesting traits.
Marc Spector, Moon Knight’s human persona, has dissociative identity disorder (DID), which is a mental health condition characterized by the existence of two or more personality identities in the same person. DID used to be known as multiple personality disorder, and in the past, the character’s own comics incorrectly referred to Spector’s disorder as schizophrenia. Because the portrayal of any mental illness can be fumbled, the makers of Moon Knight have indicated that they plan to take the character’s DID seriously and portray it as accurately as possible.
With that in mind, Marc Spector in the comics now generally has five core personalities, or alters, in the comics, some much more recent than others–though even more manifested at different points in time. Not every one of the primary five have been referenced ahead of Moon Knight, but you can check them out below:
Marc Spector is the son of a rabbi, and a former Marine and CIA operative who became a mercenary. Spector was killed during a mission in Sudan, but was seemingly resurrected underneath the statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Spector’s belief that he is Khonshu’s avatar on Earth, or the “Fist of Khonshu,” leads to his Moon Knight persona. Spector is often the primary non-costumed personality nowadays, but there are times throughout the character’s history where the Spector alter is suppressed for long periods of time. So far, the Moon Knight trailers and promotions have only given us a tiny sliver of Marc Spector.
Steven Grant is a wealthy, charismatic, connected businessman who took Marc Spector’s mercenary earnings and turned them into millions. He uses these riches to fund Moon Knight’s costly vigilante pursuits, including the Mooncopter and plenty of gadgets. Later, Steven became a producer and even produced a Moon Knight movie. In the trailers for the Disney+ series, Oscar Isaac seems to almost exclusively be portraying the series’ version of Steven Grant. Instead of a playboy millionaire, this Grant is a mild-mannered British gift-shop employee who seems to have little to no awareness of his alters.
Completely absent from all trailers and marketing for Moon Knight is Jake Lockley, Spector’s third classic personality. Lockley is usually depicted as a sometimes-seedy, kind of rough, street-smart cab driver who uses his position to stay connected with ground-level informants and criminals. In that way, he acts as a kind of detective for Moon Knight. Lockley also serves as the connection between Moon Knight and several major supporting characters, such as Bertrand Crawley, Gena Landers, and her two sons. Whether Jake’s absence from Moon Knight promotions means that he will not be making an appearance or that he will be a later reveal is yet to be seen.
Depending on which Moon Knight comic you happen to be reading, whether or not Moon Knight is actually a separate identity is pretty ambiguous. In some, like the first-ever issue of Moon Knight above, Marc, Steven, and Jake together form the identity of Moon Knight. But more recent runs have made it more explicit that Moon Knight is indeed his own alter, not just (for example) Marc in a cape. Appointed as Khonshu’s fist and high priest, Moon Knight enacts justice to protect those who travel at night. Throughout most of his history, Moon Knight was never actually superpowered, though there have been times where Khonshu imbued him with special abilities–such as superhuman strength, speed, and durability–that could vary with the lunar phases.
The fifth primary alter of Marc Spector is his newest by far, first making his appearance in 2014. Maybe the most visually interesting Knight of the two, Mr. Knight always wears a crisp, all-white suit with a white shirt, white tie, and white shoes. He also wears white gloves and a white mask with the outline of a crescent moon on his forehead. If the Moon Knight posters are any indication, Isaac is about to don a very comic-accurate rendition of this personality. Mr. Knight is somewhat of a casual version of Moon Knight–he is often talking to his psychiatrist, assisting in police investigations, and talking to people in need.
For a brief time during the Brian Michael Bendis run, Marc and Moon Knight found themselves without Steven and Jake. Instead, Moon Knight developed three new alters: Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Captain America. While it is highly unlikely for many reasons that any of them will appear in Moon Knight, the Bendis run is still worth a shot.
Moon Knight hits Disney Plus on March 30th.