Heroes For Hire: Moon Knight
If you’ve been a visitor to Comic Book Therapy for a while, then you may have seen my feature series called Neglected Nemeses, where I highlight some of the lesser known and, well, neglected baddies that have yet to make it to the big screen, or may have been mistreated. You can check out all those entries by clicking HERE. As we all know, there are literally hundreds of the good guys that could be the center of a film as well. Marvel has taken a bit of a gamble with some of their lesser known properties, with most of them paying off so far. There are a couple that are in the pipeline as well that could prove to be big successes, namely Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. We’ll just have to play the waiting game on those. As for DC, well, they can’t seem to get out of the Superman and Batman wheelhouse. Hopefully, if the Man of Steel sequel is a hit, they’ll expand their films beyond the World’s Finest. Until we see these two companies, as well as the numerous other comic companies, announce more film projects, it’s up to geeks like us to speculate, hope and wish which characters will eventually make it to the silver screen. So, to run in conjunction with my Neglected Nemeses articles, I will be writing up some articles highlighting some of our favorite heroes that have yet to make it to the big screen, or in some cases, the small screen. The first up in the Heroes For Hire series is Moon Knight, the nocturnal Marvel hero.
Marc Spector was born in Chicago to an American Rabbi. The family had previously escaped Europe in the 1930’s to avoid the looming Holocaust. As Marc grew older, he turned away from his father’s moral ways and turned towards worldly things, eventually coming to love the sport of boxing. Spector fought his way into the Heavyweight boxing world. He later took this skills and enhanced and honed them when he joined the Marines and later becoming a mercenary. Having gained a friend in Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp, a French pilot, the pair take to Egypt to work for Raoul Bushman, where they stumble upon an archaeological dig being performed by Dr. Peter Alraune and his daughter Marlene. The dig had uncovered and ancient temple, which housed a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Dead set on looting the dig, Bushman kills the good doctor, which appalls Spector, who challenges Bushman to a fight. Spector, however, is beaten severely and left for dead. Luckily, a group of roaming Egyptians who worship the ancient gods take Spector inside the recently revealed temple and place him at the foot of the Khonshu statue, where the moon god appears to the dying Spector and offers him a second chance. In turn, Spector must act as the avatar of god on Earth. Spector awakens and wraps himself in the silver shroud that covered the statue of Khonshu and proceeds to challenge Bushman to yet another battle, which he easily wins. He then returns to America with Frenchie and Marlene, where he takes on the mantle of Moon Knight and opts to fight crime.
To fund his crime fighting, Moon Knight invested his money that was earned during his time as a mercenary, turning it into a small fortune. Taking on the guise of Steven Grant, millionaire entrepreneur, he grows his fortune even more, buying himself a small estate. In order to maintain his relationships and stay close to the streets, he also took on the identity of Jake Lockley, a taxi driver. These contacts included the homeless Bertrand Crawley, who was his main “street” contact, as well as Gena Landers, the owner of a coffee shop, and her two sons, Ricky and Ray, who helped Spector with his investigative work. Over time, Moon Knight revealed his secrets to his newly found friends. Marlene, whom he’d rescued from Africa, become his lover and assisted him in suppressing his Spector identity and helped ground his psyche, keeping his other identities in check. She was also the designer of his costume, while Frenchie designed the first Mooncopter and served as its pilot. Frenchie also helped establish Moon Knight’s credibility by getting the crime syndicate known as The Committee, to allow the crime fighter to capture The Werewolf, also known as Jack Russell. Having defeating him, he took Russell, who had converted to his human form, and his two sisters to The Committee, where it was revealed that they were going to use The Werewolf to fight their enemies and were looking to turn his sister, Lissa into a werewolf as well. Having learned this, Moon Knight set Russell free and rescued his two sisters from the evil group.. He then teamed with The Werewolf to defeat The Committee.
Moon Knight has teamed with his fellow heroes on several occasions. He aided the Defenders in defeating the android Zodiac; fought alongside Spider-Man in his battle with the Masked Marauder’s Maggia and helped Thing take down Crossfire. Spector has also had some very personal battles, including facing his brother Randall, who went on a killing spree in New York, using a hatchet to kill unsuspecting nurses. In order to capture him, Marlene posed as a nurse to lure him in and in doing so, she was nearly killed. Moon Knight took after his brother, only to find him seemingly impaled on the branch of a tree. Spector later learned that his brother had used an imposter to take his place. He also battled the Slasher, who stalked the night, killing the homeless. During this venture, he discovered that Crawley, his street informant, was his father. A blast from the past also surfaced when Bushman returned and stole Moon Knight’s coveted statue of Khonshu and destroyed it. Fearing he’d lost his only guide, Spector was driven to the brink of insanity. However, Marlene reveals that the statue that was destroyed was actually a copy, once again proving to be his rock and link to a sane life.
In yet another personal crisis, a new villain in the form of Black Spectre emerged. This was actually the alter ego of Carson Knowles, a candidate running for mayor who forcibly coerced citizens to vote for him. Black Spectre, having been inspired by Moon Knight, donned the hero’s costume, thinking that people would fear him as villains feared Moon Knight. In his very first encounter with the naughty politician, Spector unmasked him, but was unable to prove that Knowles was indeed the Black Spectre. The city began to doubt his motives, with even Marlene doubting him by the end of it all. However, Moon Knight was able to unmask the politician on live television, revealing him to be the Black Spectre and saving his own reputation at the same time. After a battle with Zohar, Moon Knight was once again pushed to the brink of insanity, forcing him to drop all of his identities and live his life as Spector and settle down with Marlene. It didn’t take long for that to change, as three priests who had worshiped the moon god Khonshu convinced him that he was truly the avatar of Khonshu. The trio guided Moon Knight in new tasks and heightening his powers. So much so, Moon Knight became superhuman during the full moon. No longer willing to accept the Moon Knight persona, Marlene left him.
Moon Knight also has some tie-ins with the Avengers. After the West Coast Avengers were stuck in ancient Egypt after a time travel mishap, Hawkeye created an alliance with Khonshu, who contacted Moon Knight in the present day. He then teamed with Hank Pym to rescue the stranded Avengers and together, they all defeated the alien Dominus, who had left them to their own devices in the first place.
As with all of our favorite characters, these are just a sampling of the many adventures, battles and events of Moon Knight. But it’s easy to see that Spector has in interesting and dark origin that could translate easily into a film and has some very cool stories to pull from that could be quite emotional, especially those involving his family and the love of his life Marlene. There are a lot of people who feel that Moon Knight is Marvel’s version of Batman, but I disagree. There are certainly some similarities, but when you break them down, they are quite different. With Marvel heading into the mystical realms, with characters like Doctor Strange, Moon Knight is a character you could bring up as well. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be be a film either. With the studio teaming with ABC to bring some of their characters to the small screen, beginning with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it might not be too big of a leap to place the character on the small screen, possibly on a network like FX, where you could tackle the darker side of comics.
As with Neglected Nemeses, I’ll be providing an actor who I think would do a great job in filling the role. Moon Knight needs an actor that can convey pain and suffering, but also one that can handle the vengeance and revenge. Jake Gyllenhaal has missed out on several comic book roles, including Spider-Man and Batman. I feel that he would do well with a comic book role and he’s past due. With Gyllenhaal’s film past, Donnie Darko, Jarhead and most recently Prisoners, he’d do very well with a role like Marc Spector.
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Source : Marvel