Moon Knight Marc Spector first debuted in Marvel’s panels in August of 1975 in Werewolf by Night issue 32.
Often described as a what would happen if Batman were to suffer multiple personality disorder, Moon Knight makes for one of the publisher’s most complex and fascinating individuals who have yet to bust out into the mainstream success that some of their other heroes have, particularly ones who have appeared in the MCU.
So with a reputation like that, some of you less familiar with the character might be wondering, what exactly can Moon Knight do?
Moon Based Powers
Moon Knight, similar to Batman, is a rich dude with a whole lot of training and will power. But unlike the Caped Crusader, when Moon Knight first hit the scene, he actually had superpowers.
The character has been susceptible to a lot of changes over the years thanks to new creative teams taking on his solo title. For example, in 1985 in a six-part mini-series, Moon Knight became known as the Fist of Khonshu, Khonshu being the ancient Egyptian God of the moon.
This increased his strength, speed, and endurance, but was based on the lunar cycle. This meant that the fuller the moon was, the stronger Moon Knight was, capable of lifting several hundred pounds. This is where things get a little messy though.
He was last seen using these lunar powers while on the West Coast Avengers team; a team he left in 1989. But it wasn’t until 2007 in the Midnight Sun story arc that is was confirmed he no longer has those powers; apparently, they were taken away from him as a punishment for his disobedience.
In Moon Knight’s very first appearance, he was brought in as a werewolf hunter and supernatural expert. And he was actually a villain, attempting to capture Werewolf by Night Jack Russell in a two-part story for the Committee, an LA-based secret criminal cabal of businessmen who would later become an opponent of Moon Knight’s.
That’s because Spectre learns that the Committee is trying to use him as a weapon, so he helps Werewolf escape and fights alongside him. Weirdly enough, a handful of issues late in Werewolf at Night issue 37, Moon Knight returned but as a demonic apparition that fought against Werewolf.
This isn’t REALLY a power, but it’s a technique that Spector imploys that helps him be more intimidating, and to throw his opponents off.
Unlike the DC vigilante, he’s constantly compared to, Marc actively wears a full white costume so that he CAN be seen. He wants to be seen.
This was something that was addressed in Warren Ellis’ 2014 run on the character’s solo title; Moon Knight chooses to wear white because he doesn’t have any interest in using stealth techniques. He wants to be seen; it’s his brand of fear.
Resistant to Psychic Attacks
Spector has proven to have immunity to psychic attacks over the years.
This is largely owed to his multiple personalities, and he’s been known in the past to even receive prophetic visions.
In addition to that, in Moon Knight issue 12, Moon Knight finds himself going up against The Profile, who is an unethical profiler-for-hire who is believed to have mutant abilities that allow him to analyze and predict the actions of anyone he observes. Scary right? But that didn’t bother Moon Knight.
Related: 10 Times Batman Was Broken
Profiler claimed that his abilities had no effect on Moon Knight, with him being physically painful for the antagonist to look at; his abilities don’t work on those with supernatural powers, yet Moon Knight at this time did not have powers.
Profiler believes that the only explanation for this is that Khonshu is actually real or that Marc was so insane that his belief in the Egyptian god is tantamount to magic and therefore disrupts Profiler’s abilities.
10 Different Personalities
Marc Spector has dissociative identity disorder it’s one of his most defining traits in the comics. Over the years though, some of the creative teams who have worked on Moon Knight have attempted to retcon his mental illness as being parts of Khonshu’s personality.
Regardless, we’ve seen at least ten unique personalities emerge from Spector in the comics, which include the wealthy businessman Steven Grant, a cab driver named Jake Lockley who has an uncanny ability of gaining street intel on criminals and their activities, and even a personality known as Mr Knight, an official detective for the NYPD while he still operated as the vigilante Moon Knight.
Even more interestingly, during the 2011 Moon Knight series, Marc manifests personalities for that iteration of Avengers at the time; one for Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man and Echo, all of which give him advice, and he ends up using variations of their signature weapons and moves.
So how is this a power? Well, it’s more so shifting perspectives that have aided Spector in one way or another over the years with each of these personalities unique skill sets. It’s also been a coping mechanism; Steven Grant was largely created in order to help Marc subconsciously deal with his very violent past.
Before becoming a superhero, Marc Spector was a mercenary for hire, employed by the CIA. And prior to that, he was a heavyweight boxer before becoming a US Marine. After his time in the military, he jumped over to mercenary work, with the CIA hiring him as a freelance.
After a botched mission in Egypt, he ends up being beaten to near-death by a peer named Raoul Bushman and left to die in the sub-zero temperatures of the Egyptian desert at night He’s found by Egyptians who worship the ancient gods, brought to Khonshu’s temple, and his heart stops; he then sees a vision of Khonshu who offers him a second chance if he becomes the god’s avatar on Earth.
Spectre agrees, wakes up, goes after Bushman and becomes Moon Knight. Because of his previous training, he has Olympic level athlete skills and is an expert in fighting styles the likes of karate, ninjutsu, savate, judo, Muay Thai, boxing, kung fu and more. He also knows how to pilot the hell out of an aircraft, too.
Moon Knight has had a whole lot of expensive and effective gear over the years. He uses some impressive tech that rivals what DC’s Batman has been known to bust out. He’s also rich, which helps.
He’s got an advanced truncheon that can split into two separate combat clubs (and can also be tethered together like nunchucks), an adamantium grappling hook, crescent darts that are kind of like this hero’s version of batarangs, and of course, his coolest piece of tech, the Mooncopter.
This bad boy is a sophisticated hovering aircraft that has vertical take-off and landing abilities, 20 mm cannons, stealth and combat equipment, and much more. Plus, he’s also got a remote controller crescent-shaped glider and a remote-controlled limousine.
He’s owned suits made out of adamantium, and during the Dark Reign story event, he gets the Tinkerer to upgrade his gear, giving him a suit of armor that is made of carbonation. It also has joint locking functions which allow him to support a whole lot of extra weight than what’s humanly possible.
Spectre has an almost superhuman tolerance for pain. He uses a very specific fighting style, which consists of him enduring any blows he takes in battle.
In the 2006 run on Moon Knight, we saw the title character go up against villain Task Master, who has the ability to mimic the fighting style of any individual. Except he won’t mimic Moon Knight’s; that’s because Marc never blocks incoming attacks.
As he puts it, it’s never about speed or slick moves or reflexes that make you the best fighter ever. It’s all about what you can take. Because of this, he’s got a crazy high pain tolerance, making him almost superhuman in durability. Task Master shot him in the shoulder with a crossbow, and it barely affected Marc.
The Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is something that Marc Spector assembled as a network of informants and agents whose advice he often requires; it’s a sophisticated computer network.
For the most part, many of those agents were unaware of who they were speaking to, having been recruited anonymously with a promise of financial payment, or with the use of blackmail, deception, trading favors, or just flat out due to the kindness of their hearts.
It’s a piece of tech that uses holo projection rings with one-way communicators that lets Marc see those he’s speaking to, but only lets them hear his voice on the other end. Marc would first use it in Marc Spector Moon Knight issue 38 in 1992 when he attempted to track the movements of his serial killer brother Randall Spector.
Moon Knight has died and then resurrected on several occasions, including in his origin story; as we mentioned, his heart stopped, and that’s when he encountered Khonshu for the first time after he was essentially killed by Raoul Bushman.
Then, in Marc Spector Moon Knight issue 28, he was literally stabbed in the back, and his soul drifted out of his body. Khonshu revived him. And it kept happening thanks to the Egyptian moon god; Marc, in that same series, would receive another fatal injury, this time thanks to an explosion caused by Marc quarantining himself with a computer virus.
So in other words, he can handle being dealt with fatal blows since he’s got a get out of death card in the form of Khonshu saving his butt.
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