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Based on the Marvel comics series, Moon Knight follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered museum gift-shop clerk. When he becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life, he discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.
Oscar Isaac stars as the title character and all of his various incarnations. The cast also includes Ethan Hawke, May Calamamawy, Karim El Hakim, and F. Murray Abraham as the voice of Khonshu, the moon god. The series was produced and directed by Mohamed Diab. Jeremy Slater (The Umbrella Academy) created the show and serves as showrunner.
Marvel has done a good job so far making each of its Disney+ series distinct from the last. WandaVision was unlike anything we’d seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at that point. It was followed by The Falcon and the Winter Solder, a very different kind of show. Then Loki, then What If, and, just this past Christmas, Hawkeye. The only thing they really have in common is that they’re built around existing characters we already know from the films.
Now we can add one more unique title to that list: Moon Knight. It’s the first of the new Disney+ series to introduce a main character from the comics we’ve never seen on screen before, but that’s not the only thing that’s original about it. Moon Knight stubbornly defies categorization. One minute it’s a psychological drama about a guy experiencing symptoms of a dissociative identity disorder, the next we’re introduced to a cult leader obsessed with Egyptian gods, the next scene might be a car chase through the alps or a brutal beat-down or a supernatural transformation. You don’t know at any given moment where this ride is headed, but it always feels like it’s towards somewhere cool.
The reason this crazy cocktail works is largely due to the versatility of the show’s star, Oscar Isaac. He’s tasked with playing a variety of different roles, all within the same person. As Steven Grant he’s British, mild mannered, and constantly off balance. Believing he suffers from a sleeping disorder, Steven’s nightly ritual involves taping his door, chaining himself to his bed, and surrounding it with sand to mark his footprints. Not that it makes much difference, because he shares his body with mercenary Marc Spector, who is far more confident, worldly, and skilled in the art of being a badass. Isaac makes them both believable and changes so completely you don’t need to hear the accent to know which one he’s portraying at any given moment. Oh, and there’s also the title character, Moon Knight, a costumed vigilante who serves the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. And perhaps more personalities to come.
Longtime fans of the character in the comics can be assured that he’s in good hands. Executive producer Mohamed Diab, who also directed the episodes, is Egyptian himself and brings not only his cultural background but a cultural reverence you wouldn’t necessarily get from an outsider (as he’s pointed out in his criticism of Wonder Woman 1984). Showrunner Jeremy Slater, who previously adapted The Umbrella Academy for Netflix, also has a solid grasp of the character’s complicated identity issues, and his legacy. Meanwhile, those who are just now meeting the character for the first time will soon find out why so many Marvel fans have been clamoring for a live-action adaptation for so long. Besides being a fun show packed with action and mystery, it’s great to see Moon Knight finally get his due.
The first Disney+ series to introduce a character we haven’t already met in the Marvel universe, Moon Knight throws everything at the wall, and most of it sticks thanks to a diligent and dedicated creative team.
This show isn’t just for comic fans, but anyone who likes any of the genres it incorporates, including thriller, mystery, action, and psychological drama — laced with a supernatural element. Due to the psychological elements and some scary moments, it might skew a little older than the previous Disney+ series, but more mature kids (especially those interested in Egyptian mythology) will get a kick out of it.
This may be the first time we’ve seen Moon Knight on screen, but it surely won’t be the last. Besides the rumors that he’ll appear in one or more upcoming MCU films, the pieces are already in place for a screen version of the Midnight Sons, which also included Blade (Mahershala Ali has already been cast in the role) and Black Knight, who was teased in the post-credits scene of Eternals.