Moon Knight [review/expectations]

A little rant about the show



Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, Marc Spector, and the Moon Knight persona, is Marvel Studio’s newest series on Disney Plus. Marvel is often praised for creating completely new atmospheres with each title they release. Despite the fact that I think Marvel seems a bit convoluted at the moment (and could benefit from focusing on quality rather than quantity) I think Moon Knight has potential.

The MCU Problem:

There is an issue with Marvel movies all being in the same universe. I believe Marvel does the whole “cinematic universe” thing the best, but after Endgame it feels like every project is exciting because the audience is looking for what is next. At what point do we stop drooling over end credits scenes and actually ask for a really great and original movie?

Can Moon Knight Fix the MCU?

I do not think Moon Knight is gonna be the next classic form of media, but in the first two episodes it seems to be doing a great job of separating itself from the convolution of the MCU. The show accomplishes this by centering around the main character’s dissociative identity disorder. The main character is in a constant state of turmoil with the voices of Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. It can be complicated to follow this at times, but at least it leaves no room for thickening the critical mass that the MCU is reaching.

The alternative storyline of the show was a great artistic decision in my opinion. In the original Marvel comics, Steven Grant (the main personality of Moon Knight) was a billionaire philanthropist. Moving away from this helped Marvel escape the past consensus that Moon Knight is just a ripoff of DC’s Batman. Oscar Isaac does an incredible job of committing to this separation. However, it feels as though Steven Grant is the more interesting of the two personalities.

The Steven Grant Personality:

Steven Grant works at a museum in London, living a humble life feeding his goldfish named Gus. Immediately this seem like a great alternative to the super hero origins we have received in past Marvel movies. Although the more action packed Marc Spector identity may have gotten Steven Grant into this super hero situation, it doesn’t change the fact that the audience is introduced to Grant as a bystander in the chaos. Oscar Isaac does a great job of making Steven Grant seem like the more rational and humane of the two personalities, even considering the fact that there is a complex backstory the audience has not yet been exposed to. Steven Grant is just your average, sweet, everyday guy trying to make end’s meet. Unfortunately, he is a victim to the trouble Marc Spector has gotten them in. I personally root for Steven Grant throughout the series, and hope that he can knock some sense into Khonshu and Marc Spector.

I have a particular fondness for the scene in which the Steven Grant personality is told to “summon the suit” (this of course referring to the Moon Knight armor). In Grant’s awkward attempt to do so, he summons what comic readers know as the “Mr. Knight” persona. However, rather than being another piece of practical wear that is just as valuable as the traditional robe outfit, this suit represents Steven Grant’s goofy misunderstanding of the entire situation.

The Villain:

As for the villain of the of the show, Arthur Harrow, I can’t say I’m sold yet. I really like the idea of a villain in the Marvel universe being a cult leader, it offers an eerie atmosphere that has not been explored thoroughly yet. An organized cult scene also happens to contrast the chaotic situation that Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and Khonshu experience. Although, it is a shame to see that Marvel is developing who is obviously going to be a very flat and uninteresting villain. I understand that Arthur Harrow is servicing the Egyptian god Ammit and he is brainwashed to an extent, but I hope that as the series progresses more of a relationship with Ammit is explored alongside a potential human backstory.

Additionally, the story of a group that wants to end the world and kill billions of people is getting old considering the events of Thanos in the Marvel universe. There continues to be less and less value in the idea of saving the world. Everyone knows there is going to be a resolution to this…obviously we won’t have another universe-altering event such as Thanos’ any time soon. My humble recommendation to the incredibly rich and powerful Marvel Studios is that they use Moon Knight as a reminder that smaller scale adventures can be had in the MCU. Although things seem to be getting convoluted, I still have hope that the MCU can focus on quality rather than quantity.