Superheroes and the comics they come from are undeniably perfectly built for blockbuster Hollywood adaptations. Audiences have always loved a classic battle between good and evil, packed with action, thrills, and some romance sprinkled throughout. The movie industry has been taking Marvel and DC heroes to the big screen since the '70s, but with the rise of the MCU and DCEU, it's more trendy than ever.
Marvel has found great success in the MCU with almost every movie and series proving to be a critical and financial hit, even though it has made some major departures from the comics it adapts. Many may struggle to remember a pre-Iron Man era of Marvel in which the comic publisher was in financial turmoil and frantically selling off the big-screen rights to whoever would take them.
But since the MCU shot to the forefront of the movie industry, Marvel Comics is winning once again, with the 2020 sales of comics and graphic novels across the board said to have been at an all-time high. Naturally, this comes in part down to the massive movie fan base flocking to comic stores and digital retailers for more stories from their favorite heroes.
Marvel Studios just introduced its latest hero to screens with Moon Knight on Disney+, and the company appears to be eager for fans to check out the comics based on an Easter egg hidden in the premiere.
Marvel Hides Free Moon Knight Comic in Episode 1
Marvel Studios hid a link to unlock a free digital comic book in the first episode of Moon Knight, featuring the first-ever appearance of the character.
In the museum scene in which Steven Grant explains Egyptian history to a young girl, a QR code can be seen on display next to a fire alarm.
Scanning the code will take viewers to a website that features a digital copy of Moon Knight's first Marvel Comics appearance.
The site promises viewers can "check back weekly" for more Moon Knight comic books, although it remains unclear if these will be found on the same link or hidden behind further QR codes in later episodes.
This week's free comic issue is Werewolf By Night (1972) #32, which not only features Moon Knight but also the titular beast who will lead his own live-action Halloween special on Disney+ later this year.
Those eager to save themselves the effort of scanning the QR code can retrieve their free Moon Knight comic from the Marvel site here.
Is Marvel Teasing a Surprise Moon Knight Cameo?
Moon Knight made his comic debut in Werewolf by Night #32, making it the perfect choice for the first issue to give away to Disney+ viewers alongside the premiere. With the promise of more hidden comics to come with future episodes, fans should expect these to continue to be key issues for both Moon Knight and the series' other characters.
This week's issue was almost certainly chosen due to it being the first appearance of the Fist of Vengeance, but there may be another hidden meaning here. Werewolf by Night will make his MCU debut later in the year in Marvel Studios' first Halloween special, which just recently started filming; so perhaps he may first pop up in Moon Knight.
The comic-centric Easter egg in the Disney+ premiere is a clever move from the publisher. With superheroes being all the rage at the moment, Marvel is likely eager to bring its extravagant MCU fan base over to the comics.
Should the move prove successful on Moon Knight, there's a strong chance a similar tactic may be replicated in future Disney+ series and even big-screen outings.
The first episode of Moon Knight is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.