Audiences were just introduced to the world of Moon Knight, and it seems that everyone has loved what they’ve seen so far. Oscar Isaac’s upcoming series has launched its first trailer, and it gives tons of intriguing glimpses of what fans can expect. But who exactly is this crazed vigilante wrapped in white, and how is he a superhero?
The driving force behind that hero or, as many would call him, anti-hero is none other than the Egyptian moon god. Going by the name of Khonshu, the being grants Marc Spector his powers to do his bidding.
When it comes to what that might be in the show exactly, it isn’t entirely known. There’s also likely to be plenty of differences between the Disney+ series and the comics the story comes from.
However, many don’t know a thing about the character in the first place or what drives him. So, the best place to start is by examining the impetus behind Isaac’s new character: Khonshu.
Khonshu, the Moon Knight God, Explained
The infamous Egyptian moon god can actually be spotted in the first footage from the project. His figure can be seen in the long hallway that Oscar Isaac’s lead character is looking down, with his iconic bird-skulled head taking up most of the frame.
In Marvel Comics lore, Khonshu is the Egyptian god of the moon. However, the being's lineage is a confusing matter. According to one of the most powerful beings in the entire fictional mythos, the moon god is actually an Elder God––one who predates Earth and was incorporated into the mythologies of its human inhabitants after having been there for at least a million years.
In the present day, after the mercenary Marc Spector’s archaeological site raid goes horribly wrong, the man’s spirit has an encounter with Khonshu. In exchange for saving his life, he offers his service to the deity.
Thus, the Moon Knight is born. Spector takes on his role in full, becoming the superhero everyone is now excited to see come to life on the screen. With the Egyptian god’s help, the former mercenary bested villains such as Conquer-Lord, Bushman, Midnight, and many more.
Khonshu’s very existence is something brought into question quite often in stories when exploring Marc’s sanity, none more so than a more recent storyline where the Egyptian god creates an illusionary mental hospital for the hero. While Spector believes this to be an attempt to break his mind, the experience ends up curing Marc of his insanity.
When it comes to how the god might play into the proceedings outside of Moon Knight, the character actually has connections to one of the MCU’s most significant current running threads: Kang the Conqueror.
Kang the Conqueror Sees A Full Moon
At some point in the convoluted storytelling that comics are known for, the West Coast Avengers get stranded in Ancient Egypt. This worked out great for Khonshu, who was then dealing with a being named Rama-Tut—otherwise known as one of Kang’s many personas within the timeline.
While the Avengers lay paralyzed on a temple’s ground after being captured, Hawkeye slips into a fever dream, where he comes face-to-face with everyone’s favorite Moon God. The being offers the archer a way back to their time if they help him thwart Rama-Tut.
Why was he mad? Well, when the time traveler spent time in Ancient Egypt as Rama-Tut, he was able to trick the local people into worshipping him and building statues in his honor, thereby rejecting the old gods, Khonshu being one of them.
After a strange and contrived run-in with both Doctor Strange and the Fantastic Four, the group does honor their word and stops the Kang Variant before getting yanked back to their time.
His experience working with the Avengers gives the old god a desire that only old comics could muster up: Khonshu now wants to experience being a bonafide Avenger.
Khonshu Joins The Avengers
After their teamwork in ancient Egypt, the old god wanted to join the famous team of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. However, it can’t just walk up to their front door and ring the doorbell. Or at least, not on its own––that’s where Moon Knight comes in.
The god inhabited the hero's body to experience Marc’s time with the team. This gig didn’t last long, as Khonshu’s presence is discovered by Damien Hellstorm, who convinces the moon god to depart.
Run-ins with the team are limited after that, but another big event brought them back together, just in an entirely different way. Both the god and his servant Moon Knight started having prophetic nightmares which warned of the end of the world at the hands of Mephisto.
Khonshu decided that the solution to this coming crisis was to have Marc Spector steal the powers of the modern-day counterparts of the Avengers of the Stone Age (they’re a whole other deal).
Moon Knight succeeds, and with his new powers, he kills Mephisto. The hero then gives his newfound powers to his Egyptian god, who goes and takes over the world with them.
Eventually, Marc caves, and steals a different power source to best his old backseat passenger: The Phoenix Force. This leaves the god to be defeated by the Avengers, and those stolen powers were given back to the rightful owners.
In the current comics, the Egyptian god remains imprisoned in the dungeons of Asgard.
The Influence of Khonshu
So why is Khonshu getting involved? Maybe he has actually been around for some time, but he’s now trying to awaken Marc from a state of amnesia brought about by his Dissociative Identity Disorder.
When it comes to what the god wants him to do, maybe Moon Knight’s goal could be to extinguish other Egyptian entities, or even gods, who have surfaced in the present day. It’s something that’s been teased, and in the trailer, it sure does look like Spector is giving the beat down to an Anubis-looking creature.
Ethan Hawke’s villain looks to be somebody called Doctor Author Harrow, a nobody in the comics. Maybe he’s inhabited or influenced by an Egyptian god in the same way Marc is by Khonshu? This would be a departure from the source material but would fit nicely and line up with the above-theorized plot.
Thankfully fans don’t have much longer before they can see The Fists of Khonshu in all of his glory.
Moon Knight airs on March 30 exclusively on Disney+.