The Marvel Cinematic Universe just got a little weirder thanks to the Moon Knight series on Disney Plus. Helmed by writer Jeremy Slater and directed by Mohamed Diab, the show introduces Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector AKA Steven Grant AKA Moon Knight AKA the Fist of Khonshu.


For anyone not familiar with the Marvel Comics hero, he was originally created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin and has been fighting the good fight since “Werewolf By Night” #32 back in 1975.

Spector is a former mercenary with dissociative identity disorder, and he has several personalities that he uses in his crusade to protect the streets from criminals, supervillains and various supernatural threats. But his fight actually got started when he was betrayed and left for the dead in the Egyptian desert.

Luckily, he crawled into a ruined temple and made a deal with Khonshu: the God of the Moon. The ancient deity saves Spector’s life, but in return, the half-dead soldier has to become Khonshu’s avatar on Earth. It’s a fair deal and not one that Marc can pass up on.

But is Khonshu a real figure in Egyptian mythology? How does he use Marc in the comics? And who plays him in the series?

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Who is Khonshu in Moon Knight? Marvel character explained

Well, Khonshu really is the God of the Moon

Khonshu in Marvel's Moon Knight
Khonshu in Marvel's Moon Knight Disney

Yes, Khonshu is inspired by a real figure from mythology. This obviously isn’t the first time Marvel has pulled from legendary characters to pad out its universe - Thor, Odin, and Loki are all pulled from Norse mythology after all! But the ‘real’ Khonsu (spelt without the h!) is an interesting figure: he is the God of the Moon, and he also protects anyone who travels at night.

It’s also worth knowing that he was powerful against “evil spirits” - according to, so it all makes sense why Moench and Perlin were inspired to create Moon Knight all those years ago. Unfortunately he was also quite ruthless, as the site points out that the Pyramid Texts call him “bloodthirsty” as he hunted other gods and ate their hearts. So he hasn’t always been the benevolent protector he makes himself out to be.

Khonshu is a powerful God in the Marvel Universe

Moon Knight in costume in the new Disney Plus series
Moon Knight arrives on Disney Plus in March 2022 YouTube/Marvel Studios

Khonshu and the rest of the Egyptian gods exist in a completely different plane of reality to our own, and because of that, they can’t physically enter our world. But they can visually appear to people and help manifest physical objects - like costumes, or weapons - if they need to.

Because of the barrier between Marvel’s main 616-universe and the gods, they use avatars to carry out their will on Earth, like Marc Spector.

Much like his live-action/CGI counterpart voiced by F Murray Abraham, Khonshu always appears to Marc as a towering being with a giant bird skull. His outfits differ depending on the setting, but he’s typically dressed in flowing robes adorned with golden ankhs.

Khonshu uses Marc Spector for his own ends in Moon Knight

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant in Marvel Studios' MOON KNIGHT
Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant in Marvel Studios' MOON KNIGHT Marvel Studios

The vigilante often gets seriously injured or even killed carrying out his missions for Khonshu, though the god ensures that he always heals quickly or resurrects him. This usually comes with some sort of prophetic warning to Marc not to take Khonshu’s abilities for granted, because the lunar god doesn’t have much patience.

It’s important to know that Marc isn’t the first Moon Knight, as Khonshu has used various different avatars over the years. In fact, the hero met a number of them during Cullen Bunn’s 2019 ‘Moon Knight’ run when he travelled through time to stop Kang the Conqueror. And in the first few episodes of the Disney Plus series, Khonshu makes a point to tell Marc that he’s used different avatars in the past.

It’s very clear his benevolent streak is something to keep an eye on. In the 2016 series by Jeff Lemire, Khonshu locks Marc up in an imaginary mental institution to try and inhabit his physical body for himself and even says he picked the hero because of his “weak mind” (referring to his dissociative identity disorder). Ouch.

Khonshu even forces Moon Knight to steal the powers of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the 2020 series “Avengers: Age of Khonshu” after the god has visions of Mephisto bringing about an apocalypse using infinite versions of himself. Comics!

He believes that by taking over the world using the ‘Cult of Khonshu’, he can save everyone from the end of the world. But this causes Moon Knight to turn on his master, and he helps the Avengers imprison the moon god in Asgard. Again, comics.

Basically, Khonshu is a very complex character, and although he gives Marc the abilities to protect the streets he also has no qualms in belittling him or abusing their dynamic for his own ends. It remains to be seen just how sinister the TV version will be, and whether he'll go quite so far in his quest for justice.

Moon Knight releases new episodes on Disney Plus on Wednesdays – sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.

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