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Superhero Origins: Moon Knight

VO: Dan Paradis
Moon Knight was introduced as a rather ambiguous figure, not exactly a villain but not quite a hero either. Making his debut in a 1975 Werewolf by Night storyline the titular werewolf found himself hunted by a mysterious, faceless figure clad all in white who was determined to capture him. This figure turned out to be a mercenary named Mark Spector who dressed in a ghostly outfit. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of Mark Spector, otherwise known as Moon Knight. Special thanks to our user Norris Vaughn for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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Transcript
*Script written by Craig Butler.

Superhero Origins: Moon Knight


Some nights there's a bad moon rising; for the bad guys that is. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origins of Mark Spector, otherwise known as Moon Knight.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1975's Werewolf by Night #32-33 and which was expanded upon in 1980's Moon Knight #1 and 1981's Moon Knight #4.

Moon Knight was introduced as a rather ambiguous figure, not exactly a villain but not quite a hero either, in a 1975 Werewolf by Night storyline. Jack Russell, the titular werewolf, found himself hunted by a mysterious, faceless figure clad all in white who was determined to capture him. The figure told Russell that could call him Moon Knight.

In fact, Moon Knight's real name was Mark Spector. Under that name, Spector had established a successful career as a mercenary. His resume included jobs in hot spots all over the world, often specializing in locations in turmoil due to civil wars and revolutions.
Spector had been invited to a meeting with an organization known only as the Committee. Comprised of extremely wealthy businessmen, the Committee hired Spector to capture Jack Russell and bring him to them – for reasons of their own. They also supplied the Spector with a costume and alias to use in this mission.

Spector donned his ghostly outfit and proceeded to utilize his considerable skills to capture his prey. After delivering Russell to the Committee, Moon Knight learned that they planned to use Russell in his werewolf form as their own private killing machine. Upon hearing of their plans and being goaded by Russell's sister and friend, who had also been captured, Moon Knight's conscience kicked in. He freed Russell and the other captives and helped them fight their way free of the Committee.

Over his next few appearances in various Marvel titles, Moon Knight shifted into a more straightforward hero. His origin was retold in a story arc that began in the first issue of his own 1980 comic book.

In this re-telling, Marc Spector is a mercenary who was working in the Sudan with his colleague, Frenchie. After their boss, a nasty piece of work named Bushman, killed an archeologist, Spector rescued the archeologist's daughter, Marlene. When Bushman killed innocent civilians, Spector was pushed too far and rebelled. Bushman defeated him and left him for dead in the dessert, but he crawled back to Marlene before he died.

Moments later, however, the statue of Khonshu, god of the moon and of vengeance, brought him back to life. Taking the statue's robe, he began his career as Moon Knight. And along the way, he adopted two other alter egos – a cab driver and a millionaire playboy - to aid him in his quest for vengeance.

This version of Moon Knight's origin was somewhat at odds with the story told during his first appearance. Things were cleared up in the 4th issue of Moon Knight, when a flashback revealed that Moon Knight and Frenchie knew of the Committee and wanted to investigate it. Frenchie disguised himself as a wealthy industrialist; when he learned of the plans to capture the werewolf, he convinced the Committee to hire Spector for the job. He also brought in Moon Knight's costume, claiming he had created it himself.

Pretending to work for the Committee, Moon Knight actually brought about its downfall.
Video game enthusiasts have had ample opportunity to experience Moon Knight in a gaming situation; he can be found in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, and others. Being resurrected by the god of vengeance does make a guy a pretty formidable opponent.

Are you a fan of Moon Knight? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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