WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Moon Knight #5, available now from Marvel.
Moon Knight is often compared to Batman, and not just because they are both vigilantes with apparently more money than they know what to do with. In terms of sheer brooding, Moon Knight may be the only one to give the Dark Knight a run for his money in the Marvel Universe. As intimidating as that might make him, it has also taken a heavy toll. Returning to action with a brand new mission has been a meaningful distraction, but there is no escaping the shame and regret that continue to haunt Marc Spector, especially from the roots he abandoned years ago.
While protecting his streets in the name of the Midnight Mission has been keeping Spector busy once the sun sets, his days have been taken up by frequent meetings with Doctor Andrea Sterman. As the foremost authority on superhuman psychology, not to mention Marc’s very own Avengers-appointed therapist, there is no one better equipped to address his most deeply rooted issues. There are the most obvious traumas, of course, such has Marc’s fractured psyche and subsequent dissociative disorders, but none of those speak to his general sense of unhappiness.
It’s a very specific sort of self loathing that Doctor Sterman has so far only managed to scratch the surface of, and which has finally been laid bare in the pages of Moon Knight #5 by Jed MacKay, Alessandro Cappuccio, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Cory Petit.
As Marc explains, he was raised by a kind, gentle rabbi who despised violence, traits which, in Marc’s eyes, made his father weak. Not only that, but even the stories Marc heard as a Jewish child made him loathe what he perceived to be an indifferent God. All of this made it easy enough to accept Khonshu‘s offer when Marc was first bestowed the moon god’s blessing, transforming him into the hero fans know now.
Looking back, Marc sees himself as weak for having given up everything he was raised to believe in exchange for an even more violent lease on life. The remorse Marc feels for the choices he made and for his actions as Khonshu’s champion are nothing short of heartbreaking, leaving Marc without any real sense of self beyond being Moon Knight.
His place as the Fist of Khonshu has seemingly cost him his family, heritage, and religion, and while some of that could be debatable, there is no question that Marc Spector is working to take at least some of it back, even if he doesn’t realize it.
The Midnight Mission isn’t just a semi-triumphant return to action for Moon Knight, but a completely new way of operating. No longer dedicated to Khonshu in the same zealous fashion he was previously, Marc has returned the original role of a protector of those who travel at night. With this transformation, the unrelenting brutality which Moon Knight was so well known for is gone, as is his tendency to seek out violent situations to intrude upon.
Piling up body bags is no longer an intrinsic part of the job; instead, the people come to him for help, and Moon Knight keeps his doors open for anyone and everyone who might need it. None of this is indicative of Marc Spector converting back to Judaism anytime soon, but his recent actions and reformed methodology speak to him having made impressive strides towards better reflecting the closely held beliefs of his father, which he so spitefully eschewed in his youth in as relative of a sense as possible.
He might still hate himself for everything he has done in the past, but the changes he has made in the present are readily apparent from an outside perspective, and they only serve to give hope for an even brighter future for the Midnight Mission.
While it is too late for Marc to reconnect with the family he has lost, or to change the decisions he has made, it’s easy to see that the renewed sense of purpose with which he has returned to action is genuinely driving him towards new heights as a hero. There might be more than one villain gunning for him, but Moon Knight has already proven his new mission hasn’t made him any less of a threat, even if it has made him more receptive to the world around him. Considering how much good he has done in the short time since his latest comeback, it might be that this was just the change he needed all along.
from Ultimate Comic Blog