Moon Knight has earned a bloody reputation in the Marvel Universe but the superhero is finally changing up his crimefighting strategy for the better.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight # 1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
One of the darkest, most violent superheroes in the Marvel Universe is Moon Knight, the lunar-themed vigilante that is empowered as the avatar of Khonshu, the Ancient Egyptian God of Vengeance. In addition to his psychic connection to Khonshu, Moon Knight suffers from an acute dissociative personality disorder that has effectively split his identity into three distinct personalities, often making the superhero dangerously unstable. However, Moon Knight has recently started down a different path, serving more as more of a protector than a bloodthirsty crimefighter.
Recently, Moon Knight has opened up his own hero-for-hire type enterprise in New York City called the Midnight Mission. Through this makeshift agency, Moon Knight serves as a defender for the marginalized and persecuted, with many of his clients facing supernatural problems. This stands in contrast to the vigilante’s usual methods of stalking the rooftops and alleyways of New York after dark and viciously beating criminals to a bloody pulp.
This does not mean that Moon Knight necessarily pulls his punches when he’s fighting his opponents. This is evident in Devil’s Reign: Moon Knight # 1 (by Jed MacKay, Federico Sabbatini, Lee Loughridge and VC’s Cory Petit), when the vigilante is imprisoned after Wilson Fisk inspires his fellow supervillains to seize control of New York. While on the inside, Moon Knight takes the opportunity to help a client by confronting another convict in a one-on-one cage fight, not only beating his target within an inch of his life but going as far as to gouge his eyes out with his bare hands.
A lot of Moon Knight’s change in modus operandi comes on the heels of a recent altercation he had with the Avengers on behalf of Khonshu. With the God of Vengeance’s divine powers dwindling, Moon Knight agreed to steal raw magical powers from many of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and transfer it directly to Khonshu, who then proceeded to conquer the world and reshape it in his image. Eventually, Moon Knight rebelled against his patron god and sided with the Avengers to overthrow him, but the ordeal has visibly changed his outlook on how to continue as a hero.
This change in approach has not endeared Moon Knight beyond his unstable, violent reputation among the rest of the superhero community. While in prison, the other detained heroes visibly keep their distance from the vigilante, well aware of his history and infamy in how he deals with his enemies. However, Moon Knight has made great strides in his private life to improve himself, attending therapy to address unresolved issues from his past while building a supportive network around himself.
For years Moon Knight has been a loner, pushing away anyone who tried to help him. He is now taking steps to reform his superhero strategy and has regained some of his more noble purposes. With the vigilante hero now becoming one of the more prominent faces in the Marvel Universe, this shift is a long overdue and welcome change of pace for the character.
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