How The MCU Changed Moon Knight’s Origin

Moon Knight episode 5 details Marc Spector’s origin, as the MCU changes Moon Knight’s past in multiple ways, impacting his DID and future villains.

Warning: SPOILERS for Moon Knight episode 5.

The events of Moon Knight episode 5 reveals a fresh origin for Marc Spector as the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes a few changes from his comic book backstory. In bringing Moon Knight to the MCU, Marvel Studios is largely telling its own story for the TV show instead of adapting one straight out of the comics. Moon Knight‘s story might mostly be fresh, outside of some obvious similarities to Jeff Lemire’s comic book run starting in episode 4, but that does not mean Marvel completely reinvented the character. The core of Moon Knight’s character – his connection to Egyptian gods and disassociative identity disorder – remains intact, even if several changes have also been made.


Moon Knight began by exploring the identities of Steven Grant and Marc Spector before it turned into a globe-trotting adventure steeped in Egyptian mythology. Moon Knight’s altars started working with Khonshu to try and locate Ammit’s tomb before Arthur Harrow could release the god of judgment upon humanity. Through this story, Moon Knight continued to hint at how Marc Spector became Moon Knight, such as teasing Marc Spector’s death in the past. Meanwhile, the origin of his dissociative identity disorder remained a mystery.

Related: Moon Knight Episode 5 Easter Eggs & Marvel References Explained

The answers about Marc’s origin finally came in Moon Knight episode 5. It confirmed several major changes to Marc Spector’s backstory, but there are also plenty of similarities to what happens in the comics. Here’s a comparison of Moon Knight’s comic book vs. TV show origins, as well as a breakdown of the biggest changes the MCU made.

Moon Knight’s Comic Book Origin Explained

Moon Knight Marvel Comics

Moon Knight joined the Marvel Comics universe in 1975 as a fully formed superhero, so it was not until his first solo comic series in 1980 that his origin was really explored. The comics revealed that Marc Spector became Moon Knight during his days as a mercenary. He was on a mission in Egypt working as a gun for hire for Bushman, but Marc began to disagree with his lethal methods. This led Marc to betray Raul Bushman and try to save some of the locals. However, Bushman followed him and ended up killing a famous archeologist. When Marc once again opposed his former boss to protect the archaeologist’s daughter, Marlene, Bushman shot him and left him for dead. In a last-ditch attempt to try and save Marc, his body was taken to the tomb of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

Although Marc Spector was physically dead by the time he got to Khonshu’s tomb, the Egyptian moon god interfered with the natural world and brought him back to life. This came with a very specific condition, though, as Marc became Khonshu’s host and is tasked with delivering vengeance on his behalf. The comics have since continued to go back and forth about whether or not these events actually transpired. Depending on the comic run and creative team, Moon Knight and his other identities might fully believe they serve an Egyptian god, but there are other times when they question whether this is all in their head.

How The MCU Changes Marc’s Moon Knight Origin

Moon Knight Marc Spector in Khonshu's temple

The way that Marc Spector becomes a superhero is similar to the comics, but some of the circumstances around his MCU Moon Knight origin differ. Marvel retained Marc’s past as a mercenary who was working for his old commanding officer, Bushman, on the night that his life was changed. He began this lifestyle after getting discharged from the military due to him going AWOL during a fugue state, which did not leave him with many career options. Moon Knight revealed that they were sent to raid an archeological dig site that Layla’s father was leading, but Bushman started killing the witnesses. Marc tried to save the people at the site instead of killing them. After Bushman shoots him and kills the people he tried to save, Marc Spector crawls into Khonshu’s temple. Just as Marc is about to take his own life, Khonshu speaks to him and offers to heal him as long as Marc becomes his fist of vengeance.

Related: Moon Knight: Does That Character Die In The Comics?

Even before Marc Spector becomes Moon Knight, the MCU also dove into his origin in Moon Knight episode 5 by exploring his traumatic childhood and the beginning of his DID. In the MCU, Marc’s childhood takes a traumatic turn after the death of his brother, which his mother blames him for. This leads to her physically and emotionally abusing a young Marc, which is when his Steven Grant personality is created. In the comics, Marc’s mother is not abusive and the parent he grows up to resent is his father. The traumatic event that led to Marc Spector’s dissociative identity disorder was not the death of his brother, either. Instead, it was instead fighting and killing a family friend who was secretly a Nazi deserter and serial killer of Jewish people.

Moon Knight’s Origins Change Makes A Comics Villain Impossible

Randall Spector Moon Knight Comics

The MCU’s changes to Moon Knight’s origin also eliminate one potential comic book villain from facing off with Oscar Isaac’s Marvel superhero. The important change to note here is the death of Marc’s younger brother, Randall, as a kid. Although Randall does die in the comics, it is only after he is an adult and transforms himself into the villainous Shadowknight. Randall makes a villainous turn after working with Marc in the CIA and killing his girlfriend, but he then encounters Marc again as a mercenary. Marc Spector and his brother fight several times in the comics, with Moon Knight ultimately killing Shadowknight. However, Moon Knight episode 5 makes that impossible now with his brother instead of dying when they were kids.

More: Moon Knight Episode 5 Ending Explained: What Happens To [SPOILER]?

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