Moon Knight being less recognized among Disney’s Marvel shows may do it justice, whereas high expectations allowed Loki to ultimately fail.
The Moon Knight series is slowly approaching Disney + the and Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while there’s been considerable talk when teasers and trailers arrive, there is not much being said about the character otherwise. But little expectation and few theories about Marc Spector and his alter ego may ironically point toward Moon Knight‘s success, unlike previously more talked-about endeavors such as Loki.
What’s known about Moon Knight is that the show will be faithful to the comic character’s origins. Marc Spector has dissociative identity disorder, which greatly contributes to his confusion between real life and dreams when he appears to be acting as a vigilante by the name of Mr. Knight. It’s still unclear if he will be Jewish in the series, but given the MCU’s infamous history of erasing Jewish heritage, the show would be better off if it kept the character’s culture. Other characters slated for the series are religious cult leader Arthur Harrow and Layla El-Faouly, who is somehow connected to Spector’s past. The mystery behind the story and characters makes Moon Knight an open book of possibilities that no one can touch.
When starting the MCU’s television brand, Kevin Feige chose to bring over established and beloved characters that fans had begged to see more of, which became a vital marketing tool. Wanda Maximoff, Vision, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson shared the small screen with their respective partners in crime, while Loki and Hawkeye got their own solo series. Out of all these successes (which included a handful of Emmy nominations), Loki got the hardest reception, and it had to do with his status as the long-standing villain who captivated the MCU in Phase One.
To say Loki has a few fans is an understatement. Maybe it’s the fascination people have with Tom Hiddleston, or maybe it has something to do with the character’s slow-burning redemption arc. Whichever one it was, Loki became a phenomenal cash cow for Marvel. His show was highly anticipated just because it was another chance to see the God of Mischief on-screen again after his heartbreaking death in Avengers: Infinity Warbut Marvel decided to subvert viewers’ grand expectations.
By far the most criticized element in the boundary-pushing first season of Loki was the romantic relationship between Loki and Sylvie, who was technically just himself but from another universe. The kiss between the two variants was met with confusion and anger among viewers, who felt duped that Loki’s bisexuality was revealed only for him to fall in love with a female version of himself – which was not betraying his sexuality, but it was still controversial. The majority of viewers felt as though Loki was left behind when Sylvie’s traumatic backstory took center stage as she sought vengeance for the loss of her childhood. Loki became merely a bystander in his own show, disappointing viewers who saw a complex character turned into an afterthought.
Moon Knight does not share that risk. Sure, there are always going to be comic-adoring fans who will expect a verbatim version of the character on screen, but the MCU is constantly creating original stories that exceed the comics. Moon Knight may not be the start of a new phase in the MCU, but it’s certainly the start of a new era. His series will determine if the MCU shows can truly succeed without the support of the films. This may sound like a lot of pressure for the new project, but at least the masked mercenary can premiere freely without the high expectations of a critical fan base.
Moon Knight is scheduled to premiere March 30 on Disney +.
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