Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the first episode of Moon Knight
The crescent moon has finally waxed, and Moon Knight episode one is now available to all Disney Plus subscribers (at least it is if you remembered to update your preferences in order to watch mature material). Fans are already hitting their socials to praise the inventive series and discuss some of the hidden nuggets of info some viewers might have missed in their first look at the series. We’ve assembled some of the cooler gems below.
Fair warning, the article below contains spoilers for Moon Knight episode one, so go no further if you haven’t seen the ep.
Probably the most cheeky nod in the episode, Donna Kraft, Steven Grant’s upbraiding, bullying supervisor at his British Museum job, shares a name with a canon character from the Moon Knight comics. The comics version of Donna is a close friend of Steven Grant’s (the comic version) longtime paramour, Malene Alraune. Kraft later becomes Marc’s publicist when he abandons his Steven Grant identity and founds SpectorCorp. Using the name might be a nod to Steven discovering he is no longer the dominant personality anymore. It might also be Marvel following its longstanding practice of featuring minor characters in the MCU who share the same name as minor characters from the original comic book sources,
One of the major drops in the episode’s first act comes when Steven Grant discusses the museum’s marketing materials with Donna. Grant brings up that the museum’s promotional poster of “The Ennead” is missing two of the traditional members.
The Ennead, or “The Nine,” is a group of nine major ancient Egyptian deities, similar to the Greek Pantheon of gods and goddesses. The Nine were historically made up of Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys.
However, the Marvel Comics Ennead (and presumably the MCU version we’ll see in Moon Knight) is somewhat differentiated from the historical Ennead. Steven describes them outright as a “supergroup of Egyptian Gods.” The Marvel Ennead includes Moon Knight’s patron god, Khonshu, who is the son of Atum and the air goddess Amanuet. Is Khonshu one of the gods that Steven can’t see on the poster? And is that due to the mental blocks that prevent him from realizing he is also the mercenary Marc Spector and the real-life avatar of Khonshu, Moon Knight? And who is the other “missing” member?
One of the main themes of the episode is Steven’s almost hopeless sense of loneliness. His longest “conversations” seem to be meandering voicemails he leaves for his “mother” (in the comics, Moon Knight’s mother is dead, so this may be a device that helps Steven keep his other identities suppressed). Another device that allows Steven to express his feelings is his “friendship” with a so-called living statue — a street performer who makes themselves up to look like a real statue and remains immobile, often for long periods — who is unnamed in the episode but credited as Crawley in the episode’s credits. This is undoubtedly a reference to Bertrand Crawley, a formerly houseless man that often acted as a ‘legman’ and informant for Moon Knight and his Jake Lockley identity, gathering information about criminal activities at a street level.
The street performer matches Crawley’s comics appearance to a tee, down to his long hair and spectacles. It remains to be seen if he will play a more significant or even just a speaking role in future episodes. The character may even be a product of Steven’s disorder and not exist at all. Or it may merely be a shoutout to longtime fans.
As the episode nears its conclusion, Steven happens upon a concealed hole in his apartment’s wall that contains an early 2000s era RAZR cellular phone and a mysterious key. Upon charging the phone, Steven brings up its call history, which is dominated by one name: Layla. However, the one exception is a tie to the character’s original comic book origins.
The name “Duchamp” is the surname of one of Moon Knight’s oldest compatriots, Jean-Paul “Frenchie” Duchamp, the hero’s helicopter pilot who debuted alongside him in Werewolf by Night way back in 1975. Frenchie has featured in nearly every one of the many volumes of Moon Knight‘s various comic book titles and is a fan favorite.
However, this wink and nod may be the most we see of Frenchie, at least in this season. Series writer Jeremy Slater recently revealed that many of Moon Knight’s “classic cast” members would not be appearing in the series for reasons likely to be revealed in the show.
Ammit, the so-called Devourer of the Dead, was a demoness/goddess of Egyptian myth who resembled a crocodile, hippopotamus, and a lion, the three deadliest “man-eating” animals familiar to the ancient Egyptians. In the afterlife, the god Anubis would weigh the deceased’s heart against a feather from the headdress of Ma’at, the goddess of truth. If the heart was deemed too heavy ad thus, “impure,” it would be fed to Ammit.
Ammit had no worshipers in ancient times and, indeed, was something of a “bogeyman,” as described in the episode by Steven, used to scare people into leading truthful lives.
The show’s antagonist, Arthur Harrow has founded a cult that does worship Ammit as a God, and seeks to raise her to new prominence and perhaps even cleanse the Earth of those deemed “impure” by the scales of the afterlife. In Marvel’s current Moon Knight: Welcome to New Egypt by writer Jeff Lemire Ammit possesses a supposed psychologist named Dr. Emmet in order to wear away the last remnant of Khonshu from Marc Spector and to convince him that he is merely someone who is suffering from hallucinations.
The episode has several obvious crocodile references, most notably Harrow’s double-headed crocodile walking stick, which he uses as a pendulum to judge people’s souls, much like Anubis. It’s also noticeable that Steven ends his voicemails to his “mother” with the phrase “Later, gators.” Could his mother be some sort of form of the demoness, seeking to keep Spector and Moon Knight’s identities suppressed?
Tune in and see if any answers are revealed. The next episode of Moon Knight will drop on Wednesday, April 6.