Why Marvel's Moon Knight Is So Troubled and How It Makes Him Powerful

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Moon Knight #5, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

There are plenty of emotionally turbulent, morally ambiguous superheroes active across the Marvel Universe, from Daredevil to Wolverine. However, one such hero, who is poised to take the spotlight with his own Marvel Cinematic Universe television series, is Moon Knight. As Marc Spector (his secret identity - or at least one of them) takes time to undergo some much-needed therapy and work through his vulnerability and unresolved trauma, his new series shows that Moon Knight's pain not only informs much of his superhero crusade but empowers him in ways that are uniquely inspiring.

The son of a rabbi who personally abhorred violence, Marc felt that his father's dedication to a life of peace made him, and the God he served, weak, opting instead to start a blood-soaked career as a soldier of fortune. After being selected by Khonshu, the Ancient Egyptian God of Vengeance, to serve as his avatar on Earth, leading to the creation of the Moon Knight mantle, Marc was given an increased license to indulge his violent side in rejection of his father's principles. This unwavering commitment to Khonshu and his brutal agenda has gone on to cost Marc his family and friends, but in Moon Knight #5, by Jed McKay, Alessandro Cappuccio, Rachelle Rosenberg and VC's Cory Petit, this lonely mission highlights the tragedy and strength of Marc Spector.

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After being chosen by Khonshu, Marc developed an acute case of dissociative identity disorder, constantly at war with the dueling personalities vying for control of his mind. From the playboy billionaire personality of Steven Grant to the salt-of-earth cab driver Jake Lockley, Marc has multiple personalities within his fractured mind that aid him in his war on crime.

This unique trait has had the unforeseen ability to shield Moon Knight from telepathic attacks and mind control. This ability is thanks, in part, to the relative strength of each of these dominant personalities protecting Marc from outside influence, while simply naturally being a deterrent to mental attacks thanks solely on the confusion within his mind. In a recent issue, he seemingly even absorbed an external personality who tried to assail him and hack his brain. Of course, on the physical plane, the god Khonshu supplies Marc a separate blessing that has made Moon Knight able to singlehandedly take on -- and defeat -- the Avengers.

RELATED: Moon Knight's New Rival Has One Power Marc Spector Never Received

But his power is more than even that which resides in his mind or fists. Moon Knight's struggles as a superhero who endures chronic mental health issues makes him an aspirational figure in many ways, one who is able to accomplish wonders with an otherwise debilitating condition. Just as Daredevil has often battled through his depression to become the Marvel Universe's Man Without Fear, Moon Knight is a character who has accepted his mental health challenges and turned this inner torment in service to something greater, defending New York City and the wider universe from some of Marvel's most fearsome supervillains.

With Disney+'s upcoming Moon Knight television series confirmed to include Marc's dissociative identity disorder, hopefully this aspirational message and respectful look at mental health conditions will be retained.

RELATED: Moon Knight Lost Big Time to a Forgotten Marvel Villain & Joker’s Best Plan

Moon Knight is one of the most complicated, tortured figures in Marvel's superhero community, but battling through adversity is something Marc Spector had done long before he was blessed by Khonshu to carry out his vengeful mission on Earth. And while Moon Knight has shared just how haunted his life has become, from his dedication to Khonshu and distancing himself from his father's ideals, Marc has made do with the job he has been anointed for, dishing out his own brand of justice in defense of those who cannot defend themselves.

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Sam Stone is a 10th level pop culture guru living just outside of Washington, DC who knows an unreasonable amount about The Beatles. You can follow him on Twitter @samstoneshow and ask him about Nintendo, pop punk, and Star Trek.

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