Moon Knight – Everything To Know About The MCU’s Next Hero

WRITTEN BY JOHN JOHNSON

Moon Knight is the latest hero to join the MCU, through an upcoming Disney+ show starring the long time Marvel character. I’m a huge fan of Moon Knight, and I have always been drawn to the dark tone of the comic series. It could be serious and grounded without it reaching a level of intensity and gore like a modern Punisher comic. For those who haven’t heard of Moon Knight, here’s a bit of history of one of the most underrated Marvel heroes.

First appearing in ‘Werewolf by Night’ Issue number 32, Moon Knight made his debut as a villain. Hired by a villainous group called ‘The Committee’, Moon Knight was to capture “The Werewolf” for the organization. Moon Knight hunts down The Werewolf and manages to injure him with his signature crescent darts. Towards the end of issue, Moon Knight realizes what The Committee really stands for and helps The Werewolf break free. Moon Knight later had his origin redefined in his own ongoing series.

Doug Moench was a comic writer who was approached by many different colleagues to take a shot at writing the character in a more heroic way. Doug eventually saw the potential that his colleagues did, and wrote a new origin for the character.

The new origin story goes as follows: Marc Spector, a mercenary for hire, soldier of fortune- died in an Egyptian tomb where he was “supposedly” revived by Khonsu (The Egyptian God of the Moon). Marc went on to fight his former mercenary boss and returned to America to fight crime as the Fist of Khonsu. Marc took on multiple roles to help him get information on the street that helped in his quest to fight crime.

Moench wanted a more realistic superhero that would make sense in the real world. He figured the hero would need multiple guises to get information from the thugs on the street AND the upper class, hence Moon Knight’s ‘Steven Grant’ and ‘Jake Lockley’ personalities. Along with his guises he also need a supporting cast of characters to help in his mission to fight crime.

Crawley, a sophisticated homeless man who is always able to get info from the street level thugs. Gena and her kids, a woman who owned a diner that he visits frequently. Marlene, the girlfriend of Moon Knight’s Steven Grant personality (side note: she loved all of his personalities but Steven was her favorite). And finally, Frenchie, the former mercenary partner to Marc Spector, friend, and a pilot for Moon Knight.

One of my favorite Moon Knight issues addresses how complex the character really is. In the issue, he fights a villain named Stained Glass Scarlet. Scarlet was a nun, an actress, and a villain (sort of). Scarlet uses a crossbow to murder the mob bosses that had gotten her son addicted to drugs. Scarlet managed to take them out one by one until only one remained.

She was at a stand off with the final boss, with her crossbow aimed at him, and his gun aimed at her. Moon Knight bursts through the door with only one crescent dart in hand. Moon Knight hesitates on which to go for but ultimately chooses the gun. Scarlet shoots the mob boss with her bow and the deed is done.

The man is dead and Moon Knight failed to stop it. He chases Scarlet to a train track but she gets away. After it was all over, he asks his friend Frenchie if a loser can ever truly be a winner. The final word box of that issue is that he will never know. To me, that is fantastic writing and it kept me hooked on every page.

At the top of my favorite Moon Knight stories list, is an issue called, “Hit it!” A man runs through the streets of New York punching and beating anyone in his way. Moon Knight sees the trail of beaten and bloody men and follows it finding the culprit.

We find out that the reason the man was lashing out was due to the fact that he had just lost his dad. His father was abusive and beat him as a child, and now that his father was dead, he had no way of dealing with it. So instead of being able to give his father the beat down he felt he deserved, he took it out on everyone else.

When Moon Knight hears this, he chooses not to beat on him. The man unable to process his emotions, punches Moon Knight in the back of the head. The man screams at Moon Knight to hit him back, begging for a fight. Moon Knight falls for the bait and throws punch after punch until the man goes down. After leaving the scene, Moon Knight punches a wall, furious with himself. The final word box of that issue is “And so. The drum beats blood red, forever.”

For more on Moon Knight comics I recommend reading the entire run by Doug Moench and even the ‘Werewolf by Night’ issues where Moon Knight debuted. Doug Moench really brought this character to life and made every story an absolute knockout. Other Moon Knight writers over the years consist of Charlie Huston, who took the character into a very dark place. Going as making Moon Knight cut off the face of his enemy, Bushman. In Doug Moench’s original run, Moon Knight went out of his way NOT to kill. But Huston’s version completely disregards that.

Post Huston, Gregg Hurwittz took on the character in a redemption arc called, “Vengeance of the Moon Knight.” The story of Moon Knight coming back to New York after hiding from S.H.I.E.L.D, the Thunderbolts and other people that were after him. Moon Knight has visions of Khonsu begging him to kill again and Moon Knight refuses. Along with no longer killing, another change this run made was that “Jake Lockley” was the only other personality that Moon Knight had.

Around 2015, writers Warren Ellis and Jeff Lemire started their take on the character. Ellis had some really good stories but his version of Moon Knight was very violent, even after the Vengeance of the Moon Knight arc. That arc was written to make Moon Knight go back to his heroic roots. And Ellis keeps that in mind, making sure that Moon Knight doesn’t kill. But he absolutely brutalizes people. Moon Knight even hit a random thug with his moon shaped jet. It doesn’t say if he lived or died but it’s safe to assume it was the latter.

Lemire took Moon Knight into a strange direction. Making Moon Knight fight zombies while wearing bone armor and fighting sleep paralysis demons (that’s not much of an exaggeration). This run is wildly loved by marvel fans, although I still prefer the original run more.

Another change Ellis made was that he created a new personality for Moon Knight. Creating Mr. Knight. It’s just Moon Knight in a white tuxedo and a mask. The idea is a lot of fun, but it has overstayed its welcome. It was only meant for that one-story arc, but still is seen constantly and can overshadow the original costume at times. It’s like if Spider-Man only wore his black suit and never the classic red and blue one.

Moon Knight has a very long and complex history in Marvel Comics, and the upcoming Disney+ show is a great opportunity for a more mainstream audience to discover an absolutely fantastic character. However, I have my reserves.

The MCU has a lot of power over the comics and I fear if the show screws up Moon Knight, it will skew how writers write him after the shows release. For example, Iron Man was fairly unpopular prior to the movies. When the character blew up in popularity due to Robert Downey Jr’s awesome performance, it in turn caused Marvel to now write Iron Man to be more like RDJ.

As a huge Moon Knight fan, I’m hopeful for a great show on Disney+. However, I’m okay if the show isn’t good, as long as it doesn’t affect the comics.

New Static Shock Movie Produced By Michael B. Jordan

WRITTEN BY CHASE BRIDGES

Static Shock was an animated series that aired from 2000-2004 based on the superhero comic book of the same name. It originally aired on The WB but in 2009 it started airing reruns on the new channel Disney XD.

That is where I fell in love with the show. I remember being about ten years old and seeing all of the commercials for the brand new Disney XD, and the first show that I saw on the channel was Static Shock. After I watched that first episode I was absolutely obsessed with this new superhero that I had never heard of.

The show is about Virgil Hawkins, a young African American teenager who is being raised by his father (a police officer) and his older sister. Virgil is a smart kid who stays out of trouble, until one day he gets beat up by Francis Stone, a gang leader with fire like hair and way too many muscles.

In order to be protected against anymore beat downs by Francis and his gang, Virgil is forced to join a rival gang. After joining the gang, Virgil finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time and is involved in a giant gang fight at a chemical plant.

The police arrive to the gang war and accidentally cause an explosion with the chemicals. The chemicals spread across the area, infecting all of the people in the vicinity with super powers.

This event is later known as “The Big Bang” and it gave Virgil the ability to create, control, and manipulate electricity. After telling his best friend Richie about his new powers, they work together to help turn Virgil into Static Shock, a super hero who fights off other mutants effected the night of The Big Bang.

This character and show is so important, being one of the first mainstream animated series that starred an African American superhero. Giving tons of kids someone to look up to and love watching.

Michael B Jordan announcing that he is producing a Static Shock film is super exciting for fans of the comic books, animated series, and DC. Producing a mainstream super hero film starring an African American hero hasn’t been done since Marvel’s Black Panther. (2018)

After the death of Chadwick Boseman this year, the Static Shock film is something that is needed in the genre. Everyone deserves to have a hero to look up to, and Static Shock is the perfect hero to step up and do that.

A ton of people online are calling for Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas from Stranger Things) to play the role of Virgil/Static Shock in the film. Which I think would be an awesome choice. Jaden Smith has also been tied to the role in the past, and could possibly show interest in the role again.

No matter who plays the role, the idea of seeing this super fun story come to life on the big screen is something I can’t wait to see. In the comics, Static has become something of a fan favorite, even seeing him cross over with huge heroes like Batman, and the Teen Titans.

He is written as a DC version of Spider-Man, with his quick witted jokes and fun teenage shenanigans. The character has one of my favorite origin stories of any hero, and I can’t wait to see what they can do with a big budget.

Are you excited for a Static Shock movie? Do you think he will be introduced into the DCEU or have his own separate universe? Who do you want to see in the role of Static? Tell us about it!

Live Action Boy Wonder | Film and TV’s Versions of Robin

WRITTEN BY CHASE BRIDGES

Batman is one of the most famous superheroes of all time. There is a reason we see some sort of Batman in film and television constantly. Already a comic book favorite, his fan base grew larger and larger when he was one of the only super heroes that were able to have successful ventures into mainstream film and tv.

Thanks to all of the different movies over the years we have seen tons of versions of Bruce Wayne and Batman. We’ve seen the different bat suits, bat-mobiles, and even bat signals. We have seen several different actors play Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon, and The Joker. Tons of the The Joker.

However, someone that we have not seen a ton of is Robin, The Boy Wonder. Batman’s famous sidekick that is a major part of the comics, and the animated versions of Batman. He has shown up a few times over the years, but die-hard Batman fan’s just haven’t gotten to see one we really like on the big screen.

Hopefully Matt Reeves’ The Batman trilogy will finally give us a Robin we can all be proud of. But until then, let’s take a look at some of the great (and not so great) live action Robins from Film and TV!

BURT WARD (Batman 1966)

Adam West and Burt Ward were the first versions of Batman and Robin to really hit the mainstream with the hit show that ran from 1966-1968. As well as the live action movie they did in 1966!

Burt Ward’s version of Robin was silly and campy just as the show and movie was, but people absolutely loved it. In fact, many die hard Batman fans, especially ones that grew up watching the show and movie, consider him the greatest to ever don the Robin tights!

CHRIS O’DONNELL (batman forever, batman & robin)

Chris O’Donnell was brought into the 90’s Batman movie series to play the first live action version of the character since Burt Ward. After the first two Batman films in the series, Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) were big hits thanks to director Tim Burton, the studio wanted to make a third one.

Director Tim Burton was set to return, as was Batman actor Michael Keaton. But after a falling out caused Burton to leave the directing chair, Keaton followed him out the door. The studio decided to make the film anyway, replacing Michael Keaton as Batman with Val Kilmer.

In this new version of the movie, they brought in actor Chris O’Donnell to play along side Kilmer as the famous sidekick. After the movie came out to…mixed reviews, O’Donnell still signed on to reprise his role in the fourth film Batman & Robin (1997) this time he was fighting along side the new Batman, George Clooney.

Batman & Robin was not loved by the Batman fans, or anyone for that matter. So needless to say, O’Donnell’s version of Robin is not one that is thought about fondly. It also did not help that O’Donnell was 27 at the time of the movie, and Robin is typically shown as 12 year old boy.

They did a decent job of explaining that this version of Robin was around 17 or 18, but it still felt pretty weird.

MARLON WAYANS (Burton’s third batman Film)

What? Marlon Wayans never played Robin! While Wayans never officially played the role, he did however get hired AND paid to play Tim Burton’s version of Robin in his sequel to Batman Returns.

If Burton had not have left the franchise, Wayans would have been the boy wonder along side Michael Keaton. But alas, Burton DID leave, and we will never see this version of Robin on the big screen. But what would it have been like?

Wayans would have been in his early 20’s when his version of Robin would have come out. And while he probably wouldn’t have looked quite as old as O’Donnell he still would have been an older version of Robin.

Do you think that Burton would have done a better job with the sidekick? Or was it doomed to fail no matter who was in the directors chair?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (The dark knight rises 2012)

The most recent and most popular Batman franchise is Christopher Nolan’s films with Christian Bale as the bat-costumed hero. An amazing trilogy that gave us a gritty, real world version of Batman that we had never seen before.

The first two films of the trilogy, Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) focused on Batman as a lone protagonist. It didn’t even hint towards a sidekick or any version of Robin. How could they? This grounded version of Batman has no room for a 12 year old boy in tights!

But Christopher Nolan surprised us all in his third and final film of the series The Dark Knight Rises (2012) when at the end of the movie the character John Blake, a police officer who helped Batman throughout, revealed that his real name was Robin.

john blake Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com

This version of Robin was more of a nod to fans instead of an actual live action Robin, but still! It counts! People loved the reveal and thought that Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserved a solo movie as Robin or as Nightwing (the hero that the original Robin, Dick Grayson becomes.) That movie never came to fruition.

BRENTON THWAITES (Titans 2018-current)

When DC Universe started their original show Titans, fans were super excited to see a live action version of the famous Teen Titan comic book team. What became even more exciting is when the show came out and gave us a look at the live action Dick Grayson played by Brenton Thwaites.

Playing an older version of Robin at the beginning of the show, and showing the transformation into his own hero Nightwing, was one of the greatest parts of the series. The show is still running, in fact it just got picked up as a HBO Max original and will continue to show us Thwaites as Dick Grayson, the first ever Robin.

The show has it’s ups and downs, but no-one can deny that Thwaites is an amazing live action Robin and we are super excited to see more of him.

CURRAN WALTERS (titans 2018-current)

Dick Grayson isn’t the only Robin in the show Titans. The show introduces Jason Todd, the boy who becomes Robin after Dick Grayson leaves Batman’s side to become his own hero. In the comics, Jason Todd is infamous for being killed by The Joker and becoming the anti-hero Red Hood.

The show introduces Jason Todd played by Curran Walters in the first season, and he becomes a huge part of the show. Walters plays the hot headed character so well, that he immediately steals the show whenever on screen.

Knowing where the character is headed is exciting, because it means that we will get to see Walters as the Red Hood in season three of Titans. This is the first time we are seeing a live action version of Jason Todd and it will be the first ever live action version of Red Hood.

Usually when Robin is portrayed in live action, it is the Dick Grayson character. The one that starts off the Robin legacy. So getting to see the second Robin in action has been a huge highlight for Batman and Robin fans.

Future robins?

Here’s to hoping that we will get to see some more awesome live action Robin’s in the future. Matt Reeves’ The Batman series will hopefully give us a live action version of Robin that is more accurate to the comics, unlike the ones played by O’Donnell and Gordon-Levitt. It would be super cool to see a young Dick Grayson on the big screen.

Another potential live action Robin could be brought in by Titans. If the show plans on killing Jason Todd and turning him into the Red Hood, then how long before we get to see Tim Drake? The third Robin who takes up the tights after Jason Todd’s death.

If Titans continues to show us the history of the Robins, then we could even run into Damien Wayne eventually. The son of Bruce Wayne and the fourth and current Robin in the main comic book canon.

Finally, the only other place that we could currently run into a live action Robin would be in the CW’s Batwoman show. Perhaps Batwoman will call upon a fellow member of the Bat Family for help in a future season.

So what do you think about the live action Robins? Which is your favorite? Do you hope to see one in The Batman (2021)? Are you a fan of the Titans versions of Robin? Tell us about it!