As Moon Knight joins the fray, Marc, Steven, and Khonshu must work together to stop Ammit.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Moon Knight had a lot riding on its shoulders. This is the first Disney+ series that headlines a character that has not been previously introduced into the MCU, a character that is not as well known in popular culture, and with multiple, major characteristic traits for the protagonist such as his Jewish roots and disassociative identity disorder, this show was going to be under everyone’s magnifying lens from the start. After watching the finale of Moon Knight, there were fantastic elements that the show captured and there were definitely issues that the show struggled to deliver.
First of all, I don’t think we can overexaggerate here how phenomenal the acting was, especially with Oscar Isaac. His performance as Marc Spectre and Steven Grant already has fans anticipating an Emmy for his performance. May Calamawy really shined in this series as a character and as our first MCU Egyptian hero, and Ethan Hawke delivered a stunning performance as the antagonist of the series. The acting in this series is to be commended and will be viewed as one of the best performances in an MCU series.
The story itself I found very fascinating, even though there were some flaws in it. The humor is balanced well with the drama, and the story gives the audience an experience that we haven’t had in the MCU before – living in the same kind of bewilderment that the protagonist experiences to the point that we don’t know what’s real and what’s fantasy (this is directly inspired by the Lemire/Smallwood/Bellaire/Petit run). This is also a series with a different kind of origin story in that we don’t start off with the origin right away, but it’s slowly revealed throughout the series. Lastly, the humorous lines from Steven and Tawaret are just flat-out hilarious; my Fortnite crew and I find ourselves naturally including these iconic lines during our gameplay.
The series does have its limitations and struggles, though. It has suffered the same kind of fate that some of the other Marvel Studios series have faced; a short, six-episode stint that leaves us wanting more but at the same time tends to rush through it in the season finale. This series also proved what I thought was going to be a challenge for Marvel – telling a unique story that allows both fans of the character of the comics and fans of the MCU. On the one hand, you need to be able to tell the story to those not familiar with the comics so that they aren’t completely lost and as someone that only read the Lemire/Smallwood/Bellaire/Petit run right before this series, I found myself wondering if I would have been able to follow the story if I hadn’t known anything about Moon Knight. I think in the end I can say yes but with a caveat. At the same time, I think the reveal of Marc and Steven’s relationship was a bit of a challenge as well because had I not known anything about the comic book character, this would have been such a major plot twist that we didn’t see coming (and really, they did a great job of that) but anyone who is familiar with the story would know this was coming and so it wasn’t such a revelation.
There was also the treatment of Marc’s Jewish identity as well. I know there is a lot of criticism about how this was handled, especially since that was the core of Marc’s identity in how his disorder was triggered in the comics. It was rooted in the fact that he had a traumatic, anti-Semitic experience and this show erased that replaced it with a minimal, “blink and you miss it” experience that left me more perplexed given that the main writer said that people will be pleased with how they handled this part of his identity.
Overall, the show still left us with questions that we may or may not get answers to. We don’t always need all the answers, but it does seem like it’ll linger for a while without any certainty of if we know we will get those answers or not. But the mid-credits scene does show us that we may not be done with Moon Knight while at the same time it still wraps it up nicely (whether it satisfies us or not) if they decide that this is the last we will see Moon Knight for a while.
The series proved itself to be a successful test in a new venture in MCU content. How successful it is, however, remains to be seen but we can at least enjoy the fact that we've received something new and different that opens up new opportunities for future MCU projects.
Moon Knight: The Series Felt More Like A Half Moon
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 7/107/10
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