Publication History


A Brief Publication History of Moon Knight

Moon Knight was initially created as an antagonist to appear opposite the Marvel Monster character Werewolf by Night. The brain child of Doug Moench and Don Perlin, Moon Knight made his first appearance on August 1975 in Werewolf by Night #32. The initial plan behind Moon Knight was limited, and there was little intention of developing the character much further. Despite this, fan reaction to the character was considerable, which resulted in the character being given a solo story in Marvel Spotlight, as well as numerous guest appearances in major series such as Spectacular Spider-man, the Defenders, and Marvel Two-In One. After seeing success in these ventures, Moon Knight gained a backup feature in the Hulk! Magazine, and eventually launched his very own titular series in 1980 with Moon Knight #1.

Running for 38 issues, Volume 1 of Moon Knight remains a definitive and core contributor to Moon Knight Lore, and helped kick start the artistic career of Bill Sienkiewicz, the primary artist for much of the run. Volume 1 establishes the cannon Origin for Moon Knight, the majority of his supporting cast, and builds some of the primary members of his rouges gallery. This series is notable for its heavy reliance on macabre themes, supernatural settings, and adult-oriented storytelling.

In 1985 Marvel attempted to relaunch Moon Knight with a new series titled Moon Knight: The Fist of Khonshu. This series focused on his Egyptian Mythological roots, and had a stronger reliance on action and classic comic storytelling. The series abruptly ended with issue #6, and has since been referred to as a miniseries. Not long after, Moon Knight joined the West Coast Avengers, and remained on the team for several years.

In 1989 Moon Knight was once again relaunched as Marc Spector: Moon Knight, in what would become the longest running Moon Knight volume clocking in at 60 issues. This series dropped many of the aspects of previous Moon Knight Series, namely Moon Knight’s multiple identities, supernatural elements, and adult themed writing. Due to its length, this volume had a large variety of creative contributors leading to a very diverse tonal style throughout. The first several years focused on Marc Spector’s mercenary past, and saw him teaming up with numerous Marvel heavy hitters like Spider-man and the Punisher. Later issues pushed action and focused on very Batman-esque plot elements, as well as 90’s tropes such as armored costumes and galactic level crossovers such as the Infinity War. In the final issue Moon Knight is seen sacrificing himself to save the world.

In 1998, the original writer Doug Moench teamed up with Tommy Edwards to resurrect the character with a 4 part mini entitled The Resurrection war. This short series not only saw the return of many classic villains, but it also was a return to classic Moon Knight writing similar to that seen in the original 1980 series. The primary importance of this series was that it retconned much of the last few stories of the Marc Spector Run, establishing them as a hallucination caused by one of his chief villains. In 1999 Doug Moench again returned to the character with a 4 part miniseries entitled High Strangeness, which focused on the mystery elements of classic Moon Knight Stories, as well as Supernatural occurrences.

In the 7 Years that followed, Moon Knight would appear in numerous Marvel properties in varying degrees of importance. It wasn’t until 2006 that Moon Knight would receive another solo series. Kick started by Charlie Huston and illustrated by David Finch, 2006’s Moon Knight focused on Moon Knights psychological state above all else, while also promoting violence and even portrayed Moon Knight as willing to kill. It also broke up much of his supporting cast leaving the character mostly alone. It also portrayed Moon Knight as being particularly disliked by the rest of the Marvel superheroes.

In 2009 Moon Knight was given a slightly new direction when his series was relaunched as Vengeance of the Moon Knight. In this short lived, 10 issue series, Moon Knight is once again attempting a non-lethal approach to his crime fighting. This series adopts a lighter more action-oriented tone and sees him interacting with more members of the Marvel Universe. Immediately following this series cancelation, Moon Knight became a member of the Secret Avengers, as well as various other teams such as the Heroes for Hire.

Moon Knights next solo series was launched in 2011 with Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev at the helm. It focused primarily on his multiple identity issues, but personified them as the characters Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. Inner turmoil was a focal point of the series, and saw little of Moon Knight’s historic stories or characters present. It only lasted 12 issues.

In 2014 Moon Knight once again relaunched with another #1 With warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey at the helm. This introduced a new Persona, Mr Knight, as well as reattempted to ground Moon Knight as a street level vigilante. As the creative teams changed, Moon Knight underwent a figurative renaissance as the writers and artists referenced classic Moon Knight stories and Lore, while challenging them with new and unique interpretations. This style and method continued into a further series in 2016.