Is Moon Knight a Hero, Anti-Hero, Villain, or Vigilante?

Moon Knight has become so popular among different Marvel fans as of late because of the release of the MCU Moon Knight series on Disney+. As popular as the character may be, there are still plenty of people who are not really familiar with Moon Knight and the background of the character. And one such aspect of him is his overall status as a superpowered being. So, is Moon Knight a hero or an anti-hero?

Based on the way he handles his business, Moon Knight is more likely an anti-hero than he is a hero. He is more of a hero that’s brutal and is not shy about doing what’s necessary to defeat his opponents as a vigilante. However, Moon Knight’s initial introduction was of a villain in Werewolf by Night.

One of the reasons why Moon Knight is so popular is that he doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of what a hero is and what he should do. That is what makes him a badass character, as he is often portrayed as a brutal vigilante in the comics. In that regard, let’s look at what we know about Moon Knight and how the MCU series is able to capture some aspects of the character in the comics.

Is Moon Knight A Hero Or Anti-Hero?

One of the Marvel comic book characters that have been making waves all over the internet lately is Moon Knight because of how the new Moon Knight MCU series on Disney+ has helped increase the character’s popularity. Of course, there are very good reasons why he has become so popular as the Moon Knight series and Oscar Isaac’s performance have impressed fans and critics alike.

As the Moon Knight series moves along, there are some people who are wondering about Moon Knight’s status as a character because he doesn’t seem to be similar to the conventional comic book characters that we often see in movies and TV shows. One such aspect that may make people question is his personality. So, is Moon Knight really a hero in the comics?

Moon Knight is indeed a hero in both the comics and the TV show. However, he is more of an anti-hero instead of your usual comic book hero. And it’s important to understand the concept of what an anti-hero is to understand more about what makes Moon Knight one.

An anti-hero is still, in its most basic sense, a hero who does heroic acts and does them to achieve heroic ends. However, the manner in which an anti-hero does heroic deeds is kind of like similar to what a villain does. That means that anti-heroes have villainous tendencies and are not shy about doing things that villains do to achieve their goals. Of course, anti-heroes also don’t have the same kind of personalities or appearances as your conventional heroes.

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This is where Moon Knight comes in as an anti-hero that may have heroic goals in mind but is not at the level of a Captain America or an Iron Man in terms of how he goes about his business. And we’ve seen glimpses of that in the Moon Knight series.

The MCU version of Moon Knight has shown us glimpses of how brutal the character can be and how he doesn’t care about doing things that may be morally questionable so that he can achieve his goals. This can be rooted in the fact that Marc Spector is a mercenary who is used to doing questionable deeds to achieve his mission, but we can also attribute this to Moon Knight’s overall mental instability. 

In all of the incarnations of the Moon Knight character, he suffers from a mental disorder that forces him to assume multiple personalities, and that has affected the way he goes about his business as a hero. The fact that he can be insane and is quite unstable in a mental sense is what makes it difficult for him to be a true hero in every sense of the word. As such, it isn’t beyond him to do villainous acts to achieve the same goals that heroes often want to achieve. That is why Moon Knight is an anti-hero.

Is Moon Knight A Vigilante

On top of the fact that Moon Knight is an anti-hero, he is also a vigilante who is seen fighting crime in an illegal manner. And the reason why he is a vigilante is rooted in the fact that he is the avatar of the Egyptian god of the moon, Khonshu.

In Marvel’s version of the god, Khonshu is not only the Egyptian god of the moon but is also the god of justice. That means that he tends to have his own brand of justice and is often trying to meddle in the affairs of mankind by choosing avatars that will be his “hands of justice” on Earth. This is also the reason why the other Egyptian gods, who would rather stay away from human affairs, don’t necessarily respect Khonshu.

Going back to Moon Knight, being the avatar of Khonshu means that the Egyptian god uses him as his hand of justice by beating down on criminals as a vigilante. And we also see some aspects of this in the Moon Knight series when Harrow questions Khonshu’s ability to bring in true justice because his justice only comes after the deed has been done, whereas Ammit’s justice comes before any evil action has been done.

In the comics, Moon Knight may be a vigilante, but he does have a public liaison in the form of Mr. Knight, who is one of the character’s alter egos. Because of Moon Knight’s less-than-subtle way of handling crime, he uses Moon Knight as the character’s face in front of the public and as the alter ego that deals with issues related to the police and media.

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Of course, it is worth mentioning that Moon Knight is an original creation of Doug Moench, a comic book writer who is also known for his work with DC’s Batman. While Moench worked on Moon Knight before he worked on Batman, you could see the similarities between the two characters. In a manner of speaking, Moon Knight is Batman without the mental instability part and the supernatural relationship with an Egyptian god.

Is Moon Knight Sometimes A Villain?

All of the different versions of Moon Knight in the comics are portrayed either as an anti-hero or as a true hero. However, it is worth noting that he was actually initially introduced as a villain and not as a heroic figure.

Moon Knight, who we mentioned was created by Doug Moench, was introduced as a villain in the 1975 comic book Werewolf by Night. In that comic book, Moon Knight was an antagonist to the werewolf hero of the story. Nevertheless, the fact that the main character of the comic book is a werewolf (not exactly the most heroic figure) makes it understandable that Moon Knight was an antagonistic character to him.

After that initial introduction, Moon Knight was written into different comic book stories not as a villain but as a character that often collaborated with heroes. This paved the way for him to get his own comic book series where he is portrayed to be an anti-hero vigilante.