‘Moon Knight’ — The Most And Least Faithful Comic Adaptation

by Frank Martin

Adapting any story to a different medium is difficult. It’s a constant balance between choosing what to honor and deciding what needs to be changed. But the answer is not so simple as to figure out what works well in the new medium. There are many considerations including marketing and forming a level separation from criticisms of the original. Disney+’s Moon Knight is an interesting case, and it’s worthwhile to look at as far as what was changed and what was honored.

The weird thing about Moon Knight as a character is that he is so different depending on the writer crafting him. Because he suffers so much from mental illness, his character varies wildly from version to version. All this was taken into account during the live-action series. In many ways, it was an extremely faithful adaptation as the multiple personalities of Marc Spector wrestled with one another. As a long time Moon Knight fan, I truly appreciated the way in which these personalities not only interacted but also how Moon Knight’s exploits affected both of them differently.

On the other hand, this was an adaptation that veered wildly from who Moon Knight is in the comics. He’s often criticized as being Marvel’s Batman. So it’s understandable that the show tried to move away from that depiction as much as possible. The supernatural aspects of Moon Knight’s history were amplified and the Egyptian history of his mythology was embedded into his costume. This concept went so far as to show that the suit manifested on its own, something that is never been tried in the comics. So given how Moon Knight handled his mental illness side faithfully and how far it strayed from the hero side, it’s not unreasonable to say that the show was both the most and least faithful adaptation in comic history.

Moon Knight is streaming now on Disney+.

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