Moon Knight: Did the series need heavier ties to the MCU?

Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight in Marvel Studios' MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight in Marvel Studios' MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved. /

The Marvel Disney+ original series, Moon Knight, follows Steven Grant as his life is about to change. The series follows Marc Spector, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder. His alternate identity, Steven, initially takes the driver’s seat as the show’s main character until the penultimate episode, “Asylum,” finally reveals the actual connection between the two men sharing one body.

Moon Knight works similarly to other Marvel shows. The series slowly introduces the main character and teases the journey they are about to go on, ending with a critical final battle. But, there is a significant difference between Moon Knight and the shows that have come before.

Moon Knight is the first not to star a pre-existing Marvel character or directly connect its storyline to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s events. As a result, the Blip is never mentioned, and the Avengers never get the same recognition What If…Hawkeye, or Falcon and the Winter Soldier require.

Instead, this show is a true origin story for Marc Spector and Steven Grant as they must figure out how to work as a unit and show Moon Knight’s abilities. The series sets up Marc and Steven as intriguing characters, with Moon Knight as an exciting MCU hero.

But is the lack of MCU connections a problem? In favor of the decision, there is a lack of distracting guest stars to keep the audience from paying attention to the main story and new lore Moon Knight introduces, including Gods and monsters.

Audiences’ eyes are not drawn to a Captain America statue or Stark Technology mentions. While there are subtle references to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe, none are directly in the viewer’s face. Marc and Steven never meet or directly reference any of the other heroes in the universe.

Moon Knight’s story requires the audience to pay full attention to keep up with what is going on and understand the expanding reality of the world. However, if viewers are too busy wondering when another MCU character will enter the scene, it distracts them from watching Marc and Steven’s origin story and their character development.

Another positive note is that due to its lack of Marvel references, Moon Knight does not require viewers to have watched every other film and series. Moon Knight can be observed fresh without understanding years’ worth of MCU history and characters. The show is a perfect stand-alone in a franchise of constant connections and required understanding of character and universe development.

However, there are downsides to such a distinct separation from the rest of the franchise. Moon Knight is not stepping up as a replacement for any previous Avengers. He is a brand new addition without any ties to other characters. How would he be introduced into a film? What would the storyline be to justify his appearance?

Moon Knight never suggests that anything occurring in the MCU previously affected Marc or Steven’s lives.

The post-credits scene at the season’s conclusion suggests there’s certainly more to come with the characters in a potential season two. However, even that final moment lacks a direct connection to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While Moon Knight may have needed more enormous ties to the MCU to understand how the characters would fit into the expanding universe, it was not required to understand the story Moon Knight wanted to tell or enjoy the series.

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