Moon Knight’s New Mission Just Took Its Darkest Turn Yet

The following contains major spoilers for Moon Knight #10, available now from Marvel.

Marc Spector's latest return to action as Moon Knight has taken more than a few unexpected turns. Not the least of these was the revelation that the seemingly ordinary Terry was the one working against the Midnight Mission as the villainous Zodiac. Now that the extent of Zodiac's cruelty has been made clear with a series of attacks on everything and everyone Marc holds dear, Moon Knight has come to the realization that defeating his new nemesis means embracing the very same darkness that he has worked so hard to step out of.

The loss of the first Midnight Mission was certainly devastating, though it ultimately gave Moon Knight the opportunity to rebuild better than ever alongside the community that has come to embrace him. Even an attack on the new, supernatural Midnight Mission by the famed Hydra assassin Rutherford Winner isn't enough to knock Moon Knight off guard any longer. What does, however, is the fact that Marc and Winner's therapist, Dr. Andrea Sterman, has been replaced by one of Zodiac's minions. As seen in the pages of Moon Knight #10 (by Jed MacKay, Alessandro Cappuccio, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC's Cory Petit), the titular hero was quick to react in brutal fashion once the shape-shifting Waxman had revealed himself in Dr. Sterman's place. After incapacitating and trapping Waxman within a solid steel ball, Marc buried the makeshift prison inside the concrete foundation for a new condo tower, all in spite of the villain's eventual cooperation.

Without question, this is one of the grizzliest fates that Moon Knight has ever subjected an enemy to, especially once Waxman's effectively immortal nature is taken into account. This is something that Marc himself is perfectly aware of. Though the scene as it plays out was undoubtedly unsettling for everyone involved, even the formerly sadistic Winner, Marc stands by his actions as justified by Waxman's crimes and unstoppable nature. Moon Knight also acknowledged that this is likely to be the beginning of even more bloodshed, which is made all the worse by the hero's completely stable frame of mind. While Zodiac may have set out to "help" Moon Knight, it seems that he has instead unleashed a cold, calculating part of Marc that no one had accounted for.

Moon Knight has long been one of Marvel's most unstable, unpredictable figures. The years he spent as a mercenary directly led him to become the Fist of Khonshu, which itself has only ever imparted more violence upon Marc's life. This in turn led to a long history of Moon Knight carving his symbol into his victims, assuming they were left alive in the first place. Khonshu's influence has also contributed more than anything else to Marc's fractured mental state, something that largely exacerbated the issue. From Moon Knight's most tragic moments to the grandest of his victories, almost every corner of his life has been tainted with bloodshed. Coming to terms with these aspects of himself has been key to the hero's attempts to better himself, both through the Midnight Mission and his sessions with Dr. Sterman. Now it looks like Moon Knight has decided to accept his capacity for incredible violence as an unfortunate necessity rather than something to let go of, and that calm acknowledgment in the face of things to come is indicative of a darker version of the hero than ever before.

With so much of Moon Knight's bloodier exploits being so closely tied to his frequently unhinged state, it is hard to imagine what he could be capable of while in complete control of himself. It still isn't clear exactly what Zodiac was hoping to achieve in driving Moon Knight over the edge, and he might not be prepared for what is headed his way.

If Marc can survive the battle to come without losing his mind or soul in the process, not only will he have overcome Zodiac's plot, he will have made the biggest leap of all in staring down the sins of his past. Unfortunately, if that proves to be the case and Marc continues to follow this same path, he could very well be setting himself up to be even further alienated by the world that has spent decades being afraid of him.

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