First Appearance

When Moon Knight was created by Dough Moench and Don Perlin in 1975 he was conceived as a villain. He made his debut in Werewolf by Nigh #132 as a minion of the Secret Empire tasked with bringing in Jack Russell and his sister.

By the end of Moon Knight’s two-part debut story, Moon Knight discovered that the Secret Empire planned to use turn Russell’s sister into a werewolf and use both of them as weapons. He turned against the Secret Empire to help the captives escape.

Moon Knight proved far more popular that Marvel had expected, and so the publisher set about turning him into a gritty antihero who could carry his own stories. As such, this first appearance was retconned so that Moon Knight was never really working for the Secret Empire. Instead, Moon Knight had only taken a job for the Secret Empire in order to infiltrate the villainous organization.

Moon Knight was revealed to be Marc Spector, the son of a Jewish rabbi who escaped from Germany on the eve of the rise of the Third Reich. Marc refused to follow in his father’s footsteps and instead becomes a boxer and then joins the Marines and later worked with the CIA.

Marc worked with his brother Randall. Randall killed Mac’s girlfriend because she discovered an arms running scheme. Marc responded by killing Randall, or at least that’s what he thought. Randall would survive to become one of Moon Knight’s greatest enemies.

Marc Spector left the military and became a mercenary with his friend and pilot, Frenchie. They took a job in Egypt for a warlord going by the title Bushman that involved excavating a tomb for an archeologist. The archeologists’ daughter, Marlene Alraune, would go on to become Moon Knight’s great love interest.

Bushman betrayed Marc Spector during the mission. Spector helped Marlene and her father escape and tried to hold off Bushman and his men, but was killed. He lay at the feet of an idol to the Egyptian god Konshu. Khonshu resurrected Marc, giving him the enhanced physical abilities he would later use to become Moon Knight, one who delivers vengeance in Khonshu’s name.

First Series

Marvel Comics fleshed out Moon Knight’s character in a series of backup stories in other Marvel Comics before giving him his first solo series. Moon Knight #1 launched in 1980 from writer and co-creator Doug Moench and artist Bill Sienkiewicz.

Most of the comparisons to Batman come from this first Moon Knight seires. Marc Spector had invested his mercenary money wisely and became a rich socialite and financier by day while seeking vengeance on street-level criminals at night.

It was during this era that Moon Knight began cultivating other personas. To hide his past as a mercenary, Marc posed as etrepreneur Steven Grant for public events. He then developed the persona of Jack Lockley, a cab driver, in order to keep his ear to the streets.