Moon Knight Ep. 3: the Battle of Circus Circus

Moon Knight Ep. 3: the Battle of Circus Circus

BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME

IG@matt.tuck.writer

FB@ The Comic Blog

Moon Knight’s third episode gave us even more key issues - and potential keys - to fawn over as well as a mysterious third personality that could have comic ties.

We are officially midway into the first season. As we entered the halftime show, there was an entire fight scene on a set that looked straight out of a three-ring circus or a Medieval Times restaurant. At least we had more Marc Spector than Steven Grant in the third episode, and seeing Moon Knight impaled with multiple spears and still fighting was a nice visual. 

The Battle of Circus Circus wasn’t without its sadness. The focus of the scene was antiquities thief Anton Mogart, aka Midnight Man in the comics. Unfortunately, the actor playing Anton, Gaspard Ulliel, tragically died in a skiing accident. It leaves us wondering what could have been for his character. Marvel Studios has shown a reluctance to recast roles, so that is likely the first and last time we will see Anton. Could we still see Midnight Man in a future season? Perhaps, but I doubt it will be Anton.

The latest episode, “The Friendly Type,” had more action than we’ve seen so far, and the filmmakers didn’t use quite as many clever edits to conceal the violence. They’ve managed to create a mystery around those unconscious moments, as well. There is apparently a third personality unbeknownst to either Steven or Marc, and it would appear the mystery alter is responsible for the most brutal and bloody moments. The prevailing theory is that this will be revealed as Jake Lockley, and some fans speculate that Jake is somehow a sleeper agent for Arthur Harrow. If that is the case, it will throw an interesting twist into the plot.

All that being said, which key issues should you be watching after Episode Three? I have a few suggestions.

MARVEL TALES #96

One of the big moments of this week’s episode was seeing the Egyptian Ennead come together as a council. Think of them as Ancient Egypt’s answer to the Greek’s Olympians. They are the ruling gods of Ancient Egypt, and we see them represented by their avatars in Moon Knight. Marvel seems to be incorporating more than just the Norse mythology into the MCU as of late. Along with MK introducing the Egyptian gods, Zeus will herald the arrival of the Greek deities in Thor: Love and Thunder. That could signal that the Ennead will have a larger role in the MCU.

The newfound attention for Egypt’s ancient gods should have you thinking about 1950’s Marvel Tales #96. This was the first time the godly council was seen in a Timely/Marvel comic. There have only been two graded copies sold this year. The first was a 9.0 that sold for $1,883 on March 6. A day later, a 7.5 brought a record $950.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #28

Hinting that the mysterious third personality is Jake Lockley will add more value to an already valuable comic. Like Steven Grant, Jake made his debut in Marvel Spotlight #28. The thing to remember is that this comic was already famous among Moon Knight fans for being MK’s first solo story. In recent years, this has been a much more popular option for collectors not willing to part with holy grail prices for Werewolf By Night #32.

Last week, a graded 9.8 sold for $4k, which nearly matches the March 20 record of $4,100. If that’s too much for your budget, consider downgrading to a 9.6. For $1k or less, you can own a copy that is virtually identical to the 9.8. Looking to save more? A 9.0 sold for $391 on April 6.

WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #33

At some point, Moon Knight and Werewolf By Night will come face to face. These two characters are forever intertwined since MK made his first appearance in WBN #32. They have met many times in the comics in the decades since that fabled issue, and they are bound to cross paths in the MCU. In fact, there was a clear nod to MK’s comic debut as a license plate for a bus was adorned with the number WB0032.

We know that WBN has been cast for the Marvel Halloween Special. It won’t be Jack Russell, but instead will be Jake Gomez. All the same, there’s no way Marvel will miss an opportunity to introduce its heroic werewolf in a hot Disney+ series, especially since the two characters have such a storied history together. 

In a perfect world, we would all rush to eBay and buy crisp copies of WBN #32. With prices so high for that mega key, maybe we should stick to the follow up issue and MK’s second appearance in WBN #33. Earlier this month, a 9.2 sold for $850, which is much easier on the budget than the record $1,298 it sold for last year.

MOON KNIGHT #36

This could be the sleeper pick on today’s list. Although Moon Knight is traditionally thought of as a street-level hero, he clearly resides in the magical portion of the Marvel Universe. With Khonshu’s help, he is also part of the mystic arts of the MCU. That should draw the attention of Doctor Strange, and I would not be at all surprised to see a cameo by the season’s end. 

Obviously, there are other mystical characters in the MCU besides Strange. Moon Knight could easily interact with one of them. However, we learned in Thor: Ragnarok that the Sorcerer Supreme (a title that technically belongs to Wong, as established in No Way Home) monitors all magical activity and assesses any and all mystic threats. That should include Khonshu and the Egyptian Ennead. After Khonshu turned back the night sky in Episode Three, that should raise the alarm and have either Doctor Strange or Wong at least tracking the events. 

The other factor is that Doctor Strange has become the linchpin of the MCU. Without Iron Man and the Avengers, the Sorcerer Supreme is the centerpiece for the Multiverse. That would make it logical to add him to the closing moments of Moon Knight’s final episode to link the Fist of Khonshu to the greater MCU. When that happens, it will have an immediate impact on 1984’s Moon Knight #36 in which Moon Knight first meets Doctor Strange.

Judging by the rising prices, I’m not the only one with this idea. For the past year, the values have been on the move, and they’ve practically doubled since 2020. Still, even for a graded 9.8, the price tags aren’t too inflated. The last time one sold, it went for $145 on April 5.

THE BIG PICTURE

At this point, Moon Knight appears to exist outside the normal MCU continuity. It’s actually refreshing since Marvel can overuse the character namedrops at times. Anyone recall the abundance of Avengers references in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Marvel didn’t want us to forget for one second that Spider-Man wasn’t in the MCU, and they reminded us ad nauseam. Sooner or later, there will be some sort of connection between Moon Knight and the MCU, but I’m hoping it will be minimal and toward the season’s end.

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.


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