All Of Moon Knight's 'Alters,' Explained

There are plenty of traits and attributes that make Moon Knight a unique member of the superhero community - his moon-themed accessories, his connection to Egyptian lore, his terrific all-white ensemble - but chief among them is his ongoing experience with dissociative identity disorder (DID). Often regressively and reductively referred to as having “multiple personalities,” DID involves the presence of two or more distinct identity states within a single mind. Oftentimes, it’s accompanied by memory lapses and, in the most extreme of cases, it can lead to a person living out more than one distinct life.

As such, it’s not quite as simple as saying that Moon Knight’s alter ego is former mercenary Marc Spector. That’s true, but Spector has also spent significant portions of his life as millionaire playboy Steven Grant and as cab driver Jake Lockley. Sometimes, Spector enjoys an ongoing dialogue with his alters. Other times, they live entirely separate lives, and he’s none the wiser as to their actions. It’s led to a rather confusing existence for Spector, and all those around him - except for the villains who threaten those who travel by night. To them, Moon Knight is a frighteningly straightforward concept. 

  • Marc Spector - The Mercenary

    To call Marc Spector the “base” or even “original” personality state of Moon Knight is perhaps an oversimplification, but it’s at the very least the name that is on the character’s birth certificate. Spector grew up in Chicago as the son of a rabbi, and it was a near-escape from a Nazi serial killer who targeted Jewish children that is believed to have caused the trauma that would result in Marc’s dissociative identity disorder. He would go on to spend a portion of his childhood in a psychiatric hospital.

    When he grew up, Spector joined the Marines but was discharged after his prior hospitalization came to light. He then joined the CIA along with his brother, Randall, but the two soon came into conflict and attempted to kill one another. Thereafter, Marc moved on to life as a mercenary.

    It was on a merc mission to the North Sudan/Egypt border that Spector would be betrayed and left for dead by Raul Bushman, a fellow mercenary. A dying Spector crawled his way into a tomb dedicated to the Egyptian god of the moon, and collapsed beneath a statue of Khonshu. The spirit of the deity then appeared before him and offered to save his life, so long as Marc agreed to serve thereafter. Marc agreed, and the Moon Knight was born.

    Even after becoming Moon Knight, Spector continued to live out his life. He left mercenary work, but he maintained his relationships with merc buddy Jean-Paul “Frenchie” Duchamp and Marlene Alraune, the woman he’d attempted to protect from Bushman. Both would become integral in the early career of Moon Knight - and both would be supportive as Marc’s alters began to make increasingly frequent appearances.

  • Moon Knight - The Vigilante

    Many superheroes seem to become a different person when they slip on their cape and cowl, but it’s especially true of Marc Spector, whose DID led to him developing a unique Moon Knight personality state after an encounter with an Egyptian god. Charged by Khonshu to protect all those who travel by night, Moon Knight primarily came out after dark. Spector moved to New York City, where Moon Knight could patrol dark alleyways and mean streets on a nightly basis - and he began dispensing his excessively violent form of vigilante justice.

    While some of Spector’s alters are distinct enough that he does not share memories with them, the Moon Knight can be seen as a blend of sorts. As Moon Knight, he often remembers information from the activities of all his alters, and he can call on their individual expertise in combat. He also remembers all the characters from his old life, including his brother, Randall Spector, and Raul Bushman, both of whom would become long-term enemies of the Moon Knight. 

    At various points in his superhero career, Moon Knight has been granted - or believe he has been granted - superpowers from Khonshu. He has been brought back from the grave, or the brink thereof, on at least three occasions. He also once claimed to gain a whole host of super-abilities under the light of the moon, but if that were ever truly the case, it doesn’t seem to be anymore. 

  • Steven Grant - The Millionaire

    Steven Grant is believed to be the first distinct alter that Marc Spector ever developed. For a time, he believed Steven to be his best childhood pal, but it soon became apparent that he was an imaginary friend - and then something a little bit more tangible than that. As a traumatized child, Marc would often turn to Steven for comfort and advice, but after becoming Moon Knight, he found a new purpose for Steven altogether.

    Grant started spending more time in the driver’s seat of the Moon Knight’s mind and began building up an enormous store of wealth through some savvy investments. After achieving millionaire status, Grant became a playboy of sorts, and then a Hollywood financier who dabbled in producing and even a little acting. Through this lifestyle, he gained access to the rich and famous - but he also gained a lot of money that could be put into Moon Knight’s more illicit activities. 

    Soon enough, Steven’s millions were funding the construction and maintenance of Moon Knight’s moon-themed arsenal, including his helicopter and his iconic crescent darts. His ability to buy property all over the world also ensured the Moon Knight an endless supply of safe houses - and a suitable cover story for all the travel that being a superhero requires. 

  • Jake Lockley - The Taxi Driver

    Jake Lockley was another alter Marc Spector developed early on in life, shortly after a traumatic experience with a vicious serial killer. Like Steven Grant, Jake initially took the form of a childhood imaginary friend, but by the time they reached adulthood, Marc had a new purpose in mind for Jake - one that would prove crucial to his operations as Moon Knight.

    Lockley took on casual employment as a New York cab driver, which allowed for Moon Knight to keep a constant eye and ear on the city from the street level. Driving around NYC by night, Lockley would meet a lot of unsavory characters and witness all sorts of nefarious business, and when it was necessary for Moon Knight to step in for a little protecting, Lockley would hand over the keys.

    But Lockley didn’t spend every waking moment behind the wheel of a taxi, and over the years, he began to develop a distinct life of his own, including personal relationships that Spector remained unaware of. In fact, at one point, Jake began an “affair” with Marc’s primary love interest and eventual wife, Marlene Alraune. Jake and Marlene even had a daughter together, Diatrice, and kept her existence from Marc for many years. These days, however, Marc has made peace with what happened and recognizes Diatrice as his own. 

  • Mr. Knight - The Public Outreach

    The persona of Mr. Knight is one that was developed well into Marc Spector’s career as Moon Knight and with a specific purpose in mind. Over the years, Moon Knight’s habit of leaving criminals in bloody piles - and beating the living daylights out of any law enforcement that tried to arrest him - left him with a rather fraught relationship with both the public and the NYPD. So, he acquired a dazzling, all-white three-piece suit, and started introducing himself as “Mr. Knight.” It was a community outreach program of sorts, in the form of a brand-new alter, and it was surprisingly effective.

    As a veteran police captain explained to one of his officers, Moon Knight was a dangerous vigilante who they would be obligated to attempt to arrest should they ever encounter him - which would probably not go very well for them. But “Mr. Knight” presented a much calmer and conciliatory front, and the police could reasonably work with such a “concerned citizen,” so long as they never referred to him as “Moon Knight” or gave his other, angrier personality state a reason to come out.

    In time, Mr. Knight would open up a “Midnight Mission,” where he fielded requests for help from his neighbors and the downtrodden citizens of New York. When it was called for, however, Mr. Knight was still very capable of handling trouble and dispensing epic beatdowns - without ever so much as taking off his jacket. 

  • Khonshu - The God Of The Moon

    Whether or not Khonshu is an alter of Marc Spector is very much up for debate. Though they didn’t officially “meet” until a dying Spector crawled his way into a tomb and found a statue of the Egyptian god of the moon, Spector has memories of encountering Khonshu - who referred to young Marc as his “son” - several times during his childhood.

    That Khonshu is a real deity is more or less confirmed. Other characters, including Moon Knight’s Avengers teammates, have met and even come into conflict with Khonshu, and he’s hardly the only god in the neighborhood. At various times, Moon Knight has had various moon-related superpowers bestowed upon him, and at other times, Khonshu has abandoned him entirely. But that doesn’t mean that every interaction with Khonshu has been a legitimate one. It has been strongly hinted at times that some encounters with Khonshu have occurred entirely within Marc’s mind - and it was only through confronting Khonshu on the mental plane that Marc was ever able to establish an understanding of sorts between him and his other long-term alters.