Moon Knight a product of urban legend and the mandela affect

in COMIC BOOKS fan/pro2 months ago (edited)

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Disney has begun it's 6 part series "Moon Knight" based on the Marvel Comic book character. Which is based on...well...let's get into that, because it seems to me to a be a book/character that has roots that can not be logically, linearly tracked down.

I was there at the beginning, see. Well not as a comic book pro, but as a dough eyed kid who read comics. At one point I had every single comic book in which this character ever appeared in except his fist appearance. That means every single issue, every guest appearance...every single issue. I have no idea what happened to them. I don't recall selling them, giving them away or throwing them out, nor do I recall when, exactly I stopped giving a f8ck about Moon Knight.

And that fits...because there is a lot about Moon Knight that seems to be...high "Mandela affect" type high strangeness. Like "we are all living in the matrix" type high strangeness. "Lost time" type high strangeness.

You're going to want to set your brain into thinking gear now...because this comic book character's very existence is going to quickly take us down weird roads, and give our gray matter a work out.

He first appeared in a werewolf comic, were some rich guys hired him to kill a werewolf and they bought him his fighting suit and gave him the code name "Moon Knight".

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Then he bounced around here and there as a guest in books like Daredevil, Spider-Man, the Defenders...not much more was revealed about the character. He had a cool costume and probably seemed like he'd sell some comic books if he was on the cover looking cool. Nobody gaf. We, the readers, did not care one way or the other. He was just one more vigilant in a cape in a marvel comic book universe that had roughly 200 such b list type characters. I can not stress enough...that no one cared. I was there...I was a comic book fan who knew comic book fans. No one liked him or disliked one gaf. He was not memorable. I, in fact, did not notice him or seek out issues with him until a couple of years later.

After a few years of being a b list character...for whatever reason they gave him his own comic. They probably figured it was worth a try. They were, as I understand it, looking to branch out into more pg13 type material. Books for college age and older. Nothing R rated but willing to delve into a bit more realism with adult themed villians like serial killers and satan worshipers, which at the time you could not very well put in a Spider-Man comic that's in a rack at the local grocery store next to Richie Rich and Casper.

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That series ran solidly for a few years because of ONE single reason.

Bill Sienkiewicz...the illustrator...

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This was a book that was flying under the radar, and being sold mostly in comic book stores NOT on racks at the grocery store. This was what's called "direct sales" . It was a new concept at the time. We forget how relatively new the concept of a "Comic book store" actually is. Being able to sell enough comic only through comic book stores to turn a profit, was an experiment at the time for a big company like Marvel. and as long as they were experimenting...someone must have said "okay Bill give it hell!" and his pages were wild, chaotic, fluid, completely different than the normal six panel a page in standard rows Marvel books. It was visually amazing.

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The stories...not anywhere near as innovative as the art.

and HERE is where it starts to make me question the very fiber of reality.

HERE is were starts the high strangeness.

This comic was only around in comic book stores. MOST kids got their comics from the rack and a 7-11 of grocery store, and so MOST kids could not get this book. This book...became a whispered legend. Kids telling of it's stories and bragging of having read them. As such tales where told, seems this Moon Knight guy didn't have just ONE secret identity, he had several! and he started losing his mind trying to keep track of them. Developing a split personality! THESE ARE THE STORIES WE WERE TOLD BY THE OTHER KIDS. THAT IS WHAT WAS EXPLAINED TO US. (keep that in mind, that is very important, that they were the source). This was the knowledge of Moon Knight, handed down to those of us who had no comic book store near us to go to.

There was element of the him possibly being risen from the dead, after being wounded in the desert, by an Egyptian god. and him possibly having powers given to him by that god, and the god talking to him in his mind BUT...BUT...the reader is always left to wonder if any of that is actually true OR...if it is also just something he believe because he is losing his mind. THIS ELEMENT OF HIM POSSIBLY IMAGINING HE IS SPEAKING TO AN EGYPTIAN GOD WAS ALSO TOLD TO US BY OTHER KIDS.

This was all the pre-internet, childhood flow of information. Older kids talking on the bus, kids who had older brothers talking at recess, some kid who just moved to the neighborhood. and this is where we got new information. This is info stream that gave us our Moon Knight info.

Which is all correct info...NOW. NOW that is all correct, BUT IT WAS NOT CORRECT AT THE TIME.


IT WAS MADE UP OR MISINTERPRETED OR CONFUSED WITH SOMETHING ELSE. THAT IS NOT ....NOT....accurate to what was happening in the actual comic book. AT ALL. None of that happened in the issues coming out at the time. YET, All those elements that were just made up/confused/imagined from the childhood grapevine... is today, actually what the book/character has become. and what the show is based on. Is this Mandela affect? time traveling 12 year olds? visitors from a parallel dimension?

Look...listen to soon as I was able to start going to an actual comic book store, I tracked down every single issue of that first Moon Knight series and NONE of that was in there. He had ONE actual secret identity, then he had an alias/disguise of being a cab driver, and that was it. at NO point in the issues coming out at the time did they even HINT at him coming unglued.

At NO point, at the time, did they hint at him having any super powers from an Egyptian god, or thinking he did, nor did they hint that he heard the voice of it in his head. None of that. He was a average vigilant who used hand weapons, he fought average type bad guys who also usually had no super powers.

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In far as it goes, the stories were rather drab and typical.

I remember thinking it was kinda boring and that I was hoping to see him fight a werewolf.

and I think...this is a theory...that kids being kids, and loving attention and wanting to feel special and elite, were not going to admit the book sucked. They had a book others could not get, and therefor not read, and in order for that to be a big deal...the book had to be amazing. being kids...they punched it up a bit. I don't recall what movies were coming out at the time, or other books, or news stories, but my guess is a lot of these elements were culled from other pop culture stuff the older kids had access to. It was in their minds, so they mushed it into the Moon Knight reviews they would give other kids and that is where it came from.

Now, fast forward a decade or two and the kids who heard those tales are now comic book pros and they end up writing Moon Knight stories and ASSUME that the tales they remember from childhood is actual cannon.

"but YOUR child hood anecdote, does not equal other kids from other parts of the country hearing the same tales that you did. It MUST be some sort of time travel or inter-dimensional stuff" could be correct. HOWEVER...understand this. There are only 16 basic personality types out there. You, me, them, each of us no matter how special we are on the very very very surface, have one of 16 basic foundations. Basically, by the time you are in second grade, you have met every kind of personality there is. And personalities interact with other personalities in rather predictable chemistry. Type A and type G are not going to get along. Type B will feel insecure around Type C, and so on. To put it in laymens terms, each class in every city has the same 16 idiots, and those same 16 idiots all had varying degrees of access to Moon Knight and in each of those classes the kids who could get it would want to brag about it. and if the book was boring they'd want to make it sound better than it was. And if there was some movie or news story out involving a guy with split personality, they all would have thrown that in there.

This is a character's eventual foundation was written by the 6 grade older brothers of the friends the eventual writers had when they were kids. That's a complicated sentence...but this is a complicated paradox.

Or...could be time travel.

OR...the concept of spacetime being real. See...that's the notion that everything has already happened and that time is an illusion.

Like a big book that has already been written and we are going from one page to the next thinking that history is changing, when in reality we are just experiencing it as we go from page to page. And perhaps some of us at some points can see through those thin pages, some part of us are aware of what are on the pages before and aft.

Or picture it like this...a lake, and some big event is a rock that lands in the lake. The ripples after would be our lives after that rock. Of course we would feel the ripples. A death or a divorce or a new job, that would affect us after. But if spacetime is true, then perhaps we would be affected by the ripples going the other way. For instance, some feeling of dread before a death. A man who becomes a solder who liked to play army as a kid. Did that kid become a solder because his childhood interest lead him to that OR was his childhood interest in playing army because of his big event as a grown man being a solder. Ripples, or echos of what is already happened. Children explaining a comic book, adding elements that would not be part of the story for many years.

Crackpot theory? Pseudo science? maybe. Confused and bragados children with wild imaginations? maybe.

Anyways...I watched the first episode of Moon Knight.

It was kinda boring, I was hoping to see him fight a werewolf.


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The thing about these urban legends is that they have a way of becoming true. As you say, when the kids who heard about them on the school bus started writing the comics, they did integrate these legends into the mythos that is Moon Knight, so he ultimately did become a crackpot, and did end up serving an Egyptian god (who is also, as it turns out, a crackpot).

I was also neither over-nor-under-whelmed by episode 1. I was just 'whelmed.'. I'm pretty sure it'll pick up as the series progresses.

I have seen hints and memes and talk of the egyptian god being a loon too, but I haven't picked up a modern issue that I think about it I hadnt read an issue since I was in college.

"whelmed" was a good word for it. I was pretty much a very cool fleshed out version of the trailer they already released. shrug

I will admit that I had never heard of Moon Knight before this show was announced. I just never read that many superhero comics as a kid. I did read a lot of British comics like Beano, Dandy and the violent Action. I think US comics were harder to find back then, but I did have some issues of the Marvel Star Wars. No idea what happened to those.

I've got more into comics and graphic novels recently, so I may look into some of the historic stuff. I Have a Captain America book that covers his whole history. It's amazing how long they have kept some characters going by adapting to current trends.

So I have come to most of the Marvel movies and TV shows with few preconceptions. I have found them mostly entertaining. They have played on the frailties of the characters with Wanda going through grief and Hawkeye suffering from hearing loss. With Moon Knight we have the mental illness aspect playing a big part. Here's a guy who has no knowledge of some things he has done, so he is not even aware that he could have special abilities or powers. He does hear voices though. This first episode is not giving us much on how he got that way, but I thought it was interesting, despite some dodgy English accents. We don't all speak like Mary Poppins characters.

Marvel have really exploited their various characters. I read recently of a guy who read every one of their thousands of comics whilst working on a book. A lot of them were not about superheros. They are churning out movies and TV shows these days. With the TV stuff they are going a bit less mainstream, but still having high production quality. I like some escapism with my TV and it suits me. I'm happy to see where this latest show goes.

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