In This Episode
On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight eat cupcakes with Khonshu! First in Previously On (1:57), Jason and Rosie recap episode one of the Disney+ limited series Moon Knight. Then in the Airlock (17:04), they dive deep (deeeep) into the characters of Moon Knight’s first episode, the comics lore at the heart of the series, and offer dozens of theories for where the show might be headed plus where the MCU is headed as well. In Nerd Out (54:20) a listener pitches us on Marlon James’ fantasy epic Black Leopard, Red Wolf and in the Endgame (58:13), Jason and Rosie pick a mythological deity of choice whose powers they’d like to acquire.
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“Moon Knight” by Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood – 14 issues, originally published in 2016 (part of “All New, All Different Marvel”), collected in book form in 2018. – Marc Spector wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers, calling everything he knew about himself into question.
Moon Knight Vol 2 #1 (aka Fist of Khonshu) – (March 1985) written by Alan Zelentz, pencils by Chris Warner, inks by E.R. Cruz, colorist Christie Scheele.
Moon Knight Vol 1 #21 features a backup written by Alan Zelenetz, Harrow’s creator and Fist of Khonshu scribe. The story sees a strange man who runs into an ancient Egyptian exhibition and is pursued by Khonshu.
“Marc Spector: Moon Knight” originally by Chuck Dixon – Starting in 1989 & ending in 1994; after being infected with a demonic parasite, starting in issue #38 Spector illegally enters the Latverian consulate to confront Dr. Doom by using his status as an Avengers reservist (which is stripped from him later).
Jason Concepcion: Warning this podcast contains spoilers for the limited series Moon Knight on Disney Plus, a bunch of stuff from Moon Knight comics, also West Coast Avengers, some Spider-Man, No Way Home and Marvel movies in general. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion, welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked podcast where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. In today’s episode, previously on, we recap Moon Knight episode one The Goldfish Problem in the airlock. We dove into our thoughts on the episode. Some comics history about the character Rosie will unpack who some of these folks are that we are seeing in the Moon Knight television program, and we will discuss theories about what we think is going on for Nerd Out on Marlon James’s novel Black Leopard Red Wolf. It’s really great, actually. That’s a great book
Rosie Knight: I love that book.
Jason Concepcion: I love it. And in the end game, we discuss which mythical gods powers we would like to bogart for ourselves. Joining me today to discuss this and more is the great, the powerful, the talented Rosie Moon Knight.
Rosie Knight: It’s me. When I had Twitter that was my name at least once a year, at least once a year.
Jason Concepcion: Rosie, how are you?
Rosie Knight: Yeah, good. I’m excited to be here to talk to you about all this cool stuff and dig into some really weird comics history. Which is like our fave.
Jason Concepcion: Really weird stuff. Oh man I’ve been reading a bunch of, Moon Knight, we’ll talk about it. We’ll talk about it when we talk about it. Let’s get into the recap, OK? Recapping Moon Knight Episode one The Goldfish Problem Written by Jeremy Slater, directed by Mohamed Diab, we hear the strains of the Bob Dylan song Every Grain of Sand, and along with this, we see hands breaking glass pouring the shards of glass into a pair of rattan slippers. This person is breaking the glass then shoves his feet down in the slippers like an absolute psycho. We know we’re dealing right away with a psycho Rosie. This person then stands up to the crunching of glass and then takes a takes a walk. And then, as the camera pulls out, we see that we’re inside some kind of large. What we would assume is a temple of some kind.
Rosie Knight: Mmmhmm.
Jason Concepcion: And we can tell from the shot that that is Ethan Hawke, who is playing Arthur Harrow, the villain of our series. Smash cut, Steven Grant wakes up in bed. He removes the shackle from his own ankle, which is tied to a load bearing pillar in his apartment. He then goes around his apartment and we see that he’s placed sand around his bed so that he knows if he’s stood up in the night and left. He has placed a blue painter’s tape on his door so that he can tell if someone’s come in or if he has left, and all of that stuff seems undisturbed, groggy from lack of sleep. Clearly, this is a person who’s not getting a restful night of sleep. He’s got a we would assume from this, like the Mike Birbiglia sleep issue, where he just will run around in the middle of the night groggy from lack of sleep. Steven goes to his job, which we see is the in the gift shop at the British Museum. Are they calling it the British Museum in this Rosie?
Rosie Knight: So this is very specific. London Easter Eggs here the exterior that they use is of the National Gallery, which is in Trafalgar Square where we see him lose. Now the interior is the British Museum, which has very recognizable gift shops, and I think that at some point in the show, they name it as something like the National Art Gallery. But it is not wrong to say it’s in the British Museum, and I will say it’s very interesting because we also saw them use the British Museum as a location in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness most recent trailer. So, yeah, he’s got he’s a gift shop. He’s a gift shopist at the museum, is what he often says?
Jason Concepcion: He’s he’s a gift shopist. But Steven, Stevie to his colleagues, would is is a bit of an amateur historian, specifically Egyptology. We we learn from his conversations with a young museum goer. That man, Stevie really knows his shit. He knows what’s going on specifically about the history of ancient Egypt. He would love to be a tour guide, but here he is stuck in marketing and promotions, which we can just shorten to. Gift Shop, one of his coworkers comes over as he’s working at the gift shop to confirm that they do indeed have a date at one of the best steakhouses in town. And it’s very clear that Stevie, a.k.a. Steven, doesn’t know what she’s talking about and doesn’t recall asking her out isn’t sure who asked who out that night after work. Steven goes to get some street food. He’s hanging out in the park, talking the ear off a street performer. One of those street performers who like spray paints themselves a metallic color and then pretends to be a statue. Who do we now? We’re stepping on hour later. Who are these characters, Rosie? But like, you got a good theory on who this might be, and I think I agree with you.
Rosie Knight: So in the comics from quite early on in the 80s, Moon Knight has a kind of an ally who is like a homeless man who is a sometimes he’s kind of the Watson to Jake Lockley, one of Marc Spector’s personalities, a kind of sidekick. And sometimes he’s more of just like an informant who hears things from the street because the original representation of Moon Knight’s different personas were to help him navigate through different class levels and spaces in the world. That character is called Crawly. He does not have a history of being a kind of living statue, as we see here, but he does look a lot like the character in the comics, and that is a credit for the actor who plays him at the end of the show, which says Crawley. So we can say that is him confirmed.
Jason Concepcion: Confirmed. That is Crawley,
Rosie Knight: and hopefully I think that means that even if we don’t get to see it here, I think Steven is going to have an ally and that makes me excited.
Jason Concepcion: When Steven goes back home, we get to see more of his sleep routine, pouring the sand around the bed, taping the door shut, chaining him standing his leg up. He lays in bed, throwing a Rubik’s Cube up in, up in the air and catching it, trying to sleep, reading books, listening to like a sleep tape that says, Hey, you can try imagining yourself as the character in a story, or you could try this, or you could try that. None of it works said he stays up reading about ancient Egypt. And then finally, peaceful sleep comes over Steven and he dozes, and when he awakes, he’s in the Alps or somewhere in the mountains.
Rosie Knight: Its the Alps. He says he’s in the Alps, and we’ll get to why that’s a thing later. And this is the first horror. This is the first horror moment as well.
Jason Concepcion: Yes. So he’s in the Alps. His jaw is broken, but we watch it fix itself. It is daytime. Steven doesn’t remember anything about anything, how he came to be here. Nothing a voice that we will, I think, soon come to learn is Khonshu tells him, Go back to sleep worm. You’re not supposed to be here surrender the body to Marc. And clearly that is a reference to Marc Spector. Steven, you know, going through his pockets, trying to figure out what the hell is going on, finds a golden scarab in his pocket. He looks up and two men in a castle seem to take an interest in him and then all of a sudden they start shooting him. They chase him down the mountain and into town, and everyone in town in this small alpine village seems to be headed somewhere towards the village square. And when they get to the village square, they are all bowing in obeisance to our villain, Arthur Harrow. Arthur says a bunch of stuff, including We are here to make the Earth as much like heaven as possible. We can see from what’s going on that Arthur is somehow judging these people to see if they’re worthy of entering into this Earth like heaven. A man steps forward, Harrow leads him through the ritual, and he judges that person in Ammit’s name. Here’s our first reference to Ammit, this diety Ammit, that this person, this man who steps forward is is is a good man has been judged. A good man by Ammit. A woman steps forward next. And the scales of justice, which are a tattoo on Arthur Harrow’s arm, turned red. And the woman is clearly not a good person and Harrow says Ammit has decided. You got to die, my dear, and she drops dead. Bye bye. Hero learns from the guards that are watching this take place. That something went wrong with the quote hand off and then Harrow has his followers kneel, leaving Steven the only one standing and he’s standing there slack jawed at what he’s seen, Harrow is like, Oh, I recognize you’re the mercenary. And recall in some of our previous conversations about this character that one of the egos of Moon Knight is Marc Spector. This mercenary character he’s kind of the original personality of Moon Knight. Grant has no idea what the fuck Arthur Harrow is talking about. He tells everyone, Listen, I work in the gift shop at the British Museum. Like what? Harrow’s like give me the scarab and so he’s like, Hey, you got it here. Here you go! And he tries to hand it over, but he hears Khonshu’s voice say you will give him nothing. And then Steven, tries, as he might physically cannot hand the scarab over. He doesn’t understand why he can’t do it. A man comes up and snatches the scarab from Steven Grant comes to a moment later, his fist balled up covered in blood, and people all around him are just knocked the fuck out. And he hears Khonshu’s voice say oh the idiots back and Steven runs for it. Pursued by Harrow’s followers, a car chase ensues through the mountains with Khonshu screaming at Steven to do this and that just when Steven is about to get taken out because one of these followers of Arthur Harrow is has jumped on to the truck, the van that he is driving, he passes out again, and when he wakes up, more stuff is changed and this happens again and again and again. And eventually a landslide takes out a squad of the baddies and Steven wakes up in bed, still chained by the leg, his tape intact over the door. Was this just a dream? What in the world is happening? Steven looks at his goldfish, and he sees that the fin that had fallen off been injured somehow has grown back. What is going on? Realizing he is late for that date with Dylan, Steven rushes to his flat to change at the restaurant. He has been stood up by the date. He calls her. She’s irate, of course, saying that actually you stood me up and he has no idea like what day it is, what the fuck is going on. His date is ruined. The date that he didn’t even plan, he didn’t even know who asked who out. He goes home to eat a box of chocolates alone. While he’s home. He finds a secret compartment in his living room, up in the ceiling, above the wainscoting, high on the wall. Rather, he finds another secret compartment and inside that is a burner flip phone and an ID card. All the calls on the phone go to a number that is listed as Layla phone rings. A not British voice says Oh my God, thank God, you’re alive. And she’s like, I haven’t. Where have you been? I haven’t heard from you in months. What’s going on? And he’s like, Who’s this? And she’s like, Why are you talking like that in a bad British accent? And she calls him Marc, and then the call disconnects. Steven then hears a voice, which is his own voice, talking to him, and it tells him that he needs to stop because he’s going to get himself into trouble. Steven then very, very troubled, runs out of his apartment. He goes into the elevator while he’s on the elevator. He sees Khonshu coming towards him and he’s like in a puddle of fear at the bottom of the elevator. He’s screaming. But then it turns out that actually, it’s an old woman who is on the elevator. She’s just as scared as he is. And the very next thing Steven knows is he’s on a city bus, screaming just a little bit as the bus pulls away. Steven sees that Arthur Harrow was on the bus, and Harrow appears to Steven later demanding the beetle. This is at the museum. Only Steven can see and hear Harrow. If indeed, Harrow is even real. Harrow wants the Beetle returned to Ammit. Grant knows a little about her. Harrow tells Steven that Ammit could have solved all the world’s problems if she had not been betrayed. Harrow and knows about. A voice that is speaking to Steven, the Khonshu voice and Harrow judges, Steven and says, there’s chaos in you, and Steven runs for it later in the gift shop. Steven is tagging items, the lights go out. He hears like this beastly kind of sound somewhere in the museum. Whining shadows in the museum start growing to monstrous sizes. Harrow comes over the P.A. He’s like, Give me the scarab or Steven will be torn apart. Steven runs from the marked monstrous creature. Marc Spector, Steven’s alter ego demands control of the body, and then we flash to as Steven is running. We flash to all of a sudden Steven is in full Moon Knight costume, but now we know it’s Marc and Marc has just fought the beast and won. That is how the first episode of Moon Knight ends. When we come back, we will be discussing what the hell all this means.
Jason Concepcion: We’re stepping out of the airlock to dive deeper into the world of Moon Knight. Rosie, what did you think of this episode?
Rosie Knight: I feel like this was always going to be a complex.
Jason Concepcion: It’s going to be tough to start.
Rosie Knight: It was going to be tough to start. And there are some things about the show and kind of the representation of Steven that I didn’t love. I felt like his struggles were kind of played for laughs, and I felt like people were a little bit mean to him. And I’m just the sweet guy who likes nice stuff. So I was like. But the thing that gives me hope is it’s doing the thing that all my favorite MCU shows do, which is it’s really deeply taking from some incredibly weird comics and some old comics.
Jason Concepcion: Super super weird.
Rosie Knight: So it’s very much in the vein of Hawkeye and Wonder Vision in deeply taking stuff and plucking out characters and re-imagining them. And I I will always respect any superhero show that only shows like five seconds of a superhero suit. I think that is very brave. What did you think about it?
Jason Concepcion: Here’s the thing about Moon Knight. We’ve said this before on the podcast. Moon Knight is a character that I think you could argue is about vibes, purely about vibes. There’s never and your mileage may vary if someone feels differently and has a different opinion, that’s absolutely valid. But having read all of the Moon Knights, there’s not really like a Hammer Moon Knight story. There’s not like the iconic Moon Knight tale, the great Moon Knight story. The character has been significantly changed almost every time he’s appeared, you know, from his first appearance appearance in his solo in In Werewolf by Night to his solo titles to his then revamped solo titles West Coast Avengers and his several other launched solo titles. After his appearances in West Coast Avengers, he’s changed almost every time, and there’s never really been that great. Great. Great. Arc, I think mainly because he also doesn’t have, like his early villains were very problematic.
Rosie Knight: Mmhmm.
Jason Concepcion: And he doesn’t really have that great foil to fight. So it was interesting, at least for me, to to to reflect on how Moon Knight episode one was very much how I would imagine an adaptation of Moon Knight taking place. It was pretty messy. It was all about vibes. There is something really intriguing about it, and I’m interested to see where it goes. I think that I think that there’s a chance for this to be really, really interesting in the way that it intersects with the kind of ongoing and existing MCU which we’re going to talk about shortly. But first, let’s let’s talk about who some of these people we’re seeing here are. Yeah, some of these characters.
Rosie Knight: I actually think your villain, you’re kind of talking about like the foil and everything. That’s a really good place to launch off, because what Moon Knight does here is it essentially creates wholesale. A new villain for Moon Knight now Arthur Harow was in one issue and.
Jason Concepcion: One issue. Yeah
Rosie Knight: He was in one issue ever. But this is the kind of thing I’m talking about. The show opens right and immediately it is just filled with Arthur Harow Easter eggs. So when we first meet Arthur Harrow in the show, he is playing with the idea of pain he’s filling his shoes with with a broken glass, you know? And in the original comic where he debuted, he was a scientist who was continuing Nazi experiments based on the idea of pain theory, and he was in the Yucatan in this Mayan temple. It’s a very problematic issue like a lot of that older stuff, the representation of different kinds of people. But the temple, once again, you get that immediate deep cut. So it’s not the Authur Harrow didn’t exist, but what they’re doing is they’re taking this name and this one appearance and expanding it into something larger. And I think that’s really interesting. And obviously, like, it’s Ethan Hawke who doesn’t want to see him get to kind of redefine this space. And something else that I think is really interesting about this is it is the most prominent time that we’ve seen Marvel do something that they’ve started to do, especially Hawkeye. We talked about it a lot. They take these names of famous Marvel characters and they recontextualize who they are is usually background characters. And that happened with Hawkeye cosplay and grew his lopping crew, right? This we see them take a minor character who appeared in one issue and recontextualize it as a main villain, and that’s something we’re going to see in Multiverse of Madness as well with Gargantus, who was only in a couple of issues. So I think that’s really interesting. And I really I’m always interested in a story that explores like the mentality of cults and how they play on the vulnerable and how they take it. And that definitely seems like what Ethan Ethan’s Arthur Harrow seems to be playing into that with Marc and kind of trying to take advantage of Steven feeling vulnerable and lost. So I think that is an interesting take. And we touched on Crawley, who’s played by Sean Scott, so we think that he’s probably going to become an ally to Steven.
Jason Concepcion: I would imagine when we get into the back half exactly as we we’ll see more of Crawley.
Rosie Knight: Yeah. And so then we get into some really interesting stuff that kind of jumps off to the Moon Knight. Hawkeye crossover kind of stuff. So Steven’s mean boss in the museum who makes him do inventory is credited as Donna, played by Lucy Thackeray, and she’s like a very funny, light, English like sassy character right now. In the comics, this is another likely nod to a Moon Knight character from the Marc Spector Moon Knight series, which was the 90s Moon Knight series, and she was introduced in Issue 39. A woman called Donna Croft, who’s basically Marc Spector’s head publicist at his huge corporation that he owns, called Spector Corp. So they kind of reject that here, where she’s just his boss at the museum. But as we’ll talk about later with theories, I also think there is some argument of like, is the museum what we’re really seeing? Or is it a version of spectacle that Marc might have perhaps created to keep an eye on and when he’s away? And also in another, we’ll talk about this, too. But like her first appearance, is in an issue with where Dr. Doom challenges bomb bomb bomb don son to go to the lavatory and consular in this kind of quest for a stolen relic and that will become relevant.
Jason Concepcion: We will talk about that more in a moment.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think that one of the biggest questions people are going to have coming out of this is at the end you mentioned, you know, we hear him on the phone. To this person who doesn’t sound English, who is called Layla, and in the credits we see that she’s called Layla El-Faouly. And there is not a Marvel character who has that direct name, but the first most obvious one that I think if people have read Moon Knight comics, they will probably realize that she seems to be likely will become a stand in for Marlene, who is Moon Knight’s on again, off again kind of lover, partner in crime, fellow adventurer and some promo shots have kind of hinted at that. But there are some other things, as well as a Marvel character called Layla, who was in the Moon Knight comics, who was more of kind of like a mob boss. So that seems a little bit less likely, but worth mentioning because they like to roll stuff in. Yeah, I think, OK, so we’ll do the most outlandish one before I do the most realistic one.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, let’s do the most. Do the outlandish one
Rosie Knight: Yeah. So the most outlandish one is a lot of people were like, well, the only famous marvel Layla is Layla Miller,
Jason Concepcion: which would be totally wild and crazy.
Rosie Knight: Bonkers.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah.
Rosie Knight: Layla Miller is a mutant known as Black to fly in from House of M and has been an X Factor, and
Jason Concepcion: she she went house of M went down she. She had kept her. She kept her powers and also was able to kind of like she was a creation of House of M that survived post the dissolution of House of M.
Rosie Knight: And so like, you know, that’s a character who has connections to Dr. Doom. But the reality is in this kind of grounded dark show where the thing that really seems to be relating and like speaking to people about this first episode is the kind of slightly more real take in a bit more of that Batman element. I don’t necessarily know if this is where they’re going to introduce, you know, just casually like introducing mutants. So I think the most realistic thing that would fit into the trend that Marvel has been doing of late, which is where they recontextualize a character who in the past was like at best kind of a stereotype. And there is a character called the Scarlet Scarab, who there’s been two people who’ve held the mantle Abdul Faoul not Faouly, but it’s similar. And then his son Mehemet, and that has been a character who was like, briefly, a villain and then briefly kind of heroic and was an adventurer and has a lot of ties to Egypt. So I think if they’re going to go anywhere with that character, they’re probably going to do a recontextualize version of the Scarlet Scarab, where Layla is this powerful adventurer who wants to kind of reclaim the things that have been stolen through colonialism and all that kind of stuff, which is really cool, right? And it’s also what people do. You remember when everyone wanted to like cast Oscar Isaac as Indiana Jones and they were like, Just do it where he’s Indiana Jones, but he’s stealing this stuff back? Yeah. And I was like, That sounds good. So I think they’re going to play a little bit with that.
Jason Concepcion: And that’s been a, you know, when Killmonger first appears in Black Panther, that’s the that’s the kind of vibe that he put forth is like, this is this is a lot of these artifacts and these objects have been stolen. And it is interesting also to note that we’ve just been spending a lot of time in museums. So whether it’s Black Panther or the Eternals or Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we’re going to do it and clearly we’re doing it here. Rosie, let’s talk about theories or theories about what is possibly going on. So I texted you as I was watching this and. Well, first of all, we should say that in recent iterations of the character Marc Spector, the Moon Knight has been depicted as someone who is suffering from a form of dissociative personality disorder, DID, formerly called multiple personality disorder. This kind of evolved over time. Originally, as you noted, Moonlight had a number of aliases that he used to kind of like break down class structure and allow them to understand, like what was going on in the criminal underworld radio. He had a cab driver character. He had the billionaire, his millionaire slash billionaire rich guy character, and then he had like some other ones.
Rosie Knight: So originally they said it was like psychic trauma from connecting with conscious players personalities in the 90s. They would kind of occasionally refer to it as schizophrenia. And then the first time that it was really like DID as Disassociated Identity Disorder was like in the mid 0s when Ben just brought him into the ultimate universe. And from there it just kept evolving and went from kind of a narrative device to some people actually, like explored it as part of who he was and. And that has been like a core tenant of the character under many different names.
Jason Concepcion: Yes. Now, I think we both agree that I would not be surprised if they don’t now. They brought in a DID consultant and they talked about that and some pre-show interviews. I think that. That is probably I might be could easily be wrong, but I think that’s probably a just a bid to be responsible about the depiction and I think really what’s going on here. And I’m judging by the fact that Moon Knight’s costume just appears like out nowhere.
Rosie Knight: Mmmhmm.
Jason Concepcion: Right? I think what we’re seeing here is some sort of multiversal convergence, some sort of action like that we had talked previously in in our Loki episodes about these, this idea of Nexus beings, these beings who like act as convergence points throughout the multiverse. They’re the same throughout the multiverse. And I think maybe there’s something like that going on here. Notably, the Scarlet Witch is one of these very important Nexus beings. But I think maybe there’s something like that going on here where you have different versions of the person who is Marc Spector or Steven Grant, and those different multiverse versions are converging on the same body and sharing the same body. And that is why we get like this costume, like appearing out of nowhere and stuff like that. I think that’s probably what we’re seeing.
Rosie Knight: I think that you’re right, and I actually so I’d love to. I would. This is something I always recommend to everyone who watches these shows. If you wait until the end of the movie or the end of the show, aside from probably getting some kind of sting, or sometimes you can see the special thanks. And that’s why we get to kind of pay our respects to the creatives who enabled these stories to be told. And the special thanks in these Marvel shows have been very telling in the first episode of WandaVision. They thanked Olivia Heupel and Brian Michael Bendis, and that was how we worked out. The house of them was probably going to be a really big influence. So there were secrets built in there. And at the end of the first episode of Moon Knight, they thank Jim Kruger, Alex Ross, Doug Braithwaite, all three of whom worked on a book called Universe X, which featured a different universe version of Marc Spector, who got his powers through vibranium. They also did design the mummy style suit, so there’s other reasons, but it’s very interesting that they famously designed this different expect from a different app. Then you also have Bill Sync, which famous Moon Knight Creator, absolute comic book artist icon. But in one of his whatever issues he played with the idea that Marc Spector was from a different universe and he had three different alters. And then we also have Jeff Lemaire, who has obviously was the author of one of the most popular current kind of takes on Moon Knight and his mental health, but also has. He has actually created multiple multiverse on moon nights, just alone, just him. I think it’s important that they brought in consultants and were thoughtful about the representation. I write, I didn’t per se. It didn’t speak to me as someone who is always thinking about that kind of stuff, I didn’t feel like it was what I hoped it would be. But I have seen a lot of people who it really spoke to, and they really relate to it. And I think that that’s really important and cool. So I think it’s really good they did that, and you can’t really do Moon Knight without doing that because of the history of the character. But I do feel like from this first episode and the fact that the the idea is not actually mentioned in the context of the show of the first episode, and there’s only six episodes. Yeah, they don’t have a Doom Patrol level of three seasons or legion amount of episodes to really explore what it means, how it happens, the trauma that causes it. So I think that a multiverse or idea of Marc essentially or Steven struggling with multiple versions of himself from multiple different universes is actually very likely and also would tie into Kang. It would tie into the multiverse all kind of mayhem that Marvel is really leaning into at the moment. And it would make a lot of sense because these iterations, these visions of Marc and Steven are very different and the struggle. If this had been going on his whole life, you feel like maybe there would be some empathy from people who knew him or he would have been able to access some kind of help. But it feels he doesn’t seem to have the words to describe it. He talks a lot about needing recently risen, and I think that would be a really smart way of looking at the struggle of all these different people. And also, like we know now from what if what happened in Loki, there were different timelines that did affect the main MCU. So there is a chance that these Marc Spectors from different universes have either been pruned and so need somewhere else to exist or now exist because of split timelines.
Jason Concepcion: Right. I think that this is if I had to bet, I would say that this is not the quote unquote six one six MCU time this is taking place. What we’re mostly seeing is taking place in some kind of offshoot pocket universe. Yeah, that will then elements of which will then be brought into the main MCU. Now, I’m glad that you mentioned Kang. Our Multiverse, All Big Bad, introduced in the Loki series, is going to play such a large role in phase four. How? We don’t know because we mentioned the alpine location. Yes, now very, very clearly, Marvel is like playing with the idea that that could be that very. Yes, the The Kingdom, the nation kingdom ruled by Dr. Doom, Victor von Doom. They’re there.
Rosie Knight: They want to tease that
Jason Concepcion: buzzing us with that. That’s yeah, they’re teasing us with that.
Rosie Knight: If you’ve ever read a comic that has Latveria in it, and I wrote an article about this at Nerdist that you can go and read that has visual imagery. If you’ve ever read a comic about Latveria and you’ve seen an image, it is a Bavarian Alpine town. The in the mountains has a huge castle, you know, carved out of it that is called Castle Doom. That little city is called Doomstadt, and it is in Latveria where Dr. Doom was born, then left and went back to reclaim his kind of like kingship or presidency or whichever version. And that whether, look, we are not out here saying like this is confirmed. But whoever made this show,
Jason Concepcion: there’s a world where this is like a pre doctor doom Latveria alternate dimension, but they’re clearly wanting you to think that they want you to think that
Rosie Knight: there was even that moment in the trailer. Loads of people reported on it, then loads of people reported that it wasn’t true. And I was. It’s just that funny. The cupcake truck that he steals during the mountain car chase, it’s it’s for a company called like Vondrumberg or something. Yeah, but people saw the the von D and they were like, Oh my gosh. And then it was really funny because everyone was like, It was not that. But now you watch the episode and you’re like, Oh, but they want you to have this conversation. They want you to say, Is it? And also, like we said, you know, Moon Knight has, he’s tangled with Dr. Doom. There’s that two issue arc 39 and 40 in Marc Spector Moon Knight in the 90s, where he kind of has this entanglement with Dr. Doom, and they play on a little bit of both of their sides, kind of both sides of that kind of like anti heroism, like, could they be a hero? Could they be a villain? And I think that’s really interesting. Also in that issue, doom is kind of approaching Marc about a relic that he stole a Latverian relic. And in this, we see Marc there with the Scarab, a relic that he’s stolen, a relic that is also in another good comic book not is like directly from the comics Marc after he loses the power of Conscious. He meets the priest of Khonshu, and they end up giving him these relics, including a scarab that give him his power king.
Jason Concepcion: Kang we talked about in our Loki episodes, and it’s important to reiterate, is a time traveler who, through his extensive time traveling, has just accrued extreme like amounts of knowledge and expertize about the way the universe works, the fabric of the universe and just understands how to how to kind of play reality like an orchestra. Now a different version, a variant of Kang in the Marvel comics canon is Dr. Doom. Dr. Doom is a version of Kang in In One Universe, also a version of Kang, Reed Richards. I’m just going to put this out here right now as a thing that could happen. Jonathan Majors Kang playing both Dr. Doom and Reed Richards. Its on the table. It could happen.
Rosie Knight: I would love to see it. I would absolutely I think that I think that one, Jonathan Majors iconic Kang casting just can’t get enough of that final Loki episode. That would be incredible, and I think that they made a statement. As soon as you cast Jonathan Majors as Kang you, you introduced the probability and the likelihood that Reed will be Black. And that’s a world I want to live in. And I think having all three of those characters as Black characters in the MCU would be super interesting. And if they were brave enough to do all three played by Jonathan I would love it
Jason Concepcion: I’d be crazy. It would be insane. It would be so good.
Rosie Knight: It would kind of. There’s lots of easy ways to tie in when Dr. Doom first appeared. He appeared as a time travel villain who was constantly like traveling around and causing chaos. And then in, you know, to bring the Moon Knight context back to it. Kang has ancient Egyptian yes, period where he’s Rama Tut, you know, so.
Jason Concepcion: Right. So just to just to quickly reset on this. So Kang Kang lived in the three in like the the 30th century, and he was just like, really bored with life in the 30th century because it was too peaceful. And he discovers a time machine. He starts traveling around. The very first place he ends up going is ancient Egypt, where he then becomes the ruler he names himself. Rama Tut, and he rules for a large amount of time. He hides like a time machine in the fucking great pyramid, and he gets up to all kinds of trouble. He tussles with the Fantastic Four. Yeah, and he messes around with the West Coast Avengers after they get hurled throughout. Time until like six different timelines, some of the West Coast Avengers end up hanging out in ancient Egypt, where they have this adventure against Rama Tut. Now here’s another interesting tion so Kang is Rama Tut. Remember that variant around the time, while Hawkeye is trapped in 21 49 B.C., he happens into the Temple of Khonshu, not understanding what the what the importance is. And he’s just like, Oh, well, he ends up through different turns of events because he kind of takes a liking to the defenders of the Temple of Khonshu. He like carves these little, you know, the Moon Knight Moon battering moon rings and different kind of like projectile weapons for the people of Khonshu. In other words, Hawkeye in twenty one forty nine B.C. designed Moon Knights weapons.
Rosie Knight: Yes, scarab dots that is wild
Jason Concepcion: he made his weapons, which is another crazy little thing to it. So all of which is to say, I wonder, I wonder if at the end of this, we get some sort of Rama Tete Kang, Dr. Doom hint some kind of drop about that. That brings us into the stuff that we know we’re going towards because otherwise, you know, what is this series building towards? That’s the thing I keep thinking, what is what is it here to do? Clearly, multiverse is the order of the day. Does that get us to Kang? I think that there’s a chance.
Rosie Knight: I do too, and I think that it’s like important. You guys have heard us talk about Kang a lot, but like Kang is because he’s from the future. He is a descendant of Reed Richards father. Yes. And that’s kind of why those three are all or seem so connected. I feel like I we talked a lot about Marvel horror. Is this going to lead to Marvel Horror the MCU or in the MCU? That is definitely the big picture kind of situation.
Jason Concepcion: Moon Knight made his debut in Werewolf by Night.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, we’re going to have the Werewolf by Night kind of werewolf to be named Halloween special. We know Blade is in the MCU, now also connected to Britain and British museums. And in the comics, has a London set origin story. And I just never saw it coming that they would do like a Latveria tease, but now they did it. I’m like, This makes so much sense, like the connection is there, and these are the kind of things that we love about watching these shows. Even if in like a month, the show run is like it was just the Alps, we can all be like, Well, that was fun, you know,
Jason Concepcion: it was still fun. I mean, so this is why we get into it now. You mentioned like the crazy version of who Layla could be. I’m going to go with a crazy version of a possible theory here. When I think Egypt and Marvel, I think really kind of like the original mutant and iconic X-Men supervillain Apocalypse, who it just so happens, was played by Oscar Isaac in X-Men Apocalypse, a very, very bad 2016 X-Men movie. But it’s I don’t think we see Apocalypse here, but I wonder if we get it. I was watching when they were in, you know, in those temple scenes. Like, I do wonder if at some point they pan passed the various statues. If one we get a dramatize it or an apocalypse statue in the background of one of these.
Rosie Knight: We know that the the Fox X-Men movies exist in this universe. At least at least they will at some point because we have seen, presumably Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart. So there’s no reason that I feel like you couldn’t allude to it. Maybe Oscar wouldn’t want to, because I felt like he probably doesn’t remember it fondly. But like, I think that there’s Egypt in Marvel is impossible to think of without thinking of Apocalypse, because so much of Marvel is defined by the X-Men. And ironically, even like the Rama Tut stuff, the Kang stuff that’s all way, way down the recognition ladder compared to Apocalypse. So when you have this actor who also, by the way, we’re going to see him presumably inhabit many different characters and heroes and villains and versions. I don’t see why that couldn’t be a nod or something that is actually more direct because I think that they’ve, you know, they’ve sold the show as kind of like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Indiana Jones meets the MCU. So I think we’re going to see a lot more adventuring and actually going to Egypt, going to these spaces. And in that case, Apocalypse is like an outlier. But it’s like who? Who wouldn’t want to see that? Who wouldn’t want to catch that Easter egg?
Jason Concepcion: More connections, possible connections to the larger MCU. The idea of chaos. Magic, there’s chaos in Marc.
Rosie Knight: Mm hmm.
Jason Concepcion: That gets us to I mean, it’s it’s impossible not to think of Dr. Strange in the multiverse.
Rosie Knight: Yeah.
Jason Concepcion: Of Madness and the stuff we might see there, the Shuma-Gorath slash Gargantua. We’re going to we. Keep calling him Shuma-Gorath. But Gargantos In the movie The Lord of Chaos. Tell us about what do you think? Do you think that we will get any kind of chaos magic, Lord of Chaos, Gargantos.
Rosie Knight: So in the comics.
Jason Concepcion: Like breadcrumbs in this
Rosie Knight: Marcs DID or whatever they’ve called it has always been inherently supernatural because it was it was always connected, in part to Khonshu. And recently, in the Marvel comics, they actually read Khonshu to make him an elder God, which would sit him alongside Shuma-Gorath and the other elder gods of the Marvel Universe. So that’s a connection that Shuma-Gorath is the Lord of Chaos. In fact, in the first Moon Knight trailer, they actually they actually kind of use Shuma-Gorath’s famous video game quote, which is Arthur Harrow says to, he says, to Steve, you know, he says, Oh, there’s chaos in you, and then he says, embrace it. And Shuma-Gorath’s phrase is embrace chaos. Recently, the first official kind of MCU big dig into chaos magic was that is what Agatha Harkness tells Wanda that she uses. And she says, and that makes you the Scarlet Witch and the dark cold. That is the Chaos Magic book. You know, I think it’s very likely the different magic of the MCU kind of come together under that banner. And I think as well, like the chaos in New Thing is really interesting because obviously it seems like he’s talking about the struggle between Marc and Steven, but it could be that he’s sensing all these different people from different planes. If Steven is a nexus or Marc is an X is being because they haven’t really made clear who the kind of primary version of the character is in this universe. But whoever is, if they’re a nexus being, that means that they could be contacting and connected to every single multiverse at the same time, which is incredibly chaotic and is connected to what Wanda can do. Again, back to Chaos, Magic. So I think there’s definitely something in that.
Jason Concepcion: I think that there is a pretty good chance that this is our introduction into the idea of Nexus character. So the idea of like multiple characters inhabiting the same body. OK, more interesting connections. Just stuff that I picked up. We mentioned West Coast Avengers and by the way, that like time travel adventure arc is, I think West Coast starts in like West Coast Avengers 20. I want us
Rosie Knight: are in that. The power you sent me of killing it, of Hawkeye talking to you is like some of the coolest comic book I’ve seen in an age is some powerful shit.
Jason Concepcion: When he really gets fantastical is just is just wonderful. One of wonderful artist. I can’t help but notice that, first of all, on Hawkeye series, as we talked about, you know, one of the places that are Hawkeyes are two Hawkeyes. Laid up was the apartment of Brandon, who in the comics is the actress who gives her her Rancho Palos Verdes estate to Hawkeye and crew to use as the West Coast Avengers compound. So, OK, we’ve got her, and they very specifically mentioned her name, and that can only mean we’re at some point going to the West Coast, whether it’s, you know, who goes. Unclear whether it’s Kate and Clint, but like, we’re going to the West Coast. Moonlight has some adventures with the West Coast Avengers in the comics. So we have that connection also with that kind of like time traveling adventure. I wonder we don’t have a team yet. Right? That’s the one thing that in phase four that we don’t have, we’ve had this team up movies with Spider-Man. No Way Home is essentially a team up between multiple Spider-Man right and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be some kind of team up movie, but similarly, it will entail multiple versions of the same characters, right? Where is a team up movie? I do wonder if we’re not headed towards like a West Coast Avengers at some point?
Rosie Knight: I know. I think that we kind of vaguely touched on this with Hawkeye. But like in the reason one of the recent Kate Bishop Hawkeye runs, she moves to L.A. and I think that there’s something with them making Moira on in the show. I think that the version that we get of whatever the next iteration of the Avengers is might be a kind of melding of Young Avengers with West Coast Avengers and kind of have them based out in California for a change of pace, change of tone. You can kind of draw from some of that wackier West Coast Avenger stuff because throughout history, they’ve just had some really cool, weird arcs. The West Coast Avengers is so integral to the stuff we saw in one division, which I know now feels like it was like a million years ago, but that established the tone for these shows, and so much of that came out of that and a lot of the exploration of what we still have to to look at with wonder and with the white vision and and and where he stands now is that all is derived from West Coast Avengers. So I think that’s like a really big touchpoint. And my biggest question is like, are they not establishing a brand new team of Avengers, new Avengers, young Avengers, West Coast Avengers, uncanny Avengers, like whatever? Yeah. Is it savage Resnick, you know? Yeah, I would rather they keep that one out of in the pocket. But like, is it because their focus right now is like Fantastic Four and the X-Men? And then when the X-Men appear, we get some kind of new Avengers team and then we have, you know, Avengers vs. X-Men, which I think is the big thing like every comic book person wants. But I wonder, because I feel like every other phase has been so defined by the Avengers team. And yeah, we have all the pieces here for something new. You know, for a long time, it seemed like Captain Marvel would be the Captain America, and we would have these different legacy characters. But that hasn’t come together in the way that a lot of us expected. So I’m really interested because like you said, you made a really great point where you’re like, they’re almost doing these team up movies because they don’t have a core team and people love the team up movies, people on the team. What happens after Doctor Strange? You know, is it a different kind of team? Is it an Illuminati instead of an Avengers? You know, is it a dark Avengers, which we kind of think that we’ve been seeing seeded in some of the TV shows is exciting and unpredictable time.
Jason Concepcion: Yeah, we’re really we’re really in some unexplored territory. It feels like we’re flying by the seat of our pants with some of this one. But one last thing? You mentioned it a little bit. There’s something not right about this museum, right? Yeah. First of all, Steven’s apartment for somebody who works in the gift shop is
Rosie Knight: that’s a minimum wage job baby.
Jason Concepcion: It’s fucking palatial like it is stacks of books. High ceilings like it is friggin huge. Now you can say that some of his Marc Spector money or whatever the mercenary like. OK, but like, does Marc Spector even exist in this reality yet?
Rosie Knight: Also, I think you touched on something here because the the number one thing that I think a lot of Moon Knight fans and midnight readers and even casual midnight kind of know about were confused about is in the comics. Steven Grant is the billionaire. He’s a millionaire, a movie producer usually making a BA-2 latest latest iteration. Latest iteration is the movie producer. But generally, he’s the Tony Stark persona. He’s the Bruce Wayne, right? So people say, Oh, why would this guy be working in a gift shop? So does this mean that the museum is a front for something else? Is this really what Steven is experiencing that? I think the apartment is such a good catch that I hadn’t really thought about because like owning a house in London is a myth. Renting a house in London is a myth. And so to have that in the center of London, when you work a minimum wage job with no benefits and kind of, yeah, that is a great little clue that whatever this version of and that would kind of explain away like Donna, you know, JB, who is the security guard who I’m sure is going to is going to play a bigger part and have a kind of more serious role. These characters are like not nice to Steven, and there doesn’t really seem to be a reason,
Jason Concepcion: They’re not nice to him, but they’re also.
Rosie Knight: But they’re familiar.
Jason Concepcion: They’re familiar. Exactly, and not at all surprised with how weird he is about losing time, being forgetful, about stuff like they’re extremely mean to him, but they’re also like not put off by how strange he is acting at times.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, and it does not like he comes from a place of empathy. It seems like it comes from like, Oh, we expect it. So I really think there might be something interesting to the idea, especially if you’re talking about this bubble kind of universe that you were talking about the pocket universe, you know? I think there’s something very interesting to the idea that the museum is a fragmented past,
Jason Concepcion: something ccreated to
Rosie Knight: Something created to distract him. You know, maybe something even created by a different vision of Steven to, you know, what’s the Oh, you just wanted to have a normal life? You don’t want the drama, you don’t want to OK, go and work in a museum where your passions are. And I do think something else that’s like an interesting to me on on a rewatch, right? There are hints in this first episode of Steven’s like deep, deep intelligence and passions and the things that he knows a lot about. And that kind of contradicts the general representation, which is kind of he’s like a bumbling kind of silly guy. And I think that is also very interesting when my thinking about like, what is this vision that we’re seeing and what is really going on behind the kind of curtain?
Jason Concepcion: It’s fascinating, interesting first episode, a little bit of a mess, but with some really intriguing things, and I can’t wait to talk about how this could possibly connect to the larger MCU. More with you. Josie up next. Nerd out. In today’s nerd out, where you tell us what you love and why Jed pitches us on the 2019 fantasy epic bestseller, that is excellent. Really, really good. Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James. It is an excellent book. Pick it up! Hello, Jason, it’s me. Jed Segovia. Shout out to my fellow Filipino-American host of X-ray vision, and I am urging you to pick up Marlon James’ brutal and beautiful fantasy epic novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf and I came across this because I love fantasy. I read the film Maryland in college, and I couldn’t even get through to First Lord of the Rings novel, and I just wanted to find novels that were just away from the traditional Western Eurocentric settings of castles, knights, dragons, the stuff that’s become Hollywood IP. And I came across Black Leopard Red Wolf, written by Marlon James and this story. It’s a beautiful epic set in a very vivid and brutal version of Africa inspired by African myth and history. James has jokingly referred to the story as an African Game of Thrones, but while it has all the hallmarks of that kind of story, warring kingdoms, palace intrigue, monsters, magic, fascinating characters. It’s inspired by a culture that, in my experience, has rarely appeared in acclaimed stateside novels, and this book is the first book of a planned trilogy called The Dark Star Trilogy. And this first book centers on Tracker a bounty hunter with a magic nose capable of tracking anything at anyone, one which he uses to track down missing women, floundering husbands or any lost person in all of these myriad kingdoms across this magical land, and his sordid life of tracking eventually leads him to encounter what would become a companion and friend to be Leopard, a shapeshifting leopard and master archer. And the core of the story is a quest that the tracker and leopard are brought into by a motley crew of priestesses, giants, mercenaries and witches to rescue a kidnaped child from a band of vampires and monsters going around, tearing up land, killing entire families. And it’s just such a beautiful and such a vividly written novel. It’s like reading an R-rated Final Fantasy story set in Africa. The violence is visceral, and the magic is fairy tale life, but not in that sanitized Disney sense, but in the classic Grimm butter sense of grotesque and body horror. The characters are flawed, but they’re absolutely magnetic to read, and what I love is that the characters aren’t even like cisgender tracker is queer. The leopard is queer, and they’re full on sex scenes between multiple members of the same gender. It’s treated as matter of fact and very refreshing to read in a novel of this genre, and it’s a perfect time to get into it because the second book had come out in February, and the narrative picks up from where the first book ends. And it’s just really exciting because the second book, The Point of View, is then written from the point of view of another character in the first book Black Leopard and Red Wolf. So the thing is, the film rights to Black Leopard and Red Wolf have already been bought by Michael B. Jordan, Killmonger himself. I really urge you to check out this book. It’s a great read. We will definitely be seeing an adaptation soon in the big screen or in any of these big streaming services piece out and enjoy. Thanks, Jed, for submitting. If you want to be featured, send your nerd up pitch to X-ray. A quick incom instructions are in the show notes. Up next, the end game. Rosie, we are in the end game now, and today we are pondering the question if you could have the powers of any mythical God, who would it be? This is interesting. This is a fascinating one. Um, Rosie, do you want to go first?
Rosie Knight: This is a tough one. I’m going to go for comfort over anything else. If I was going to become a Greek God and get any or any kind of mythological God and get any power, I would go for Ambrosia. I would take the God of food. I’m like, I want abundance. I want to feed people delicious stuff. I want my friends to eat the food and feel so nourished. I want to never be hungry. I’ll make everyone food so they’re never hungry. I don’t know if that’s how our powers work, but that’s how I’m taking it. I just love.
Jason Concepcion: I love it.
Rosie Knight: I love the relevance of food and mythology. You know, I think a lot of about like the myths of like Persephone and stuff. Those were the stories I always remembered. So I kind of like the idea is food is this nourishing thing on like a metaphorical level and a physical level. And I love eating, so that’s what my one would be.
Jason Concepcion: If you’re going to do that, then I’m going to pick and I have to pick Bacchus, the god of wine and parties, so that we could just like, throw a crazy, crazy feast, Bacchus, you know, you know him alias Liber where we get the word Libations, always pictured in conjunction with like vines and vines of grapes, always holding a drinking cup was like a crown of grapes and stuff. Bacchanalia is is a word for just kind of like an ecstatic party. What are Bacchus’s powers? Just kind of like physical pleasure and partying.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, wine and fertility baby. Living it up!
Jason Concepcion: Together I think, what an incredible pair. That’s it for the end game. Who would you pick? What power would you pick of a mythological of an ancient God or creature? Hit us at #XRVendgame to give us your pick. Big thank you to Rosie Knight for joining us on X Ray Vision, Rosie. Plug everything. Plug everything you got.
Rosie Knight: Yeah, come. I’m Instagram. Rosie Marx M-A-R-X. Same on Letterboxd, where I’ve actually been doing a really good job of putting every movie that I watch. I don’t review many of them, but I log them and you can laugh at all my bad choices or watch along to all these great, bad movies with me. If you like Easter eggs and want to dig more into that, there’s a big Easter egg piece up at Nerdist for this episode of Moon Knight. There will be weekly. That is what I do. There is also a Latveria piece. There is also a piece about mine and Jason’s nexus being theory. There is all kinds of fun stuff there. I have a Godzilla comic coming out. You cannot pre-order it yet.
Jason Concepcion: Wooohooo,.
Rosie Knight: But you can let your comic shop know that you think it looks really cool and hopefully they will preorder it. If you live in the L.A. area, tell your comic shop to hit me up. We will be doing cool signings icon announce any right now, but I will announce them when they are closer. And yeah, and then obviously listen to us on X-Ray Vision.
Jason Concepcion: Check out our videos on the uncultured YouTube channel, check the next episode on April eighth, where we will be diving into the sci fi multiversesal action film Everything Everywhere, all at once. So see that if you have a chance to see it or you haven’t seen it yet, will surely be discussing more Moonlight and other episodes of that and probably Halo as well. And again, send your nerd out submissions to Xray@Crooked.com. Don’t forget to hit us with the five star ratings we love those. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulis. Dylan Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production and support. And Alex Relford handles social media. Thank you to Brian Vasquez for our theme music. Bye bye.