Moon Knight doesn’t know when to quit. After a frenetic premiere and an action-packed second episode, the third chapter — titled “The Friendly Type” — took us to a whole new continent while also blowing out the show’s entire mythos in spectacular fashion. Not only did we get to see some old school adventuring and Moon Knight kick a whole lot of ass, we also learned a lot about Khonshu and the order of ancient Egyptian gods that he was once part of. We’re getting answers, but that doesn’t mean we’re running out of questions.
While we wait for the second half of the season to start next week, we can go through Episode 3 and analyze it frame by frame as we look for any clues, hints, references, or just neat coincidences. Moon Knight may not be as canonically dense as Loki or WandaVision, but the show still has a lot going on.
So, are you ready to find out what you might have missed in this week’s Moon Knight episode? SPOILERS ahead, because we gotta talk about these moments.1
1. Layla’s origin
This episode gives us our first hint at Layla’s backstory, and it’s enough to confirm that she is based on a character from the comics — and dear lord, no, she is not Layla Miller, a mutant from the X-Factor series. Characters can have the same first names, kinda like how Steven Grant is not Steve Rogers.
As has been pretty obvious from her introduction last week, Layla El-Faouly is based on the Marvel Comics character Marlene Alraune. Introduced in 1976’s Marvel Spotlight #28, Marlene has essentially been the Lois Lane to Moon Knight’s Superman since the character’s debut. She’s his primary, longterm love interest and she has been part of Marc Spector’s journey as Moon Knight from the start.
In the comics, Marlene is the daughter of noted archaeologist Peter Alraune. After discovering the lost tomb of Khonshu, Peter was attacked and killed by mercenaries seeking to raid the dig site. Marlene, who was working with her father on the expedition, found Marc Spector and was with him when he was gunned down by his boss and left for dead at the foot of a statue of Khonshu.
As we learn in this week’s cold open, Layla is also the daughter of an archaeologist and spent plenty of time at his dig sites as a kid. While Layla doesn’t go into details, it’s clear that something bad happened to her father; she says, “Whatever happened in that desert is lost to the sands.” So, putting together context clues, both Layla and Marlene are daughters of archaeologists and Marc Spector’s on-and-off partner. It’s safe to say that Layla is the MCU’s version of Marlene.
And no, she is not a mutant.2
2. Personality #3
Marc Spector’s run-in with some local heavies gets an unwelcome complication when Steven Grant starts trying to wrest control of their body. In the back and forth, Marc wakes up to find blood everywhere because he’s just stabbed one of the aforementioned heavies. Steven insists he didn’t kill the guy and Marc knows he didn’t kill the guy. This implies that there’s a third personality in Marc’s head, which is very much a thing in the comics.
In the comics, Marc Spector has two primary alternate personalities: there’s Steven Grant, who’s a millionaire playboy and not a meek museum worker; and then there’s Jake Lockley, a street smart cab driver. So, did Jake Lockley kill those dudes? Jake’s not that violent in the comics, but the show’s already completely changed Steven Grant. Maybe they’ve taken similar liberties with Lockley.3
3. The Overvoid
During the urgent, all-gods-on-deck meeting to discuss Khonshu’s reckless manipulation of the skies, our fave cranky moon deity called out his fellow Egyptian gods for abandoning humanity. Speaking through his avatar Marc, Khonshu blasted his peers for basically kicking back in their home realm and letting humanity just do whatever. That realm is called the Overvoid — and this is another one of the many references to the recent Moon Knight series by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood.
Similar to how the Norse gods of the MCU hail from Asgard, which is treated as kind of a distant quasi-planet, the gods of ancient Egypt reside in the Overvoid. And just as those ancient Norse gods visited early man and were worshipped as gods, so did the Egyptian gods.
This is how it works in the comics, too — although it took a while for Marvel Comics to confirm that Marc Spector’s Khonshu was literally Khonshu. Depending on who was writing Moon Knight, and definitely depending on from what perspective Moon Knight was being viewed, the comics waffled back and forth as to whether Marc was really Khonshu’s avatar or just believed himself to be. Lemire and Smallwood’s Moon Knight run, however, confirmed that Khonshu and the other Egyptian gods all reside in the Othervoid/Overvoid and take on Earthly avatars to do their bidding.4
4. Anton Mogart
On his quest to find Ammit’s tomb before Harrow, Marc learns that a map to the tomb resides in the sarcophagus of the pharaoh Senfu. Layla finds out through her contacts that the sarcophagus in question is part of a collection of exquisite ancient artifacts owned by the notorious Anton Mogart (Gaspard Ulliel).
In the comics, Anton Mogart is a thief who only steals the finest jewels and pieces of art — and he always strikes at midnight. That’s where he got the codename Midnight Man from, and the name fit with his all black getup. Mogart crossed paths a few times with Moon Knight early in the character’s history, but he’s more known for being the father of the teenage sidekick-turned-supervillain Midnight (a.k.a. Jeffrey Wilde). Midnight tried to become Moon Knight’s sidekick in the late ’80s and early ’90s and turned to villainy once that didn’t work out.5
An offhand comment from one of Mogart’s employees gives us another major MCU Easter egg — and those are rare in Moon Knight! It’s mentioned that Mogart and Layla know each other from some sort of run-in in Madripoor, a crime-ridden pleasure island that caters to the worst of the worst. We first saw Madripoor in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, in an episode that coincidentally premiered just over a year ago.
This is also a legit X-Men Easter egg, by the way, not like the whole “Layla is Layla Miller” fan theory. That’s because in the comics, Madripoor is pretty much an X-Men locale first and foremost. It debuted in 1985’s New Mutants #32 by Chris Claremont and Steve Leialoha and has been a regular setting for brawls involving the X-Men and/or Wolverine ever since.
By Brett White | Decider