Moon Knight TV Series Episodes 1 & 2: See the Bad Moon Rising?

A few years ago, I read the Jeff Lemire & Greg Smallwood run on Moon Knight (2016). I was already aware of the character who is often referred to as “Marvel’s Batman.” The Lemire run is a really good story by the way and I recommend it. In the comics, the main character is a man called Marc Spector, but we don’t really see him in the first episode. Instead, the focus is on Steven Grant, an alter ego of Marc Spector in the comics. Not forgetting that Moon Knight is also an alter ego of Marc Spector. Or is it the other way round? Yep, alter egos of alter egos. Anyone else confused yet?

In the comics, the Steven Grant alter ego is a kind of Bruce Wayne figure–a millionaire playboy (remember that trope?) who finances Moon Knight’s missions. In the Marvel TV series he is a simpering, whimpering museum worker who gets bullied and disrespected by pretty much everyone he works with. Oscar Isaac plays him as a kind of screwball comedy bumbling buffoon because I think that’s how he was written. It grated on me after a few minutes, as you can probably tell.

Episode 1

*This was my raw reaction straight after watching Episode 1. Please note that I come to this series as a fan of the comic book character.*

“I have a question. Why have they made Oscar Isaac’s character “Steven Grant” such a bumbling, mumbling idiot? He’s like a silly little soy-boy from start to finish, and displays zero masculinity, surprise surprise. He has a weird accent, too, speaking as a Brit. It’s not terrible, but it’s a bit erratic and the tone of his voice is strange. This episode was too long, too slow, remarkably dull and didn’t really tell us anything about his character. Oh, apart from him being a useless buffoon who pretty much everybody disrespects. There’s some very dodgy CGI and we only get a brief glimpse of the Moon Knight costume right at the end of this 42-minute episode. Disney Marvel strikes again! NOT a recommend.”

My Video Review of Moon Knight Episode 1 (5 min)

To offer some positives, both Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke give solid performances, even if Isaac’s interpretation is whacky and weird–whacky like Wakizashi? Possibly. It’s well-shot with some lovely scenery and there’s a clever use of mirrors and reflections. As a Brit, it was refreshing to see London as a main setting. There’s also a nice use of music and songs in the episode, even if the Wham song during the car chase scene takes away any tension or sense of threat. Can you guess the name of the song? It is just a silly comedy after all. I’d hate to see Disney Marvel take anything seriously.

Episode 2

*Here’s my review/reaction straight after watching Episode 2.*

This episode was better than the first one, in my opinion. It’s still too long with what feels like a lot of filler in here. For example, long conversations with characters sat down telling us the plot. Oscar Isaac is good but his portrayal of Steven Grant grates again. Hey, maybe it’s me because I’ve heard him getting a lot of praise for his performance. But he comes across as a clumsy Benny Hill-like character who gets led around by other characters. Throughout the episode we see him bumbling, stumbling, falling on his face while he whimpers and simpers away. It’s a strange take indeed.

Ethan Hawke is very good here. He exudes a quiet menace whenever he’s on screen. His long conversation with Isaac’s Grant is compelling and well played. And F. Murray Abraham as the voice of the Egyptian God of the Moon “Konshu” is excellent. We are treated to two appearances of Moon Knight near the end of the episode. There’s a cool fight scene between him and a weird CGI Jackal monster and a visually impressive chase scene across the rooftops of London. This was a fun episode and I enjoyed it, despite its many flaws.

Have you watched it? What did you think?

My Video Review of Moon Knight Episode 2 (11 min)

As always, thank you for reading.

-Wakizashi, *wondering why my typing seems to be getting worse by the day?*


16 thoughts on “Moon Knight TV Series Episodes 1 & 2: See the Bad Moon Rising?

  1. To be honest, I have not heard much reaction to this show. Which is enough of a damning sentence as far as I’m concerned.
    I’ve not been interested in any of the mcu tv shows overall, but I was hoping this might change that. Nope, Disney strikes again, sigh….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder why they changed the character so much from the comic. Do you think they might have felt the comic version was too close to Batman and would be seen more as a ripoff? Interestingly, though, they do seem to stick to what worked once. They make a movie with some crazy slapstick scenes and it went well so now they have to try to force that into all their stories. This is a character I’ve not been familiar with. Not sure if maybe it came out after I’d stopped regularly reading comics, or if I just never tried it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is from Wikipedia: “Moon Knight received his first ongoing series in 1980, with Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz as its main creative team.” That’s a heck of a creative team! I’ve been reading the first 5 issues and it’s very different to the TV adaptation. The series has been revamped and relaunched a number of times over the years. As I mentioned, the Lemire 2016 run is very good. I’ve also heard Warren Ellis’s 6-issue run from 2014 is worth a read. The current run by writer Jed MacKay is very good, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That was certainly around while I was reading, so I must just have never noticed or tried it. You’re right, some of those creators are big names, big enough that even I recognize them. πŸ™‚ I’ll keep an open mind to trying some of these. Thanks much.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched the first episode and thought to myself “Isaac seems to have watched too much Joker,” and it wasn’t a compliment πŸ˜‰ That weird performance as Steven Grant seems tonally deaf here. As for Moon Knight, I read some of the Ellis’s run and enjoyed it, but the TV series looks nothing like it. I enjoyed hearing Abraham in this, he’s such an underrated actor! Also, I couldn’t believe it’s Hawke – my goodness, but time flies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How time flies indeed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ola. I’ve actually cancelled my Disney Plus account because of recent actions by the company. So I won’t be watching anymore of this latest Marvel Studios screwball comedy series. I will go back to the source(s) instead!

      Liked by 1 person

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