Moon Knight Unwrapped – Ep2: Summon the Suit (review + theories)

Well, it’s Wednesday morning again, and I’m gearing up for watching another awesome episode of Moon Knight when I get home from work, but first I thought I’d do what I always do here, and review Moon Knight Episode 2: Summon the Suit and then spout off any theories I’ve managed to come up with. As it’s been essentially a full week since this episode came out, many people on the internet have already done a lot of amazing analysis, so there will be a lot of linking, and hopefully I’ll be able to come up with a meaningful idea of my own. We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you haven’t already read my review of Moon Knight Episode 1: The Gold Fish Problem, I’d love it if you checked that out first! Also, I’ve been talking a lot about Moon Knight on this blog, so you can check out my reviews of various “essential” MK collections, and individual runs on the character (right now I’ve only covered Jeff Lemire, but at least one collection of Warren Ellis’ issues should be up Friday). Also, if you haven’t watched episode two yet, go watch it! From this point forward, spoilers abound . . .

Great, on to the Review!

Long story short, I’m still just as fascinated with this show as I was last week. I don’t suspect this will change as it seems like they’re really busting out all the stops for it. There seems to be sooo much going on that even a second watch doesn’t feel like enough to really soak it all in.

I think what I’ve been enjoying the most, is that they’ve injected quite a bit of humor into the dialogue and in this most recent episode, it took on a much more physical form. I’m thinking particularly of Mr. Knight’s/Steven’s fight with the jackal. Crushing his head on that poll, sticking the landing, and then falling over. It’s like if one of the three stooges became a super hero.

I’m also really enjoying how much Stephen and Harrow parallel each other as any good hero and villain should. They’re both vegan, they both were Khonshu’s Avatar, and they both serve deities who seem to have taken the judgement of mortals into their own hands, and use violence to enact their sentences. However, as Steven points out, with crucial differences. I just loved when Steven flips Harrow/Ammit’s logic on its head.

I think the show does a good job of balancing its horror influences, with its humor, and typical super hero action. Again Khonshu was legitimately terrifying while he chases Steven through the storage locker. It’s interesting how the god is framed almost more like a petulant child when Harrow is around to ground Steven. It seemed a weird change up, but then seeing how domineering the god is with Marc, it feels like Khonshu’s character is determined by Marc/Steven’s perception in real time.

When Steven is scared of losing his mind, the god is shown like the great evil of a horror film. Marc seemingly feels guilty (probably about the deaths by his hand / people he failed to save, at the dig site, and so Khonshu becomes the type of god who would collect a debt. At the end of the episode, we see mark drinking heavily, and perhaps I’m reading into it, but it almost seems like he’s coping with some kind of PTSD (which would totally make sense if he was a mercenary).

We got the answer to a LOT of questions in this episode, for instance:

  • Who is Marc Spector? – He’s a mercenary, who’s done bad things at a tomb in Egypt. He has a wife, and it’s him who has been dragging Steven along on these blacked out adventures.
  • Who is Layla (who called him so many times)? – Marc’s wife, a total badass who knows her Egyptology (I was totally cringing at Steven trying to mansplain) and can fight like Sydney Bristo. She seems to know about Marc’s powers and the Scarab so they must have been very close . . . I’m guessing she also knows about Khonshu although I’m not sure if that is explicit.
  • “So you guys are talking again?” – Steven’s mom may/may not be real, but Marc’s mother seems to be alive and on bad terms with her little boy.
  • Who is Khonshu? – An Egyptian god who seeks justice through punishing evil doers. He’s got a bad ass enforcer/avatar called the Fist of Khonshu, aka the Moon Knight
  • What’s with the Scarab? – The Scarab is (at this point) a compass which points to Ammit’s Ushabti and tomb (where ushabti are usually buried).
  • What’s Harrow’s motivation? – Get the scarab, use it to find Ammit’s tomb, resurrect the ugly crocodile/lion/hippo monster and bring peace to the galaxy. Also, probably to get back at Khonshu for whatever reason they are no longer god/avatar.

Which has me a tad nervous for the pacing of this show. From what comics I’ve read, there isn’t a ton more backstory to reveal, and so the adventure must be a lot of new material moving forward.

However, we did get some new mysteries to ponder as well, such as:

  • Why was Khonshu banished / not liked by the other gods?
  • What debt must Marc repay? Just that Khonshu brought him back? Or is there something else he’s trying to atone for?
  • Why do Marc and Layla want the Scarab? Obviously now they want it to prevent Harrow from raising Ammit, but it seemed like they had another reason before they new about Harrow? Maybe I’m just reading into things

Finally, I’m just dying to see how Crawley’s role is going to expand as the season goes on. He’s a very prominent character in the comics which is only just given little bit parts so far in the show. Looking at you statue dude.

Theories . . .

This is the part where I’ll probably do a of linking to other’s analysis but hopefully you’ll still learn something new, and maybe I’ll think of an original thought. Let’s get to it:

More on the Scarab Translation:

Last week, I pointed to Roxane Bicker’s “Moon Knight“ – Der goldene Skarabäus for the translation. Since then, it seems like multiple channels are translating the scarab. The subreddit r/AncientEgyptian has translated the scarab, and then of course, New Rockstars has a scarab translation too with input from Egyptologists Dr. Dan Potter, and Ken Griffin. They write:

O Khepri, amid his boat, primeval one,
whose corporeality is infinity/eternity,
may you rescue Osiris Amenhotep, true of voice.

They also mention that this text is very similar to a passage from The Book of the Dead. I think I’ve mentioned the god Khepri in previous posts and of course Osiris . . . Honestly I’m not sure just what to make of this but perhaps it could mean literally someone needs to be rescued. Also I’ve seen ‘true of voice’ often translated as ‘justified’ so perhaps, if this is referring to Marc/Steven, perhaps it could mean that he is ‘justified’ and won’t be punished.

Also to consider:

“The function of the heart scarab was to bind the heart to silence while it was being weighed in the underworld to ensure that the heart did not bear false witness against the deceased”

If it is a heart scarab perhaps it will offer Moon Knight some protection in a climactic final judgement (battle).

Jackal Summoning Translation:

As if knowing Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs was not enough, apparently we should also brush up on our Coptic. Again, r/AncientEgyptian comes to our rescue with a translation of Harrow’s speech as he summons the jackal. The first bit seems to be simply “Awaken, awaken, awaken”. A little anticlimactic, but I’m sure the rest of the translation will come soon . . .

Did Egyptian Gods have Avatars?

In “Moon Knight“ – Die altägyptischen Hintergründe erklärt, Teil 4, Bicker more or less tells us no. Pharaohs were considered conduits to the divine, and a kind of divinity in their own right, but avatars as we think of them (and how they seem to be displayed in the show) are a Hindu concept and not Ancient Egyptian.

Aspects of the soul and Steven’s Ka

Hieroglyph for Ka

In 9 Things About Ancient Egypt I Hope We See In Marvel’s #MoonKnight, I talk about how Ancient Egyptians conceived the soul as having many aspects. In Summon the Suit, I believe we’ve revealed yet another aspect of our main character’s soul in Mr. Knight. The Ka is often thought of as a “double”, but we can also see the out stretched arms of the glyph for Ka as representing a part of the soul offering divine protection which survives the body after death. It’s interesting that Marc seems to have this divine protection in Moon Knight after he dies in Khonshu’s tomb. I believe Steven ‘dies’ after smashing his head against that lamp poll and his Ka, Mr. Knight, survives to protect him.

Probably reading into this part of things too much, but I still feel that the show is using each the main character’s identities to represent aspects of the ancient egyptian soul, although my working theory seems to be pretty thin. We’ll see as time goes on.

That’s all I got . . .

Yup! We’ve reached the end of the road so far. I’m definitely looking forward to next week’s episode. I hope you’ll join me for another edition of Moon Knight Unwrapped.

But if you’re still here now, what was your favorite part of the episode? Any thoughts on all the craziness we’ve seen so far? Anyone know coptic?

Leave your answers in the comments. I’m super hype to talk about this!

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