Why Marc Spector Being Jewish is Important
With recent quotes from a former comic book writer on the character speaking to the contrary, we discuss why Marc Spector being Jewish is important…
There are few MCU projects that have sported the sense of enigma that has surrounded the impending Moon Knight since its announcement.
The series is set to focus on one of Marvel’s most interesting characters; a former mercenary named Marc Spector who struggles with dissociative identity disorder and multiple personalities.
Things get all the more complicated for Marc when he is given the powers of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu; from then on embracing the identity of the vigilante known as Moon Knight.
Part of the brilliance of the Moon Knight character comes in Marc’s perceptions; with his lessening grip on reality, the audience is taken into this consulted existence that forces everyone to question whether or not these adventures are real, or simply a side effect of his mental illness.
One of the key aspects of Marc Spector’s character is his Jewish heritage, something that is uncertain surrounding Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of the character in the upcoming series; with many assuming the character will not be Jewish because Isaac is not of that same heritage of belief.
Speaking on this matter was none other than Moon Knight writer Alan Zelenetz spoke to The Forward on the matter, stating, “They’re certainly not bound by any origins.”
Zelenetz continued, stating, “So he’s not Jewish and he won’t be Jewish, and Arthur Harrow [Ethan Hawke] won’t be the character I created. So what? If he’s not Jewish because there’s a good artistic reason he’s not Jewish, that’s perfectly OK. I don’t care.”
The argument is pretty fair; with Zelenetz clearly giving the MCU the benefit of the doubt, and the opportunity to tell the story with artistic integrity that makes use of the essence of the character’s origin.
But the reality is that Marc Spector being Jewish is important, and it’s as important as the faith or ethnicity of any Marvel character.
Faith, heritage, and identity are all vital aspects of the MCU; their quest for diversity and inclusion in a clear indication of how serious the studio takes the identifying qualities and backgrounds of specific characters.
So, why would Marc’s identity as a Jewish man be any different?
It is, in fact, his very own Jewish upbringing that first led to the manifestation of his Dissociative Identity Disorder; with his childhood being defined by the antisemitic attacks his father- a Rabbi in Chicago- would face daily.
Spector was traumatized as a child when a Nazi deserter pretending to be a Rabbi was actively murdering Jewish people, and attempted to kill MArc; with his violent capabilities as the only thing protecting him from the attack, and the trauma acting as the precursor to his mental illness.
Marc being Jewish is no different than Daredevil being Catholic; Marc’s confrontation with Khonsu- a god completely different from the Judeo-Christian God of the Jewish religion- only adds to the complexities of his character, as Matt Murdoch’s actions against his faith add to his own.
Making Marc Spector Jewish is important; it’s important to the character, it’s important to Marvel’s desire for greater representation, and it’s important to the overall conflict of the show.
What makes Moon Knight interesting is his connection with Jewish beliefs, and a character stripped of those is simply not as interesting.