“Moon Knight”the new Marvel Studios series that premiered this Wednesday on Disney Plus, seems to exist in a corner of the MCU where creative terrain is always fertile and where taking artistic risks is much more important than adhering to the conventions of the genre.
It’s genuinely exciting that in this series, the archetype of the superhero and his journey of origin isn’t even a consideration.
Instead, the narrative gives us a protagonist who, given various challenges to his mental health, has a fluid relationship with what is real. With that nothing more, the titular character is infinitely more interesting than many of the heroes that Marvel has placed as protagonists of its first series. And to this is added the interpretation of oscar issaacwho in this role doesn’t miss a single opportunity to push the volatile quality of the material in the most unexpected direction.
The game with the expectations of the public begins from the first chapter where we meet Steve Grant (Isaac), an introverted man who loves his job in the gift shop of the Natural History Museum in London. The first sequences of “Moon Knight” seem to settle the cards for a story that shows how another “nerd” manages to free himself from his insecurities through extraordinary powers that transform him into a superhero. Needless to say, this is not what happens.
What the protagonist has dismissed as a problem sleeping has more radical implications. Everything seems to indicate that his dreams are the memories of real events of a personality that is not his that constantly takes control of his body. And as if that weren’t enough, these mental disorders are tied to a cosmic struggle between Egyptian deities that put the rest of humanity at risk.
Although the essence of the central character is tied to chaos, the series proves to be consistent in the way it avoids placing the material in a traditional context.. This applies to the main antagonist, played by Ethan Hawke. While Oscar Isaac gives himself over to constantly dealing with a hurricane of emotions, Hawke exudes peace and wisdom, even as his character’s plans could result in genocide.
Those looking for a traditional superhero story are bound to be frustrated with “Moon Knight.”. In this series, the action and humor are in function of accentuating the mental afflictions of the protagonist. This opens the doors for a volatile audiovisual proposal that challenges the notion that there is a formula that Marvel uses for all its properties.
The fact that for episode number four there is a surprise turn with a direct reference to a classic of German expressionism is just one of the subversive ways that this series uses so that the development of the plot is totally unpredictable.