Moon Knight: Who Are Khonshu’s Female Avatars?

In Moon Knight episode 2, Khonshu threatens to make Layla his next avatar, but she wouldn't be the first female Moon Knight in the Marvel Universe!

Khonshu in Marvel's Moon Knight

This article contains Moon Knight spoilers

When the first episode of Moon Knight hit, comic fans familiar with the character were a bit at a disadvantage. They already had an idea of what was going on, killing some of the drama that those uninitiated were experiencing. While the second episode explains the basics between Steven, Marc, and Khonshu, we also learn more about what makes their dynamic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so different. Though Marc is the Avatar/Fist of Khonshu, we also know that Arthur Harrow was the previous Moon Knight and, if Marc is ever taken off the table, his estranged wife Layla will be the next one.

This gives Marc bigger stakes and more of a reason to keep fighting other than paying Khonshu back for keeping him alive. It’s a nice twist on the trope of a superhero having to cut ties with his loved ones in order to protect them. If Marc dies or Marc quits, then Layla is in danger and not only would he consider the blood to be on his hands if something were to happen to her, but he’s also responsible for the blood of her victims.

Layla is an original character, though she is possibly based on Marc’s comic love interest Marlene Alraune. While Marlene never became Moon Knight, this possibility does raise the question: has there ever been a female Moon Knight? The short answer is yes. Throughout time and the multiverse, there have been a handful of women who have kicked ass for Khonshu. Interestingly enough, a lot of them have surfaced in the past few years. Marvel lays the groundwork in their comics several years before the MCU gets their hands on it, so perhaps this isn’t a coincidence.

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For a longer answer, here are various female Moon Knights throughout Marvel history.

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #42

Crescent Moon and Moon Maid

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #42 was a trip of an issue, acting as a tie-in to the Infinity War comic event. Moon Knight took on an evil doppelganger Moon Shade, who traveled through the multiverse, feasting on different variants of Moon Knight. Such variants included Moon Knight incarnations of the Spirit, Space Ghost (complete with teen sidekicks and a monkey dressed like him), and the Dick Sprang version of Batman.

Moon Knight and Moon Shade at one point found themselves in the middle of a holy war with one side led by Crescent Moon. She was not long for her world once Moon Shade got his hands on her. Later on, the hero and villain ended up in some underwater setting, where Moon Shade went and murdered Moon Maid, a hooded vigilanted in a seashell bra. Now I’m just sad that we never got to see Moon Maid’s gritty phase where she’d tear Ursula’s face off.

2099: Manifest Destiny

Moon Knight 2099

This incarnation of Moon Knight was first introduced in 2099: Manifest Destiny, which was an odd choice, since this was initially the series finale to that whole alternate future concept. She fought on the moon itself and appeared to live in what remained of Attilan. There were no details on who she was and outside of giving some wisdom to Uatu the Watcher, she didn’t do much.

When Spider-Man 2099 was brought back in the mid-2010s, Miguel O’Hara ended up in an alternate version of 2099 due to the events of Civil War II. There, he came across a version of Moon Knight 2099 and we at least got to learn her name is Tabitha. She was shown to be an ally of the current Doctor Strange and a rather uncouth take on Daredevil. Moon Knight and the rest joined Spider-Man 2099 in fighting a handful of Skrulls who were convinced they were Power Pack and J. Jonah Jameson.

Jessica Spector in Marvel Knights 2001 Millennial Visions

Jessica Spector

Marvel Knights 2001 Millennial Visions was a book filled with potential future ideas for various Marvel franchises. Darick Robertson had an idea of giving Moon Knight a daughter to carry on the legacy. In this treatment, Marc would keep his superhero adventures a secret from his family, but with age and cancer catching up to him, he could not be Moon Knight for much longer.

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His daughter Jessica, an archeologist and trained martial artist, would discover Moon Knight’s bleeding body. Inheriting the money and mantle, Jessica would continue Khonshu’s fight for another generation.

Extraordinary X-Men

Moon Knight of the Apocalypse

In the pages of Extraordinary X-Men, the team went forward to yet another doomed dystopia. In a story called Apocalypse War, they met up with another lineup of the Four Horsemen and WHAT a lineup it was. Leading the team was Colossus with Man-Thing powers, joined by Deadpool (mouth stitched up, but also full of locusts), the Venom symbiote, and Moon Knight.

Not much was revealed about Moon Knight, including her identity. She seemed to have the same mental issues as Marc and name-dropped him during a fight with Nightcrawler. Moments later, Nightcrawler dropped her onto a pit of spikes, killing her.

Woman or not, it is pretty funny to see an Oscar Isaac character serving another Oscar Isaac character. If only Spider-Man 2099 was there too.

Mariama Spector in Avengers Forever

Mariama Spector

The modern series Avengers Forever begins with a story revolving around an alternate take on the Avengers in a world ruled by the Black Skull (Red Skull with the Venom symbiote). The team is led by Tony Stark as Ant-Man, but also includes Wonder Man, a more rudimentary Vision, a version of the Thing merged with the Infinity Stones, and a new Moon Knight in Mariama Spector.

So far, little has been revealed about Mariama. Is she supposed to be related to Marc or just a gender-flipped version of him? Either way, after helping defeat Black Skull and liberate Earth, she’s been recruited to join a multiversal group of Avengers led by Captain Carter.

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Acts of Evil

The Original Moon Knight

In the recent Acts of Evil mini event, there was a story involving Kang the Conqueror trying to steal some Khonshu-based artifacts in order to remake history in his image. Moon Knight opposed him and through the fight, he journeyed to different eras and met his many counterparts. He met a gunslinger Moon Knight, a gladiator Moon Knight, a World War II soldier Moon Knight, and so on.

At the end of his journey, he found a masked woman in Mesopotamia with man-made Wolverine claws. She was crouched over the final artifact with a legion of dead bodies surrounding her. After Moon Knights from various eras worked together to stop Kang, the Moon Knight of Mesopotamia accepted responsibility for the various artifacts and now watches over them outside of time in case Kang were to try something once again.

Ravonna Renslayer Variant Kang Moon Knight

Ravonna Renslayer

Speaking of Disney+ shows, Judge Renslayer from Loki recently appeared in quite a reveal. The Kang the Conqueror miniseries was a confusing mess of time travel and alternate identities as Kangs from different eras converged and warred with each other. As Iron Lad (Young Kang) ended up in ancient Egypt during the days of Immortus and Apocalypse, he was saved by Moon Knight. Khonshu’s avatar ended up being a young Ravonna.

Then more time travel happened and Ravonna existed at the end of time and she was killed a few times and… Listen, it’s Kang. It’s confusing. I’m not exactly sure what was going on. But there was a woman Moon Knight. That I know!