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The Marvel comics character Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight, is a B list, but still bad ass vigilante. A well trained boxer, mercenary and former intelligence operative who uses expensive moon-themed gear to battle criminals and super villains, he's often been compared to DC's Batman:

There are a lot of differences between the two:

  • Moon Knight's origin is mystical in nature, seeming to be granted resurrection and enhanced physical abilities by the Egyptian Moon God, Konshu.

  • Marc skill range, training and resources aren't as diverse as Bruce's.

  • He's shown a willingness to kill.

One of the key things that separates the two, though, are their mental states. Where as its suggested that Bruce Wayne isn't quite "all there" to be as obsessed as he is, push as he does and hunt criminals dressed as a giant bat, Marc Spector is outright stated to suffer with a Disassociated Personality Disorder; he has at least three distinct personalities, and is often said to hallucinate. That being said, it has been shown that people with various mental disorders are shown to be notably stronger and more durable than the average person. Taking that into account...

Is it possible that Moon Knight truly has no "enhanced abilities", and is just displaying a type of "hysterical strength?"

Are there any comic panels that either:

  1. Show Moon Knight doing something to noted enhanced human level (at Captain America, Black Panther, or Task Master level) or
  2. Any panel that confirms his mystical connection to Konshu (like, outside his mind?) Say, something where someone detects a mystical aura around him, or another blatant display of magic being tied to his abilities?)

And what exactly are Moon Knights special abilities and their limits, anyway? A page from an official Marvel source citing them would be the optimal evidence.

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    To come at this from the other side, hysterical strength is a matter of overriding your body's safeties, which are there for a reason. A 100-pound woman can lift a car to save her baby, but she is not going to be okay afterwards. Hysterical strength lets you perform a brief feat of strength, not fight crime night after night. – Phasma Felis Jun 22 at 13:09
  • "That being said, it has been shown that people with various mental disorders are shown to be notably stronger and more durable than the average person." [Citation needed] – Prometheus Jun 22 at 19:33
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    @Prometheus Referring here to examples of Hysterical strength, or mental disorders such as paranoia which cause the Fight or Flight reflex, allowing for adrenaline surges which result in temporary increases physical capacities, including strength and force production, aerobic capacity and pain tolerance. – Russhiro Jul 22 at 18:59
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Yes, there is definitely some supernatural entity that works through Stephen Grant, a.k.a Moon Knight. It was shown very clearly in Moon Knight #36 1984 when Dr. Strange first met him.

Earlier that day Stephen's girlfriend Marlene accidentally got possessed by an ancient Egyptian sorcerer. Dr. Strange witnessed it and made some research about the two before trying to reverse the possession, this is what he found out.

Dr. Strange scans using the Amulet of Agamotto, he notices there is a mystic aura about a man: Moon Knight

Strange decided to make a deeper search and found the connection to Khonshu:

Strange uses the Orb of Agamotto and finds out: ...And Steven Grant appears some time to have been mystically endowed with the spirit of an ancient priest of Khonshu

Strange met up with Moon Knight and explained that his connection to Khonshu is needed to free Marlene. Moon Knight is not convinced.

Strange attempts to convince Moon Knight of the connection to Khonshu to free Marlene

Eventually, Moon Knight agrees to try and Dr. Strange summons the spirit from Mark's body to fight the evil sorcerer.

Doctor Strange summons the spirit from Mark's body

After some fighting, Marlene is saved and we can see the spirit return to Stephen.

The spirit returns back into Stephen's body

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    Well, that's pretty conclusive. Thanks, pal. – Russhiro Jun 22 at 0:01
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    While I do not disagree, what are the Marvel power grid which shows him to be superhuman, and the storyline in which his powers are boosted by Khonshu and the supermoon to the extent that he can do all kinds of wacky things? Chopped liver? – Adamant Jun 22 at 0:30
  • @Adamant chopped liver? Ewwww....no. But the Grid has been somewhat controversial when separated by a single point before. For instance, Captain America is explicitly stated to be "peak human", which is distinct from super human. However, there are cards that place Moon Knight literally with the same exact strength stat, yet he's stated as "super human". Granted, these categories (and the heroes feats) have expanded with time, but it makes it all the more inconsistent and confusing. – Russhiro Jun 22 at 16:40
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Moon Knight can control Thor's hammer and throw satellites at him (Avengers #33, 2020). Is that supernatural enough?

Moon Knight stops Mjolnir mid air which Thor has thrown at him

Mjolnir flies past Thor as he gets stuck to an asteroid

Yes, at this point I believe he may have the Eye of Agamotto and assorted other artifacts, but as you can see from the moon-related nature of his abilities, these powers are at least partly his own, albeit at a higher level than we usually see. He may be using the Eye to call the moons, but the reason it calls moons is because he is Moon Knight. He can control Mjolnir because it is made of moon material. And so forth. Also, it should probably go without saying, but he had the power to steal all those powers and store them in those ankhs that he is wearing. He also is more powerful because there is a super-super-moon. So...ummm, there is that.

For more evidence, we have his official Marvel Power Grid.

Moon Knight's power grid, details below

His physical abilities are all above Captain America's. A 4 in strength means superhuman, a 3 in speed means subsonic superhuman. A 4 in durability implies regeneration. This is without any enhancements, one presumes.

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  • It's an interesting example, but as you said, as he has the eye of Agamoto, we can't be certain if it's not augmenting his effects or completely allowing him to tap into knowledge and powers he Wouldn't otherwise have. Are there any examples with him without outside magical items? Or perhaps, one where he used obvious beyond human strength without his gear, or one where he tapped into some other supernatural force that had a displayed effect on the real world, and not just in his head? – Russhiro Jun 21 at 19:30
  • Obviously it is augmenting his powers. But they are still his power. Therefore he has them. – Adamant Jun 21 at 19:32
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    The Eye is one of the most powerful magical items on earth 616; it can and has easily grant powers under the right conditions. As an example, look at Gargoyles "Eye of Odin," a similar mystical item which was stated to "Grant wisdom and insight to the bearer." It in fact merely enhanced the users latent ability and magnified their strongest trait, giving very different powers depending on the specific wielder. Marc's soul focus on the moon and in-depth knowledge of its facts and lore could then be the basis for a similar effect Agamoto is producing. So it's not really "proof" – Russhiro Jun 21 at 20:14
  • The Eye lets him see the moons from far away to call them; it does not give him his powers. His power to manipulate Thor's hammer is explicitly because it is made of Moon material and he is Moon Knight. He is more powerful because he is on the Moon, which is sacred to Khonshu. Also, his power grid is explicitly superhuman. And Marvel's version of human is already superhuman anyway. – Adamant Jun 21 at 23:40
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Like most characters in comics, aspects of MK have varied with different writers between different series, and sometimes even within the same series. Moench kept his abilities a bit of a mystery, even suggesting that MK's enhanced strength coinciding with the phases of the moon may actually be due to being bitten by a werewolf through his silver reinforced suit.

Beyond fluctuating with the phases of the moon, sometimes his enhanced abilities would just fade away or become less of a focus, and sometimes they would seem to be cranked up, as in the Fist of Khonshu run and to a new extreme the current insanity in Avengers.

Some stories intentionally set up doubt as to whether what seemed to be enhanced abilities were due to him exceeding his already peak human physical abilities through some sort of adrenaline psychosis, or through some supernatural influence (Khonshu or otherwise), or if Marc is just a delusional unreliable narrator. Most of this doubt is conveyed through Marc's internal struggles with whether or not Khonshu exists, and accepting that he is not psychologically stable.

There are a lot of great facets to MK as a character, and I always thought that this ambiguity was one of the best.

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    I've edited out some of them more discussiony parts of this answer from the bottom. This is a question and answer site and not a discussion forum and so answers should be contained in answering the question only. You might want to take the tour if you haven't already to get an idea of how the site works. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 22 at 15:48
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Okay, both @TheLethalCarrot and @Adamant make good points (and Bjorn Eriksson gave the flat out best or most conclusive proof of mystical enhancement), but part of the reason for confusion is the fact that 1 Marvel tends to "bend" their own rules, and 2 the characters abilities can grow organically over time. Moon Knight serves as an example of this; if Adamant's answer is to be believe, he explicitly fits into the lower end of the "enhanced human" category. 2 being Average human, 3 being peak human, 4 being enhanced Human, and 5 Super human and so on. By the current Marvel Power Grid offered, Marc sits at a 4 (enhanced human.) However, this was not clearly the case always....

enter image description here

Here, in the 1990s card series, he's a stated 3, or "peak Human"... which has been shown, in canon stories, to be attainable by normal human beings in the 616 universe. This puts him at the same level as Captain America...

enter image description here

But again, this could just be a "scaling ineffeciency" issue, because in the same series as the first card, Cap is registered as a 2, which is average human!

enter image description here

Mind you, we have seen Cap push 1000 pounds, and that was not his peak feat!

By that same token, another supposedly "enhanced human", the Black Panther, was put at the same strength level as Cap in that series. Hell, by their standards, Cap is actually faster than T'challa, which seems odd, if not outright arguable...

enter image description here

So it is possible that Marvel was playing "hard and loose" with the rankings, or that they were just so broad that that gulf between "Normal Human," and "Peak human" could just have vary by a margin of a thousand pounds or more, with "Enhanced human" being beyond that, but just touching the lower levels of "Super human." To be fair, though, as previously stated, a characters capabilities could have grown over time, and on a meta note, the writers could have broadened the criteria within each strength category.

Either way, with two "renowned" enhanced humans being ranked as a 2, Marc being ranked a 3 does provide a basis for which him actually being stronger than them, as well as that strength stemming from something beyond mere human biology. to that end, if his physical powers are "more than mere mortal," than it provides evidence that his other abilities may be more than merely extensions of his delusions as well.

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