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Batman Vs Moon Knight — Differences Explained

DC Comics tends to feature darker, grittier heroes and stories than Marvel, which means that whenever Marvel does introduce a brooding crusader into its universe, comparisons to DC abound. Moon Knight just might be the darkest and broodiest character in the entire Marvel universe, so he's often referred to as "Marvel's Batman." On the surface, Moon Knight and Batman do appear to be quite similar. Both work in major metropolitan areas, hunting down criminals in the dead of night. Both rely more on their physical capabilities than any kind of special powers. Both even struggle with understanding their identity as a person, separate from their identity under the mask.

Contrary to popular belief, though, that's where the similarities end, and to be honest, even some of those points are a stretch. Moon Knight and Batman are two unique characters, and with a closer look at their backstories and lore, it becomes hard to see how anyone might think they're the same. Combined, the two of them have more than 100 years of comic book history for fans to dig through and obsess over, but you don't need to break the bank on back issues to gain a deeper understanding of either character. Here are the differences between Moon Knight and Batman, explained.


Everyone knows the story of Batman's family: Bruce Wayne, an only child, grew up as the heir to the billion-dollar Wayne Enterprises. His parents, Martha and Thomas, were wealthy socialites and philanthropists dedicated to using their money to improve lives in Gotham City. One night, the Waynes took their son to the opera, but they were accosted by a thug in the alley after leaving the show. The mugging went awry, and both of Bruce's parents were killed.

Moon Knight's family history could hardly be more different from Batman's. Young Marc Spector grew up in Chicago with his father Elias and younger brother Randall. Elias was a rabbi who had escaped the Nazis to make a new life for himself in America. He encouraged his boys to eschew violence in any conflict. Elias died when Marc was still a young man, but Marc's brother Randall remained a big part of his life, and eventually became the supervillain Shadowknight, tormenting his older brother whenever possible.


After the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne swore an oath to rid Gotham City of its criminal underbelly. He dedicated his life to training for that exact purpose. His years of training took him around the world, as he worked to become an expert in every discipline that a master crimefighter might require. Perhaps most importantly, he trained in martial arts and as a ninja, learning how to use stealth and darkness to his advantage.

Marc Spector's superhero training came via less virtuous motivations. Early in his life, Marc was a boxer, despite his father's insistence on a life of nonviolence. As a young adult, Marc enlisted with the Marines, and gained some true military expertise. After that, he worked for a time as a CIA agent before going his own way and becoming a mercenary for hire. Moon Knight is perfectly accustomed to brutal fights and making difficult decisions when battling his enemies, because Marc had been doing just that long before he became a hero.

Superhero origins

When it comes to the origins of their costumed identities, Batman and Moon Knight couldn't be more different. Bruce Wayne trained his entire life to become a crimefighter on the streets of Gotham. When he returned to the city as an adult, he knew that he needed to take on a persona that would strike fear into the hearts of criminals. Drawing on his own fear of bats as a child, Bruce created the mythical figure of Batman for that exact purpose.

Moon Knight, on the other hand, never really intended to become a superhero. At a young age, Marc Spector was chosen by the Egyptian god of the moon, Khonshu, to become his representative on Earth. That first contact with Khonshu may have been the cause of Marc's dissociative identity disorder, but it wasn't the moment that Marc became Moon Knight. Years later, Marc was working as a mercenary in Egypt when he was betrayed and left for dead by his employer, Raoul/Roald Bushman. Khonshu revived Marc, and finally set him about his task. Marc returned to New York City and took on the identity of Moon Knight to carry out Khonshu's will.

Super powers

One of Batman's defining features is his lack of powers. Anyone can be Batman, provided they have a lifetime's worth of combat and tactical training, as well as billions of dollars at their disposal. Batman may not be a regular person, but he is more grounded than many of the gods and speedsters that populate DC's universe. Batman uses his intelligence and gadgets to overcome the gap between himself and some of his friends and foes.

By contrast, Moon Knight actually does have some special abilities in addition to the increased physical prowess he gained from years of mercenary work. His relationship with Khonshu gives him access to the supernatural. Sometimes he receives dreams of the future from the deity; at other times, Moon Knight has increased strength, depending on the phase of the moon. Despite his occasional burst of god-powered abilities, Moon Knight tends to rely on his human strengths and personal training more than anything else. That comes in handy for him, because Moon Knight's fractured personality sometimes leaves him without the knowledge he has any powers at all.

Alter egos

Batman and Moon Knight have vastly different relationships with their alter egos. Bruce Wayne created Batman as a symbol that would allow him to fight crime in Gotham City more effectively than law enforcement could. Over the years, however, Bruce came to identify more with his life as Batman than his life as the billionaire Mr. Wayne. Bruce's struggle to define himself within two very different lives has been the subject of some great Batman storylines, like "Ego: A Psychotic Slide into the Heart of Darkness."

If Bruce thinks he has it bad, he could really use a conversation with Moon Knight. Marc Spector developed dissociative identity disorder when he was very young. "Moon Knight #194" links Marc's disorder with a traumatic event from his childhood, but at other times, the comics imply that Khonshu's influence has something to do with Marc's multiple personalities. His two primary alters are Steven Grant, who becomes a self-made millionaire when Marc is an adult, and Jake Lockley, who spends his time working as a cab driver. Other personalities occasionally bubble to the surface, and sometimes Marc suffers a breakdown that causes him to forget his identity entirely for a time.

Love lives

The struggles that both Batman and Moon Knight face regarding their identities does them little favor when it comes to their relationships. Bruce Wayne rarely has time for romance because he's so busy fighting Gotham's bottomless criminal underbelly. Through the years, he's had a string of girlfriends, and even the occasional engagement, but his life under the cowl always gets in the way (via DC Comics). In recent years, Batman has made strides in love. He proposed to Catwoman in "Batman #32," and though the engagement later broke off, their relationship is still being explored in the comics.

One would think that Moon Knight, with his violent background and volatile personality, would struggle to find love even more than Batman does. Over the years, though, Marc Spector and his various personas have maintained an on again, off again relationship with Marlene Alraune (via Marvel). Marlene is always ready to support Marc, but sometimes the stresses of his superhero lifestyle and dissociative identity disorder are too much for the relationship to bear. 2017's "Moon Knight #190" revealed that Marc's alter, Jake Lockley, had fathered a child, Diatrice, with Marlene. His relationship with Marlene and Diatrice is still a work in progress.


Both Batman and Moon Knight are often viewed as nocturnal vigilantes who prefer to work alone, but they both manage to break with that perception more often than not. Despite his reputation, the Caped Crusader has taken on a series of sidekicks, and these days there's an entire Bat Family around, including Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, Batwoman, and Batgirl, to name a few. He's also one of the founders and leaders of the Justice League. Plus, he sometimes finds the time for a double date with Superman.

Moon Knight doesn't have quite the roster of friends that Batman does, but he isn't entirely alone in the world, either. Moon Knight's best friend and occasional partner in crimefighting is Jean-Paul Duchamp. "Frenchie," as his friends call him, first met Marc Spector in Egypt while they were both working for the terrorist Bushman. When Khonshu resurrected Marc after Bushman left him for dead, Frenchie helped Marc get revenge, before assisting him as he became Moon Knight. Frenchie has stayed by Marc's side through all the ups and downs of his superhero and everyday lives.


Few superheroes' brainpower can stand up to Batman's intelligence. He's earned the title "World's Greatest Detective," and it's frequently Batman's careful planning and detective skills that help him get out of a sticky situation. Batman isn't just able to think his way through criminal investigations, he's also more than capable of designing all sorts of high-tech gadgetry that aids him in his crime fighting. If any Marvel superhero compares, it's Tony Stark, who also builds his own technology and tends to think his way out of problems.

Moon Knight is by no means unintelligent, but he doesn't have the same level of thoughtfulness that Batman so often relies on. Marc Spector has the street smarts of someone who's been in and out of every kind of combat situation imaginable. All of his other personalities are equally crafty, but none of them are going to be designing futuristic tech anytime soon. That said, when there's a need for serious tactical know-how, Moon Knight is someone that people want to have around.


There are also very few superheroes as wealthy as Batman. Wayne Enterprises is a multibillion-dollar company with interests in dozens of different industries. Of course, Bruce Wayne inherited all that wealth, and he has very little to do with the company's day-to-day operations, but he's invested in making sure Wayne Enterprises is properly managed. After all, without the company, he'd find it much harder to keep up his work as Batman.

Marc Spector grew up in a working-class family in Chicago. His mercenary days sustained him, but Marc wasn't involved in that work for the money. Once he became Moon Knight, he was more interested in making sure he had funds for equipment. Luckily, Marc's alter Steven Grant is a capable businessman who earned Moon Knight millions of dollars. Unfortunately, due to various supernatural catastrophes and mental breakdowns, holding on to that money has never been particularly easy for Moon Knight.

Fighting styles

Batman and Moon Knight have incredibly different fighting styles. Batman prefers to attack from the shadows. He's known for silently taking out enemies, ramping up the tension and fear for everyone else in the room waiting to be attacked. While he certainly has some weapons knowledge, Batman usually fights with his fists, and takes down bad guys with his superior hand-to-hand technique and pure strength

Moon Knight also likes to use fear to his advantage when fighting baddies, but he prefers to let them see him coming. Moon Knight's white costume is meant to make him easily visible, so whoever he's hunting down knows their time is just about up. Due to his extensive combat training, Moon Knight is an expert with most weapons. He can use just about anything in a fight, but fittingly, the Fist of Khonshu's signature weapons are special crescent moon-shaped throwing knives. The knives are effective in combat, and leave Moon Knight's mark on the scene, which helps to boost the menace of his persona and instill terror into anyone he faces.


No one stays dead in comics. Any exceptions to the rule that come to mind just haven't been resurrected yet. Batman and Moon Knight both abide by the rule, but their comic-book immortality is also one of their key differences. Any time that Bruce Wayne has "died" in the comics, there's always been a secret plot twist that kept him alive. For example, after apparently dying in Final Crisis, it's revealed that he actually became lost in time until his friends were able to help bring him back.

Moon Knight, on the other hand, has died for real. He was originally saved from death by Khonshu, and the Egyptian god hasn't been shy about resurrecting him again. Moon Knight died for a second time in issue #60, which was released in 1994 and ended his comic series for a time. Fans might have believed his death was permanent, but in 1997 Moon Knight returned, kicking off the "Resurrection War" plot arc. Moon Knight's relationship with Khonshu is often strained at best, so there's no guarantee the god will always be willing to bring the hero back from the dead. However, the option is always on the table.


The single biggest difference between Batman and Moon Knight is their ideas of morality. Each hero's morals come from his background, and inform just about every decision he makes while fighting crime. Young Bruce Wayne saw his parents gunned down in an alley. Since then, he's been determined to fight evil, but he's also been committed to not using guns, and not killing his enemies. There have sometimes been exceptions to Batman's rules — usually in spin-offs and alternate realities — but for the most part, Batman's refusal to kill is the single most important aspect of his character.

Moon Knight has no qualms about killing. Though his father always preached nonviolence, Moon Knight has spent his entire life embroiled in one kind of fight or another. As a boxer, Marine, and mercenary, violence was his trade. As the Fist of Khonshu, Moon Knight has an obligation to strike down evil wherever he finds it. In many ways, Moon Knight is a more vicious and brutal fighter than Batman, because he doesn't even try to hold back his rage. Most of the time, Moon Knight is openly trying to kill his opponent. Don't let the white clothes fool you: If anything, Moon Knight is an even darker character than the Dark Knight himself.