How Marvel's 'Moon Knight' teaches us to embrace all our selves



The great thing about Marvel is: even if you're exhausted with superhero movies (it’s okay, I am too) the franchise often sprinkles their mega fights and formulaic plots with thought provoking, empathetic character studies.
In the recent limited (or maybe not so limited) series “Moon Knight”, the hero Marc Spector has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a mental condition where a person has at least two or more distinct personalities. As with any piece of art made public, there has been criticism of the show, in particular of the accuracy of its portrayal of DID.

However, the negative feedback misses Moon Knight’s ultimate success: Marc’s story not only inspires compassion for mental illness, it also shows us that sometimes the biggest battle we face is simply loving ourselves entirely.

Warning: Spoilers for the series below!

For most of the show, Marc’s alternate personality Steven Grant is the primary protagonist. Until the penultimate episode, when we learn he was created by Marc to help escape his painful childhood.

After the tragic death of his younger brother, who drowned in a cave while the two were playing, Marc’s mother blamed him for the loss. Her resentment forced him to endure severe neglect, abuse, and cruelty while internalizing his own guilt.
While in reality DID is much more complex, “Moon Knight” does faithfully capture the healing made possible through opening up about our trauma and mental illness. As both characters face the truth together, both Marc and Steven are able to reconcile. In the end, they are no longer at odds—they become brothers.

In the final episode’s emotional climax, we see Marc, a man bestowed with magical fighting abilities, turn to Steven, the creation forged by his own suffering, and whisper:

“You are the only real superpower I ever had.”

In this hard won victory of self-acceptance; Marc’s heart becomes whole again.






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