Although other superheroes have changed their costumes over the years, one version of Moon Knight literally had to fight himself when he decided to adopt a new outfit. When the formidable yet unstable Moon Knight agreed to join the Ultimate Knights, he agreed to go undercover as a mercenary to gather information on the Kingpin. What his teammates didn’t know is that Marc Spector is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, meaning that his individual personalities had much to say when his Moon Knight personality had to fight for control from his new identity as Ronin.
Marc Spector was chosen to be the herald of the Egyptian Moon god Khonshu, given considerable power and abilities but also fragmenting his mind further as his condition would allow individual identities within Marc to manifest and occasionally take control of his body. In the Ultimate universe, Marc Spector’s battle is made complicated by his interactions with other heroes like Spider-Man. After participating in a massive superhuman brawl, he fell into a coma just before saving Black Cat’s life. He would eventually awaken from that coma to return as Moon Knight to battle Daredevil, Spider-Man, and the Punisher. Realizing their common enemy was the Kingpin, Moon Knight was recruited by Daredevil to join his new team of which Spider-Man was also invited to join.
In Ultimate Spider-Man #108 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, Moon Knight is chosen to audition as a new mercenary called Ronin for the Kingpin. Unbeknownst to him, Wilson Fisk is already aware of this ruse and sends him on a mission to collect Spider-Man by any means necessary. After witnessing Ronin crashing a school bus into Midtown High and firing guns into the school, Marc’s other personalities encourage Moon Knight to rise up against Ronin, resulting in a mental battle while his physical body fought both Kitty Pryde and Spider-Man.
Moon Knight himself has displayed a flimsy grasp of reality and has even been seen modeling his behavior after other superheroes like Captain America or Spider-Man himself. While other characters have justified different costumes in relation to modern fashion, Ultimate Moon Knight’s wardrobe change is made difficult by his mental condition. His personalities are not only capable of acknowledging and talking to each other but also able to fracture his psyche further to create a new identity for their common goal. In Ronin’s case, his extreme violence and recklessness are too much and Moon Knight is sent in to wrestle for dominance, an interesting juxtaposition beautifully brought to life by Mark Bagley as Ronin faces down opposition on two separate battlefields.
Despite Moon Knight putting up a good fight, Ronin gains the upper hand and apparently kills the Moon Knight personality just as he knocks out Spider-Man. Although Marc Spector’s reward for his audition was less than stellar, it was an interesting twist on a common trope in comic book superheroes. While fans and their beloved characters have their favorite, rarely have they ever had to literally fight themselves the way Moon Knight did when he tried something new for the greater good.