Who is Khonshu? The Egyptian God Who Conquered Marvel
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Who is Khonshu? The Egyptian God Who Conquered Marvel

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BY December 7, 2022

Khonshu is a Marvel comics character based on a real myth. He originates from the Egyptian god Khonshu and was created by Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz.

In 1980 he first appeared in Moon Knight #1. He is considered the patron saint of the superhero Moon Knight and is part of the Heliopolitan pantheon. For many, he was an unknown character until he recently appeared in the Disney+ series Moon Knight. Karim El-Hakim plays Khonshu in this show, and F. Murray Abraham voices him.

Egyptian Mythology

Moon Knight – an Egyptologist on how the series gets the gods right Image: Marvel Studios

Egyptian mythology tells of an ancient moon god known by many names, the most famous being Khonshu, but he can also be found as Khensu, Chonsu, Chons, or Khons. His name represents travelers, relating to night journeys where the moon is a reference.

In the creation of living creatures, this god played a decisive role. He is one of the gods invoked to protect against wild animals, also helping in healing.

The story tells that men invoked Khonshu to make the crescent moon shine. Among other things, this enabled women to conceive. The cattle also became more fertile, filling the nostrils and throats with fresh air.

We can see Khonshu represented in art in various ways. Typically as a mummy, which symbolizes childhood, also as the menat necklace with bayado and flail, as well as a lock of hair. His links with other Egyptian children, such as Horus and Shu, are close.

This god is mentioned in some texts of the Pyramids as of the Sarcophagi, with a fierce appearance. However, he became known in the United Kingdom, where he gained popularity, being described as the “Greatest God of the Great Gods.”

Biography of the Fictional Character

Who is Khonshu Image: Marvel Comics

Almost all of Moon Knight’s perceived stories have an almost intentional blurring between the real and the fictional, where everything about the art and story incites a touch towards the real Khoshu’s actions.

The character as such has various appearances, where Khonshu is sometimes shown as a benevolent god who wants to help the West Coast Avengers team. But at times, he is shown conflicted and in a divergence between revealing or not revealing his powers.

The role of Moon Knight is antagonistic from the 2006 series, who would be the main contender in the 2016 Moon Knight series, as well as what the story represents in Jason’s career of Khonshu.

The evolution of the character is quite interesting. Looking at Moon Knight volume 4. We can see Khonshu very differently, with a God of Vengeance countenance. The character is tough and relentless and grows stronger because of the fear his avatar inspires. This allows Marc Spector to relive his career in Moon Knight.

Khonshu can also be seen as a statue, but he keeps Moon Knight in his mutilated form of the Bushman, one of the villains who dies when Spector cuts his face off. To which Khonshu calls his “best work.” In this phase, Moon Knight breaks what influence Khonshu has, so this god is seen in another timeline as a cockroach.

The Egyptian Legend of Khonshu in Marvel Comics 

Moon Knight #14 Review – SuperBroMovies Image: Marvel Comics

Khonshu is known as Chons, and legend has it that his father was Atum, for the Egyptians was the god Ammon Ra, and his mother Amaunet, goddess of the air of the Ogdoad pantheon. But another version indicates that he was not Atum’s son but adopted. Thus, he was the brother of Montu, Ptah, Bes and the half-brother of Sekhmet and Bast.

When it was 1,000,000 B.C., Khonshu showed his offense at not being eligible as a member of the Stone Age Avengers. For this reason, he agreed to choose a mortal avatar, who became known as the first Moon Knight. In this way, he could accomplish what he wanted on Earth and thus antagonize the Avengers. This led to the realization of a Cult of Khonshu, as the succession of Moon Knights.

Khonshu and Ra have lasted millennia at war, where each has been reborn again and again through earthly avatars, where Khonshu always defeats Ra. History later reveals that Khonshu is the god of time and vengeance.

Brief Encounter with Kang The Conqueror

Who is Kang Image: Marvel Comics

When it was the time of Ancient Egypt, Khonshu assumed the form of a human pharaoh in Thebes, where Amon Ra was worshipped par excellence. Similarly, Osiris took another form, as a mortal ruler, but of the Egyptian city of Heliopolis. When Kang The Conqueror, arrives at this Ancient Egyptian, he is on a mission to find the God of Time, specifically three artifacts attached to a staff of Khonshu, to master time. However, they need to achieve their objective, the cane breaks, and the three components are scattered.

To choose his avatar, Khonshu visits Marc Spector, a rather disturbed young man with multiple personalities and a broken and divided mind. This condition caused him to be sent to Putnam Psychiatric Hospital, where Khonshu escaped, on leave, during his father’s funeral.

Nowadays, Khonshu has given Marc Spector superhuman powers and abilities under the moon. This has allowed him to have a lot of action in his adventures, managing to defeat his opponents.

Khonshu’s Powers and Abilities

Who is Khonshu Image: Marvel Comics

Being a member of the Heliopolitan gods, Khonshu has powers that are unique to the Ennead, being able to lift up to 60 tons, which gives him superhuman strength. He can withstand numerous injuries and has an incredible regenerative healing factor. Although he can indeed be injured, he heals faster than humans.

He has the power of immortality, so he is long-lived and immune to disease and aging. Khonshu also can perform magical manipulations, where he can obtain supernatural effects. Some are telepathy, interdimensional teleportation, resurrection, healing of the wounded, and earthquakes. He can also grant superhuman powers to some mortal beings, such as the Moon Knight.

This character acquires the ability to manipulate objects from moon rocks. This includes the Urul and power absorption, which allows him to steal powers from other heroes, which he stores inside some Ankhs.

Other Character’s Versions

Being a little-known character, he does not have many other versions. We see him in the Universe X saga. This collection implies that his inspiration comes from the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. He is Uatu The Watcher and lives on the moon.

Khonshu’s Appearances

Who is Khonshu Marvel Comics

There are few appearances we see of Khonshu in marvel’s media products. However, it is gaining popularity that to the Moon Knight show.

In Marvel Comics

In Marvel comics, he appears in 1980 in Moon Knight #1. From the hand of Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz, a comic based on the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. It is shown for the first time where he comes from and his hero pattern.

Khonshu Video Games

In the Marvel video game Ultimate Alliance, Marc Spector is shown to be possessed by Khonshu, who comes out with an alternate appearance for Moon Knight.

In the MCU

Moon Knight Thor 4 Possible Connection Image via Disney

Khonshu appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the live-action television series Moon Knight, which is a Disney+ series and is played by Karim El-Hakim, voiced by F. Murray Abraham.

In this version, Khonshu is shown with his Egyptian god peers who are about to wage a “one-god war against perceived injustices.” This prompts him to locate and use his avatar, Marc Spector.

The character is described by Jeremy Slater, the lead writer of the series, as one of the “imperious and somewhat uptight and vindictive” deities, which deals with his insecurities, so it is common for him to throw tantrums. This writer indicates that he was more interested in projecting a character with “his own flaws and moral weaknesses” than someone who was always right and “impervious to mistakes.”

Similarly, Abraham thought Khonshu was willing to sacrifice himself for his selflessness to do this action like everyone else. This Disney+ Moon Knight series is proving to be very popular.

An Original Character with a Multitude of Facets

Moon Knight Series Reaction Disney+ MCU Marvel STudios Khonshu Image via Marvel Studios

Character creation is a challenge every day for the comic book industry. It is quite interesting that Marvel is basing one of them on real Egyptian mythology. This is the wide popularity of these writings while enriching their characters. Disney+’s live-action TV series Moon Knight is quite interesting partly because of this character. Thanks to this connection with Egyptian mythology, it can also reach a new audience.

Featured Image Via Marvel Comics 



I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.


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