God of the moon and vengeance, Khonshu inhabits the body of a dead man, Marc Spector, resurrecting him, making him his servant and the vigilante known as Moon Knight!
Khonshu is one of the gods of Celestial Heliopolis, worshipped by the ancient Egyptians. In ancient times, Khonshu poses as a human pharaoh in the Egyptian city of Thebes, at the seat of worship for Ammon-Ra, AKA Atum. Khonshu mentors Horus the Younger as his teacher and protector when Seth overthrows Osiris as pharaoh. The power shifts in heaven and on earth result in Osiris subsequently becoming god of the dead, and Khonshu ascends into the role of god of the moon, ousting Thoth from that role. Thoth then becomes god of wisdom and magic and vizier to Osiris. Khonshu allegedly dictates his will on Earth to legendary Egyptian intellectual Imhotep.
In the modern age, archaeologists Peter Alraune Sr. and his daughter Marlene uncover a statue of Khonshu within Pharaoh Seti’s tomb. When the mercenary Raoul Bushman raids the dig and kills Marlene’s father, Bushman’s ally Marc Spector turned on him, and Spector is left in the desert to die. Though thought dead by Marlene and her men, Spector makes his way to the tomb. Laying his body before Khonshu’s statue, Spector suddenly rises to life, claiming that Khonshu had resurrected him to serve the cause of vengeance.
Donning the statue’s cloak, Spector strikes back at Bushman and eventually becomes the crime-fighter Moon Knight. Spector keeps Khonshu’s statue within his home, its hold over him so strong that when Bushman destroys it, Spector goes mad. He only recovers when Marlene provides a substitute statue.
Khonshu possesses various mystical abilities, including the power to raise the dead. He has formerly acted on Earth through the body of his servant Marc Spector, sometimes inhabiting his physical form and granting him superhuman strength. He can appear to Spector in illusions, assuming other people’s forms. He is also able to teleport.
Enemies of an Egyptian God
Khonshu, more often than not, offers his powers to his servant Spector. Usually whomever Spector faces are typically enemies to Khonshu as well. He does on occasion inhabit Spector’s physical form and face threats himself, such as the time he goes head to head with the Elder God Set and defeats him. When Khonshu takes over New York City and tries to rule it, the Avengers and his servant Spector with the power of the Phoenix Force go against him, and ultimately defeat him.
Born from Egyptian Gods Atum and Amaunet, Khonshu is part of the family tree under the Gods of Heliopolis. He resurrects and attaches himself to Marc Spector who becomes his servant and carries out vengeance using Khonshu’s mystical powers.
Spector eventually received tangible proof of Khonshu’s influence when he met a trio of priests who had served Khonshu for ages. Shortly thereafter, time-lost members of the Avengers (stranded in the year 2,490 BC), led by leader Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, were contacted by Khonshu, offering to restore them and return the group to their own era in exchange for battling the time traveler Rama-Tut (who was actually Nathaniel Richards, AKA Kang the Conqueror), who was persecuting Khonshu’s followers. Hawkeye agreed, and Khonshu guided Moon Knight from the present to help retrieve the Avengers.
Wishing to experience the Avengers’ interaction up close, Khonshu became an active presence in Spector’s mind and spurred him to join the Avengers, later possessing Spector’s body altogether. The two sometimes clashed, as Khonshu did not approve of Spector’s romance with teammate Greer Grant Nelson, AKA Tigra. When Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird, was revealed to have slain Lincoln Slade, AKA Phantom Rider, during their time travel adventure, Moon Knight left the team to help her confront the Phantom Rider’s vengeful ghost. The exorcist Daimon Hellstorm, AKA Hellstorm, cast Slade’s spirit out of his descendant and unwitting pawn Hamilton Slade, then released Khonshu from Moon Knight to help control Slade’s ghost. However, the gods of Heliopolis were then under siege from the death god Seth, whose forces attacked Khonshu upon detecting his return. Khonshu ultimately parted with Spector in order to aid his people.
When Moon Knight died battling the Hellbent, Khonshu apparently resurrected him again, this time to oppose Seth’s plans on Earth. After Spector subsequently lost the use of his legs battling Bushman, Khonshu manipulated events so that he would return to action as Moon Knight, controlling Spector’s friend Bertrand Crawley to set in motion a confrontation with his old enemies the Committee. Spector did not realize that he had been misled until after the Committee’s defeat, when Khonshu took the form of Bushman to mock his servant; he encouraged Spector to employ more violent tactics in the future, delighting in seeing vengeance taken out on mortals.
The next time Khonshu appeared to Spector was after Bushman was mystically resurrected by The Hood. Just before Spector was about to fight him again, Khonshu distracted him with messages to obey him. Spector reluctantly held back his ruthless urge. Spector went on to create a massively successful television series in Los Angeles, based on his life called The Legend of Khonshu. He restarted vigilante life but instead of seeing Khonshu, he saw illusions of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, James Howlett/Logan, AKA Wolverine, and Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man. While in LA, Spector uncovered the identity of the new Kingpin of the city as Count Nefaria with help from Maya Lopez, AKA Echo, but he lost her in the process. He started manifesting a hallucination of her as well.
He then took on the persona of Mr. Knight and worked with local police to solve murders. Before this personality manifested, he started seeing psychologist Dr. Elisa Warsame who blamed Khonshu for causing him brain damage by colonizing his brain. She manipulated him to draw Khonshu out and take on his powers and personalities to fulfill her own desire for revenge against General Aliman Lor who overthrew her father in a war in the African nation of Akima. Khonshu left Warsame and returned to Spector, helping him stop Warsame’s vengeance.
Khonshu then trapped Spector in a mental hospital inside his mind as a way to liberate Spector from his insanity. Spector confronted his other personalities and after realizing he needed to embrace all of them, he did so and gained control over them all.
When both Khonshu and Spector dreamt of the future, he ordered Spector to seek out more information. Spector found the Cult of Set and at their lair discovered a bracelet that Khonshu recommended Spector put on. When he did, Spector was transported to Eternal Egypt to face Set himself; however, Khonshu took over Spector’s body. After defeating Set, Spector returned only to realize that he and others he met up with, including Solomon Kane, Conan, and Dark Agnes, were all manipulated by the Elder God and demon Wyrm. During their battle with the Wyrm that followed, Khonshu gave Spector the power to defeat him, and returned him to his time.
Khonshu and Spector both suffered from more visions about a world-ending event caused by Mephisto. With the help of the Cult of Khonshu, Spector absorbed powers from Dr. Stephen Strange, AKA Doctor Strange, Robbie Reyes, AKA Ghost Rider, Danny Rand, AKA Iron Fist, and Thor Odinson, AKA Thor. Spector as Moon Knight killed Mephisto and then gave his newfound powers to Khonshu. In turn, Khonshu took over Manhattan, calling it New Thebes City, and prepared for global domination. Khonshu became paranoid and targeted those he thought could go against him, but Spector eventually found a way to attack Khonshu by becoming the Phoenix Force’s host. The Avengers and Spector/Phoenix defeated Khonshu and his plans to be a world conqueror stopped in its tracks.