June 1’s Strange #3 (opens in new tab) ends with the set up for #4’s big villain, Shadow Knight – an evil, sinister version of Moon Knight who will attack Clea Strange at the command of the magical mafia known as the Blasphemy Cartel, and whose presence in the title has been foreshadowed for a little while.
Shadow Knight has appeared in comics before, as a nemesis for Moon Knight, naturally. But he’s also got an odd, somewhat unexpected – and just a little bit hidden – connection to the MCU as well.
In comic books, Shadow Knight is the secret identity of Randall Spector, Marc Spector’s brother, who believes himself to be the rightful avatar of Khonshu, and who shares many of Moon Knight’s powers along with a few tricks of his own, like shooting eye lasers.
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Randall Spector first appeared as the serial killer known as the Hatchet Man, clashing with Moon Knight before the latter recognized him as his estranged brother. Though Randall was seemingly killed in one of their early confrontations, he later returned – something that apparently runs in the Spector family – taking on the identity of Shadow Knight.
Shadow Knight may be a bit obscure to general Marvel readers, but viewers of the MCU Moon Knight show got a glimpse of his alter ego Randall Spector in the Disney Plus series’ origin story episode, in which he’s portrayed as Marc Spector’s younger brother whose tragic death sparks the beginning of Marc’s descent into mental illness.
Interestingly enough, though he’s currently referred to as Marc Spector’s younger brother, as in the Moon Knight streaming series, when Randall was first introduced and for some time after, he was portrayed as the older brother. Chalk it up to the imperfect nature of sequential stories that spread out over decades.
With Shadow Knight about to rear his head in Marvel Comics, this time taking on the current Sorcerer Supreme, that naturally raises some interest in whether or how Shadow Knight could come to the MCU, given his secret identity has already been introduced in a way that is central to Marc’s development as a character.
Strange #4 (opens in new tab)goes on sale July 27.
Moon Knight is one of the best supernatural superheroes of all time.