Moon Knight: First Mainstream Representation of D.I.D.

Evie Sorg '24

It is not that hard to recognize today how many movies and TV shows influence modern-day culture. With Disney being the large and successful corporation that it is, it only makes sense that Marvel would have a great effect on the people that watch the media that it puts out, and its latest release is no exception. The series Moon Knight, having premiered less than a month ago, has taken the world by storm. The show follows gift shop worker Steven Grant as he discovers that he is sharing his body with multiple personalities, one of which is Marc Spector, a crime-fighting hero who is also the host body of an ancient Egyptian god, Khonshu. If you are familiar with the Moon Knight comics you will know that the hero suffers from a condition known as D.I.D., or,  Dissociative Identity Disorder. The show has chosen to stay true to the comics, having actor Oscar Isaac play the multiple personalities inside the body of our hero.

The thing that makes Moon Knight different from other similar media of its kind is that it chooses to portray the character that has D.I.D. in a heroic light. In the popular horror movie, Split, James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendel Crumb also has D.I.D. However, unlike in Moon Knight, the character in Split is the violent antagonist. The movie has been criticized for poor portrayal of the D.I.D., as it has portrayed people with the disorder as violent people, unable to function in normal society. While not all people with D.I.D. are superheroes like Marc Spector, they are certainly able to live rather pleasant and peaceful lives like Steven Grant in the beginning of the series. During an Esquire profile about his life and career, Isaac revealed that his uncle felt “seen” when watching the show ahead of its premiere. “My uncle suffered with mental-health issues,” the actor said. “He started crying watching an episode of ‘Moon Knight’ because, I think, it just felt like being seen. There was something there that felt like an acknowledgment of the pain and what people do with pain, and the forgiveness, of how you forgive yourself, and how to come to terms with the child within you.”