Since becoming part of the Marvel Universe, Marc Spector has ranked safely among the ranks of its most tortured and terrifying heroes. Of course, he didn’t earn that reputation just by taking on the role of Moon Knight, although that certainly didn’t help. In fact, unseen service to his patron god seems to have done the most damage to Marc’s overall outlook, especially when Khonshu had him fighting his own secret wars for years.

“Good Morning” (by Christopher Cantwell, Alex Lins and Cory Petit of VC) finds Marc Spector wading through a field of Xs etched into the cold ground, all in the service of some sort of game. As he explains, the X are the spaces he can travel through one by one, each ready to confront him with a horror from his past. While these Specters and Fictions are certainly all legitimate threats, they are not the ones Moon Knight is meant to fight. Rather, every battle he faces is a battle against himself as much as his enemies, especially when those enemies take the form of his closest allies.

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While this may all sound like a wild fever dream or the machinations of a villain such as Mojo or Arcade, the truth is much worse than that. In reality, these circumstances are nothing more than a nightly chore for Marc. It’s the world he faces every time he falls asleep, and all because Khonshu judges him that way. Although Marc already fights countless battles on behalf of Khonshu during his waking hours, it seems that the God of Vengeance compels him to continue to do so even when idle.

Not only does Khonshu test Marc’s mettle by setting him up to kill his own former kin such as Randall Spector, aka Shadowknight, but the deity also ensures that no turn is ever as safe as it seems. The gauntlet of bloodshed Khonshu subjects Marc to is objectively cruel, not to say selfish. Yet this ultimately bolsters Moon Knight’s strength outside of that bestowed by his patron god just as much as any other.

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Khonshu’s longtime influence over Marc has often exacerbated the hero’s pre-existing mental health issues, not the least of which is his dissociative identity disorder. Although Marc has gone to great lengths to come to terms with his different personalities and the parts of Moon Knight they make up, Khonshu has rarely, if ever, done anything to help in this regard. On the contrary, Khonshu took advantage of Marc’s deeper issues, and his nightly massacres are just another example.

By ensuring that his champion will continue to shed blood on his behalf relentlessly, Khonshu exerts a twisted sort of control over Marc. It’s a way to keep the Moon Knight under his thumb, as well as a way to reinforce the nature of their relationship while simultaneously forcing the cult of Marc. Fortunately, Marc has found the strength to chart his own path in recent years, even if Khonshu’s shadow has not yet or will ever be fully lifted.