Moon Knight: chi è Arthur Harrow?

The serial sector of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to be enriched with a dark figure and far from the typical canons of Marvelian heroism: Moon Knight. The series with protagonist oscar isaac will debut on Disney + starting March 30, and following the example of previous productions (WandaVision, Loki, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier e Hawkeye) will keep us company with one episode a week. In the trailer released a few days ago, we saw not only Marc Spector in action, but also what potentially will be the villain of the series: Arthur Harrow.

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Interpreted by Ethan Hawke, Arthur Harrow seems to be an almost mystical figure, a holy man, a role that is subtly inserted within a narrative context in which cultism has a particular root. To amaze on the opponent’s choice for Moon Knight is the fact that, in the character’s editorial history, Arthur Harrow is probably one of the less incisive opponents of the Fist of Khonshu.

But who is Arthur Harrow?

Dai comics al Marvel Cinematic Universe: Arthur Harrow

Arthur Harrow’s first appearance occurs in Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu #2, in 1985. This six-issue miniseries is central to the character’s editorial life, redefines its supernatural powers, introducing the synergy with the phases of the moon, but above all it is the first time in which we try to make sense of the fragmented psyche of Marc Spector. Not a small aspect, if we consider that what we saw in the trailer for the Disney + series seems to focus a lot on this trait of the character.

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Durations Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu, Marc Spector is in a complex parenthesis of its existence. Spector has decided to give up his life as a vigilante, recreating an existence as a billionaire, however his dreams are haunted by the visions of Khonshu, who does not intend to give up his herald. It is during one of these manifestations that the divinity pushes him to go to Central America to hunt down the mysterious professor Arthur Harrow.

Arthur Harrow is a renowned geneticist who specializes in research on the origin and management of pain. His studies have made him a celebrity, so much so that he is nominated for Nobel Prizes. An application that is questioned by a colleague of yours, Victoria Grail, who discovers what Harrow’s studies are like based on research carried out by the Nazis in the concentration camps, using Jewish prisoners as guinea pigs. To confirm this thesis, is the discovery of a copious documentation of Nazi experiments, which miraculously escaped the Nuremberg Trials, which had sanctioned the destruction of these data.

Having learned of these suspicions, the Nobel Committee sends the Grail to investigate the laboratories of Arthur Harrow, located in the Yucatan. Here the woman is kidnapped by Omnium, a company that secretly hired Harrow and provided him with the results of Nazi research for his studies, only to then blackmail him into creating a serum to create soldiers gifted immune to pain and endowed with superhuman strength and violence. A distorted version of the Super Soldier Serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America, a detail we should keep in mind.

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The arrival of Moon Knight forces Arthur Harrow to blow up his laboratory, killing all his soldiers to cover his tracks. Harrow is welcomed back by OMNIUM, who promises him new laboratories to work in, but curiously neither the scientist nor the mysterious organization appear anymore within the Moon Knight stories. Curiously, Moon Knight: The Fist of Khonshu, despite being a fundamental chapter in the definition of the character, it is one of the most unobtainable runs, without subsequent reprints, which has contributed to further making Arthur Harrow one of the least incisive villains in the history of Moon Knight.

Moon Knight and Harrow: how will they clash?

Reason why, seeing him as Moon Knight’s opponent in the future Disney + series is perplexing. A presence that also allows you to make some speculations regarding the inclusion of the series in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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We know that Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu is the narrative basis on which the series will draw most. The run of Alan Zenetez and Chris Warner, in fact, is the moment in which the dissociative identity disorder of Marc Spector is addressed with particular attention, the result of his difficulty in managing his various aliases, combined with the invasive presence of Khonshu in his mind. In Fist of Khnoshu, this disorder is mistakenly associated with schizophrenia, but in the Moon Kinght trailer it can be seen how certain attitudes of Oscar Isaacs seem to refer to this pathology.

Arthur Harrow’s presence in Moon Knight and his previous comics could also bring Sharon Carter back into action, in her new role as Power Broker. In The Falcon & the Winter Soldier we have seen how the search for a new formula of the Super Soldier Serum was in Carter’s aims, and the entry on the scene of a character who has carried out research in the field could be a link between these two aspects. Still in reference to comics, Harrow’s Nazi-origin research could see an echo in the Marvel Cineamtic Universe, where we have already seen how, in a sort of parallel with the Paperclip Program, Nazi forbidden science was secretly saved, as in the case of Armin Zola (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), even going so far as to undermine the solidity of institutions such as SHIELD, compromised by Hydra.

Still, the Moon Knight trailer does not enhance Arthur Harrow’s role as a scientist, but he paints him more like a holy man.

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The suspicion is that a crasis has taken place between Arthur Harrow and another villain of the Moon Knight, appeared in the recent stories of the character: Sun King. A former patient of Ravencroft Asylum, Sun King is an adept of Ra, the Egyptian sun god, Khonshu’s nemesis. This devotion allowed Sun King to acquire the power to dominate the flames, as well as prompting him to create a true cult of Ra. A figure that, at least from what we saw in the few scenes in the trailer, seems to have more relevance to Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow.

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