Moon Knight: The Complete First Season (Steelbook) (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Stephen Bjork
  • Review Date: May 07, 2024
  • Format: 4K Ultra HD
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Moon Knight: The Complete First Season (Steelbook) (4K UHD Review)



Release Date(s)

2022 (April 30, 2024)


Marvel Studios/Disney+ (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
  • Film/Program Grade: B+
  • Video Grade: A+
  • Audio Grade: A
  • Extras Grade: B+

Moon Knight: The Complete First Season (4K UHD)

Buy it Here!


When Marvel Studios made the decision to expand their cinematic universe into the world of television by creating their own streaming series on Disney+, the results have proven to be both a blessing and a curse for the MCU as a whole. The previous Marvel streaming shows on Netflix like Daredevil and Agents of Shield had taken place in a nebulous continuity that didn’t necessarily impact the cinematic universe directly, but with the release of WandaVision in 2021, Marvel’s streaming shows would now actively impact their cinematic output. The problem is that moviegoers who don’t have Disney+ or haven’t watched all of the streaming series can now be left out in the cold—for example, the story for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will make no sense to anyone who hasn’t already seen WandaVision. Worse, the storytelling in their cinematic universe as a whole has become far too diffuse, without a clear throughline like the Infinity Stones in order to hold all of it together. As a result, Marvel is facing something of a crisis on all of its infinite earths. (Pardon the mixed DC metaphor.)

On the other hand, the relative freedom of the streaming environment has allowed Marvel to explore different styles that wouldn’t have worked as well on the big screen, and they’ve also been able to dig deeper into their comic book canon to explore characters who wouldn’t necessarily have been able to carry a feature film on their own. Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Kate Bishop have all been given their moments in the spotlight, and even Clint Barton finally got to step off the sidelines for once (although he still ended up having to share the stage with Bishop and Yelena Belova). Yet while most of them still fit within the framework of the existing characters within the established MCU, Marvel took a real leap with Moon Knight not just by opting for a character who will be completely unfamiliar to most mainstream viewers, but also by telling his story outside the bounds of any other familiar MCU friends and family. There’s a future for Moon Knight in other projects, of course, but Marvel let him stand alone for his debut. Even the inevitable post-credit scene offers a surprise appearance of a very different sort than what viewers have come to expect from the studio.

The real advantage to featuring a character who probably won’t be familiar to anyone outside the comic book faithful is that it allowed Marvel to structure Moon Knight a little differently than their other streaming series. It’s presented as a mystery, with the main characters not understanding what’s happening around them until all is revealed partway through the six-episode arc. The less that you know about Moon Knight, the more enjoyable that Moon Knight can be. That also makes it a difficult series to describe without treading into spoiler territory, since the nature of the character itself could be considered a spoiler. So while what follows will be as spoiler-free as possible in terms of the actual narrative details in Moon Knight, we do need to discuss a few things about the character and how that influenced the design of the show. If you’re a comic book fan, all of this will be old hat, but if you aren’t, you may want to skip the rest until after you’ve seen the show.

Is everyone else sitting comfortably? Then let us begin.

Moon Knight was originally created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, first appearing in a 1975 issue of Werewolf by Night. Like most comic book characters who have been around for that length of time, the nature of the character has evolved significantly since its inception. In his original incarnation, Marc Spector was a mercenary who dies and is reborn as the avatar of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, becoming a human force for godly vengeance. Initially, Spector had other secret identities that he used as cover for his work: Steven Grant, Jake Lockley, and Mr. Knight. As the character developed, those identities became alternate personalities, with Spector suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Other personalities have shown up over the years, too. The nature of DID and the variety of personas that Spector has manifested gave Marvel a pretty broad palette to draw from when designing Moon Knight.

Under the guidance of series creator/head writer Jeremy Slater, director Mohamed Diab, and co-directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, the bits and pieces of existing Moon Knight lore have been shaken and stirred into something that will be familiar to fans of the books, yet it offers a few curve balls along the way. Some of the supporting characters have been juggled around a bit as well, one of whom serves as a setup for the welcome appearance of another deep cut from the Marvel canon (albeit in a completely new incarnation this time around). While Marvel Studios has often been accused of creating safe, cookie-cutter entertainment, they’ve always been willing to play around with their own established lore in order to keep fans on their toes. Still, it’s newcomers who will get the most out of Moon Knight, with the reveal that the character suffers from DID coming as an even bigger surprise than anything else. There are plenty of swashbuckling elements to Moon Knight, and a bit of Evil Dead style horror as well, but it’s the mystery angle that’s the most intriguing.

Oscar Isaac deserves full credit for bringing Moon Knight to life as well, not just in terms of his performance, but also because he helped to shape the overall arc of his character(s). His take on Steven Grant is radically different than it was in the comics, but the showrunners ended up embracing his ideas since they offered a stronger distinction between Grant and Marc Spector. That ended up impacting this version of Mr. Knight, too, with the consultant serving as an alter ego for Grant in the same way that Moon Knight can be seen as an analogue for Marc Spector. Fortunately, Isaac took the character’s DID quite seriously, avoiding most of the clichés that are so common with this kind of story. Slater and the other writers also took it seriously, and that’s what makes Moon Knight so satisfying.

Ultimately, the series is really about processing trauma, with all of the superhero shenanigans serving that end. In that respect, it brings the MCU full circle with WandaVision. That series was about Wanda Maximoff dealing with the loss of her beloved Vision during Avengers: Infinity War by using her powers to create an alternate reality where she could raise a sitcom family with him. Since one timeline in Endgame involved her being directly responsible for Vision’s death, it was a way of evading the guilt that she felt over having to do what was necessary. In Moon Knight, Steven Grant has to come to grips with the guilt that he feels over things that he never even knew that he had done, and in order to learn to accept what he has become, he needs to come to terms with the trauma that led to his DID in the first place. Moon Knight still delivers plenty of costumed superheroes, giant Egyptian gods, and Indiana Jones style adventures, but it’s really just the story of a boy who dealt with rejection by withdrawing into himself and hiding out in different personalities. That’s the heart and soul of the character, and it’s the heart and soul of Moon Knight as well.

Cinematographers Gregory Middleton and Andrew Droz Palermo captured Moon Knight digitally at 4.5K resolution in ARRIRAW format using Arri Alexa Mini and Mini LF cameras with Arri Signature Prime lenses and Fujinon zoom lenses. Post-production work was completed as a 4K Digital Intermediate, framed at 2.35:1 (with one single retro sequence framed at 1.33:1, windowboxed within the 1.78:1 frame). While Moon Knight is offered in Dolby Vision on Disney+, per Disney’s usual policy, this disc version is confined to HDR10 only. Dolby Vision or not, it’s a gorgeous rendition of the series, and a definite improvement over the streaming version thanks to less compression and a significantly higher bitrate (all six episodes are encoded on two BD-100s).

Everything is razor sharp with highly resolved fine details—in the long shot of the diploma on the wall in episode 5, you can now clearly read all the small print. Facial textures and fabrics are equally well resolved, with the intricate detail work on Moon Knight’s costume(s) being perfectly delineated. The colors are richly saturated, even dazzling sometimes, and the contrast range is superb. Middleton and Palermo wanted to avoid the flat look that Marvel films have been criticized for having, so they really dialed up the contrast here. The blacks are deep and true, with no loss of detail, and the highlights are glittering. Shots of the nighttime cityscapes demonstrate both ends of the spectrum beautifully, with those deep blacks being punctuated by the dazzlingly bright lights of the city. Any way that you slice it, Moon Knight is one of the best-looking MCU Disney+ series that they’ve released on disc so far.

Primary audio is offered in English Dolby Atmos. Moon Knight is also available in Atmos on Disney+, but only in highly compressed Dolby Digital, and the lossless Atmos version here is a (k)night and day improvement over streaming. It’s a consistently immersive mix, with less of a compressed dynamic range than that of many other Disney/Marvel UHD releases. Befitting a show that occasionally dips into horror territory, there’s plenty of creepy atmosphere inside the tombs and otherworldly environments, with some punchy stingers to enhance the jump scares. It’s a creative mix, too, making full use of the soundstage in order to provide a subjective experience—for example, the offscreen voice of Khonshu is sometimes steered into the middle of the room to make it feel like he’s speaking inside the viewer’s head. It’s not quite reference quality like the video is, but it’s still a great sounding Atmos track.

Additional audio options include French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, plus English 2.0 Descriptive Audio. Subtitle options include English SDH, French, and Spanish.

Disney’s 4K Ultra HD Steelbook release of Moon Knight is a two-disc set that includes a set of three different art cards. It’s not dual format, since Disney has opted to release the Blu-ray version separately, and it doesn’t offer any Digital Codes. (They’re undoubtedly withholding that option in order to protect the value of the show on Disney+.) The six episodes are spread across the two discs, with the extras split between them:


  1. The Goldfish Problem (UHD – 45:34)
  2. Summon the Suit (UHD – 50:41)
  3. The Friendly Type (UHD – 50:28)
  • Assembled: The Making of Moon Knight (HD – 59:30)


  1. The Tomb (UHD – 51:07)
  2. Asylum (UHD – 47:18)
  3. Gods and Monsters (UHD – 42:27)
  • Egyptology (HD – 6:09)
  • Gag Reel (HD – 2:11)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Don’t Go There (HD – 2:02)
    • Breaking the Cycle (HD – 1:35)

Assembled: The Making of Moon Knight is a comprehensive look at the production of the show featuring interviews with all of the key cast and crew members. Lead actors Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, and May Calamawy are joined by on-set Khonshu and Tawaret performers Karim El Hakim and Antonia Salib (while Khonshu was voiced by F. Murray Abraham, Salib provided both the voice and body reference for Tawaret). On the other side of the camera, series directors Mohamed Diab, Aaron Moorehead, and Justin Benson are joined by Kevin Feige, writer Jeremy Slater, production designer Sefania Cella, stunt coordinator Olivier Schneider, costume designer Meghan Kasperlik, VFX supervisor Sean Faden, property master Deryk Blake, and executive producers Brad Winderbaum, Grant Curtis, and Trevor Waterson. Egyptology consultant Ramy Romany is also on hand to provide his thoughts about the historical and cultural accuracy of the show.

Together, they provide a history of the comic book character, including how the different secret identities of Marc Spector gradually morphed into him having different personalities. They cherry picked bits and pieces of comic book lore while planning the series, trying to thread the needle between historical accuracy and comic book accuracy. Since there wasn’t an obvious prime mover in Moon Knight’s rogue gallery, they developed their own villain using various ideas taken from the comics, and while they never intended to include Scarlet Scarab, that character ended up being added relatively late in the game. While The Making of Moon Knight is refreshingly open in acknowledging the use of CGI in the final product, the crew really did build some impressive sets (and set dressings) for the show, all of which are shown off in the behind-the-scenes footage that’s included here.

Egyptology features many of the same participants, narrowly focusing on the Egyptian mythology behind the comic book mythology. Once again, this probably would have been better off being incorporated into Assembled instead, but it’s still interesting enough on its own. The Gag Reel, on the other hand, isn’t particularly amusing, and the Deleted Scenes are both redundant ones where it’s easy to understand why they were cut.

We definitely live in a strange days when studios like Disney and Marvel are producing quality making-of documentaries like the Assembled series, but primarily limiting them to streaming only. It’s even stranger when they’re not included on any the home video releases of the actual cinematic installments of the MCU. Disney has long since chosen which side of their bread to butter, although they’re making baby steps back into supporting physical media once again. These 4K Steelbook releases of their streaming shows have been of consistently high quality, and at least they’re including the relevant Assembled episodes on each one. Yes, there’s still no Dolby Vision, but the advantages that gained by the higher bitrates should outweigh Dolby Vision on all but the smallest of displays, and the uncompressed Atmos mixes put the streaming Dolby Digital versions to shame. It doesn’t hurt that Moon Knight is one of the best-looking and best-sounding MCU Disney+ releases to date, and it really shines on 4K UHD.

- Stephen Bjork

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