The True Story of the Rivalry Between Moon Knight and Dracula the Vampire

The True Story of the Rivalry Between Moon Knight and Dracula the Vampire

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that people are making Moon Knight memes – his new Disney Plus TV series has exposed the obscure Marvel Comics character to a much wider audience than he did a month ago. Fans memorize the grumpy bird god Khonshuthe villainous Arthur Harrow, the super serious Marc Spencer and the unfortunate Steven Grant.

But Moon Knight was a memelord years before his TV series, thanks to one of those curious ideas that just pop up at the right time and place. One day the internet woke up and decided that Dracula owed money to Moon Knight.

Dracula, fat nerd of #$%&in’

A panel of Moon Knight descending a creepy stone staircase from Solo Avengers #3 (1987).  A speech bubble has been edited in the panel to say

Image: Moon Knight-Core on Facebook via Marvel Comics

Superhero Moon Knight descends a scary stone staircase.  A narration box reads “I know I shouldn't let these things get to me.  After all, I'm as much of a creature of the night as Russell.  Still, there was something about this place that made my nerves raw,” in Solo Avengers #3 (1987).

Image: Roger Stern, Bob Hall/Marvel Comics

Of all the edited comic panels that have risen to memetic prominence, Moon Knight’s rivalry with Dracula might be the easiest to believe is real (I mean, swear words aside) . Unlike Batman belting Robin in the face, or Doctor Doom sounding a big horn, or a pterodactyl who wants to turn people into dinosaurs, the idea that Dracula owes Moon Knight some sort of monetary sum is practically trivial. Marc Spencer was a mercenary for hire, and Dracula, after all, is a Marvel Comics character of some significance, due to his existence in the public domain.

Dracula had a self-titled comic book series at Marvel, Dracula’s tomb, for seven years, and since then has become a reliable villain for all manner of Marvel superheroes, including the Avengers, X-Men, and, of course, Blade. And while Dracula is a regular Marvel Comics character, he, like all other comic book characters, can come equipped with rivals and enemies. Why could not Moon Knight, a nocturnal superhero, did he face the lord of the vampires?

And so the eternal rivalry (as of 2018) between Moon Knight and Dracula continues as its own cottage industry. Moon Knight hates Dracula. Dracula tricks Moon Knight into calling the Avengers. Moon Knight throws “random bullshitto his enemies. He tries to trick people into thinking he’s the Silver Surfer. This memetic version of the Marvel Comics hero is big enough to reach Jimmy Fallon and widespread enough to reach the show’s creators.

Unfortunately – perhaps absurdly, given that they’ve shared a setting for half a century – Moon Knight and Dracula have… no shared Marvel Comics continuity worth talking about. To put it plainly: Dracula and Moon Knight have no particular enmity or debt between them. But I’m not here to shatter your dreams of Moon Knight’s secretly goofy Marvel Comic existence. Rather the opposite.

We don’t need invent strange Moon Knight panels. Moon Knight’s actual panels already contain many, many gems.

Image: Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr./Marvel Comics

Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev/Marvel Comics

Image: Matthew Rosenberg, Szymon Kudranski/Marvel Comics

Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev/Marvel Comics

It just goes to show: there’s nothing stupid you can invent about comics that can be stranger than half a century of professional writers shoving every idea on the wall.

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