Spirit in the Sky

Moon Knight's best moment yet accidentally exposes a growing MCU problem

When will we see the bystander’s take?

Moon Knight Episode 3 takes Marc Spector and his wife, Layla, to the distant world of Cairo. As they navigate the busy streets, they track down Arthur Harrow, the elusive scarab, and the council of the Ennead. But in order to do that, Khonshu must turn back the night sky to see the position of the stars 2,000 years ago.

This led fans to wonder if strange happenings in the sky are just part of the day-to-day life of the average Marvel Cinematic Universe citizen. If so, it highlights a huge trend (and maybe a huge flaw) in the MCU.

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Marvel movies are about superheroes. That just comes with the territory. But after a dozen years dedicated to the most powerful and famous people on Earth, why don’t we have any idea what normal life is like for someone on the sidelines? Was Steven Grant around for the events of Endgame before he realized he had an alter ego? Does he remember when there was a giant Celestial in the sky during the events of The Eternals?

Khonshu rewinds the sky in Moon Knight Episode 3. Marvel Studios

These moments are almost becoming a MCU trope. Have a threat to Earth? Put them in the sky! Need to get the attention of Egyptian gods? Make an eclipse happen! But these huge elements eventually lead to diminishing returns.

Imagine you’re one of Peter Parker’s classmates. Not one that knows him, but just a kid trying to get your high school degree. The first time an alien threat looms large over the entire sky, you freak out. When Mysterio wreaks havoc during your European vacation, you freak out. But eventually it just becomes a weird quirk of the world you live in, like a freak snowstorm. Every so often, a supervillain shows up and you’ve got to deal with it.

Arishem looms in Eternals.Marvel Studios

So how can the MCU keep its threats exciting if they’re just part of day-to-day life? Can we see if the masses are jaded? Are these freak phenomena studied? Do they have fandoms the way the Avengers and Thanos do?

The franchise needs to come to terms with the fact that villains threatening the Earth from the sky — and Khonshu rewinding the stars — are part of being a human in the scary world of the MCU. As threats continue to get bigger and badder, it feels a bit silly that no one seems to care about them.

Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+.