Moon Knight is a similar hero to Batman, but which of them is stronger? The answer is a lot more complicated – and far weirder – than you may think.
Marvel Comics’ Moon Knight has frequently been compared to DC Comics’ own Dark Knight, Batman. Certainly, there are plenty of similarities – both Marc Spector and Bruce Wayne are wealthy men who masquerade as playboys. Both are nighttime vigilante detectives who have had their mental stability called into question. And they both use similar gadgets, with Moon Knight using crescent-shaped boomerangs that function much like Batman’s “Batarangs.”
When it comes to the question of physical strength, however, the similarities seemingly end – with Moon Knight showing he can be both much weaker and much stronger than Batman… depending on the time of the month. Although he has since lost this unusual power, there was a time when Moon Knight’s strength fluctuated greatly with the phases of the moon!
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While different stories offer alternate explanations for the source of Moon Knight’s powers, it was originally stated that following his encounter with the Egyptian moon god Khonshu (who may or may not have been a hallucination), mercenary Marc Spector developed superhuman abilities including enhanced strength, endurance, and reflexes. What was truly bizarre, however, was that these gifts would grow as the moon got fuller and gradually fade as the full moon waned into a new moon.
Just how strong could Moon Knight get? According to The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9, even on nights of the new moon, Marc Spector could lift twice his body weight (450 pounds). His strength would increase dramatically as he accessed more moonlight, enabling him to lift two tons under the light of a full moon. His superhuman strength allowed him to accomplish many extraordinary feats, from bending steel bars to tangling with supernatural creatures.
So, how does Moon Knight’s strength compare to Batman’s? While Batman’s strength has fluctuated dramatically since his early appearances, modern comic books agree that Bruce Wayne normally bench presses over 1000 pounds during his normal workouts and can also leg press 2500 pounds. Out in the field, Batman is often called on to move past his limits and has been shown carrying beams weighing over half a ton or lifting giants weighing over 500 pounds with a single arm.
Impressive as these feats of strength might be, they’re still nothing compared to what Moon Knight is capable of under the light of a full moon. While Marc Spector’s “normal” strength level is less than half of what Bruce Wayne is capable of lifting on a regular day, his ability to press two tons on certain nights clearly puts him in a superhuman category. Unless Batman were to don one of his strength-enhancing armored suits, he would be severely outclassed by Moon Knight.
Or at least… he would have been in the past. Whether or not his powers were gifted to him by an Egyptian moon god or his own psyche, Spector confirmed he had lost the ability to gain strength from the phases of the moon in 2007’s Moon Knight #9. This would suggest that Moon Knight is back to bench pressing only 450 pounds, but the same issue shows him engaging in a very strenuous workout and possibly training to lift even more weight now that he has to get by with his own muscle. Still, this likely means Moon Knight’s strength levels are still below Batman’s “normal” muscle power. Considering he once had moon-powered super strength, it’s always possible Marc Spector will regain his old abilities – possibly in concordance with his upcoming Disney+ show – but for now it appears he’s no longer in Bruce Wayne’s weight class.
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