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Here’s why Moon Knight’s main comics rival, Bushman, isn't in the Disney+ series
It turns out that Bushman was too similar to an existing MCU character.
Moon Knight’s main antagonist is Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow, a character created whole cloth for the Disney+ series. Harrow is a formidable foe, one that gives off David Koresh vibes, has some self-immolation tendencies, and scares the heck out of Oscar Isaac’s poor Steven Grant.
In the comics, however, Moon Knight’s most well-known villain is Bushman, a mercenary from the African nation of Burunda who gave himself a Death Head face tattoo and steel teeth to terrify his enemies.
It turns out that the creative team behind the MCU's Moon Knight series had a good reason not to go with Bushman as the main villain for the show. In a recent tweet, the series' head writer Jeremy Slater explained the rationale behind that decision.
When a fan asked him why the show didn’t pull from the villains Moon Knight faced in the comics, Slater said that Moon Knight’s “only recognizable villain was Bushman, who just felt too close to Black Panther's Erik Killmonger. So we decided to invent a villain instead. Ethan Hawke in particular was instrumental in creating Harrow.”
We’ve seen the MCU’s Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan in both Black Panther and in the Disney+ animated series What If…? Killmonger, who has an ex-military experience and ties to Wakandan royalty, has similarities to Bushman’s background.
There are other villains Moon Knight faced in the comics, of course — Black Spectre, Stained Glass Scarlet, and the Sun King, to name a few. Harrow actually has some similarities to Sun King (they both are leaders of cults), but Hawke’s character, as Slater says in the tweet above, is clearly something that the actor helped create.
You can see more of Arthur Harrow as well as Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight when new episodes of the show drop Wednesdays on Disney+.