Disney+series Moon Knight has introduced the world to the MCU’s newest character. In the comics, Marc Spectre, AKA Moon Knight, is a prominent Jewish character. Marvel comics have many characters that identify as Jewish, some are well known like Magneto, but others are less so.
With there being a little controversy surrounding the MCU’s handling of adapting Jewish characters, it’s important to look back on some characters that people may or may not be aware of are Jewish.
Marc Spector/Moon Knight
MCU fans are just being introduced to Moon Knight, but the character has been in the comics for a long time. After he was betrayed by his partner Bushman and left to die in the Egyptian desert. Marc is resurrected by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu to be his fist of vengeance on Earth.
In the comics, Marc Spector is the son of Rabbi Elias Spector. As a young boy, Marc finds out that a friend of the family, Rabbi Yitz Perlman, is actually a Nazi in disguise who is targeting and murdering Jews. Marc fights off the “Rabbi” and he disappears until years later after Marc has become Moon Knight. Whether or not the MCU decides to address Marc’s religious background is still up in the air, but one can hope.
Iceman is an Omega level mutant who is part of the X-Men. One of the longer-lasting characters in the X-Men, Iceman has gone through some changes over the years, most notably being outed as gay by his younger self. He has the ability to cover his body in ice and shoot ice from his hands, hence the name Iceman.
Historically, Iceman isn’t one people might know is Jewish. His father is Irish-American Catholic, and his mother is Jewish, which in the religion, makes him Jewish as well. Writers have n’t taken the opportunity to say whether this aspect of his life is important to him in many years, so it’s entirely possible that readers might not pick up on this.
Kate Pryde is a mutant, and one of the most powerful characters in Excalibur, who was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #129. Since then she has gone on to lead some of the X-Men teams throughout her history and currently leads the Mauraders in the Krakoan Era. Her powers allow her to phase through objects as well. She was famously played by Elliot Page in the various X-Men films the character she appeared in.
In the comics, Kate is an Ashkenazi Jewish-American whose grandfather was held in a Nazi camp. Ashkenazi Jews are one of the two major groups of Jewish individuals whose ancestors lived in central and eastern Europe. Historically, the comics have portrayed her faith as being important to her and in the recent run of Mauraders, she wears a Star of David around her neck.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff, AKA The Scarlet Witch, who’s got some great comic costumes, used to be the daughter of Magneto. famously, her abilities allow her to reshape reality. While she’s no longer considered a mutant in the comics, she was always able to wield magic due to a demonic Elder God called Chthon. She and her brother de ella Pietro have been a part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Avengers throughout the years.
In the comics, Wanda is a Jewish Romani woman. While she and her brother’s backstory have been altered numerous times, they have always come from a Romani bloodline. Romani Jews are some of the oldest Jewish communities in existence. That ties into Scarlet Witch because her bloodline has seen generations of people with the same abilities as her. Unfortunately, the MCU has erased this aspect of her character from her as of now.
Ben Grimm/The Thing
One of the members of the Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm was turned into, essentially, a walking pile of rocks. As The Thing, he’s saved the world with the Fantastic Four for decades and is one of Marvel’s oldest superheroes. With the Fantastic Four, he has gone up against villains like The Mole Man, Doctor Doom, who should be in the MCU, and Galactus.
At this point, most people are probably familiar with Ben Grimm being Jewish. The Thing was born on Yancy Street in New York to a Jewish family. It remained an important part of him and he even had a Jewish wedding recently.
Originally introduced as Billy Kaplan in the Young Avengers, it was revealed that he and Tommy Shepherd were the reincarnated twin children of Wanda Maximoff. Billy has similar reality-shaping magic as his mother de el and recently got married to his Young Avengers teammate and King of the Kree / Skrull Alliance Teddy Altman, AKA Hulkling.
For much of his early appearances, Billy was only meta-textually Jewish, since his creator Alan Heinberg put a lot of himself into the character. But in recent years, it’s been more explicit. Especially considering his second wedding of him to Teddy incorporated Jewish and Kree / Skrull traditions.
Leonard Skivorski, Jr./Doc Samson
Doc Samson was a superhero psychiatrist who is often considered a supporting character for The Hulk. When Banner is temporarily cured of being The Hulk, Leonard exposes himself to a small dose which gives him a bigger physique and turns his long hair green.
Leonard Skivorski, Jr. was raised Jewish and attended yeshiva, a traditional Jewish education institute. It was there that he got the nickname Samson, after the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites. Those who may not know the characters given his name or the origins of his superhero name may not be aware of his Jewish heritage.
Gertrude Yorkes is a member of the Runaways superhero team and has a telepathic bond with a dinosaur that she named Old Lace. Like the rest of the Runaways, her parents de ella are villains who are part of the supervillain team The Pride.
Gertrude Yorkes is ethnically Jewish in the comics, but it’s not something that she’s passionate about. She considers herself agnostic instead. But, In a rare case for the MCU, the Runaways TV series amplified Gertrude’s Jewishness, while she still held agnostic beliefs, she was more proud of her Jewish heritage than in the comic book version. Runaways is also one of IMDb’s favorite Marvel TV shows.
The son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, Legion is a very powerful mutant. Legion is portrayed to have a few different mental disorders, most notably DID. Each identity within him carries a different mutant ability and it’s unclear how many are inside of him.
Charles met and formed a relationship with Gabrielle Haller while he was in Israel and Charles didn’t know that she was pregnant. Many people might not know about the background of the character but according to Marvel’s official site, Legion is Jewish, or at least the David Haller personality is.
Magneto is one of the most powerful and important mutants in Marvel Comics. Often times he would play the role of a villain as the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants or as an ally to the X-Men. His goals from him are that he just wants to see Mutant kind safe and that sometimes puts him at odds with Xavier. But currently, he’s a member of the Krakoan Quiet Counsel.
Magneto is probably one of the most famous Jewish characters in comics. His origins stem from World War II when he and his family were captured by Nazis in Poland and put in a concentration camp. This origin was kept true when the character made the jump to Live-Action in 2000s X Men.
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