Spoilers follow for Moon Knight episode 1.
Moon Knight has finally landed on Disney Plus – and, unsurprisingly, the show's premiere contains a reference to the Marvel hero's comic book history.
There's a lot to take in during Moon Knight's first episode (check out our spoiler-free review if you haven't yet), so there's a chance that this particular Easter egg may have passed you by. After all, we're introduced to Steven Grant, his two alter-egos in Marc Spector and Moon Knight, the scary Egyptian god known as Khonshu, the villainous Arthur Harrow, and Layla (albeit only through a phone call) during the Disney Plus show's opening salvo. Add in the spooky and horror-infused scenes, mind-bending but brief time jumps (as Steven and Marc each take control of their body), the humorous quips, and the wider mystery at large and... well, as we said, there's lots to unravel.
Still, the first entry in the latest Marvel Phase 4 project is hiding a pretty prominent Easter egg in plain sight. It's possible that Moon Knight comic fans will have spotted it a mile off but, for those of you who didn't, we've got you covered. Big spoilers follow for Moon Knight episode 1, so turn back now – bookmark this page for later, once you've seen the episode – if you haven't caught it yet.
Moon Knight episode 1 Easter egg explained: who is Duchamp, aka Frenchie?
The Easter egg in question can be seen just before Layla tries to call Marc Spector on the flip phone Steven Grant finds in his apartment.
Before the mobile phone rings, we see Grant scrolling through a seemingly never-ending list of missed calls from Layla. However, there's one name that obviously stands out among the numerous references to Layla on the flip phone's screen: Duchamp.
Of course, this being a Marvel production, a name like this would ordinarily pique the interest of most Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans. But, as we've mentioned before, there's so much going on in Moon Knight's opening episode that you may have forgotten about it by the time the credits roll.
So, who is Duchamp? Moon Knight's comic history holds the answers.
Jean-Paul Duchamp – otherwise known as Frenchie – is a former French army officer who befriends Marc Spector, a former soldier-turned mercenary, when the pair cross paths in North Africa. Duchamp made his comic debut in Werewolf by Night #32 in May 1975, and the duo go on to become very close friends in the comics, with Spector being the one who gives Duchamp his iconic nickname.
Unsurprisingly, the duo eventually join forces on a number of missions, excursions, and other assignments, with Frenchie becoming the full-time helicopter pilot for Spector. The pair end up working with another mercenary called Raoul Bushman (more on him in a moment) to conduct raids on historical dig sites, including one on the Tomb of Pharoah Seti II on the Egypt/Sudan border.
The heist, though, goes awry. Bushman ends up killing the archaeologist leading an expedition on Seti II's tomb – Doctor Peter Alraune – among other innocent people, which enrages Spector, who is unsurprisingly against murdering civilians. Spector turns on Bushman, but the latter ends up leaving Spector for dead in the desert after the pair's gruelling showdown sees Bushman come out on top.
Spector makes his way back to civilization, but collapses due to his injuries. It's here where a group of locals carry him to a tomb containing a shrine to Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon, with the deity appearing before Spector and saving his life. In return, Spector agrees to become the "Fist of Khonshu", aka the vigilante known as Moon Knight, who enacts vengeance on those who Khonshu considers to be unjust.
Meanwhile, Duchamp believes Spector died during the raid on Seti II's tomb. So he's shocked when Spector reveals that he's still alive and, after Spector explains what happened, Duchamp vows to help Spector get his revenge on Bushman and his henchmen.
Long story short, Duchamp ends up being installed as Moon Knight's permanent sidekick. He becomes Spector's trusted confidant, transporting him to various locations in his Moon Knight-designed helicopter, and assisting him on missions. After spending many years – read decades – as a Moon Knight associate, Frenchie currently works as Maître d' at the restaurant he set up.
Major spoilers for Moon Knight episodes 2, 3 and 4 follow. Don't read past the image below if you don't want further spoilers.
Given that his name is dropped – well, shown – in Moon Knight's premiere, does that mean we'll see Duchamp make a cameo appearance in the MCU TV show?
It's certainly possible, although there's no guarantee that he will. This could just be another subtle nod – on Marvel Studios' part – to Moon Knight's comic history. We've seen the first four episodes of the Disney Plus limited series, and we can confirm that Duchamp hasn't shown up yet.
There's a chance that he could turn up in one of the final two episodes, though. Back in September 2020, Marvel were reportedly seeking two new cast members (per The Direct) for Moon Knight, and one particular casting call described Duchamp down to a tee. "20-40 (years old), White male," the description reads. "A stereotypical good looking, overly enthusiastic, less intelligent than average but still lovable. Actor must be fluent in French." All signs point to someone being hired to portray a character called Frenchie then, eh?
Of course, it's been over 18 months since that casting call was sent out, and Marvel's plans for Moon Knight's supporting cast could have changed by then. In our view, though, we'd be shocked if Duchamp doesn't appear as part of the show's cast.
We already know that Marc Spector's parents will show up in the TV adaptation – presumably in episode 5 – so maybe they'll turn up alongside Duchamp. The latter is Spector's closest ally, after all. So, if something happened to him, Duchamp would surely be on the first flight – or should that be helicopter ride? – to aid his friend in any way he can. It won't be too long before we find out for sure.
For more Moon Knight-based content, read our exclusive coverage about why those George Clooney directing rumors are false, and why Moon Knight could pop up all over the MCU.
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As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
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