While participating in the looting of an archaeological dig, Mark Spector was beaten nearly to death and left to die in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night, after challenging lead mercenary Raoul Bushman over the murder of the sites chief scientist, Dr. Alraune. Roaming Egyptians who worship the sites ancient Egyptian god, Khonshu, find Spector and carry him to their temple. Helpless before the statue of Khonshu, Spector's heart stops. Khonshu appears to him in a vision, offering Spector a second chance at life - if he becomes the god's avatar on earth. Spector awakens, wraps himself with the silver shroud that covers Khonshu's statue, and again confronts Bushman. He defeats Bushman and returns to America with Marlene Alraune (the murdered man's daughter), his fellow mercenary Frenchie, and the statue of Khonshu. Deciding to become a crime-fighter, Spector creates a silver cloaked costume, based on the silver shroud, and becomes the Moon Knight.
Spector eventually returns to the United States, invests money that he had accumulated as an international mercenary and develops a small fortune. To distance himself from his mercenary past he creates the identity of millionaire Steven Grant, using this identity to purchase a spacious estate and to remain in contact with the common man he also creates the identity of taxicab driver Jake Lockley.