The Message Behind Each Hidden QR Code in Moon Knight

Marvel is notorious for hiding Easter eggs in their shows, teasing fans into a frenzy. This time Marvel has switched it up; keeping fans sealed to the screen as they fervently await the inconspicuous Easter egg reveal. The new Marvel series, Moon Knight, has made discovering hidden clues into an even more mysterious game, but fans will have to hunt for them. Spoiler alert: you’ll also have to scan it. 
Have you heard of a QR Code Easter egg hunt before? Hop over to your couch and binge the new Marvel series, Moon Knight on Disney. Or better, unravel the puzzle with us as we unveil spoils from the miniseries. Let the Easter egg hunt begin! Heads-up: this content contains an inside scoop about Moon Knight. Proceed with caution.

Easter eggs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Just to clarify: when we talk about spotting Easter eggs in Marvel, we don’t mean them in the literal sense of the word. That would be too simplistic, don’t cha think? Easter eggs refer to the clues or messages that have been purposely hidden in Marvel shows. 

Devoted fans sit at the edge of their couches just to find a trail of tidbits. Ordinarily, these little hints reference back to the comic books and even possibly foreshadow events to come based on the comic books themselves. 

The craze behind the hidden QR Codes in Moon Knight

The irregular pop-ups of QR Codes scattered across the miniseries may not be an ordinary occurrence but they’re certainly not out of character for Marvel either. They’re masterminds at hiding their Easter eggs in obscure ways. And who would have seen it coming that the QR Codes are part of the riddle? 

And before you think it’s just another marketing gimmick, it’s so much more than that: these mysterious QR Codes are some of the hidden Easter eggs—the direct portals to the digital Werewolf by Night and Moon Knight comic books. 

Why QR Codes are a clever disguise in the Moon Knight TV series

Planting QR Codes into Moon Knight was a genius move from a production perspective, but more than that, these clever pixelated black and white squares come with a whole host of perks. 

#1 They’re dynamic 

As opposed to the Static QR Code that can’t be changed, tracked, or edited after being created, Moon Knight has opted for the Dynamic QR Code. This isn’t unusual for the purposes of marketing, but there are so many insights we can gather from using this type of code. 

The advantage of Marvel/Disney opting for the dynamic version is that they’re able to track user behavior. Marvel hid 3 scannable QR Codes inconspicuously in 3 different episodes. 

And even if it was just to give Marvel fans something extra to chew on, the trackable feature revealed some nerdy secrets: Disney announced that the QR Code that directed viewers to Marvel’s landing page had been visited over 1.5 million times, inspiring a full read of more than 500,000 comics. It’s clear that Marvel’s Easter eggs haven’t gone unnoticed. 

#2 They’re easily accessible 

Finding the hidden QR Code is one part of the treasure hunt, scanning it is the other. At this stage of tech advancement, most modern smartphones have a built-in QR Code scanner or have an option of downloading a third-party app.

On the other side of the scan, fans can relish in their reward for finding the Easter egg: digital Werewolf by Night and Moon Knight comic books are up for grabs— and it’s free. We’ll simplify the 3-step process for you: find it, scan it, and geek out about it! 

#3 They’re unpredictable  

It would have been way too predictable to hide just one QR Code in each episode consecutively—fans would have expected that. Instead, Marvel strategically spread them out across the season and chose their secret hiding places in locations that made the most amount of sense geographically, too. 

You wouldn’t naturally find a QR Code in ancient Egyptian ruins—that would be conspicuous. However, it’s possible to find them in modern buildings like museums, storage units, etc. The sporadic appearance of these QR Codes aptly encapsulates the magician’s trick of “now you see me, now you don’t”, keeping viewers at the edge of their seats. 

None of this would have been possible without the software from our products: QR Code Generator and the Bitly link shortener tool. Apart from it being a ploy to pick up the old comic book reading ritual, both tools help market Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s comic book subscription service. 

They enable binge-watchers to connect the dots between the digital comic Werewolf by Night and the series, Moon Knight, inviting an audience, new and old, to the readership of Marvel comic books. Keep your eyes peeled to the screen to discover the secret messages!  

Easter egg spoilers from the Moon Knight series 

It’s time to spill the tea on the cryptic messages masked in Disney’s Moon Knight. We’ll show you how each episode edges us closer to solving the riddle and how QR Codes play their part in the story. 

#1 The secret QR Code in episode 1 of Moon Knight

We meet the protagonist, Steven Grant, an Englishman, a well-mannered gift shop employee at the museum. Grant, already late for his job arrives at the museum, immediately drawn to a little girl littering in one of the model figures of the Pyramid of Giza. 

Piquing her curiosity, he redirects her to an Egyptian sarcophagus, a stone coffin derived from the civilizations of Egypt, and tells her a gripping historical tale about the Egyptian afterlife. 

The focal point of the scene is centered around this Egyptian artifact but if you look closely, the first Easter egg appears, giving us the first comic book reference: a QR Code. When you scan the code, you’ll land on a Marvel webpage that reveals a digital copy of a Werewolf by Night comic book. 

But not any old dusty Marvel comic book: Werewolf by Night #32. The earliest edition written by Doug Moench and illustrated by Don Perlin was published for the first time in 1972  — and it even has its original price on its digital cover: sold for 25 cents. Do we detect a werewolf and Egyptian mythology renaissance? You betcha! 

#2 The hidden message in the QR Code in episode 2 of Moon Knight 

Following off from episode 1, Steven accidentally finds a hidden phone and storage locker key in the contents of his apartment. While searching the phone, an unexpected incoming call from someone called Layla arrives. When Steven answers, Layla refers to him as “Marc”. More puzzled, he asks her, “Why did you call me Marc?” She hangs up. 

More unexplained events happen in episodes 1 and 2, leaving Steven even more confused. He’s struggling to grapple with what’s real and what’s a fantasy. The world he believes to be a dream, something made up in his head, begins to enmesh with his reality as he gets fired for the vandalization of bathroom property in episode 2. That’s only one part of the story though. 

In a desperate attempt to make sense of the disruptive and enigmatic events that occur, he decides to follow the bread crumbs; to track down the storage locker’s location. And lo and behold: the Marvel gods have spoken and laid another Easter egg right under our noses on the storage locker.

Scanning it uncovers the next issue of Werewolf by Night, number 33. With another digital comic book to consume, fans can start understanding the dual identity of the protagonist as the mercenary, Marc Spector in the Moon Knight series. 
The cover of this issue is ominous and unsettling, foreshadowing the battle between the beast and the character, Moon Knight later on in the episode. While Marc is left in the dark, (for now) we, the viewers, are given a tip-off about his fate. The connection between the series and comic books is indisputably apparent.

#3 The QR Code reveal in Episode 5 of Moon Knight

Marvel changed up the routine of QR Code reveals in episodes 3 and 4. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any free comic books up for grabs—as promised, Marvel Unlimited dropped 2 comic books on their website for both episodes: Werewolf By Night: Midnight Means Murder for episode 3 and Moon Knight in Universe X issue #6 for episode 4. 

Take it from us, it’s worth continuing the binge-fest to put the puzzle pieces together for these 2 action-packed episodes to understand the rest. Moving on to the episode, called “Asylum”, the episode recaps the end of the fourth where both Marc Spector and Steven Grant meet a friend hippo goddess, known as Taweret.

It appears they’ve entered the Egyptian underworld, or rather a passage of the underworld on a boat. Taweret, the hippo god measures their hearts but they can’t blissfully journey into the afterlife unless they revisit some of the memories, which happens to take place in a mental asylum. 

And just as they’re observing their memories another unexpected message pops up as Marc stares out of the window as he watches a memory: a QR Code. This time, once scanned, fans can delight in reading the premier of the Moon Knight comic books.  

Previously the character Moon Knight was just a feature in “Werewolf by Night” but then it became its own comic book when it was published in 1980. This was a significant moment in history for Moon Knight

The prelude of the digital comic contains some juicy info that could provide insight into the events that have occurred in this episode. But you’ll have to dig up the archives by diving into the next comic book and stream Moon Knight on Disney Plus to find out more.

Each week, Moon Knight has stimulated our brains with mind-bending content and buried clues that may leave us more perplexed than before. This nerdy expedition has nonetheless put the spotlight on the character Moon Knight, in ways it never has before. It’s about time this forgotten superhero gets the screentime it deserves. And thanks to the inclusion of QR Codes, a new viewership of comic book readers has emerged. 

Robyn Albertyn

Robyn Albertyn is a content writer for Bitly from Cape Town, South Africa. She’s previously written about preventative health and wellness, and specializes in creative writing and copywriting. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her hiking up majestic mountains, or discovering the best coffee hotspots in her city. Feel free to say hi to her on LinkedIn.

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