Jean-Paul DuChamp is a well established associate and friend of Marc Spector and his Moon Knight alter ego, having debuted in 1975, though their relationship will be tested as part of writer Charlie Huston’s exploration of both characters. This profile will highlight some of the character’s lengthy history with a focus on points relevant to its inclusion here.
Writer Doug Moench christened Moon Knight’s pilot “Frenchie” when he created DuChamp and Moon Knight for a story in Werewolf By Night #32 in the summer of 1975. DuChamp became a soldier in the French Foreign Legion, ostensibly to forget a soured relationship with a secret agent named Isabelle Kristel, which was followed by becoming a soldier of fortune. During an operation at some location on the African continent DuChamp met Marc Spector who gave him the nickname “Frenchie”. The first of many adventures the two men had came about when they accepted to work with another mercenary named Raoul Bushman. Bushman planned to steal gold that had been discovered in an archeological dig of an pharaonic tomb. The dig’s leader, Peter Alraune, and nearly everyone else save DuChamp, Alraune’s daughter Marlene, and a local were killed. Spector was gravely wounded but was healed by the spirit of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Spector became the avatar if you will of Khonshu after receiving supra human powers and abilities. Things like this happen in comics.
Jean-Paul’s skill as a helicopter pilot to aid Moon Knight on missions was part and parcel of his raison d’etre. DuChamp can also count disguise, spying, and infiltration among his other talents which were also on display in their Werewolf By Night two part introduction. Spector has DuChamp inflitrate a criminal cartel called the Committee as Monsieur LeBlanc to trick the organization into a ruse to “create” Moon Knight. Things like this happen in comics.
Adventures are often filled with risk and danger. DuChamp nearly died when his helicopter was crashed by Killer Shrike. As if this wasn’t enough drama, DuChamp’s legs were crushed when Spector’s brother caused the family mansion to explode. In a later storyline Jean-Paul was informed by then girlfriend Chloe Tran that he was the Bloodline – and possessed the ability to transform into any of his ancestors – and fight against a race of supernatural beings called the Hellbent. Things like this happen in comics.
It’s enough to take a toll on a person which apparently it did for Jean-Paul. It didn’t help that Spector’s behavior, resulting from his own debilitating incident, drove away the people closest to him. After much reflection on his life and desires Jean-Paul fell in love with Rob Silverman. They also became partners in owning a restaurant called En Table. DuChamp was concerned for Rob’s safety and well being following Rob’s involvement as Moon Knight’s physical therapist. The concern was well founded. Norman Osborne ordered a gang to attack and kill DuChamp and Silverman in order to provoke Moon Knight. Silverman recovered from critical injuries and DuChamp and Spector resolved their differences and resumed their friendship.
Presumably Jean-Paul and Rob are still happily a couple.
Retconning the sexuality of established characters can be viewed as problematic to some comics readers. The fact that DuChamp had relationships with Isabelle Kristel and Chloe Tran will be mentiond. Let’s not forget the character was created during the period when the Comics Code Authority excluded LGBTQ characters unless they were coded in ways to slip past CCA censorship or portrayed as villains, albeit still coded. The argument of creating new LGBTQ characters instead of retconning canon will also be made. That point can be countered with the fact that people come to accept their sexuality at different times even after having relationships with people of another sex and raising children and grandchildren. Charlie Huston addresses the matter by giving the character this line of dialog during the conversation between DuChamp and Spector: “Well, just because I can cook an omelette that does not make me a chef.”
Jean-Paul DuChamp was created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin and the character first appeared in Werewolf By Night #32 (August, 1975). Charlie Huston wrote Jean-Paul coming out in Moon Knight #3 (volume #4, 2006)
David Finch is the artist for the top image and Don Perlin for the second.
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