Dick Grayson was a young acrobat in a local circus, but was forced to leave when it was discovered he suffered from a split personality, and had an aggressive alter ego, "Marc Spector". Bruce Wayne however, saw much potential in the young man, and recruited him to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Dick then used his circus outfit to create a costumed identity of Moonwing (partially inspired by his Marc persona's fascination with the moon). As Moonwing, Dick's Marc Spector persona's aggression had a natural outlet. Eventually, Dick learned to reconcile his two personalities, and decided to try and live a normal life. He trained a young protegee named Jason Todd to take over his duties as Moonwing, while Dick went to college.

However, Jason died on a mission when he walked into a terrorist's trap, and Dick resumed his Moonwing identity, blaming himself for Jason's death. Unknown to him, Jason's body was recovered by a villainous superteam known as HYDRA, who grafted cybernetic body parts onto Jason, and brought him back to life as Deathlok. Deathlok then ambushed Moonwing while he was on a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. and tried to kill his former mentor, whom he blamed for his new robotic body. Moonwing was then forced to battle Deathlok, resulting in Deathlok's death yet again.

Moonwing is an amalgamation of Marvel's Moon Knight and DC's Nightwing.