West Coast Avengers #41 (1989): Moon Knight quits Avengers and Khonshu quits Moon Knight; Phantom Rider “dies”

A fill-in issue that resolves TWO longstanding plotlines. That’s pretty rare.

First, we get some closure on the Mockingbird-killed-Phantom-Rider-after-he-raped-her story.   She’s been saying that Hamilton Slade, of the present day, is actually possessed by Lincoln Slade, who was Phantom Rider in the 1800s and who raped Mockingbird during a time-travel adventure many issues ago.  Based on the allegation of possession, the West Coast Avengers sub-team led by Mockingbird and consisting of Moon Knight and Tigra call on the Son of Satan.

Daimon Hellstrom currently works at University of Nevada, where apparently story-plotter Tom DeFalco plays frisbee.

During the exorcism, Mockinbird’s story is validated and the spirit of Lincoln Slade is evicted—but so is the spirit of Lincoln’s own ancestor, Carter Slade–the first Phantom Rider.

The two spirits fight each other until Son of Sam also pulls Khoshnu out of Moon Knight, and the powerful moon god squashes the battle.

Khonshu tells Moon Knight that it’s time for Marc Spector to go his own way…

Three lasting consequences of this issue are:

1.    Moon Knight is finally free of Koshnu, and he quits the team.  Yay!  This undoes the worst period in the character’s history!  See an essay on that here. Tigra tries, unsuccessfully, to get him to stay.

2.    Son of Satan has a new costume (see above).  And…

3.    Lincoln Slade is gone and the modern Phantom Rider is now a good guy.

Next issue: John Byrne arrives, at last!

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