Brian C. Saunders:
West Coast Avengers #29
Issue(s): West Coast Avengers #29
I like Moon Knight's relentless pursuit of Taurus throughout this issue, including the normally above-the-law Taraus' fear that Moon Knight might actually kill him.
Moon Knight is at first distracted because he thinks he hears the voice of his god, Khonshu...
...but later it's (seemingly?) confirmed that he does, even though he doesn't want any more voices in his head.
When Hawkeye finds out (from Shroud) that Moon Knight is hunting Taurus alone, he gets upset, making a comment about not wanting to hear about what his teammates are up to from outsiders. Both Mockingbird and Iron Man react to that.
Of course, i can't answer the question in that caption. I have no idea if Iron Man's eyes flickered.
Moon Knight's battle with Taurus takes them onto a plane...
...and Moon Knight gets thrown out but still manages to keep up the pursuit.
Taurus dies in the plane crash. Interestingly, it's a villain death that (so far) has stuck. There will of course be other Tauruses, but Cornelius Van Lunt was a relatively significant character even in his civilian identity.
When the Avengers catch up with Moon Knight, Hawkeye tears into him for even giving the appearance that Avengers might kill their enemies. Mockingbird, due to her recent killing of Night Rider, objects to that. At least here Iron Man sticks up for the Avengers' no killing rule.
As the Avengers fly away, we see a Night Rider observing them.
I'm not normally a fan of either Moon Knight or the Zodiac, or the Steve Englehart/Al Milgrom combination for that matter, but i really enjoyed this issue. It's possibly because it's a more straightforward story with Moon Knight just being this unstoppable force of vengeance. The fact that both creators could focus on a much smaller cast for the most part probably helped as well.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Shroud and Moon Knight actually appear in Solo Avengers #3, where Shroud tells Moon Knight that he's got people searching for Taurus, between the last arc and this issue. I should also note that the MCP have been giving Khonshu a behind-the-scenes appearance for every Moon Knight appearance since West Coast Avengers #21. Since he actually seems to speak in this issue, i'm tagging him. Due to Iron Man's reaction to Hawkeye's comment about personal vendettas, this seems to take place during Armor Wars (but before things get too crazy). The MCP has this issue between Iron Man #226-227. And since Armor Wars has dependencies with Fall of the Mutants (via Captain America), i've pushed this back in publication time a bit.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showHawkeye, Henry Pym, Iron Man, Khonshu, Mockingbird, Moon Knight, Night Rider (Hamilton Slade), Night Rider (Lincoln Slade), Shroud, Taurus, Tigra, Wonder Man
I was never a fan of the ongoing West Coast Avengers as opposed to the excellent Stern/Hall/Breeding mini, but I enjoyed this issue on its own as well.
After Taurus escaped death in the previous arc, I would have wagered that Englehart had further plans for him. This issue surprised me by showing that this would not be the case. Moon Knight truly lays down the smack on old Cornelius although it's a wonder that the guy hasn't been brought back since.
Posted by: Clutch | May 8, 2014 9:29 AM
I was a big fan of WCA, but the Zodiac issues were a slog. But they were worth it to come to this - both a good individual story, and a good look at how the new team interacts with each other (I also really like the relationship between Clint and the Shroud).
Clint's strong feelings against killing are a nice contrast against the Ultimates Hawkeye who will gladly kill anything in sight.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 24, 2015 11:39 AM
Considering that Engelhart's career-best work is probably his 1970s Batman work, I suppose it's no surprise that this may be his strongest issue of West Coast Avengers.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 25, 2015 6:24 PM
I'm really surprised that Van Lunt has stayed dead; I would have thought the crash was survivable. ("I was laid up in the hospital for months, but this bull is too stubborn to stay down…") Likewise the Linke twins' dual-life force power (which J. Fury never knew about) could have seen them through the ambush in #26; team them up with Van Lunt and Brandt and you've got enough of a core to re-build the team around.
Oh, well. Maybe someday.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 21, 2016 11:28 PM
It's too bad the Solo Avengers team of Hall and Sienkiewicz couldn't have done this issue.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | July 12, 2017 6:09 AM
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