Moon Knight #25
Issue(s): Moon Knight #25
Moon Knight and Frenchie are cruising around in the Mooncopter when they notice a shoot out on Liberty Island between the police and a bunch of people in Khonshu costumes. Moon Knight obviously takes an interest.
They call themselves the Knights of the Moon and they are fanatics.
The problem with being a super-hero in New York in 1991 is you can't do anything without this guy showing up and hogging in on the action.
Yeah yeah yeah. There's always innocent blood being spilled somewhere. Go find your own bad guys to fight.
Actually Moon Knight doesn't seem to mind the help, as long as the penance stare can be used to get some info.
Moon Knight rushes off when he hears that the Knights are planning something else at Grand Central Station, because Marlene is participating in a fund raiser for the homeless there.
Also there is our main bad guy. She's shutting down the train lines.
If you think her powers look a lot like Havok's, you are on the right track (no train pun intended).
Here she is in her excessively complicated and not very functional looking costume.
Her men start mowing down the people at the charity event with machine guns. They also plant bombs all along the train tracks.
Unlike her followers, she herself does not seem to be a fanatic. Moon Knight also runs into a guy that he knows from his mercenary days, named Sharp, and it's just a job to him too. Sharp winds up falling on a sword while he's fighting Moon Knight. He warns Moon Knight about the explosives. As Sharp dies, Moon Knight sees parallels between his past life as a mercenary and Sharp, and his current life as an avatar of Khonshu and the fanatical Knights. It just hardens his resolve to get to the bottom of the situation.
I've breezed over a lot of Moon Knight fighting the Knights of the Moon, but it's been 16 pages since we saw Moon Knight leave Ghost Rider at Liberty Island. He shows up now; i guess sufficient innocent blood has been spilled to make it worth an appearance.
Plasma blasts Ghost Rider, disintegrating him.
Plasma leaves in a train, taking mercenaries with her while leaving the fanatics behind to make sure the bombs go off without a hitch. Moon Knight continues to fight his way through them...
...and Ghost Rider regenerates from the ashes.
It seems we learn more about Ghost Rider in his guest appearances than his main book. We see here that he can grow back from being disintegrated. We saw in Fantastic Four #349 that his flame can undo mind control. And we saw in Thor #430 that Ghost Rider vaguely recognized Mephisto. We also had confirmations that Ghost Rider was not a demon in Doctor Strange #28, but that was at least part of a crossover.
Ghost Rider gives Moon Knight a lift to Plasma's fleeing train.
Plasma blasts Ghost Rider away again (not disintegrating him this time), leaving Moon Knight to confront her alone. He learns that she is the daughter of the Living Pharoah, which those of you who read and remember Marvel Comics Presents #24-31 already knew.
She is trying to unite the tribes of the Middle East to launch a jihad.
She says that Moon Knight is a better combatant than Havok, but his non-super strong punches are no match for her. Luckily, she's not immune to slamming into a wall at high speeds.
And that is the end of Plasma, and the end of our story.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showFrenchie, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Marlene Alraune, Moon Knight, Noble Kale, Plasma
Was Ghost Rider actually popular? There are certainly no obvious reasons why he would be. One gets the sense that Tom DeFalco or someone felt the need to "prove" that Marvel could create a succesfull new character without Stan Lee and without Jim Shooter. Even if it meant promoting the beejezus out of utterly mediocre, aimless characters such as the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider.
Also, you meant "Moon Knight and Frenchie" as the opening of the second paragraph, didn't you?
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 20, 2015 12:39 AM
One other thing - maybe Marc wasn't paying a lot of attention and was therefore mistaken, but he does say that Ketch is killing the fanatics. By this point Ghost Rider was supposed to never kill, IIRC.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | September 20, 2015 12:41 AM
The new Ghost Rider was very popular when it first came out. Marvel actually did not expect the initial reaction, but moved very quickly to exploit it.
Really, it all comes down to the visuals. Initially, Mackie did a much better job positioning the new Ghost Rider in a context that worked for it better than Marvel did the original Ghost Rider. However, Danny Ketch isn't that interesting and ultimately that and the convoluted backstory with Zarathos and the original Ghost Rider would undermine the title.
For the first year or two though, it was extremely hot. This wasn't entirely fan reaction. The speculator craze was just beginning at this time.
Posted by: Chris | September 20, 2015 3:04 AM
I think at one point Ghost Rider was selling better than any book that didn't involve mutants, Spider-Man, or Punisher (and I'm not sure he wasn't selling better than the Punisher's books as well). The Statement of Ownership average for this year that'll be published next year was almost 240K, better than the older second-tier Spider-books Web and Spectacular, and then the average for 1992 will be over 350K, and it'll remain over 300K the next year too. You can see Ghost Rider's brief heyday for yourself here: http://www.comichron.com/titlespotlights/ghostridervol2.html How much these numbers were inflated by crossovers and Marvel's business practices isn't clear, but Marvel will launch a Ketch/Blaze team-up book in 1992 as well, and later give him a 2099 title.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | September 20, 2015 3:15 AM
@Luis, thanks for the correction. Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 20, 2015 3:43 PM
Hm. Bagley/Palmer is an art team made in heaven, but I'm really not feeling the art this issue. It just seems... Off to me.
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | September 26, 2015 1:00 AM
I like that art team, most of the time Bagley is a little too slick for my tastes.
Posted by: MindlessOne | June 18, 2017 8:58 AM
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