October 6, 2021 · 12:00 am
FAUST: LOVE OF THE DAMNED (1987) – Written by David Quinn with artwork by Tim Vigil. Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog with this review of the 1987-2012 “adult” comic book series Faust. This series included very graphic and very unusual sex and violence while offering a twisted update on the story of Faust selling his soul to Mephistopheles. The year 2000 Brian Yuzna (’nuff said) movie version of Faust: Love of the Damned is pretty bad but does capture the blood-soaked, anarchic WTF air of the series.
Before I get into plot details I’ll point out that, despite the criticism that Quinn and Vigil get for providing stories featuring extreme sex and gore in a purely sensational manner they never sold out their indy comic vision by watering down either the sex or the violence just for wider distribution and more money. Continue reading →
Filed under Halloween Season, Superheroes
Tagged as adult comics, Balladeer's Blog, blogging, book reviews, Faust, Faust: Love of the Damned, Ghost Rider, glitternight.com, Grim Ghost, Halloween season, horror, Spawn
October 24, 2020 · 12:03 am
Halloween Month hurls toward its conclusion with another seasonal post. The Marvel Comics juggernaut is THE power in pop culture these days so here is another look at one of their horror characters from their 1970s heyday.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #5 (August 1972)
Title: Ghost Rider
Comment: Ah, the sweet simplicity of the original Ghost Rider stories! Daredevil biker Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the devil: Johnny’s soul in exchange for Satan curing the cancer in the body of Blaze’s mentor “Crash” Simpson.
We all know how deals with the devil go, and Satan cures Simpson’s cancer but the aging daredevil motorcyclist dies in an accident during his next show. When Satan comes to claim Johnny’s soul, Blaze’s true love Roxanne Simpson (Crash’s daughter) interferes and negates the infernal contract.
The stymied devil can’t take Johnny to Hell but can inflict a kind of “Hell in nightly installments” on him by cursing him to become a monstrous fiery-skulled figure every night from then on.
NOTE: Convoluted additions about soul-reaping or about Johnny’s Ghost Rider form really being a specific demon named Zarathos, or past Ghost Riders did not come along til years later. The first Ghost Rider movie should have kept it simple like this and started adding the complications beginning with the second film. Continue reading →
October 24, 2018 · 8:44 pm
Halloween Month at Balladeer’s Blog continues with this look at the Grim Ghost, a Pre-Spawn horror figure from the VERY short-lived Atlas/ Seaboard Comics. FOR MANY MORE ATLAS/SEABOARD HEROES CLICK HERE
THE GRIM GHOST
Secret Identity: Matthew Dunsinane, Highwayman
Origin: In 1740s America, Matthew Dunsinane was the masked Highway Robber known only as the Grim Ghost. He successfully preyed upon the Carriage Trade for years. In 1743 the Grim Ghost robbed Lord and Lady Braddock in their coach.
Lady Sarah Braddock, beautiful but evil, pretended to be interested in a tumble with the daring outlaw who had committed the robbery. Our red-blooded hero fell into her trap, was unmasked, tried and hanged.
In Hell, Satan informed the Grim Ghost that in the 20th Century he was facing a rebellious demon called Brimstone, who wanted to overthrow him and rule Hell in his place. That diabolical figure was endowing various evil-doers with powers to survive their ordained deaths, depriving Satan of their souls, thus weakening him in power and prestige.
Satan offered to release the Grim Ghost from Hell periodically to subdue those renegade evil-doers and send them to Hell for damnation.
God would not interfere with Dunsinane’s mission since Brimstone was defying Fate. Satan endowed the Grim Ghost with powers of his own to battle Brimstone’s legions on Earth.
First Appearance: The Grim Ghost #1 (January, 1975). His final appearance came in July of that same year.
Powers: The Grim Ghost was given a flying, coal-black horse by Satan as well as ghostly powers of intangibility plus a brace of supernatural pistols. Those pistols fired shots that could burn and blast their way through solid objects plus dispatch Brimstone’s minions to their rightful place in Hell.
Comment: Continue reading →
Filed under Halloween Season, Superheroes
Tagged as Atlas Comics, Atlas/Seaboard Comics, Balladeer's Blog, blogging, Ghost Rider, glitternight.com, Grim Ghost, Halloween, Hellblazer, Horror Comics, Matthew Dunsinane, Spawn
October 6, 2017 · 9:36 pm
Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog with a look at the 1970s Ghost Rider. I will say again, from my research the very late 1960s and most of the 1970s were the best period for Marvel Comics. They were to that period what Pulps were to earlier decades.
Once Star Wars, Alien and Close Encounters of the Third Kind proved that science fiction and fantasy were finally able to be presented with the kind of special effects necessary, it seems that a LOT of pop fiction writers who used to gravitate toward the comic book industry now sought careers in movies and television instead.
At any rate, the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) made his first appearance in August of 1972 and it’s a shame that the movie version in 2007 didn’t stick closer to the action and horror combo of the comic books.
The pair of Nic Cage movies did not do the character OR his lore any justice and ruined a chance to see some top-level Ghost Rider foes like the Bounty Hunter, Witch Woman, the Orb and others on the big screen.
Enjoy a sampling of cover art featuring the Ghost Rider taking on some of his Rogues Gallery of enemies, many of whom would have been ideal for the debut movie. Continue reading →
October 23, 2013 · 12:08 am
Satana the Devil’s Daughter
Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues! There are plenty of Marvel Comics authorities who could give you the story of the in-depth evolution of horror comics in the 1970’s, from the relaxing of the Comics Code around 1970 onward. I’ll spare all of us a trip down that particular alley and cut to the chase. Marvel Comics is THE comic book publishing house in pop culture right now with nearly every movie that ever gets made being based on a superhero figure from The House of Ideas.
The 1970’s saw Stan Lee and company churn out countless horror comics to cash in on the new flexibility in four-color storytelling. Some were long-lasting successes, like Tomb of Dracula, and others weren’t, like The Frankenstein Monster. When Marvel ventured outside established works by Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and others they actually produced some very intriguing characters who had more potential than many actual horror films from the 70’s. Excluding the overworked Drac and Frank here are five of Marvel’s most intriguing horror figures from that experimental decade.
1. SATANA THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER
Comment: How has this character NOT been the subject of multiple movies by this point? You’d think that Marvel would have learned long ago not to Continue reading →
Filed under Halloween Season
Tagged as Ghost Rider, Halloween, Horror Comic Books, Marvel Comics, Rachel Van Helsing, Satana the Devil's Daughter, Simon Garth, Tales of the Zombie, The Golem, The Living Mummy, Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night