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
As always October is one long celebration of Halloween here at Balladeer’s Blog. The hulking undead figure in the picture is Simon Garth, the title character in Tales of the Zombie from Marvel Comics. Marvel still hasn’t properly used their horror figures, with just Blade the Vampire Slayer (Debut Year 1973) and the Ghost Rider (Debut Year 1972) getting treatment on the big and small screens.
For additional pics and my in-depth examination of Tales of the Zombie, Satana the Devil’s Daughter and three others Continue reading
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