Tag Archives: Johnny Blaze

GHOST RIDER: THE MOST HALLOWEENISH COVERS

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.

spotlight 5MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #5 (August 1972)

Title: Ghost Rider

Villain: Satan

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

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A HALLOWEEN LOOK AT GHOST RIDER

Ghost RiderHalloween 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.

Ghost Rider and Bounty HunterAt 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

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Filed under Halloween Season, Superheroes