Posts Tagged ‘Ghost Rider’

Posted Friday, May 18th, 2018 by Barry

Original Ghost Rider 19

Known for reprints of their popular characters, Marvel mined the 1970s Ghost Rider stories for Original Ghost Rider. The title only traveled 20 issues before the gas tank ran dry, but did make a pit stop in issue 19 for “Silent Night…Deadly Night.”

While not from a Ghost Rider book, the holiday fare still showcased Johnny Blaze, alongside Ben Grimm, in the Thing’s Marvel Two-in-One imprint.

Four Color Holidays has glossed over the book in an earlier post, but, like Marvel, we’ll retread familiar ground.

Original Ghost Rider 19

Original Ghost Rider 19

The story takes place Christmas Eve 1974. The Fantastic Four are entertaining Namorita, Wundarr and Medusa with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Mr. Fantastic has absented himself to his lab monitoring a stellar disturbance over Arizona. Ben Grimm volunteers to physically investigate so Reed can spend time with friends and family.

Ghost Rider has noticed the disturbance and opts to investigate himself.

To meet the Two-In-One title requirements, Ben and Ghost Rider join forces to battle lesser Marvel villain Miracle Man. Using his matter manipulation skills, Miracle Man has chosen to recreate the Immaculate Conception.

As stated in the previous review, the story borders on absurdity, which is almost typical of the 1970s Marvel era.

Flash forward to the early ‘90s and comic books have become self-inflated parodies of themselves again. Characters like Ghost Rider have been resurrected and their books are selling like hotcakes in the new speculator market. Multiple copies flew off spin racks and shelves, especially when other hot characters guest stared. By issue 15 Marvel had slapped together a special glow-in-the-dark cover.

The public had tired of the character after 93 issues and he was retired to guest appearances in other books.

Still, he will always be immortalized in the 1974 Marvel version of the second coming.

Posted Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 by Barry

Ghost Rider X-Mas Special

Ghost Rider Xmas Special

Robbie Reyes’ little brother, Gabe, is chided for his continued belief in Santa Claus. Those same bullies become believers when the Yang to Kris Kringle’s Yin, Krampus, kidnaps them for supper.

Reyes was tapped as the new Ghost Rider in 2014, then introduced into the Marvel cinematic universe as a recurring character in the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., played by Gabriel Luna.

The new Spirit of Vengeance hails from East Los Angeles and spins around town in a 1969 Dodge Charger rather than the familiar motorcycle. Reyes became Ghost Rider after stealing Calvin Zabo’s, aka Mr. Hyde, car and being gunned down by mercenaries attempting to pilfer the potion Zabo uses to become Hyde.

Posted Friday, March 31st, 2017 by Barry

Marvel Two-In-One 8 and 74

Marvel Two-In-One 8

Marvel Two-In-One 8

Marvel Two-In-One is a great title.

This is the second Marvel team up book, featuring the other ol’ blue eyes, Ben Grimm the ever lovin’ Thing. Each month Ben was teamed with a flavor of the month, normally one of Marvel’s lesser-known characters from Brother Voodoo to the Impossible Man to Quasar.

As I said, Marvel Two-In-One was a great title; just not it’s two holiday offerings.

The first homage to the happiest of holidays came early on in issue eight guest starring Ghost Rider.

This recreation of immaculate-conception for power purposes is best bought for the cover.

Marvel Two-In-One 74

Marvel Two-In-One 74

Issue 74 offers a promising beginning as the FF and Ben’s longtime girlfriend, Alicia Masters, finish their holiday shopping and ready for the annual Christmas party at the Baxter Building with friends. If the story had just been about the party, it would’ve been more interesting. This could’ve been a very touching Christmas story with Marvel’s first family and friends, but in the mid-1970s readers wanted action.

Again, buy this one for the cover and first few pages.

If you wanna read a good Marvel Two-In-One story, try issues 46, 60, 96 or annual seven. They may not be Christmas stories, but they pack more clobber.

Posted Thursday, March 30th, 2017 by Barry

Marvel Holiday Special (1991)

Marvel Holiday Special (1991)

Marvel Holiday Special (1991)

By the early 1990s the comic book industry was becoming inundated by investors. Promises of high returns for pennies on the dollar had outsiders taking a serious look at what before was considered juvenile entertainment.

Within a few years, the bubble would bust leaving us true believers wondering if the medium could continue. Thanks to some well-done animated series and successful toy lines, comic books would survive.

However, in the pre-bust days readers would have to soldier on.

DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths had provided some interesting reboots and the soon-to-be christened Vertigo franchise was holding my interest. Todd MacFarlane’s much heralded arrival on Spider-Man was not. Nor, were many of the flash in the pan titles Marvel was pumping out.

What did catch my attention, aside from Peter David’s run on The Incredible Hulk, was the return of the Holiday specials. For the first time in 15 years, Marvel decided to unleash a Christmas-themed one-shot filled with original material.

Some of the stories are almost unreadable after all this time, but a few still hold up.

Marvel chose some unlikely stories from the bankable characters at the time including the Punisher and Ghost Rider, but it’s the stalwart stables Spider-Man, Captain America and X-Men who provide the real treasures.

Of course any mutant title at the time was hot. Chris Claremont had made the outcasts unheralded successes paving – and paying – for the continued publishing onslaught that had overtaken rival DC many years past.

Scott Lobdell, unofficial Marvel historian, dusted off X-Men 98 and provided a prequel before George Lucas invented the word with “A Miracle a Few Blocks Down From 32nd Street.” The talented scribe shamelessly hinted that even the mighty Santa may be a mutant.

More subdued and predating any reference to the Winter Soldier, Captain America relearned the meaning of Christmas in “Precious Gifts.”

The final gem is the last story in the book starring Spider-Man and Jolly J. Jonah Jameson in “A Spider-Man Carol.” Danny Fingeroth did his homework for this one.