Ghost Rider #26
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #26
To top it off, this issue is the second attempt (after Hulk #210-211) to revive the character of Dr. Druid in the 70s. I like the character because he was part of Roger Stern's Avengers, but he comes off a complete dick here. He shows up at Johnny Blaze's place of work...
...hypnotizes the boss, ignores the fact that the boss thinks Blaze is an innocent guy, and then hypnotizes Roxanne as well. Then he attacks Johnny in front of all his co-workers...
...forcing Johnny to turn into the Ghost Rider, ruining his career as a stunt cyclist.
Then after a big fight...
...Dr. Druid knocks Ghost Rider out, and then realizes he made a mistake and that Blaze is really a good guy. So what does he do about it? He leaves Johnny laying unconscious in a field and thinks to himself:
There is no way I can repair the damage I have done! To remain would only cause greater grief! Better to simply leave.... and hope that somehow he can gather up the pieces of his life!
I remind you that Dr. Druid can hypnotize people. But at the very least he could go back to Blaze's co-workers with Johnny and say "Ha ha! How did you guys like our new act that we're working on for the big show?"
Anyway, i thought it was cool that Dr. Druid was able to turn Ghost Rider back into Johnny Blaze by calling on the power of Tiboro, which is Dr. Strange-ish but not one of the forces Dr. Strange usually uses.
Also, unlike Dr. Strange, Dr. Druid is a guy who is not afraid to use his fists.
Flawed, but entirely readable! I do think getting Ghost Rider out of showbiz and back on the open road was a good move, even if the method of doing so in this issue feels forced.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: According to a footnote in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #17, this is Ghost Rider's first appearance since the Champions broke up after Champions #17. Since Champions #17 was published in Jan 78, this issue has to move forward in publication time.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCharles L. Delazny, Dr. Druid, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Karen Page, Roxanne Simpson
The truly weird thing about the Ghost Rider series is that nobody EVER comments on the icky white trashiness of Johnny Blaze's true love being his step-sister. And you thought the Nightcrawler/Amanda Sefton relationship was gross!
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 20, 2011 11:26 PM
According to Jim Shooter, this is the first time the Ghost Rider refers to himself as the Spirit of Vengeance.
Posted by: a.lloyd | May 7, 2015 5:55 AM
Dude, again.. what is up with that anatomy when Druid is hitting Ghost Rider?? How did Don Perlin not have Shooter down on him for his Charlton Comics style? Sorry folks this is just not my idea of what a Horror comic needs to look like!!!
Posted by: Brimstone | January 8, 2016 2:06 AM
I don't think at this point Ghost Rider had been a straight horror comic for a very long time. Once he started having non-horror heroes and villains appearing in his book, to say nothing of joining the Champions, he became just another superhero. And yeah, Don Perlin's style is very old school, even by late '70s standards.
Posted by: Robert | January 8, 2016 3:52 AM
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