Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear
Issue(s): Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear
A week later, we see Ghost Rider helping the police with a hostage situation, but the police continue to distrust him and fire on him. It doesn't help that one of the hostages has a heart attack when they see Ghost Rider. But we're shown that Captain Dolan (father to Stacy, Danny Ketch's love interest) is obsessed with Ghost Rider. Even the other cops tell him to let it go. Dolan is later told by his superior (Robert H. Stubbs, in i think his only appearance) to focus on catching the Scarecrow instead of Ghost Rider.
Scarecrow is still trying to attract the attention of Captain America, as he was in his last appearance. As he's out killing people to attract Cap, we see what the doctors did to him. He's now projecting fear. I'm not super familiar with DC's Scarecrow character, but from what i have seen, Marvel's version is now much more similar. He's come a long way from being a contortionist with trained crows.
One of the cops that Scarecrow is attacking there is Stacy Dolan, and instead of killing her, Scarecrow decides that she's his "mommy", and he takes her prisoner. But the death of the other cop and some children attracts the attention of Ghost Rider, and Captain America does show up too. The police are all ready to go after Ghost Rider again, but Cap goes to meet him, and they wind up riding off together.
Cap says that as far as he's been able to ascertain, Ghost Rider is not a criminal. Ghost Rider reveals to him that he doesn't understand his own obsession with vengeance. It's nice to see characters sharing and not just getting into a Misunderstanding Fight.
Cap and Ghost Rider split up, and Cap winds up facing Scarecrow first.
He's able to fight the fear that Scarecrow is generating, but it slows him down. Ghost Rider, on the other hand, is not susceptible.
Captain Dolan also winds up in the house with the Scarecrow. They find Stacy hung on a post and stuffed with straw, but she's alive, and when she gets free she takes a shot at Scarecrow. Her father was also trying to kill Scarecrow. But Ghost Rider, struggling with his own desire to kill, has decided that Scarecrow needs to be brought to justice more conventionally, so he stops Dolan. But Scarecrow slips away, falls out a window, and impales himself on a fence, in a scene pretty much identical to how the character seemingly died last time.
Ghost Rider leaves after that, and Captain America asks Captain Dolan if it means he's giving up on his vendetta. Dolan just says that he's not sure. You'd think the implicit endorsement of Captain America would change his mind, even if Ghost Rider didn't help save his daughter. And i'm sure it did have an effect.
As with last time, Scarecrow is retrieved by mysterious people before the cops can get to him. This time, though, we learn that the mystery people are led by Stern, the leader of the Firm in the Ghost Rider series.
This would have made for a decent issue of Ghost Rider (it's definitely more of a Ghost Rider story than a Captain America story), but it's hard to see how it merited being a prestige format $5.95 book.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Danny Ketch references his "death" at the hands of Blackout, so this would have to take place after that and after he recovered in Ghost Rider #32. I'm placing this before Infinity War for Captain America, since for Ghost Rider Spirits of Venom continues directly from the Hobgoblin and Demogoblin stories in Moon Knight #44-46 and Web of Spider-Man #93-94 that continues directly from Infinity War. After Spirits of Vengeance Ghost Rider is with Johnny Blaze. Alternatively it could take place directly after Infinity War, concurrent with the goblin stories but before Spirits of Venom begins.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCaptain America, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Noble Kale, Scarecrow, Stacy Dolan, Stern, Thomas Dolan
DC's Scarecrow would create fear in people by way of a gas or some other chemicals(The Golden Age DC Scarecrow would just kinda wave his arms and go "YAAARRGGHH!!!"). It seems to me that Marvel went right up to the edge of copyright infringement here.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 19, 2016 2:32 PM
And the greatest irony of all is DC's current design for the Scarecrow is a verbatim copy of the Marvel Scarecrow's design!
Posted by: AF | April 19, 2016 2:35 PM
So if I'm reading this right, anyone who bought Ghost Rider #7 and Scarecrow's next appearance wouldn't have any idea they were missing any part of the story because Scarecrow ends this story exactly the same as he ended GR #7, for all practical purposes?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 19, 2016 6:21 PM
... wait. Wasn't Stern supposed to be Black?
Posted by: Piotr W | April 19, 2016 7:18 PM
@Morgan, this story does show Scarecrow getting his power upgrade, so readers who missed this might wonder why he's suddenly projecting fear (not that it affects Ghost Rider anyway). But otherwise, yes, he winds up back where he started, and even a reference to him being pulled off a fence after he fell to his seeming death would be ambiguous.
@Piotr, i assume it's just a coloring error here. Stern was depicted in shadow or color washes a lot in the regular series, which may have led to the confusion.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 20, 2016 8:15 AM
I really like Lee Weeks art here and in Daredevil. I'm surprised he didn't become bigger than he did.
Posted by: Chris | April 1, 2017 7:50 PM
I don't know if Weeks just couldn't do a monthly or what, but yeah he was always excellent.
Posted by: MindlessOne | July 7, 2017 11:57 PM
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