Marvel Spotlight #5
Issue(s): Marvel Spotlight #5
Johnny Blaze's adopted father, Crash Simpson, is diagnosed with cancer. Blaze enters a pact with Satan that says that Simpson won't die of cancer in return for Blaze's soul. Instead Simpson dies in a stunt motorcycle accident.
Simpson's daughter Rocky (short for Roxanne), knows a little white magic, and she chases Satan away, leaving him in a half-demonic state.
The Ghost Rider is definitely not a super-hero. In the beginning of this issue he sees someone getting murdered and does nothing about it (the murderers are forced to chase him down to get what they deserve).
He's also not demonic. He's just a guy whose head gets all flaming skully.
It's a great visual but there's not much of a story there.
The heavy satanism must have seemed edgy at the time, but it's a little silly after decades of satanic posturing in music and movies.
Since Marvel has an actual character called Satan as well as Mephisto who has claimed responsibility for Ghost Rider, there have been some back and forth attempts at consolidating the characters. Going by the MCP, it seems all appearances of "Satan" in the Ghost Rider series are really Mephisto, and the actual Satan mostly appears in stories related to Daimon Hellstrom.
There's also the question of "Zarathos", the demon that Johnny Blaze is bonded with (he's unnamed at this point, and even the idea that he's bonded with a demon isn't really decided yet). The MCP gives him a "behind the scenes" appearance wherever the original Ghost Rider appears. I've opted not to do that and will only list him when he appears as a unique entity.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Ghost Rider: Highway To Hell #1
Inbound References (10): show
Ghost Rider was first conceived as a Daredevil villain by Gary Friedrich, but rejected as such by Roy Thomas because he was too similar to DD villain Stunt-Rider, and because Thomas thought he'd do better as a solo feature. Gary's run on Daredevil was so brief that I can't remember when that would have been, though.
Ghost Rider's costume was inspired by Elvis Presley's stage outfit on his 1968 TV comeback special.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 14, 2011 12:18 AM
This issue was reprinted in Ghost Rider #10 when that issue's story was late. Some pages were cut for the 1975 ad space, text captions were added on the first and last pages, and the editor credit was changed to Len Wein.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 9, 2011 8:26 PM
Marvel's mistake-filled website currently has this book misplaced in the second volume of Marvel spotlight, taking the place of THAT series' issue 5 while showing the credits for the later book -- the thematically believable but temporally bizarre sounding Wolfman/Ditko.
That web page is so bad it's an embarrassment. It's incredibly sad that even after 50 years of screwing-up and being called on it, Marvel still isn't consistently successfully giving credit to creators.
Posted by: FF3 | November 24, 2017 3:47 PM
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