Ghost Rider #11-12
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #11, Ghost Rider #12
...we began to look at the nature of the current Ghost Rider. This issue continues that, although it comes nowhere near to reaching a conclusion. It does establish that Danny Ketch's Ghost Rider is not Zarathos, and that he is a force for good. This happens through an encounter with Nightmare.
Nightmare knew the original Ghost Rider, and in fact it was through him that we learned the original's origin. After an initial dream, Danny is woken up by his alarm, so we have to wait to see the conversation continued.
Pencils in issue #11 are by Larry Stroman, and he doesn't mesh with Mark Texeira's inks as well as Javier Saltares.
Ketch goes looking for Zodiak, from last issue, but when he finds him...
...Nightmare brings Danny back into his dream dimension just as he's transforming into Ghost Rider. This allows Danny and Ghost Rider to both be in the dream dimension as separate entities.
Ghost Rider denies knowing Nightmare, but Nightmare says that Ghost Rider is known to get amnesia so that doesn't prove anything. But eventually it becomes pretty clear that this Ghost Rider is not Zarathos.
And Danny finds that he "know[s]" that Ghost Rider is a force for good.
So he and Ghost Rider re-merge. It's said that Ghost Rider is much stronger when bonded with Danny. They're unable to hurt Nightmare, but merging gives them the power to escape.
And of course Ghost Rider has a one track mind so he's immediately ready to go after Zodiak again.
The problem is that now it's time for a crossover.
Javier Saltares is back on pencils for issue #12 and Mark Texeira is getting help from Jimmy Palmiotti on background inks, in i think his earliest (credited?) work at Marvel.
If you haven't been following Doctor Strange, the story is that Topaz needs components to help with an excoriate, and one of those components is fire from a demon. Ghost Rider's flaming skull seems like a logical place to get it.
Strange also assumes that Ghost Rider is Zarathos, but Ghost Rider continues to deny it. He's also not interested in finding out what Strange wants, so he uses his control of his motorcycle to knock Strange down and escape his force bubble. Rintrah then attacks.
I don't know why he keeps attacking physically. I know he's a giant minotaur, but he's still a magician. And he doesn't seem to be very good at fisticuffs. Ghost Rider gets away and continues his pursuit of Zodiak.
We continue to have a discrepancy between the fact that Ghost Rider isn't supposed to kill and the art that says otherwise. You're telling me that this guy, with blood exploding out of his chest as he's getting driven over by a flaming motorcycle and knocked down a flight of stairs manages to survive? And that the Ghost Rider knew that he would survive?
Ghost Rider finds Zodiak's minions in the basement, engaged in some weird ritual with children.
The minions have guns that shoot a kind of energy that can hurt Ghost Rider, but it's Dr. Strange and friends to the rescue.
The disrupted ritual causes a dragon and some demons to appear.
But Ghost Rider and the magic-users are able to stop them and destroy Zodiak's machine. Ghost Rider catches up with Zodiak, but he turns out to be a robot again.
We end with Dr. Strange this time politely asking Ghost Rider for help, carefully framing it as the innocent life of Topaz being at stake.
I really like the Saltares/Texeira art. There a lot of cool little panels here, plus an overall atmosphere that is very fitting.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Dr. Strange and company appear here after Doctor Strange #27, but it doesn't have to be immediately afterwards. This story continues directly in Doctor Strange #28.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showDoris Ketch, Dr. Strange, Dreamstalker, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Mephista, Nightmare, Noble Kale, Rintrah, Satannish, Stacy Dolan, Topaz, Zodiak
And this is where Ghost Rider's continuity becomes a mess. It's confirmed that Ghost Rider isn't Zarathos, and we'll get confirmation that Ghost Rider isn't a demon in Doctor Strange 28. But he resembles Zarathos, or at least a demon, so closely, that even beings like Nightmare and Doctor Strange at first mistake him for a demon. This isn't a bad idea but unfortunately, Mackie never had any idea WHY this is the case. The easiest explanation would be that this is some trick of Mephisto's to trick Blaze into murdering an innocent but it's obvious by issue 16 that this Ghost Rider ISN'T Mephisto's handiwork. So we get one convoluted story after another trying to explain the connection between the two Ghost Riders.
Posted by: Michael | September 15, 2015 6:40 PM
Saltares and Texiera were a great combo, and this book loses something when the art duties go fully to Tex soon.
Posted by: Bob | September 15, 2015 7:29 PM
never understood why a robot is appearing in a supposedly Horror comic.. sometimes these writers need someone to educate them on what constitutes the horror genre.. I was never that into Ghost Rider personally but I did enjoy the character of Vengeance and look forward to seeing him on these pages.......
Posted by: Brimstone | December 29, 2015 7:19 PM
Mackie claims that Ghost Rider wasn't originally supposed to be a horror book:
Posted by: Michael | December 29, 2015 11:06 PM
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