Ghost Rider #14-15
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #14, Ghost Rider #15
Karen Page is also on the show, and as we saw in the previous story, she's got a bounty on her head for reasons not yet disclosed. The Trapster tried to collect it last time; this time the Orb shows up. The Orb was presumed dead after his first appearance, so he tries to play up the ghost angle.
The Orb attacks Johnny and the Stunt-Master with a hypnotized mob. The presence of danger causes Johnny to turn into the Ghost Rider, and he summons hellfire to try to keep the mob away. But the Orb threatens to march the mob right through the flames, so Karen Page and her stunt double Katy Milner douse the flames...
...which also frees the mob from the Orb's control. The Orb withdraws for now.
By the way, Katy Milner sure looks like Karen Page, huh? Here she is without the wig.
It'll turn out that she's really Roxanne Simpson. Inferno made some changes to her after the end of issue #9. She doesn't yet know who she is. But it's kind of awkward for Johnny to be talking about his interest in Karen Page to her.
Anyway, "Katy" gives Johnny a tour of the studio and introduces him to her friends, Wendy and Richard Pini.
These characters are based on the real life Pinis that will eventually (in 1978) create Elfquest. But they exist as legitimate supporting characters here, so i'm listing them as Characters Appearing, unlike my usual policy for creator cameos.
Johnny also fends off another attack by the Orb while meeting the Pinis. No one seems phased by the fact that he turns into a flaming skeleton while fighting the Orb.
Katy also fills in Johnny on Karen Page's past romances with Matt Murdock and her agent Phil Hickock, to explain why she's giving mixed signals regarding her romantic interest in Johnny. In exchange for all of this, Katy asks Johnny to run an errand for him that takes him to the campus of UCLA, and that's when the events of Champions #1-2 take place.
When he returns, he once again attempts a big stunt that he's been trying to execute since getting hired. The first time, the Trapster interrupted. The second time, he was stopped because he didn't have a union card. This time, the Orb shows up again, hypnotizes Karen Page, and forces her to shoot Katy and the Stunt-Master. Orb then flees with Karen.
Ghost Rider gives chase, and he's supported by the Stunt-Master, driving director "Coot" Collier, who is armed with a rifle.
Ghost Rider catches up with the Orb...
...rescues Karen, and then proceeds to mercilessly beat on the villain.
That's when Jesus shows up. Johnny is upset - his loss to Pluto in Champions, and his inability to strike back at Satan. Jesus assures him he'll get a crack at both soon.
And sure enough, "Katy" is experiencing some demonic position in the epilogue.
She's going to have to be patient, though, because despite a next issue blurb promising an intervention from the Son of Satan (and an announcement that Frank Robbins will be the regular artist starting with #16), next issue will actually be a fill-in.
Even with the demonic possession, this new setting and cast and the plot for the past few issues is quite a shift from the previous stories. Using the Orb is a nice way to shift to more standard super-hero stories, since he has some history with the Ghost Rider thanks to his Marvel Team-Up appearance and he doesn't feel as out of place. But we're definitely making that shift. If you're ok with that, these stories are fine.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Even though this issue starts with Johnny Blaze about to perform the same stunt that got interrupted in issue #13, i'm assuming some time has passed since then. You don't just get right back to work after your set has been torn up by a super-villain. Champions #1-2 take place during these issues. Due to the fact that i've got Champions #1-10 in a trade, i've placed these issues prior to that.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCoot Collier, Cosgrove (Delanzy accountant), Denny Armstrong, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Gus Utermohle, Jesus (Ghost Rider's Friend), Karen Page, Orb, Richard Pini, Roxanne Simpson, Stunt-Master, Wendy Pini
This issue is a good example of what I hate about Ghost Rider's flame- it's supernatural and can sear the soul but asbestos can stop it?
Posted by: Michael | April 30, 2013 8:00 PM
Isabella's scripts are really weak I can see why Shooter had to fix them. Also the appearance of "Jesus" looks like they based him on Ted Neeley who played him in the Jesus Superstar musical movie from when I was a kid. I try to get into 70s Marvel Horror but it seems like they never know what they want to do and can't find the balance between super-hero action and supernatural horror, fnord has alluded to this several times also.
Posted by: Brimstone | January 5, 2016 1:00 PM
2nd time in a row that the Orb steals GR's blonde girlfriend and has her ride behind him. I'm detecting a pattern...
Posted by: kveto | October 2, 2016 10:23 AM
A truck in #15 bears the sign "Evanier Trucking Co." Gold Key writer Mark Evanier was based in Los Angeles.
Security guards Gus Utermohle and Denny appear in #13 and #15, and Cosgrove, the Delazny accountant(with his own subplot that gets abruptly pinched off) is in #14 and #15.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 5, 2016 11:57 PM
Oops! Cosgrove also appears in #17.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 6, 2016 1:40 AM
Looks like the security guards also appear in issue #21 where one of them is called "Armstrong", presumably Denny's last name. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 7, 2016 8:15 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|