Characters Appearing: Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Zarathos
Ghost Rider #38-39
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #38, Ghost Rider #39
Uh, you guys do worship Satan, right?
Oh, geez, sorry! Sheesh. It's kind of all the same to me, guys.
And of course they are motorcycle-themed Death cultists. I wouldn't have it any other way in this comic.
This issue starts with them throwing a young woman off a cliff, but Ghost Rider, despite being an agent of vengeance, not mercy, rescues her.
The next day, Johnny Blaze winds up in a motorcycle race, and the only person that gets ahead of him gets attacked by the motorcycle death cultists...
...and the racer turns out to be the woman he rescued.
Johnny Blaze is in a ladies man phase, and so he's making out with the girl within a matter of panels.
Later, Ghost Rider winds up chasing some of the death cultists (because they killed a mechanic that Johnny had befriended), and he again comes on like an unstoppable monster.
But the funny thing is that these guys are billed as the Suicide Squad on cover. But they're not like DC's Suicide Squad. These guys just literally commit suicide when they get in trouble.
Meanwhile, things are moving quickly with Johnny's new girlfriend, so he gets invited to meet her dad, who is a senator. He's against the cultist, but his lawyer advisor tells him not to get involved in messy First Amendment issues.
But it turns out that the lawyer is really the head of the cult. Goddamn First Amendment lawyers! I'll bet they're all secretly Death cultists!
But don't worry. Ghost Rider hunts him down.
Although that once again ruins his chances with the ladies.
Someone must have been doing something right, because this series goes monthly for the first time since its inception, beginning with next issue.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Ghost Rider vol. 2
To be fair about the First Amendment lawyer, I think that the lawyer's argument about the First Amendment was a legitimate clue, since a lawyer would almost certainly realize that the First Amendment doesn't protect attacks on third parties- you can't, for example, beat up a gay man and argue that you should go free because your religion requires gay-bashing.
Posted by: Michael | February 21, 2015 12:26 PM
Not that i think it's a deeply explored topic in the comic, but i think the analogy would be if there was an organization whose leaders were advocating that homosexuality was immoral in a way that was a borderline incitement. You could certainly arrest anyone that committed violence because of that, but the First Amendment debate would be about shutting down the organization.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 21, 2015 12:55 PM
I really liked the way the transformation was presented in #38 on page 30.
Posted by: Jake Amidon | July 26, 2015 3:45 PM
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