Characters Appearing: Arabian Knight, Flagg Fargo, Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Water Wizard, Zarathos
Ghost Rider #61-62
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #61, Ghost Rider #62
It turns out there's a water shortage in the area. There's water deep under the earth, but no one has the money to drill.
When Johnny hears that he hops on his bike and drives off, because "it just so happens I know a guy who's a regular whiz with water".
The Water Wizard is currently in a mental hospital being treated for the last time he saw Ghost Rider, so obviously he's not happy to see him again.
I hoped the idea here would be that the Water Wizard would learn that he could use his powers for good (or maybe even good + some reasonable profit), but instead it turns out that some Saudi Arabian criminals are looking for the Water Wizard too. They want him to help against the Arabian Knight, who has been giving them trouble.
So suddenly there's a big crazy mess in a small town in Indiana.
The good news is that the town gets its water, but the bad news is that the Water Wizard escapes with the Saudis.
Now you may be asking yourself why the Saudi criminals wanted the Water Wizard specifically, out of all the possible super-villains at Marvel. And the answer is that they've theorized - correctly - that his power will also work on oil. You may also be wondering if the regular, non-villain Arabs in this story would be depicted as believing that Allah would send Djinn after them for unspecified reasons, and the answer to that question is a definite yes.
Johnny hears about the oil field attacks while at a diner in Indianapolis, and decides he needs to go after the Water Wizard. But Johnny doesn't have a quinjet, and i guess he doesn't think to call up Angel or someone from the Champions for a lift (pretty soon, in Avengers #214, we'll see what happens when Ghost Rider does meet up with Angel), so he doesn't have a quick way to get to Saudi Arabia. But he sees an advertisement saying that Flagg Fargo is in town, and hey they're good buds now, right? Well, not so much...
...but Flagg does loan Johnny money for a plane ticket with the conditions that Johnny's current custom stunt bike be used as collateral and he forfeits the bike if he doesn't pay Flagg back in 48 hours.
But at least Johnny makes it to Saudi Arabia, the land where guys hang out in the desert with birds on their arms.
But the Arabian Knight is also in the area. And it's pretty easy for a character like Ghost Rider to get into a Misunderstanding Fight.
But that gets settled when Ghost Rider starts attacking the Water Wizard's oil monsters too.
Of course that doesn't mean that the Ghost Rider wants a Team-Up.
And in any event, it's not like the Ghost Rider needs any help with the Water Wizard, no matter what his monsters are made of.
I probably don't want to think of the environmental impact of all of this, though.
The Arabian Knight is relegated to taking out the Saudi criminals. He defeats the boss with his *snicker* magic sash.
The Arabian Knight flies Johnny back to Indianapolis, and Johnny pays back his loan by giving Flagg a gem that he took off the Saudi boss.
There's a part of me that enjoys seeing these weird third-tier heroes and villains, but for the most part this book was better when it was doing isolated horror stories.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Ghost Rider vol. 3
First Black Juju and now these Saudi's? Ghost Rider takes a turn for the racist all of a sudden...
Posted by: Berend | February 23, 2015 5:31 PM
This story raised the question- if Water Wizard can control water and oil, why can't he control blood? He would be easily able to defeat most opponents if he could make the blood in their bodies stop. The Official Handbook suggests that he has difficulty controlling small amounts of liquids.
Posted by: Michael | February 23, 2015 8:54 PM
Fleisher is notorious in certain circles of fandom for the way he writes...well, pretty much anyone who's mot a white dude. It's not there in all of his work, but there are certainly enough screwed-up portrayals of nonwhite ethnic groups and women in his various stories to make a case. (His Ironjaw series at Atlas is particularly messed-up in its treatment of women.)
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 10:53 AM
Regarding the Arabian Knight's waist-wear: Don't bash the sash! Also, Water Wizard's fisherman's waders had to be awfully uncomfortable in a desert climate.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 21, 2018 11:51 PM
Comments are now closed.
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