Characters Appearing: Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Zarathos
Ghost Rider #67
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #67
Johnny Blaze picks up a hitchhiker (actually, our ghost)...
...and then stops again to help out a guy who is having car trouble, except that turns out to be a trap by a group of muggers (one of whom looks more like a comic book writer than a local tough).
Johnny gets beaten up bad, transforms into Ghost Rider and chases the criminals, but he unwillingly transforms back into Johnny Blaze before he can fully "punish" them. Johnny is led by the girl to a house, and then he passes out.
He wakes up in the home of a woman, Veronica Stanton...
...that has lost her family to a series of tragedies: father to a heart attack, son to a war, and her daughter Sally to a local drunk driver that is the mayor's nephew and also one of the guys that jumped Johnny. Johnny is still a little groggy and unclear on exactly what happened, so when he goes to town to pick up some parts to repair his motorcycle, he doesn't recognize the thugs, but they recognize him...
...and follow him back to the lady's house.
At that point Johnny turns into Ghost Rider and starts beating the holy hell out of the thugs.
At this point the ghost - Veronica's daughter Sally, if you haven't guessed - re-manifests.
The point is that Veronica has been harboring a desire for vengeance, and Sally wants to show her how ugly vengeance is.
So Veronica appeals to Ghost Rider to get him to stop beating on the thug that killed her daughter. But, in another twist, Johnny's control of Ghost Rider is more far gone than Sally knew, so she has to step in to force him to stop.
Eventually Ghost Rider wears himself out and transforms back into Johnny.
A little stiff in art and dialogue and maybe a little obvious, but even as an inconsequential fill-in it feels like an improvement over what's been going on in the series for the past few years.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 121,227. Single issue closest to filing date = 110,061.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed back in publication time to allow for Null the Living Darkness' appearance in Ghost Rider #71 to take place before Defenders #113.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I think the idea is supposed to be that the ghost was an agent of Heaven, so her presence was able to hurt Ghost Rider.
Posted by: Michael | February 24, 2015 8:18 PM
I love this story. In only one issue of development you feel the pain of each character, and when Ghost Rider backhands the older lady it was shocking.. it lets you know this was not your normal superhero comic. J.M. DeMatteis is a fantastic writer. Really enjoyed it.
Posted by: RikFenix | June 26, 2018 11:14 PM
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