Ghost Rider annual #2
Issue(s): Ghost Rider annual #2
We get a flashback to Scarecrow's childhood.
It's a pretty dark origin for a guy who was a goofy glorified acrobat for his first half-dozen or so appearances.
Scarecrow abducts people to lure Ghost Rider to him. Scarecrow guts his victims and turns their insides into rope and does other such butcherous things. But no matter how scary and murderous Warren Ellis makes him...
...he can't do anything about the fact that good guys always win. So he might as well make sure Ghost Rider is scary too.
Also in this annual, Vengeance fights a garbage golem called Cain the Gris-Gris Man which was created with voodoo by a woman named Ruby Avedon.
The Gris-Gris Man was originally supposed to go after thugs that harassed Avedon, but by the time Vengeance got involved its scope had been expanded to every neighbor that Avedon had a grievance with.
Avedon realizes that she'd let her rage get away from her, and she dies when Vengeance destroys the Gris-Gris Man.
And in the third story, Johnny Blaze catches up with Linda Littletrees.
Linda had married Sam Silvercloud, but they're now divorced and he wants their kid, and is willing to drive a truck through her diner to get him.
It turns out that Linda is still a bit of a Witch-Woman.
After dealing with her ex, she turns on Johnny.
But Johnny is able to subdue her. Caretaker then shows up to take her away and "maybe turn her to our side". Johnny thanks Linda for showing him that he can still "feel" after the death of his wife.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place the main story between Ghost Rider #51-52. But the Vengeance story has to take place after Vengeance escapes Anton Hellgate in Ghost Rider #52, and issue #51 has an inconsequential plot, so to avoid splitting up this annual i'll place all of it between Ghost Rider #52-53. Johnny Blaze is searching for his children, confirming that it takes place at least after Ghost Rider #50.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCaretaker, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Linda Littletrees, Noble Kale, Sam Silvercloud, Scarecrow, Thomas Dolan, Vengeance
Even though I had finally stopped reading the Ghost Rider series by this point, I picked up this annual... and I was actually pretty glad that I did. This felt so much more like an actual "horror" story than any of the Midnight Sons nonsense that Howard Mackie was offering up in his GR stories for the past two years. It's regrettable that Warren Ellis never wrote Ghost Rider regularly, because he possessed the sensibilities to really make it into an unsettling, freaky series.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 28, 2018 10:04 PM
One interesting addition to the Scarecrow's powers in this Annual- it's established that he heals in the presence of fear.
Posted by: Michael | March 29, 2018 10:45 PM
As good as Warren Ellis' writing is, I can't help thinking that this take on Scarecrow is a bit ridiculous. He started up as contortionist who fought Iron Man in the Silver Age. How are we supposed to square those appearances with... this?
Posted by: Piotr W | March 31, 2018 7:26 PM
He started up as contortionist who fought Iron Man in the Silver Age. How are we supposed to square those appearances with... this?
J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck reinvented Marvel's Scarecrow as a psychotic murderer in Captain America #281 back in the early 1980s, and Howard Mackie brought him in as a Ghost Rider villain fairly early in the Dan Ketch-based relaunch, where he tried to kill himself but was recreated as a fear-inducing superhuman by a group called The Firm back in Ghost Rider #38.
This is roughly where Ellis is picking the character up.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 1, 2018 8:41 AM
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