Characters Appearing: Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Mephisto, Noble Kale
Marvel Comics Presents #101-106 (Ghost Rider)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #101, Marvel Comics Presents #102, Marvel Comics Presents #103, Marvel Comics Presents #104, Marvel Comics Presents #105, Marvel Comics Presents #106 (Ghost Rider/Dr. Strange story only)
Kevin takes a train out to the open countryside, but when he's out there he finds a magical floating door, and some kids push him through.
On the other side he finds someone that definitely looks like a part of the Ghost Rider family tree.
The creature is called Gorn. The "kids" are really horse demons called Slick and Spike.
Kevin flees again, and winds up back in the city outside of Dr. Strange's house.
When Dr. Strange asks Kevin what's wrong, Kevin tells him about a monster with a flaming skull, and doesn't exactly correct Strange when Strange assumes that he's talking about Ghost Rider. So Strange seeks Ghost Rider out. Strange finds Ghost Rider in the middle of tormenting more low level criminals. The guy that Ghost Rider was torturing when Strange levitates Ghost Rider away is so messed up that he tries to kill himself by jumping off a building. But he survives the fall, and he's found by Slick and Spike, who take him for their own purposes. He's turned into a creature called Pain.
While Ghost Rider and Strange deal with Pain, Gorn talks to Kevin again. If the previous flashback wasn't clear enough, here's Kevin's mom setting his dad on fire again.
Meanwhile, Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider get pulled into the realm of Mephisto. Strange says that Mephisto isn't involved in any of this, or else traveling in Mephisto's realm wouldn't be so easy. Strange and Ghost Rider fight their way through some skeletons and eventually make it to Gorn and Kevin. Strange calls Gorn a minor demon and he's pretty easily defeated. But Gorn reveals that the flashback we've seen with Kevin's parents isn't the whole story. It turns out that Kevin's mom was a worshiper of Gorn, and the father was preventing her from sacrificing Kevin.
Strange and Ghost Rider leave with Kevin, and Gorn attracts the attention of Mephisto.
Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider then track down Kevin's mother. They locate a warehouse where the worshipers of Gorn - although they know him as Gormac - dwell. Not that they probably could have done much to him anyway, but with Gorn incapacitated ("dead -- if not worse", according to Ghost Rider), they're pretty much powerless. After the other followers are defeated, Kevin's mom jumps out, blaming him for everything.
Despite all he's been through, or maybe because of it, Kevin is surprisingly well adjusted.
Rick Leonardi's art has an almost Colan-esque quality to it in these issues, although it's on the more cartoony side as per Leonardi's usual style. As for the story, it's fairly generic. I'm cool with the Ghost Rider feature in Marvel Comics Presents essentially becoming Ghost Rider Team-Up, but you'd think that would mean putting Ghost Rider in scenarios different than what he does in his own solo series. In fact, even if this wasn't a team-up feature, you'd want this book to offer something different than the regular series (aside from lower quality). Granted, when Ghost Rider's guest is Dr. Strange, it's kind of a moot point.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Ghost Rider doesn't appear as Danny Ketch in this story, and he seems particularly unfiltered when it comes to his vengeance obsession during the early parts of this story. So i wondered if maybe this was meant to take place after Ghost Rider #25, after Danny Ketch is "killed". But i'd rather keep that period open, since Ghost Rider heads straight for Johnny Blaze to get help after Ketch is killed, and you'd think he'd ask Dr. Strange for help if he found him here. So i've placed this before Ghost Rider #25.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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