Marvel Super Heroes #11 (Ghost Rider)
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #11 (Ghost Rider story only)
This untold tale of the original Ghost Rider takes place during the period when the demon Zarathos was trying to take control of the composite form he shared with stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, while Blaze struggled to prevent Zarathos from taking over and wreaking havok!
Yes, it's "havok" with a k in the issue. Poor Havok; always getting wreaked.
This is a full length story, so i assume it was originally intended as an inventory "just in case" fill in for the Ghost Rider series. I have no idea who Tina Chrioproces; this seems to be the only comic she (?) ever wrote, assuming it's not a pseudonym. I will note that the name is an anagram for Chaotic Prisoner, but that could very well be meaningless (it's also an anagram for Narcotic Rose Hip and Oceanic Shirt Pro, so you see what i'm saying).
The story isn't very good and certainly didn't ever need to see the light of day , but of course you can say that about the majority of the stories resurrected in Marvel Super Heroes and other such titles. There's nothing wrong with Greg LaRocque's art, although the 1990s era coloring is too heavy for it, in my opinion.
Johnny Blaze and Red Fowler go out for a motorcycle cruise and wind up getting arrested for speeding and then mouthing off to the sheriff. While they're in prison, they get a free sermon from a Reverend Stryker.
I know that name sounds familiar to you, but this is not God Loves, Man Kills.
The prison scene devolves into a comedy routine.
Then Stryker's daughter Veronica comes in and starts telling the Sheriff to arrest her father, but the sheriff says there's no evidence for that.
Then the old timer in the cell next door gives the history, and oh god it's not just a small town cop story or a crazy religious person story or a murder mystery but there's a whole thing with survivalist cults and anti-nuke protestors.
Just pick something, will you!?
Anyway, Johnny and Red are eventually released and they decide to investigate the... whatever it is.
They eventually wind up in the survivalist bunker, and the answer is demon cultists. The writer has settled on a story and it's demon cultists.
They get captured by the cultists and Red tells Johnny that he had better release Zarathos.
The cultists start worshiping Zarathos.
But Reverend Stryker doesn't like what's going on with his daughter, so he triggers the bunker's self destruct sequence. The button for which is in his bible.
Zarathos is forced to absorb all the flames triggered by the explosion, and then he turns back into Johnny.
And now we've read that.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This has to take place after Red Fowler reveals that he knows that Johnny Blaze is Ghost Rider, so after Ghost Rider #72-73. As Michael says in the Comments, Johnny refers to the Ghost Rider demon as Zarathos, and we don't learn that name until Ghost Rider #76. But I have Ghost Rider #76-77 in a single reprint book, and #77 begins the story that leads to the end of the series (and Johnny no longer being Ghost Rider). But since Johnny and Zarathos share a brain, it's entirely possible that Johnny learned Zarathos' name before we did, even if it's only subconsciously. So i am placing this prior to issue #76. I'll note that the Essential Ghost Rider vol. 3 trade incorrectly places this between Ghost Rider #63-64, before Fowler even discovers that Blaze is Ghost Rider (which happens in #65).
The Ms. Marvel and Giant-Man stories from this issue are in separate entries.
Continuity Insert? Y (inventory story)
My Reprint: Essential Ghost Rider vol. 3
Inbound References (3): show
At the MCP, someone suggested that this should go after Ghost Rider 76, since Johnny uses the name Zarathos in this story and he first heard the name Zarathos on panel in Ghost Rider 76. Although I suppose it's possible he heard it earlier.
Posted by: Michael | March 3, 2015 10:58 PM
Good points, Michael. Due to the way my Original Ghost Rider Rides Again reprints are packaged, i want to avoid placing this between #76-77, but i've moved this directly before #76 and updated the Considerations. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 4, 2015 7:53 AM
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