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Comics 411: Thoughts on Marvel’s Ghost Rider Relaunch

February 23, 2022 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Ghost Rider 1 Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we discussed Top Comic Book Couples Here’s what some of you had to say:

“Filthy” Jake Fury: “Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon.

So much so I felt emotionally scarred when she kissed Jason Todd in the Three Jokers series”

Prez Gar: “How about Mr. Miracle (Scott Free) and Big Barda? The only non-toxic relationship to start on Apokalips.”

tw75: “Count me as a fan of Scott and Emma. Frost gives Cyclops an edge and the couple are far more dynamic than Scott and Jean. Krakoa has diluted most of the X-couples. There is an obvious suggestion of polygamy but this has never been addressed properly through the characters.”

Ryan: “I think in terms of Superhero couples, Cyclops and Emma are underrated. The edge that Emma brought to Scott was a great one to see and…hey…what wasn’t to like about Ms. Frost? 😉

The whole Jean and Scott thing was for the past anyway. Except for the “Dark Phoenix” storyline arc, it felt like the “safe” relations for the both of them. Emma and Scott was, for Summers at least, an exciting new adventure with someone who would test his boundaries and make him feel more alive.”

Wheeljack84: “One pairing Marvel would always tease is Storm and Wolverine. But they never pull the trigger on it.”

SonoftheMountain: “Al Simmons and Wanda.”

Tayo Jones: “I have always loved the relationship of Wally West and Linda. They play off each so well. They are an improved version of Barry and Iris”

armchair theologian: “I like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Maybe its the street-level view they tend to have, but their relationship feels a little more grounded than many and more adult (and not in a XXX sense, but in a grown up sense)”

Great stuff and thank you to everyone who commented last week! Too many great comments to list so go and check it out! This week we discuss…

Thoughts on Marvel’s Ghost Rider Relaunch

Growing up I had a passing interest in Ghost Rider but never really got into the character until the 1990–1998 run that featured Danny Ketch as a new Ghost Rider. The series introduced some really cool aspects to the character and villains that were actually…menacing. Of course they went overboard with Ghost Rider, having him appear in multiple other books, even forming a weird version of the Fantastic Four, and the character became diluted and confusing. 

Now we skip ahead to Marvel’s plans for a revival of a new Ghost Rider ongoing title in 2022. The new Ghost Rider title will be written by Wolverine and X-Force writer Benjamin Percy, with art from Cory Smith.
Percy says it will be “the ultimate in road horror,” steering into Ghost Rider’s roots. The book focuses on Johnny Blaze, who has a new civilian identity along with some scary twists on his usual Ghost Rider alter ego. In the new title, Johnny is a mechanic living in a small town with a wife and kids with the Spirit of Vengeance within him. 

“I’m a horror head. I grew up reading Stephen King, watching John Carpenter, and listening to Black Sabbath, and when it came to comics, I always reached first for the dark and weird which means I read a hell of a lot of Ghost Rider,” Percy states in the Ghost Rider announcement.

“That flaming skull. That spiked leather jacket. That monstrous bike coughing out clouds of sulfurous exhaust. To this day, the sight of the character blazing along a midnight highway makes my heart rev like a four-stroke engine.”

“Ghost Rider is arguably the best designed, but inarguably, the most heavy metal character in all of comics. It would be badass to write this series at any point in my life, but launching on the 50th anniversary feels especially (un)holy,” Percy explains. “Cory Smith is killing it on art, and we’re going to honor the past while burning rubber into a terrifying future packed with mystery, action, and shadow-soaked emotion. Prepare yourself for the ultimate in road horror.”

Ghost Rider is one of those characters that I like to see in his own little corner. I don’t want him crossing over with the Avengers or trading quips with Spider-Man. An occasional crossover with similar, darker edged characters is fine but less is more. 

What do you think? Is it time for Ghost Rider to ride again?

(Image credit: Kael Ngu (Marvel Comics))

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!