Monday, August 08, 2016
It's always fun to find a comic from one of your favorites, that you didn't know about before. A creepy, creepy comic, in this case: from 1994, Ghost Rider Annual #2, "Wish for Pain" Written by Warren Ellis, pencils by Javier Salares, inks by Mike Witherby.
The cover proclaims "Through the eyes of a Scarecrow," and it delivers on that promise, as the villain narrates his story. Now, Marvel's Scarecrow is not really as developed as his DC counterpart: he's a contortionist, he has trained crows, which has been more or less expanded to crow control; and this time around he has what I'd describe as a healing factor powered by the fear of others. (I don't know if there's even an attempt at a comic-book science explanation for it.) Building off that, Scarecrow has been murdering and abducting innocents, to set a trap for Ghost Rider.
Scarecrow builds himself "a house that does my screaming for me," with victims and hostages hung up throughout it. The hostages' terror not only makes him virtually invulnerable, they're also convenient human shields to keep Ghost Rider from cutting loose. Ellis may be playing this both ways, though: Scarecrow seems to know the Rider's rules, but may not believe he is a supernatural entity.
"This from a man who sets his own head on fire before he goes out at night?"
Either way, Scarecrow overplays his hand, trying to get the Rider to let himself be killed, to protect the hostages. The Rider points out, without the hostages to protect him, it would not go well for him...and it doesn't. The Rider breaks every bone in the Scarecrow's body, then "held them so that they healed crooked." (Which I would've thought to be more time-consuming; not just over a single night...unless Scarecrow's fear-healing factor actually worked against him in that instance!) Still, that's hardly a career-ending injury in the Marvel U. It's basically time to catch up on your TV...