Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Maybe I only read Ghost Rider once a year...

We've seen a couple others, but today I think we've got his first one: from 1993, Ghost Rider Annual #1, featuring stories written by Howard Mackie and Joey Cavalieri, and art by Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Isaac Cordova, Kirk Van Wormer, and more.

I got this from a dollar bin, un-polybagged and without the trading card. Oh, darn. How will I commemorate the first appearance of Night Terror now? Eh, this is probably good enough. NT had been a freelance intelligence operative and killer, who had been bad news before getting turned into a vampire on a mission. His handlers had perhaps thought to see if they could still use him, which ended up in a bloodbath. He doesn't realize that when he first comes to at the start of the issue, but starts drinking blood pretty quickly, and seems to absorb memories as he does so. Ghost Rider may have made a tactical error when he calls him "vampire" during a fight: Night Terror realizes if that's what he is, he could turn into mist and avoid that fight entirely...Later, he hits his handlers' safe house (or "intelligence station") intent on killing them all for answers about his final mission, but is seemingly killed in an explosion. Danny Ketch's mysterious friend Seer says there's no way that killed him, but suggests like Night Terror, maybe the Ghost Rider is searching for answers he's not going to like when he finds them.

Night Terror "returns" in the first back-up story, where he fights an old friend that I thought looked like the mercenary Chance. It's not: the motorcycle-riding "Wanderer" is jobbed out here, but is probably turned into a vampire as well. Lastly, Ghost Rider finds a too-realistic statue in a graveyard, a local girl turned to stone, by the Grey Gargoyle Rigor Mortis! Despite having a half-skull face and riding a giant winged worm, I'd still rather have the Gargoyle. Also, the Ghost Rider busts out a surprising simile there, almost literary. Good for him.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Rigor Mortis? Sounds like a bad joke villain's name (#Nailedit)
A possessed or just regular evil Grey Gargoyle would've sufficed, but that imagery of GR being dragged by a flying mouth w/ wings does make for a better visual at least.

That Chris Bachalo art further convinces me that GR could've worked as DC character, especially in early 90's Vertigo. Think of all the team ups we could've gotten:

Shade, the Changing Man
Jack Kirby's The Demon
Neil Gaiman's Sandman and the Endless Dreaming
The Doom Patrol
Swamp Thing
John Constantine
Blue Devil (Non-Vertigo)
Animal Man

My god the list goes on and I have a future blog post idea now.