Soon, Ghost Rider is going to be in the MCU and Marvel’s Midnight Sun RPG is going to be out on all gaming platforms in 2022. Ghost Rider’s flame is getting hotter for the “Year of Vengeance.”
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Over almost 50 years, these Ghost Rider stories are important reads because they show how Marvel and Ghost Rider have changed over the last 50 years. They also show how Rider mythos has changed over time.
1. Ghost Rider: Volume 1 #68 The Curse Of Johnny Blaze
In terms of where Ghost Rider came from, The Curse of Johnny Blaze is the best book on the subject. Brilliant: In this story, Blaze confesses to a priest about how he came to be who he is. This story explains the most important parts of the story while giving readers a different perspective on Blaze’s beginning.
Roger Stern, who played Dr. Strange in the Bronze Age, wrote this macabre story. It’s an updated version of Marvel Spotlight #5, and the main villain has been changed from the Devil to Riders’ most famous villain, Mephisto. The Curse was a dark, horror-driven work from Stern that was a break from his more colorful work. The Curse, however, was still a great piece of storytelling that any comic fan would be better off reading.
2. Ghost Rider: Volume 3 #1 Life’s Blood
For nine years after Ghost Rider #81 came to an end, Marvel would introduce its second Ghost Rider. In this story, Daniel “Danny” Ketch and his sister, Barbara, accidentally cross a gang war in a cemetery, which leaves Barbara with a bad injury. This is what happened. Danny is fleeing to a junkyard when he sees a motorcycle cap that is lit up. With the blood of his innocent sister, Danny touches the Spirit of Vengeance. Then, the Spirit of Vengeance takes hold of him. Then his sister is in the hospital and can’t move. Danny vows to protect the innocent as Ghost Rider.
Howard Mackie, the writer of Rider, did a great job of making sure that everything important to the Rider mythos was included in the creation of a completely new anti-hero who had very little in common with his predecessor. Not only did this story introduce the Medallion of Power and the “Penance Stare,” but it also added Ghost Rider antagonists like Blackout, Deathwatch, and Lilith. This story is still a must-read for comic book fans.
3. Rise Of The Midnight Sons
Rider’s new adversary Lilith is the mother of demons, and she wants to break free from her captivity and start a reign of terror. This huge crossover began with Ghost Rider (1990, #28). During six issues, the story of Rise of the Midnight Sons shows how Blade, Ghost Rider, and Morbius the Living Vampire work together to fight Lilith and her Lilin. They don’t like it, but they do it anyway.
You can get a refresher on how comics were in the ’90s by watching this old movie. People wanted hard stories and art that looked like noir at the time. Howard Mackie, who was just starting his Rider run at the time, delivers the essence of what they wanted. Also, this arch would show Blaze that Danny Ketch is his biological brother, which is a very important thing to know about the Bearer of Brimstone.
4. Ghost Rider: Road To Damnation
Johnny Blaze has been riding in Hell for two years now. His soul has been reclaimed, and he is always being torn apart as he tries to get out of the fiery depths. Finally, the angel Malachai comes to Blaze and asks for supernatural help. He wants Blaze to stop the demon Kazaan and send him back to Hell. Because of this, Blaze will be able to get away. As the sultry Archangel Ruth and the ruthless demon Hoss join the hunt, there is a lot of metal and chaos.
Ghost Rider had a noticeable lull after Danny Ketch died in GR #93. Garth Ennis, the writer of Preacher and Punisher, was brought in to breathe new life into the book. Ennis and Crain are getting a lot of attention for their story, which is both memorable and grittier than the Rider of the 21st century. It’s a must-read for comic book fans all over the world.
5. Ghost Rider: Trail Of Tears
In this Civil War-era story, Travis Parham, a Confederate lieutenant, has lived war and thought that he would die in glory in battle. Vengeance has other ideas. Two years after Parham was saved from death by Caleb, he returned to find Caleb’s property had been illegally taken and his family had been killed. If it costs him his soul, Parham wants to get back at his friend.
It’s a great follow-up to Road to Damnation, and it’s full of dark humor and visceral images. It also shows a Rider from another time. Ennis wrote a story in which the main character, Parham, has to fight the Spirit of Vengeance for revenge while also looking into the connection between social injustice and the Spirit of Vengeance, which makes this story important.
6. Ghost Rider Gets Weirder
A new creative team took over after the first arc was over. Tony Isabella became the main Ghost Rider author (a Ghost writer, if you will). As time went on, the mid-1970s vibes really took off, and stories became full of action and weird ideas. Johnny Blaze (?) had a brief romance with Karen Page, and he made some friends who were into bikes. Ghost Rider is so out of place in the Marvel Universe because of a few short appearances from the Hulk and Daredevil. This is a good thing, though.
Because, after all, it’s hard to believe that a demon who doesn’t like moral gray areas would make people uncomfortable. Part of Johnny Blaze’s charm is how aware he is of that. If you’re a fan, you’ll love the two-part Orb story that happened over the course of #15 and #16. Karen Page is forced to be the voice of reason as Johnny almost crosses a line he couldn’t have come back from.
7. Introducing Danny Ketch
Ghost Rider Vol. 3 #1, written by Howard Mackie, art by Javier Saltares, Mark Texiera, and Gregory Wright, lettering by Michael Heisler
Johnny Blaze is a great character because he is an absolute mess who always makes bad decisions. Danny Ketch, on the other hand, was a little different. It took Danny a long time to get back to normal after the Ghost Rider destroyed his sense of balance and sent him on a downward spiral that has continued to this day. Before that, Danny was a young, sensitive person who had been dealing with a lot of bottled up grief. By being in the right place at the right time, the Ghost Rider was born. He did not make a deal with the devil. As long as Johnny was cursed with the spirit of vengeance, Danny asked for it and got more than he could have ever dreamed of getting.
When he and his sister were walking through a graveyard, they didn’t know they were going to see a murder. It was only after Danny became Ghost Rider to save Barbara that he lost Barbara to one of the demon’s many enemies. Danny Ketch was a great addition to the Ghost Rider mythos, and he would go on to be a big part of the character’s history as well. A lot of the things that have happened in Ghost Rider comics over the last few decades all come back to this first arc with Danny.