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Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today we look at the short-lived friendship between Ghost Rider and Jesus Christ!
In Ghost Rider #9, writer Tony Isabella has Ghost Rider in dire straits against Satan now that Roxanne Simpson has pulled her support from Johnny (up until this point, it was her pureness that protected Johnny from Satan)….
Things look bad until…
Yep, Jesus shows up to bail Ghost Rider out of trouble.
Isabella later recalled that he had written himself a bit into a corner once he had Roxanne’s protection go away, as what was going to keep Satan from getting to Johnny? He talked to some other Marvel writers for advice and Steve Gerber suggested, “Why not just have God help him?” Isabella loved the idea. If Satan was so interested in Johnny Blaze’s soul, wouldn’t God also be interested? So Jesus becomes an aide to Johnny as Johnny began a long journey to take on Satan that lasted 10 issues (roughly two years’ worth of issues, as the comic was bi-monthly at the time).
In Ghost Rider #15, Jesus shows up again…
As the story drew to a close in #19, however, Jim Shooter was brought in to re-write the script on the final issue of Isabella’s story, adding dialogue that stated that “Jesus” was actually a trick of Satan and Johnny had not REALLY been saved back in #9…
Since this dramatically changed the arc of the story, the issue was re-written and re-drawn (where necessary) to have it make sense as an ending…
Isabella left the book with this issue.
Interestingly enough, this period in Ghost Rider’s history has another example of Abandoned An’ Forsaked that I’ll address in the future. So if you’re planning on suggesting it, don’t worry, I’m already on it!
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