Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Every day in April we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Ghost Rider Stories Ever Told!
10. “Hearts of Darkness” Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hears of Darkness OGN
Howard Mackie, John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson combined for this one-shot where Mephisto’s son, Blackheart fights our heroes (well, “heroes”). This comic was $5 back in 1991. I think it might have made eleventy billion dollars.
9. “Road to Damnation” Ghost Rider #1-6
Johnny Blaze had already returned to being Ghost Rider in a Marvel Knights series a few years earlier, but that sort of came and went without making many waves. Here, then, Garth Ennis and Clayton Crain really brought Blaze and the Ghost Rider back in this dark tale of demons, angels, revenge and betrayal that led directly into a new Ghost Rider ongoing series.
8. “Silent Night… Deadly Night!” Marvel Two-in-One #8
The classic Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema and Mike Esposto crazy tale where a villain is trying to recreate the birth of Christ in an attempt to…well, don’t think too much about it as it doesn’t make a ton of sense. Still, it involves the Thing and Ghost Rider disguising themselves as two of the three wise men at this recreation of the Birth of Christ, so what more do you need to know about it? It’s awesome.
7. “Trials and Tribulations” Ghost Rider #33-35
In this series of stories from the end of Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider series (before he came back for a mini-series to wrap everything up), drawn by the great Tony Moore, we learn the history of the Spirit of Vengeance in America before Johnny Blaze – and it is AWEsome! Also, Danny Ketch fights a Demon Trucker. How can you NOT want to read a comic book like that?
6. “The End of the Ghost Rider” Ghost Rider #76-81
At the beginning of this arc, J.M. DeMatteis and Don Perlin introduce the concept that Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider are two separate entities. We learn that the demon side of Ghost Rider is a demon known as Zarathos (I am not going to even check if I spelled that right. I’m pretty sure I’m right, but I’m just going with it). This introduction of the idea of there being a separate entity involved leads to the conclusion of the first volume of Ghost Rider, where Johnny is separated from Zarathos as Zarathos and an ages-long enemy of his are locked in eternal battle. It’s actually quite a compelling take on the idea of letting vengeance overrule your own well-being. Bob Budiansky joined DeMatteis on art duties for the last few issues (Budiansky was inked by a few different guys).
The top five is on the next page!
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