The Ghost Rider (from the cover of the first issue). Artist: Javier Saltares.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1990
Creators: Howard Mackie (writer) and Javier Saltares (artist)
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When Marvel Comics decided, in 1990, that the market was ready for a revival of The Ghost Rider, there was a minor snag — they'd lifted that character's curse and given him a happy ending in 1983. But that …

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… wasn't much of a problem — they'd already gone through one Ghost Rider who wasn't suitable for revival in that context, and even that one was based on another that they couldn't use. So they made up a new one that looked and acted like the one they wanted to revive. Ghost Rider #1 was dated May, 1990.

This Ghost Rider, created by writer Howard Mackie and artist Javier Saltares, was named Dannie Ketch. He and his sister, Barbara, were running for their lives from a gang of ninjas, when they chanced upon a motorcycle with mystic markings, that someone had apparently thrown away. Touching the markings, Dannie was instantly transformed into a sleeker, updated ringer for the 1970s/80s Ghost Rider, complete with leather, chains, and a flaming skull where his head ought to be. He then proceeded to mop the floor with the ninjas, but not before they succeeded in killing Barbara (who later got better).

Thus launched in his superhero career, the new Ghost Rider went rampaging through the Marvel Universe, teaming up with The Punisher, getting killed by Blade the Vampire Hunter (but later, of course, getting better), fighting demons with Cloak & Dagger, and whatnot. He even got together, at least for a little while, with Spider-Man, The Hulk and Wolverine to form a substitute Fantastic Four.

Perhaps the most bizarre, yet inevitable connection was that he turned out to be the long-lost half-brother of Johnny Blaze, the previous Ghost Rider. And they were heirs to a long line of Ghost Riders, going back to the 18th century, spirits of vengeance all. Both turned out to be related to Jennifer Kale, who kept company with Man-Thing. Small universe.

He kept on riding for 94 issues, the last dated February, 1998, and is still kicking around. But Johnny Blaze, the more popular character, has had his curse de-lifted, and is now stuck with being Marvel's main Ghost Rider.


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Text ©2006 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Marvel Comics.