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Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #59

by  in Comic News Comment

This is the fifty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous fifty-eight.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The second volume of Ghost Rider never had an ending.

STATUS: True

Commenter Craig asked me about this one recently, and it did, in fact, happen.

The second volume of Ghost Rider began in 1990 with quite a bang, as writer Howard Mackie, along with artists Javier Saltares and Mark Texiera, soon had themselves quite a hit comic book.


However, popular books occasionally hit popularity snags, and by the time Ghost Rider got into its sixth year, it began to take a bit of a popularity downturn (Mackie had moved on by this point to other titles) A particular point in time that most fans point ot as the real downturn happened when Ghost Rider got a brand new costume (and popular penciller Salvador Larocca was replaced by Pop Mhan, who, as you can imagine, has a MUCH different style of artwork).


What a weird costume redesign.

The downturn was so bad that the book was floundering. A move to placate the older fans happened with a move to the older style of art, and in fact, for the last six issues of the run, original penciler Saltares returned to the fold (Texiera even came back to ink a few issues). However, while writer Ivan Velez, Jr. had a larger story to tell (at least to issue #100), the writing was on the wall.

Ghost Rider’s last issue was to be #94.

However, this was also the late 1990s, when comic sales were plummetting, and when news came that the book was ending, the support fell apart. So when initial orders came in to Marvel for #94, the LAST issue of the title, Marvel just could not afford to publish the comic book.

So #93 became, in effect, the “last” issue of the series!


Saltares had already pencilled TWELVE pages of #94 (and was in the midst of laying out more pages)!!

Here is the unpublished cover of the “last” issue.


Here, thanks to the excellent Ghost Rider, Internapse Ghost Rider, are some sample pages from the never published #94 (the rest you can see AT the link)…





In addition, at the Superherohype boards, a helpful poster named kore4life95 provided Ivan Velez, Jr.’s script to the unpublished issue! You can find it there, or just read it now:

GHOST RIDER # 94

“ACABADO”

Plot by Ivan Velez Jr.

Page one:

1. Show Danny getting up out of bed. He looks tired. His eyes are baggy.
2. Show Danny looking at his hand by the window. It’s a beautiful morning, and the sun is shining in on him. He has a faint smile. The brand is still gone. We see that he’s getting a little chubby.
DANNY: Thirty three days and counting.
DANNY: The brand is still gone.
DANNY: Good.
3. Show Danny in a classroom at his college. He’s working hard, taking good notes for a change. Melissa Maro sits behind him, making horns behind his head with her fingers.
CAPTION: My name is Daniel Ketch. Not the Ghost Rider. Not the Spirit of Vengeance.
CAPTION: I have a life. I go to school. I have some friends.
4. Show Danny in a cubicle, talking to a skinny kid. He has an internship in a social service agency. His life is on track.
CAPTION: I have an internship at a social service agency, where I hope to someday work.
CAPTION: I’m just a normal guy with a normal life.
5. Show Danny in his apartment, eating Chinese take out while reading a text book. In the background, a small TV blares, unwatched.
CAPTION: I’m not a host for a flaming spirit. At least not anymore.
DANNY: Thirty three days…. and counting.
6. The doorbell rings. Danny turns, with a piece of lo mein hanging from his lip.
SFX: bing bong
SFX: sllllurp (small)

Page two:
1. Danny opens the door. His brother, Blaze is there. He looks tired and scruffy, and has a small beard going.
DANNY: Huh?
BLAZE: Yup. It’s Johnny Blaze in the flesh. How’s it hanging, little bro?
BLAZE: Well? You conna leave me out here or–
DANNY: Oh. Yeah. Sure.
2. Blaze comes in. He looks depressed. Danny asks where Jennifer is. Blaze grunts an answer. She went home.
BLAZE: hmm. Chinese. (small)
DANNY: Been a long time, John. Where’s Jen?
BLAZE: Little Miss Perfect went home.
BLAZE: And not a minute too soon. If I heard her whine one more time–
3. Blaze sits at the table and starts to eat from the Chinese food. Danny looks at him, confused.
DANNY: I don’t understand. Your kids… it’s been months. Did you finally find them?
BLAZE: No. (small)
4. Blaze stops. He looks very very sad. He never found his kids.
5. Blaze gets up. He slaps on his brother’s back. He says he will find his kids if it takes forever…though…. he’ll get the help of some real magic guy… not some trainee wannabe like Jennifer Kale. Danny tries to defender her but is interrupted. Blaze asks if he can stay there for a while. He ran out of money and needs to get his head together before the next step in his life.
BLAZE: But I will, even if it takes forever.
BLAZE: And I’ll get the help of some real magic guy, and not some trainee wannabe witch like Jennifer-Thinks-She’s-All-That-Kale.
BLAZE: Uh… by the way. Mind if I stay with you for a while? I ran outa money and need to get my head together before I take the next step.
6. Before Danny can answer, Blaze drags him towards the door. It’s time to get some beers.
DANNY: Uh, sure, John. Sure.
BLAZE: Good. Thanks, bro.
BLAZE: Now let’s go get some brew.

Page three:
1. Splash. Titles. Indicia. Ghost Rider sits on a demon throne made of gold and bone. He looks a bit like Rodin’s Thinker. He holds onto a sceptor. He has chosen to stay in his skull form for a bit… it seems… fitting on this throne. On each side of him sits smaller thrones… where Pao Fu (in royal garb befitting a new queen, and a depressed looking Roxanne, who’s mask is off, and her hair is a mess of tangles covering a sullen face. Skritch strands in front, carrying a black clipboard. (the clip is a little skull head) Skritch makes little comments. The next guests have arrived.
The throne sits on the edge of a dark bubbling pool of blood, with gold edges.
First person captions describe the situation… how GR has killed the Lord of the Real, Blackheart, and now sits on the throne of shadows… the Lord of all things dark.
And now the ambassadors of other realms have come to meet hin… perhaps to give their blessings or damnations.
TITLE: ACABADO
CREDITS:
INDICIA:
CAPTION: Life is a two faced beast.
CAPTION: I have wed two women who are my equal in every way, yet never have I felt so alone.
CAPTION: I have recovered all my memories and yet I am repulsed by the truth of my existance.
CAPTION: I have regained my human body and free will, yet I am imprisoned by a throne I never wanted.
CAPTION: I have destroyed Lord Blackheart, who I have hated with all my being… yet I have become his mirror image.
CAPTION: I am now Noble Kale, Ghost Rider… and king of the darkest realm in the universe.
CAPTION: I am in hell.

Page four:
1. We see a close up of Pao Fu. She sits like a queen. We hear GR’s thoughts about her… and the ambivalence he has for her. She says she loves him… but why would she…and how could she?
CAPTION: I look at my betroved, Pao Fu… with confusion and respect.
CAPTION: She was a young girl who died in my arms.
CAPTION: She was a young girl who was given demonhood by Blackheart.
CAPTION: She says she loves me. But why would she? How could she?
2. We see a closer look at Black Rose/Roxanne, *without her mask*. She looks sullen… disoriented. We hear GR’s thoughts. Who she really is, and the confusion and pain she now feels.
CAPTION: I look at my other betroved, Black Rose… Roxanne Blaze.
CAPTION: I married her in an attempt to free her from Blackheart’s control.
CAPTION: Like me, her mind is flooded with rediscovered memories.
CAPTION: Like me, they torment her.
3. Skritch announces three visitors… the pool bubbles.
CAPTION: Today, ambassaders from other realms come to give me their blessings or damnations.
CAPTION: Boredom is imminent.
SKRITCH: My Lord. Our esteemed guests have arrived.
SKRITCH: Sigh. All three of them. (small)
GHOST RIDER: Well then, Skritch. Let them in.
4. Out of the pool, rise three guests in all their finest… Lord Belasco of the Corrupted, Hela of the Norns and Pluto, Lord of Hades.
SKRITCH: Her supremeness, Hela of the Norns.
SKRITCH: His majesty, Pluto of Hades.
SKRITCH: And his exquisiteness, Lord Belasco of the Corrupted.
5. Pluto makes his snotty comments. (he looks very Kirby style). But he also says they are the only three who support his kingship amongst the realms. They offer their… cooperation.
PLUTO: So… another puppet king ascends the throne. At least it’s an interesting puppet.
PLUTO: And a puppet we three officially recognize as the rightful ruler of this realm.
PLUTO: And, I assure you, we are the only three who do.
6. GR looks at him, and smiles back… and not without their own special reasons, no doubt. Skritch looks very worried.
GHOST RIDER: And, no doubt, your recognition comes from the deepest altruism.

Page five:
1. Belasco looks to Pao Fu, and he makes a sexual comment at her. She responds with a threat.
BELASCO: But of course.
BELASCO: So you are the women of the Ghost Rider. I’ve heard so much about you. Which is your wife and which is concubine?
2. Pao Fu puts her sword to Belasco’s throat.
PAO FU: And which of you will bleed first?
PLUTO: Hah hah hah hah!
3. Pluto still laughs. Ghost Rider pulls back in his chair. He accepts their offer of friendship… albeit guarded, and wishes to offer the exchange of ambassadors to their realms.
PLUTO: Spit and glamour! Truly your betroved is worth her weight in gold.
GHOST RIDER: What she is does not concern you.
GHOST RIDER: What does concern you is whether I will accept your offer of friendship.
4. Hela points at him… her long fingers look creepy. Her eyes glow red. She says, that will not be necessary. He misunderstands their intentions. They merely here to say that they will not be involved in his imminent destruction by the other realms. They have not the time to waste nor the desire.
HELA: You misunderstand our intentions. No friendship is offered.
HELA: We are merely here to inform you… we will not be involved in your imminent destruction by the other realms.
HELA: We have not the time nor the desire.
5. Belasco smiles that evil grin of his… ‘unless you give us reason to’. Plut laughs heartily. Hela gives a small smile.
BELASCO: Unless, of course, you give us a reason to.
6. A bright light flashes. The royal three disappear.
SFX: FWOOOOSH!
SFX: Heh hah hah heh heh

Page six:
1. Roxanne makes a comment. ‘lovely folks’. Skritch looks agitated. GR asks her if this is true? Do the other realms want to destroy him?
ROXANNE: Lovely folk.
SKRITCH: And not very godly at all.
GHOST RIDER: Is this true, Skritch? Do the other realms want me destroyed?
2. Skritch looks nervous as she speaks. She gives names. Faces appear above her to illustrate her words. Dormammu and Satannish are never to be trusted. They always wish to expand their realms. But never before did they dare…
SKRITCH: Uh… well, sir. To tell the truth… Dormammu and Satannish are never to be trusted.
SKRITCH: They always wish to expand their realms, but never before did they dare–
3. Ghost Rider stands up. ‘But now they do….because they think I’m too weak to rule this kingdom together.’ Skritch tells him that’s not necessarily true. They just find the inhabitants of this world disloyal and untrustworthy… and read to overthrow you at any moment. They wish to move in once the rebellion takes place.
SKRITCH: And they know the inhabitants of our world to be disloyal and untrustworthy… and ready to over throw you at any moment.
SKRITCH: They will want to take advantage…
4. Pao Fu stands. Her sword is in the air. She looks ready to kick butt.
PAO FU: Let them try. I’ll have their hearts for dinner!
ROXANNE: Let them try. Who cares if we live or die anyway?
5. Skritch looks at Roxanne with pity.
SKRITCH: Milady. Your words distress me.
6. Roxanne knocks Skritch down.
ROXANNE: Tough!
7. GR looks at Skritch (who’s on the ground) and tells her to assemble the masses at midnight. He wishes to speak to his ‘subjects’ tonight.
GHOST RIDER: Skritch. Assemble the masses.
GHOST RIDER: I wish to speak to my ‘subjects’.

Page seven:
1. Cut to Stacy Dolan… in a bathroom, in her pajamas. We see her look at a pregnancy test. She looks very stressed. The door is closed.
CAPTION: Stacy Dolan.
CAPTION: A woman. A daughter. A lover. A cop.
CAPTION: A woman who’s torn between two men she loves more than herself.
CAPTION: A human who is now very very scared.
2. Close up. The color turns blue. Positive. Her eyes are shocked.
STACY: Oh. (small, miserable)
STACY: no. no. not now. (small, miserable)
3. She pushes her fist against the bathroom mirror, smashing it to pieces. She’s pissed.
STACY: Not Now!!!
SFX: kroosh!
4. She continues to wreck her bathroom. She’s cursing herself out.
STACY: blast it (small, crying)
STACY: not now. (small)
STACY: not a baby. (real small)
CAPTION: A woman who has to make a choice.

Page eight:
1. Cut to Blaze and Danny at a local bar. It’s a Spanish bar (it’s in a Dominican neighborhood) and there are people dancing merengue.
CAPTION: Danny’s neighborhood. The local bar.
CAPTION: All merengue, all the time.
2. Blaze seems to be enjoying himself. He’s drinking too hard, though. We see many bottles, and he’s beginning to slur his words. He’s telling Danny about his road trip to find the kids… and how it turned up zilch… and how he and Jen were stuck in Ottawa without cash and he had to sell his bike and—
BLAZE: Dang, these women are beautiful. (small)
BLAZE: So, we tried seventeen magic hotspots and got zilch on the kids.
BLAZE: The closest we got was up in Ottawa , but we ran out of money… and Jen gets real cranky when she’s broke.
BLAZE: Dang, these women are beautiful. (small)
BLAZE: So I sold my bike for a couple of bus tickets and here I am.
3. Blaze continues to talk. Danny smiles and holds up his hands to Blaze’s face. Blaze continues to talk.
BLAZE: But I’m gonna try agin as soon as I get some more cash together. I know they’re alive. I know it.
BLAZE: Damn. These women are beauti– (small)
BLAZE: Wait.
4. Blaze stops and looks at Danny’s hands, which are still up.
5. Blaze asks where it is. Where’s the brand? Danny smiles wide. He says it’s gone. It’s been gone for a while. He’s free of the curse.
BLAZE: Where is it? Where’s the brand?
DANNY: It’s gone, John. It’s been gone for a while.
DANNY: I’m free of the curse.
6. Blaze’s eyes just bug out. Danny starts to tell the story. “and not only that… he got to speak to their mother’.
DANNY: And not only that…
DANNY: … but I got to speak to our mother.

Page nine:
1. Cut to Naomi as she stands on top of a tower, overlooking the throngs of gathering demons. It is part of the dark castle, etc….
CAPTION: In the tower of the castle…
CAPTION: …Naomi Kale takes a look.
NAOMI: Gasp.
NAOMI: (small) They’re really coming. All the demons…
NAOMI: (smaller) I never knew there were so many.
2. We see a shot of the grounds… and that there are thousands getting there.
3. Suddenly Ghost Rider appears behind her… flaming skull and all. Naomi complains about that ugly skull of his.
GHOST RIDER: More than you can imagine.
NAOMI: Tch.
NAOMI: Must you wear that sorry bone face?
4. Noble changes back to his human face. Naomi turns back to looking down at the grounds.
GHOST RIDER: Sorry. It’s just that I’ve worn it for so long. It feels… comfortable.
NAOMI: (small) Well, get over it.
NAOMI: Noble. I don’t know if speaking to these… things is such a good idea.
NOBLE: It’s all I can come up with.
5. Naomi looks at Noble. Noble looks very sincere.
NAOMI: What do you plan to do anyway? Kill them all?
NOBLE: Course not. Just giving them what I’ve always wanted and never had.
NOBLE: Free will.
6. Noble turns.
NOBLE: And one law.
NOBLE: And what about you? Your desires have been fulfilled. You have freed your children from their curse. What will you do now?
7. Noble turns when he hears a voice from behind him (off panel). Naomi just looks down and smiles quietly.
W: I reckon she’ll have to just rest in peace.

Page ten:
** Tom… I need to find the boy’s name. I think it’s in GR 76 or 77. I don’t have those for some reason…
1. Noble turns and sees his little brother, four years old, long red hair tied in a tail, very country looking… torn clothing.** (I have to research his name… I forgot)**. He still carries the corn husk straw doll. Naomi still looks down. She seems sad.
NOBLE: W…
2. The little boy looks up at Noble. He pouts.
BOY: You forgot all ’bout yer lil brother, didn’tcha, Noble. Didn’tcha.
BOY: Not ony stray thought with my name on it all that time you were around.
3. Noble kneels down and looks at his brother’s eyes. His eyes water.
NOBLE: No. Please. Never say that.
BOY: Aw… you’re just a big old smelly tale teller.
4. Noble hugs his little brother tight. The little boy giggles. Noble doesn’t want to let go.
BOY: Stop! You’re gonna squeeze the death outa me.
BOY: Anyhows, I’m not here for you. I’m here to fetch her.
5. The boy reaches for Naomi. She looks at his hand.
BOY: It’s time to go, Naomi. Folks are ‘spectin’ you.
6. Naomi takes his hand. Noble is still on the ground, on his knees.
NAOMI: Sigh.
NAOMI: Yes. I know.

Page eleven:
1. The boy and Naomi start to fade away. Noble is still on his knees, looking at them leave.
NAOMI: Goodbye, Noble. Be careful.
2. The little boy looks at Noble as he fades away. He leaves the cryptic message.
BOY: And you better be careful of that dark inside of you, Noble. You let it swallow you up…
BOY: …the whole world gets swallowed up too. (faded away)
3. Noble is still on the ground. He looks very sad. A tear falls down his face.
4. Vengeance and Doghead shows up behind him. They start to talk about what’s going on… how they think the others are about to turn against him and— but they stop when they see Noble on the ground. They look embarrassed.
VENGEANCE: The crowd looks hungry enough to chew on bones. You sure you want to—
VENGEANCE: –uh… Rider?
VENGEANCE: You alright?
DOGHEAD: Uh… we’ll be back lat—
5. Doghead turns to walk out, wanting to leave him to his privacy. Noble turns into Ghost Rider and stands. He tells Doghead to stop… he wants to talk to them.
GHOST RIDER: Stop.
GHOST RIDER: I need to talk to you both.
6. Long shot… they’re bathed in shadows. GR gives them choices.
GHOST RIDER: About your choices.

Page twelve: **All captions on this page are in Stacy’s handwriting.**
1. Cut to the front of Danny’s building. It’s late at night. A car is parked across the street. Captions reveal the conents of a letter she’s written.
CAPTION: Danny, I love you.
CAPTION: I’ve loved you since we were kids on the block.
CAPTION: But that’s never been the question.
CAPTION: I’ve made choices.
2. We see Stacy in her car. She’s upset… grim. She has a letter in her hand. We hear first person captions. She’s calling herself a coward. She can’t believe she’s doing this to him. But she can’t face him.
CAPTION: I’m a coward and I can’t believe I’m doing this, but
CAPTION: I can’t face you and do this because I love you so much. Too much.
CAPTION: But life is more than love.
3. Stacy gets out of the car. She knows he’s not there now. She’s cased the house for an hour. It’ll be safe for her to go in there and do what she has to do… the captions continue her letter… how she does love him… but life is more than love… and she’s too selfish to give up so much.
CAPTION: And I’m too selfish to give up so much for you.
4. Stacy opens the door of his apartment with her keys. It’s dark. The letters say she has to think of her future and her career, and she decided to marry Ski. They’re good together… and can deal with her life better.
CAPTION: I have to think of my future and my career.
CAPTION: I’ve decided to marry Ski.
CAPTION: Danny, I hope that someday you can forgive me. But I understand if you don’t.
5. She leaves again, slamming the door. The letter finishes off. She hopes that he can someday forgive her, even though she will never forgive herself.
CAPTION: Because I’ll never forgive myself.
CAPTION: (smeared signature) Stacy.
6. We see inside the empty dark apartment. There’s a letter on the table top… and her set of keys. The letter has Danny’s name on it. The captions finish her words. Pretty depressing.

Page thirteen:
1. Big panel. Ghost Rider stands atop the tower, holding the scepter. He overlooks the crowd of demons. Behind him are his brides, Pao Fu and Roxanne. Doghead, Vengeance, Verminus Rex, and Wallow are in the shadows. Skritch has her clipboard and she looks very very nervous.
CAPTION: Back to the world of darkness…
CAPTION: …to the congregation of devils.
SKRITCH: Oh my.
PAO FU: They’re so loud. I can’t hear myself think. How will—
SFX: ROWRRRRRRRRRRRR
GHOST RIDER: SILENCE!! (huge)
2. Show a cross section of hideous demon faces. They do not look happy.
DEMON: urm (small)
3. Ghost Rider begins to speak.
GHOST RIDER: There is no debate or question!
GHOST RIDER: I am your king!!
GHOST RIDER: And as your king I give you your–
4. His head has a bright flame… as he says the word, ‘freedom’. He holds the scepter in the air. It has a bright blue flame.
GHOST RIDER: –Freedom!

Page fourteen:
1. Skirtch is shocked to hear the words. She drops the clipboard.
SKRITCH: gasp!
SFX: clang (small)
2. Ghost Rider continues. He speaks about free will… ability to live as you please… how you please… wherever you please… with whomever you please… all free from the crushing thumb of a cruel and heartless master. All imprisoned souls will be freed.
GHOST RIDER: All your imprisoned souls will be freed.
GHOST RIDER: You now have free will and must use it.
GHOST RIDER: You will live as you please… how you please… wherever you please…
GHOST RIDER: …all free from the crushing thumb of a cruel and heartless master.
3. Vengeance and the others look at GR. They look like they have doubts. Roxanne begins to smile.
DOGHEAD: uh oh. (small)
4. Ghost Rider continues. He offers the people of the dark realm freedom… as long as they follow one simple rule… one law…
GHOST RIDER: Freedom under one condition.
GHOST RIDER: Under one law.
GHOST RIDER: Do no more evil.
5. Cut to the cross section of demons. They look dumbfounded. (murmur, murmur)
6. Skritch begs GR to retract their words.
SKRITCH: No, My Lord… are you mad?
NOBLE: Never have I been saner in all my life.
SKRITCH: But to ask them to go against their natures…
7. Verminus Rex and Wallow look angry.
VERMINUS: Condescending bastard.

Page fifteen:
1. Suddenly, a bright light shows up in the tower. People shield their eyes.
SFX: SHWOOOOOOM!
DEMON: Wha–
2. Big panel. The angel, Uriel has arrived, and boy, is he pissed.
URIEL: No!!!
URIEL: This must not be!
3. GR stands in front of Uriel. He is not impressed.
GR: I knew you’d show up.
URIEL: What do you think you’re doing? This abomination.
GR: You have something against free will?
4. Uriel shines brighter. He looks angry at GR’s words.
URIEL: This is blasphemy! This will upset the balance of things. Evil must have a place to roost.
GR: Well, let it roost elsewhere. This is my realm now, and it’s people will have their choices.
GR: Unlike I did.
5. Closer look. Uriel is screaming now. GR is calm… but looks right into his face.
URIEL: But what of Mephisto? Should he return–
GR: He will return. It is inevitable.
GR: But when he does, he will find his kingdom turned into a democracy… where evil is outweighed by the good of its denizen’s souls.
6. Close up of GR.
GR: And what better vengeance could I ever achieve.

Page sixteen:
1. The angely puts his hand on GR’s shoulder… trying to appeal to his better nature.
URIEL: Rider. Noble. You simply must not. It will not be allowed.
SFX: swap!
2. GR’s smacks Uriel’s hands off of his shoulder. He’s angry.
GHOST RIDER: The days of my being told what is and what is not allowed are over!
SFX: swoooom
SFX: Kuh-ching!
3. The angel pulls out it’s sword.
URIEL: You forgot your place.
4. GR’s chain appears and binds the angel, sword and all.
GR: No. You do.
5. GR is angry. He grabs the angel by the throat. GR’s eyes are bright blue.
GHOST RIDER: And you’ve made a grave error. You’ve created an angel of death and final justice…
GR: … thinking that I would just blindly go along with whatever hidden agenda you have.

Page seventeen:
1. GR’s face and the angel’s are very close to each other.
GR: Now you will follow my agenda!!
GR: These people will be given a choice to be good or evil…
GR: And I know, however long it takes, good will win.
2. GR goes back to the spot of the tower, to speak to the people.
GR: Blackheart is dead.
GR: And from this day forward… the angel Uriel is banished from this land.
3. GR turns around and walks away.
GR: Thus, your freedom is complete.
CROWD: hurrahhhhh!
CROWD: Hurrahhhhhhhhhhh!
4. Vengeance, Pao Fu and Doghead surround the angel. They have weapons. Vengeance smiles.
VENGEANCE: You heard the man. Get out and stay out.
5. Uriel leaves in a flash of light.
URIEL: You… you will pay for your hubris.
6. GR is in the shadows. The cheers from the crowd are still heard. Pao Fu and Roxanne look at their husband.
GR: Send me a bill.

Page eighteen:
1. GR gives the scepter to Vengeance.
GR: Now… it’s time for me to leave.
VENGEANCE: What?
GR: You rule in proxy. I have a life to live again… my choices to make.
2. GR walks past the other spirits of vengeance. Verminus Rex… and Wallow scowl.
GR: You others… can be governors. Police the kingdom as you wish.
GR: But remember to enforce the first law… they must do no more evil.
3. Vengeance stands… looking pissed. He holds the scepter. Doghead is next to him. His ears show how confused he is.
VENGEANCE: Huh? You mean to tell me you become the king of this realm… free a whole world of demons… tick off heaven–
VENGEANCE: –and then you just leave?
4. Ghost Rider creates the bike underneath him.
GR: Exactly.
GR: But don’t worry. I’ll be back to see how you’re all doing.
GR: After all… I am king.
5. GR extends his hand to Roxanne.
GR: And you, young woman… have unfinished business.
6. Roxanne takes his hand.

Page nineteen:
1. GR revs the bike. The sound is deafening.
SFX: VROOOOM VROOOM VROOOOOM
ROXANNE: W..where are we going?
GHOST RIDER: I think you know.
PAO FU: WAIT!!
2. Pao Fu stops GR. She has his sword against his throat.
PAO FU: You dare…
PAO FU: …what about me? I am your wife. (small)
PAO FU: I will not be abandoned.
3. GR turns back to Noble. He looks into Pao Fu’s eues.
4. He pulls off her mask. We see the vengeance symbol.
GR: My queen.
GR: You have free will. Choose what you want. No one will stop you ever again.
GR: And as I said before.
5. He kisses her.
6. He drives off into a warped tunnel of light. Roxanne holds him tight. The others just watch. Skritch thinks they’re all doomed.
GR: I will be back.

Page twenty:
1. Cut back to Danny’s building, as Blaze and Danny walk, arms around each other’s shoulders. Blaze is too drunk. He asks if his mother mentioned him… what did she look like, etc… did she have dark hair? He remembers dark hair.
CAPTION: The Bronx .
CAPTION: And the brothers.
BLAZE: hic.
BLAZE: I can’t.. urp… I can’t believe you met our mom and I–
BLAZE: urp. I wasn’t here.
BLAZE: Did she have dark hair? I remember dark hair. And…and–
2. Close Up of Blaze. He starts to look real ugly and scrunchy as he starts to cry.
BLAZE: awf…
DANNY: Johnny?
BLAZE: All this time I hated her for dumping me and pop and she… she…
BLAZE: snf. She freed us. (crying, small)
3. Blaze stops and starts crying. He starts to cry about his kids. He wants to see them so bad. Danny hugs his brother. They don’t see the woman standing in the shadows.
DANNY: Shh. It’s okay, John.
BLAZE: snf. I miss my kids so much. snf. Where are they? Where? (blubbering)
BLAZE: Oh, God, Danny. I’m so blasted alone now.
DANNY: No, bro… you’re not alone. You got m–
DANNY: Huh?
4. The woman steps out of the shadows… it’s Roxanne. She has a sad, pained look on her face.
5. Roxanne touches Blaze on the face. Danny looks confused. Blaze’s eyes are bleary… but he’s scared to see what he sees.
6. Roxanne talks to Blaze. Her eyes are full of tears. Is this true… are you my husband and… and we have children?
ROXANNE: Buh… Blaze?
ROXANNE: You are John Blaze?
ROXANNE: Is this true? Do we have children together?
ROXANNE: Are you my… husband?

Page twenty-one:
1. Blaze pushes her away… horrified. No. She slams into the wall.
BLAZE: No!
BLAZE: It’s a trick!
SFX: womp!
2. Then he looks into her eyes. She’s crying… scared… even though she’s poised to hit him if he comes too close.
BLAZE: You can’t be her! She’s dead!
BLAZE: Dead.
3. Then he grabs her and kisses her tight. Danny is in the background. He’s surprised.
BLAZE: Roxanne? (small)
4. Danny looks up towards the roof when he hears a laugh… GR’s laugh.
SFX: ahah hah hah ha
DANNY: What? I know that laugh.
5. Noble Kale, in his human form, looks down from the roof. He’s on the bike, revving it up.
SFX: hah hah hah hah hah!
SFX: vroom vrooom. vrooom.
6. Noble Kale pops a wheelie, and prepares to drive off. He dissolves into the Ghost Rider we all know and love. (well, kinda)

Page twenty-two:
1. The Ghost Rider rides off the roof in a streak of flame. Make it pretty.
CAPTION: Splash.
SFX: VROOOOOOOM!
SFX: HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!
CAPTION: The Ghost Rider laughs because he can. He laughs because he knows.
CAPTION: He has a choice now… and he chooses the mission.
CAPTION: On his own terms. With his own free will.
CAPTION: He is a man with a job to do.
CAPTION: He is Noble Kale.
CAPTION: The Spirit of Vengeance.
CAPTION: The king of hell.
CAPTION: He is the Ghost Rider.

Page twenty-three:
1. Danny looks back at his brother. Blaze hugs Roxanne tight.
DANNY: Well, look at this. A happy ending.
DANNY: I never thought I’d see one in my lifetime.
DANNY: Who knew?
2. Danny sits down on the stoop. Things are coming to a head. He thinks about things.
DANNY: We might actually have a real family here.
DANNY: Maybe Stacy will even accept my proposal.
DANNY: I have some vacation time comin up. I can go take Stacy down with me to see ma in Florida .
DANNY: Heh. Me and the two Mrs. Ketches.
3. Danny looks at his hands and thinks about his mom… Mrs. Ketch. He’ll have to see her in Florida soon… and not worry about GR interrupting his visit.
4. He sits and watches Blaze and his wife. They’re talking quietly now. Maybe the craziness is over now. Maybe things can be calm… for a while at least.
DANNY: Maybe the craziness is really over. Maybe things can be calm…
DANNY: At least for a while.
5. Danny looks across the street.
NAOMI: (whisper, small) Danny.
6. Across the street, we see Naomi and the little boy, still holding hands, watching her children. They’re waving.
7. Same shot. The street is empty.
8. Danny sits and smiles. Maybe things are okay now. Maybe.
DANNY: Maybe.
THE END.

Awww…wasn’t that a happy ending? Too bad Danny Ketch never really HAD an ending in the Marvel Universe. Maybe he will with Daniel Way’s current series.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: The Scarlet Witch accidentally appeared in an issue of X-Men in place of Storm when John Byrne was drawing both books.

STATUS: False

It happened, but it was caught well before it ever got into the comic itself!

For awhile, John Byrne was working as the penciller of X-Men AND Avengers. Specifically, most of 1979, Byrne did both books, like these issues from the same month…



In the recent edition of Modern Masters Volume Seven: John Byrne, Jon B. Cooke and Eric Nolen-Weathington have extensive conversations with John Byrne.

At one point, they discuss an infamous mixup that happened back when Byrne was drawing both X-Men and Avengers.

Cooke: Did you see team books as your specialty?

Byrne: I love team books. I’ve always said that George and I are at about the same level, artistically. We have different strengths, but we obviously both hit the page with the same kind of enthusiasm, the same kind of mentality. George was off doing Avengers and Teen Titans and all that stuff, and of course I did the FF and the Avengers and the X-Men all at the same time at one point. Which led to the famous panel, which I caught before I sent it in, but I did a shot of the X-Men flying in the quinjet and I had the Scarlet Witch instead of Storm. [laughter]

Cooke: Really?

Byrne: Yeah. “Whoops! I’ll have to erase THAT!”

Definitely a funny error, but one that (like most good urban legends) has been exaggerated over the years to the point where people tell of the error making it’s way into the actual comic book, which it never did.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Nancy Collins’ Dhampire series was scrapped due to behind-the-scenes tragedy.

STATUS: True

In 1996, Vertigo relased a graphic novel titled Dhampire: Stillborn, by Nancy Collins and Paul Lee (with Ted Naifeh attached in the creation process). The title was to be the launch of a brand new series by Collins.


Sadly, the title of the graphic novel was all too accurate, for the project ended up stillborn.

WHY that one graphic novel was the end of the series is a whole other story, and it is one that ties into some behind-the-scenes tragedy. You see, the original editor, Lou Stathis, passed away right after the book came out.

Collins spoke to Beau Yarbrough about it in an interview,

Her next project with DC’s Vertigo imprint… was to be “Dhampire,” the saga of a half-human, half-vampiric original character. But only the dark and moody introductory story, “Dhampire: Stillborn,” actually made it to the stands, though, as the editor Collins had been working with died suddenly.

“The book was at least supposed to run for two more years.” While she’d like to publish more of the series, “DC is like the co-owner of the copyright. In order to do that, I’d have to pay DC everything they’ve already spent on it.”

Here is a link to an impressive rememberance Patty Jeres did for Lou Stathis, the editor for the project, who was an integral part of the beginning of Vertigo Comics, but who sadly died in the mid-90s of a brain tumor.

Here is a drawing Kyle Baker did of Stathis from the Jeres piece.


Sadly, his end was also the end of Dhampire.

Thanks to my pal John for suggesting this one.

Well, that’s it for this week, thanks for stopping by!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!!