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!
5. “Manitou’s Anger…Tarantula’s Sting!” Ghost Rider Volume 1 #49-50
Michael Fleisher and Don Perlin did this charming two-parter where Ghost Rider is sent to the past and must team-up with the ORIGINAL Ghost Rider (now called the Night Rider) before he can return to the present to stop the very explosion that sent him into the past in the first place!
4. “Three Angels Fallen!” Avengers #214
Jim Shooter, Bob Hall and Dan Green gave Ghost Rider one of his most prominent guest appearances yet as he takes on the entire Avengers team…and holds his own!!
3. “Deathrace!” Ghost Rider Volume 1 #35
Jim Starlin wrote and penciled (along with Al Milgrom and Steve Leiahola, with LOTS of inkers involved) this standout issue which involves Ghost Rider literally racing death itself!
2. “The Curse of Jonathan Blaze!” Ghost Rider Volume 1 #68
Roger Stern, Bob Budiansky and Joe Rubinstein combined for a compelling re-working of Ghost Rider’s origin, this time involving Mephisto.
1. “Wish for Pain” Ghost Rider Annual #2
Get this. This was Warren Ellis’ FIRST American comic book story! And it’s apparently one of the most well-regarded Ghost Rider stories of all-time! I did a spotlight on the issue awhile back here. Drawn by Javier Saltares and Mike Witherby, the story features the villainous Scarecrow’s origin as well as his latest plot, where he surrounds himself with captured innocents, forcing Ghost Rider into a situation where if Ghost Rider strikes at him, he’ll undoubtedly hurt one of the surrounding victims (since Scarecrow’s whole deal is that he is difficult to catch, as his bones are supernaturally wiry). Ghost Rider stops him and then…well…he decides to make sure Scarecrow won’t be sneaking around any time soon…and his solution is quite graphic and chilling.
That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let us know!