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This One Goes to 11: Moore Talks “Ghost Rider Annual” #1

by  in Comic News Comment
This One Goes to 11: Moore Talks “Ghost Rider Annual” #1

“Ghost Rider Annual” #1 on sale next week

For months now, Ghost Rider’s war against Lucifer has been one-on-one, but next week in Marvel Comics’ “Ghost Rider Annual” #1, writer Stuart Moore and artist Ben Oliver introduce a mysterious new player into the conflict.  CBR News spoke with Moore about the Annual and Mister Eleven, the newest supernatural being out to make life interesting for Johnny Blaze and The Ghost Rider.

“I had an idea for a sort of deep-cover agent of Heaven and Hell on Earth, who became the new character Mister Eleven,” Stuart Moore told CBR News. “Axel Alonso liked the idea, and we ran with it from there.”

A Machiavellian character like Mister Eleven needs puppets to manipulate, and a brutal force of nature like the Ghost Rider serves his purposes nicely. “My story is largely about Mister Eleven,” Moore explained. “Ghost Rider is, to him, a means to an end; almost a pawn because he’s a very primal character; a guy whose first impulse is to lash out, and whose second and third impulses are to lash out again and then again.”

Pages from “Ghost Rider Annual” #1

In the Annual, Eleven’s machinations don’t directly impact Ghost Rider’s alter ego, Johnny Blaze but further down the line, Eleven’s actions will have dire repercussions for the Spirit of Vengeance’s host. “At the time of the Annual, Ghost Rider and Johnny are very separate entities,” Moore said. “Once Ghost Rider takes over, Johnny kind of goes to sleep and remembers what happens only in hazy visions. He tends to wake up surrounded by blood and bodies and has to deal with the aftermath however he can… usually by sneaking the hell out of there.”

Mister Eleven’s background and ultimate goal are two things Moore remains cryptic about. “Mister Eleven has been around a while, and he knows things — things about Heaven, Hell, and the way things work — that Ghost Rider doesn’t, yet,” Moore hinted. “On the other hand, Eleven is at a pretty low point in his long life, and sees Ghost Rider as a tool he can use.”

Page from “Ghost Rider Annual” #1

Moore was able to elaborate on one aspect of his enigmatic creation, though, the significance of the name Mister Eleven. “Eleven is a name he chose himself, a long time ago,” Moore stated. “It’s one more than ten, one less than twelve. The hour before midnight. Trapped, forever, between in a limbo between moments, between Heaven above and the fiery pits below.”

Eleven may be a manipulative figure but that doesn’t mean “Ghost Rider Annual” #1 will be scrimping on the excitement. “I think the tone of ‘Ghost Rider’ in general is horror-action,” Moore remarked. “Mister Eleven is a pretty dark character, but Lucifer keeps things jumping and always has a quip while he’s punching his hand clear through your sternum. He’d be a pretty irritating guy to be around, actually, but he’s fun on the page. You can see why he drives Ghost Rider around the bend.”

Moore is very excited at the way artist Ben Oliver has brought to life all the horrific action in “Ghost Rider Annual” #1. “He did the whole thing in greywash and it looks beautiful,” Moore said. “I’ve only seen a bit of it colored, but it’s a really nice job all around. Did you know Ghost Rider’s head is on fire?”

Pages from “Ghost Rider Annual” #1

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