Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ghost Rider In The Sky!


Perhaps the character most associated with the late great Dick Ayers, which he had a hand in creating, is Ghost Rider. The character debuted for Magazine Enterprises in the pages of Tim Holt in 1949.


Soon enough he had his own title, and after the debut issue featuring this cover by Ayers, the great Frank Frazetta stepped in to do the cover art for several issues. See this for more on that.

After Frazetta departed though, Ayers was back on the task beginning with the sixth issue.










After the demise of the character and the title and the company, the Ghost Rider waited many more years before riding again. He did with a somewhat different origin and back story for Marvel. Dick Ayers had been a stalwart for the company for many moons, as an inker and penciller. He assumed the art again on his signature character and the title lasted another seven installments.








Marvel revived the name a few years later, but without the western setting and brand new talent. Ayers wasn't connected to the adventures of Johnny Blaze. This new Ghost Rider proved so durable that when the original (sort of) western version (both vintage and modern) was revived his name was changed to "Night Rider" and later to "Phantom Rider".


I've frankly lost track of what they call him now, if he even still exists in some form. AC Comics still reprint his original adventures from time to time, but he's called "Haunted Horseman" when he appears over there.


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6 comments:

  1. Was Ayers doing all the interiors for the ME comics?

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    1. Not all, but certainly a lot. He was a workhorse.

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  2. I'm surprised to learn that the Marvel version only lasted 7 issues - I'd always assumed that the title had enjoyed a much longer run. Just goes to show.

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    1. The name has had a very long history,but that particular character, not so much.

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  3. I remember buying the Marvel Western Ghost Rider based on the visual impact of the character. I also recall that the character's personal life was almost relentlessly depressing and bitter. By the end of the series the woman he loved had been paralyzed by a gunshot. The M.E. stories I've read were a lot more fantastic and action-oriented. And fun.

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    1. Marvel was intent on making their Western heroes as rife with personal problems as their superheroes. Angst was the secret to selling comics they thought, I guess.

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