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Review of Ghost Rider #37 (v2)
 
Published: August 1979
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RikerDonegal
April 17, 2017
The series is really on a roll now. This is excellent. GR is a fantastic hero.

It’s clear from the opening scene that GR and Johnny Blaze are completely separate entities now. But unlike, say, the Hulk or the Werewolf, the demon in JB has some empathy for him. Actually allowing his alter-ego a chance to go see a motorcycle stunt show.

Again, the comic is very much story-driven. The third scene establishes who the villains are and what the conflict. And, once more, the characters are all human. No super-powers of fantasy elements.

Michael Fleisher doesn’t pull any punches. Two characters we barely meet are murdered quite horribly and - although we never see anything - the narration describes their “charred and mangled” bodies.

Thereafter the plot gets busy when their son is offered a chance to bring them back from the dead, leading to a fascinating exchange (in a graveyard, natch) between GR and the youngster. The way Ghost Rider interacts with ordinary mortals is one of the best, most interesting aspects of the Fleisher/Perlin run.

The climax of the story finds our hero cutting loose in a way that no other Marvel hero would. Characters like the Hulk or the Werewolf might gatecrash a society party and run amok, but only because they are out of control. Here is a hero who consciously and deliberately sets out to create terror in his targets. And, boy, does he succeed.

The climax, too, is different to everything else Marvel was publishing at the time. Ghost Rider goes head-to-head with the villain and sends him to his death. Without remorse of any kind.

Johnny Blaze doesn’t appear in this final scene but it is clear from his words early in the story that the he fully endorses the demon and his actions, no matter what they are. At this stage in his development, Blaze seems to have shook off the angst that is the trademark of many/most Marvel heroes and he’s a willing partner in GR’s missions of vengeance.

Fantastic!

10/10
 
 
 
 
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