Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Original Ghost Rider (1992) # 12

Cover Artist: Chris Bachalo
Published: June 1993
Original Price: $1.75

Title: "Death Stalks the Demolition Derby"
Writer: Gary Friedrich
Artist: Jim Mooney
Inker: Vince Colletta
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: P. Goldberg
Editor: Roy Thomas

Title: "Ghost Story", Part 2
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Dick Ayers
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Mike Worely
Editor: Evan Skolnick 

"Death Stalks the Demolition Derby"
: On a deserted stretch of Nevada highway, the Ghost Rider is pursued by a fleet of police officers. Thinking he can lose the patrol cars, Johnny takes his hell-cycle off road, into the desert, but the police are one step ahead of him as they follow in a modified dune buggy. Riding onto a dead end at the top of a plateau, Blaze is forced to give himself up when the sun rises and he returns to his injured, human form. Meanwhile in Carson City, the Attorney General of the state talks to the sheriff that captured Blaze, telling him to make sure he gets the best of care. Roxanne Simpson is in the office with the A.G., and he offers to pardon Johnny for his crimes, as long as he accepts the deal he's laid out. Roxanne tells him that they'll do anything to make sure Blaze's name is cleared.

In Vegas, the bed-ridden Johnny is physically abused by the sheriff that arrested him, but is stopped by the famous stock car promoter, Dude Jensen. Dude offers Blaze a job for when he regains his help, promising to take care of his troubles with the law. The next day, Roxanne visits Johnny in the hospital, where he tells her that Dude Jensen got the charges against him dropped, and that he's going to go to work for him once he's better. Though she says nothing, Roxanne thinks to herself that Jensen is the man the Attorney General is after, but decides to remain silent until she talks to the A.G. first. As the two lovers talk, however, a jealous Linda Littletrees watches from the hallway, wishing she had Blaze for herself.

Two months later, a recovered Blaze is set to debut as the star of the Dude Jensen Demolition Derby in Las Vegas. Roxanne talks with the Attorney General, who tells her that they can't do anything against Jensen until they have evidence. Roxanne goes to Johnny's dressing room, where she finds him talking closely with Linda. Roxanne storms out, slapping Johnny for his effort. Linda then tries to move in, but Johnny tells her to get lost. As she leaves, he notices the sun setting, and undergoes the painful transformation into the Ghost Rider. Blaze creates his hellcycle and rides into the arena, joining the cars, and the demolition derby immediately begins.

Meanwhile, outside, a distraught Roxanne overhears Jensen telling a lackey to shoot the driver Red Thompson, due to the fact that Thompson is an independent driver that's costing his show a fortune. Before she can get to a phone to tell the Attorney General what she's learned, Roxanne is caught by the lackey. Back in the arena, Johnny has managed to survive the derby, but he soon finds himself in the sights of a car that's prepared to run him over. Before the car can hit him, however, Jensen's lackey fires a bullet into the driver's brain, causing him to swerve away and crash. The Ghost Rider chases down the sniper, and promptly fries him with hellfire. In his trailer, however, Jensen has Roxanne tied to a chair. She tells him that she's working for the Attorney General, to which Jensen replies by shoving a pistol in her face.

"Ghost Story", Part 2: "He Who Rides the Night Winds" finishes the story of how he became the Phantom Rider.

This issue is a reprint of Ghost Rider (1973) # 4.

This issue also included an all-new back-up story featuring the old western Ghost Rider, Carter Slade, now re-named the Phantom Rider as of West Coast Avengers # 19.

The synopsis for the Phantom Rider story comes from Ghost Rider: The Official Index to the Marvel Universe.