Friday, March 4, 2016

The Original Ghost Rider (1992) # 13

Cover Artist: Kris Renkewitz
Published: July 1993
Original Price: $1.75

Title: "And Vegas Writhes In Flame!"
Writers: Marv Wolfman & Doug Moench
Artist: Jim Mooney
Inker: Sal Trapani
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: P. Goldberg
Editor: Roy Thomas

Title: "Chasing Phantoms"
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Dick Ayers
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Mike Worley
Editor: Evan Skolnick 

"And Vegas Writhes in Flame!": Roxanne Simpson is held at gunpoint by crooked stock-car promoter Dude Jensen, who had caught her eavesdropping on his plan to assassinate one of his drivers. Before he can shoot her, Jensen's lackey Slifer bursts into the trailer and tells him not to fire, because the area is swarming with police. Jensen laughs, and is then consumed by hellfire, transforming him into the demonic Roulette. He then transforms Slifer into his demonic form and sets the trailer on fire with a point of his finger. The two then teleport away, leaving Roxanne to burn to death in the trailer.

Elsewhere in Las Vegas, the Ghost Rider rides through the city in search of Rocky, but is surprised by the appearance of Roulette in the sky above him. The demon pelts Blaze with blasts of hellfire, but during his bid for escape, Johnny sees a vision of Roxanne trapped in the burning room. Roulette appears again, telling Johnny that he has to make a choice: save Roxanne, or stop him from burning down Vegas. Though he struggles with the choice momentarily, the derogatory remarks thrown out by the Vegas citizens quickly makes his choice for him. Blaze races off to rescue Roxanne, leaving Roulette to begin his assault on the city. The demon sets a large casino on fire, destroying it and killing many of the people inside. Johnny, meanwhile, makes it to the burning trailer and rides right through the wall, scooping up Rocky before plowing through the opposite wall and to safety. Before she can say anything, Johnny sets her down and races back into the city, determined to save it whether it deserves it or not.

Meanwhile, a group of casino owners talk about a note they each received, which says all of them will die and their casinos will be destroyed, signed by Roulette. They realize that Roulette and Dude Jensen are one and the same, recalling how the race promoter had lost twenty thousand dollars at one of the casinos. When he couldn't pay back what he'd lost, they took him into the desert and shot him, leaving his body dumped in a quarry. The Ghost Rider, elsewhere in the city, is then attacked again by Roulette, daring the biker to follow his trail. Blaze tracks the demon down to the desert, where he finds a huge castle floating on a platform of hellfire. Johnny jumps through the castle's doors, quickly finding Roulette in his throne room. Jensen tells his story to Blaze, revealing that after his body was dumped in the quarry he was brought back to life by none-other than Satan himself. He made a deal with the demon-lord, his return to life in exchange for destroying the Ghost Rider. Roulette then downs Johnny with a hellfire blast, then calls upon Satan for the power to destroy their enemy for all eternity. Satan appears and grants Jensen's request, pouring more power into his body. Johnny sees his opportunity, blasting Roulette with his own hellfire, essentially overloading the demon's body. Jensen explodes, leaving only a tattered robe and the victorious Ghost Rider.

"Chasing Phantoms": Sheriff Brown chases the Phantom Rider through Bison Bend, not realizing that Jamie and William are tricking them to cover for Carter Slade having left town. William leaves the phantom projector when he and Jamie go to the sheriff's office, where Hollis tells them the reward for Angus has been cancelled since Floyd and Red escaped. Meanwhile, Floyd and Red see the Phantom Rider projection and accidentally shoot each other.

This issue is a reprint of Ghost Rider (1973) # 5.

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.