Friday, April 8, 2016

The Original Ghost Rider (1992) # 19

Cover Artist: Sal Buscema
Published: Jan. 1994
Original Price: $1.75

Title: "Silent Night...Deadly Night!"
Writer: Steve Gerber
Artist: Sal Buscema
Inker: Mike Esposito
Letterer: Charlotte Jetter
Colorist: George Roussos
Editor: Len Wein
Title: The Curse of Quetzalcoatl, Part 5: "Showdown"
Writers: Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich
Artist: Dick Ayers
Inker: Rich Ayers
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Colorist: Mike Worley
Editor: Evan Skolnick
On Christmas Eve, Johnny Blaze is riding through the Arizona desert. When three mysterious men on camels appear in the road in front of him, Blaze swerves and wrecks his bike. The men check on him, unshaken by his flaming skull, and they tell Johnny that they are three kings following a star toward a child of prophecy. Understandably confused by what's happening, Blaze rides ahead of the kings in order to find answers.
Meanwhile, in New York City, the Fantastic Four are celebrating the Christmas holiday - all except for Reed Richards, who is too busy studying the new star that's appeared in the sky despite the advice of Ben Grimm, the Thing. Back in Arizona, Ghost Rider arrives at a city that appears to be from biblical times, only all the residents are Native Americans. While investigating the town, Blaze finds the stable, within which is an Indian couple and their baby in a manger. Then, Blaze is startled by a shadowed figure who forbids him to enter the stable. The unknown man claims to be the child's creator, and he sweeps Johnny and his motorcycle into a tornado, which carries him back to the hills outside the city.
At the Baxter Building, Richards has discovered that the new star is pointing toward the indian reservation of their friend, Wyatt Wingfoot. Reed is preparing to go investigate, but Grimm offers to go in his place so Richards can spend the holiday with his family. The Thing takes off in the Fantastic Four's Pogo Plane, and within an hour he has arrived at the reservation where he's met by Ghost Rider, who fills Grimm in on what he's seen. They see the three wise men approaching on their camels, and Blaze stops them with a ring of hellfire and demands their help. Later, Ghost Rider and the Thing sneak into the town, disguised as two of the three wise men. There they find an old enemy of the Fantastic Four, the Miracle Man, who transforms the stable animals into beasts to restrain the heroes. The Miracle Man explains that he had been imprisoned by the indian mystics the Cheemuzwa, but he managed to escape and steal their power. In order to attain godhood, he transformed the Cheemuzwa and the reservation into a replica of Jerusalem, where he has created a new immaculate messiah.
Suddenly, though, the Miracle Man's powers fade away when he attempts to kill Ghost Rider. The Thing frees himself and attacks, but Miracle Man's powers work just fine against Grimm. Miracle Man sets fire to the city, hoping to destroy it and the heroes, before fleeing to the hills. Blaze tells the Thing to go after the villain while he rescues the spellbound indians. The Thing catches up to his foe, and after a brief fight he manages to knock the Miracle Man unconscious. At that moment, the villain's spell fades; the town and its residents return to their normal state. The freed Cheemuzwa appear and take Miracle Man away with them, but the "messiah" child remains at the reservation to be cared for by the Native Americans. Ghost Rider and the Thing say their goodbyes, but while he drives away Johnny tries to figure out why the Miracle Man's powers wouldn't work on him.
"The Curse of Quetzalcoatl, Part 5: Showdown": As Phantom Rider battles el Ojo and his desperados, El Aguila steals some dynamite. El Aguila joins the fight and they chase el Ojo into the temple of Quetzalcoatl. El Aguila's dynamite explodes and sets off a nearby volcano.
This issue is a reprint of Marvel Two-In-One # 8.
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.