Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ghost Rider Collected Editions, or the Lack Thereof: Redux

Marvel recently let loose a preview book to retailers that details all of their trade paperback and hardcover/omnibus releases through April of 2018.  Naturally, I poured through the catalog in hopes of seeing some new Ghost Rider collections, because we're damn sure due a few, and lo and behold I found a whopping ONE listing, for the new SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE mini-series.

That pisses me right he hell off, people.

In that same catalog is listings for books like "Werewolf by Night Classic Volume 2" and "Ka-Zar Masterworks Volume 2".  Those are characters that I'm sure have fans of their own, and I'm not trying to knock any attempts to release Marvel's awesome back catalog of comics.  When Ghost Rider gets ignored in favor of those niche characters, though, I am simultaneously disappointed and surprised.  I had hoped that Marvel had more Ghost Rider collections coming, after the release of the "Rise of the Midnight Sons" and "Hearts of Darkness" trade paperbacks, but apparently they think fucking Ka-Zar has more of a chance at selling copies than Ghost Rider.

So, for my own benefit more than anything else, I've put together a list of Ghost Rider collections that Marvel NEEDS to make happen.  How can they expect the character to catch on with a wider audience if there's nothing printed for them to read?  I'm going to break this down into a couple of different categories, and you're going to see some repeats in material.

OMNIBUS EDITIONS - The Omnibus is honestly my favorite way to see comics collected, because they look awesome on a bookshelf and they can pack in a LOT of material in one volume.  However, the price point for most of these, usually $100 or more per book, can turn away anyone other than the most die-hard collectors.  So far, Ghost Rider has had only one Omnibus edition published, which collected the Jason Aaron run.  That should be rectified with the following:

Ghost Rider: Johnny Blaze Omnibus (Volume 1)
Collects: Marvel Spotlight on Ghost Rider (1972) # 5-11, Ghost Rider (1973) # 1-9 & 11-20, Marvel Spotlight on the Son of Satan (1972) # 12, Marvel Team-Up (1972) # 15, Marvel Two-In-One (1973) # 8, Daredevil (1964) # 138
Written by: Gary Friedrich, Tony Isabella, Len Wein, Steve Gerber, and Marv Wolfman
Illustrated by: Mike Ploog, Tom Sutton, Jim Mooney, Ross Andru, George Tuska, Sal Buscema, Frank Robbins, Herb Trimpe, and John Byrne

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Omnibus (Volume 1)
Collects: Ghost Rider (1990) # 1-24, Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness, Marvel Comics Presents (1988) # 64-71, Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988) # 28
Written by: Howard Mackie and Roy Thomas
Illustrated by: Javier Saltares, Mark Texeira, John Romita Jr., Ron Wagner, Larry Stroman, and Chris Marrinan

Ghost Rider: Robbie Reyes Omnibus
Collects: All-New Ghost Rider (2014) # 1-12, Ghost Racers (2015) # 1-4, Ghost Rider (2016) # 1-5, Ghost Rider X-Mas Special # 1, Secret Wars: Secret Love # 1
Written by: Felipe Smith and Method Man
Illustrated by: Tradd Moore, Damion Scott, Juan Gedeon, Danilo Beyruth, Felipe Smith, and Anthony Piper

MARVEL MASTERWORK EDITIONS - These are the really high-end collections of Marvel's Silver and Bronze Age comics.  These hardcover editions usually come with restored pages and in some cases touch ups on color and print quality.  The only Masterwork collection to feature Ghost Rider to date has been last year's Champions collection, and it's a shame that such a seminal character of the 1970s has been neglected in this format.

Marvel Masterworks: The Western Ghost Rider
Collects: The Ghost Rider (1967) # 1-7, Western Gunfighters (1971) # 1-7, and the back-up stories from The Original Ghost Rider (1992) # 3-5, 7-13, & 15-20
Written by: Gary Friedrich, Len Wein, Dan Slott, Tom Brevoort, and Mike Kanterovich
Illustrated by: Dick Ayers

Marvel Masterworks: Ghost Rider (Volume 1)
Collects: Marvel Spotlight on Ghost Rider (1972) # 5-11, Ghost Rider (1973) # 1-9, and Marvel Spotlight on Son of Satan (1972) # 12
Written by: Gary Friedrich and Tony Isabella
Illustrated by: Mike Ploog, Tom Sutton, Jim Mooney, and Herb Trimpe

OVERSIZED HARDCOVERS - These are the same size dimensions as the Omnibus editions, but generally collect a much smaller amount of comics.  These can fit side by side with the Omnibus volumes on a bookshelf, though, and would be the perfect format for the following books:

Ghost Rider by Garth Ennis & Clayton Crain HC
Collects: Ghost Rider (2005) # 1-6, Ghost Rider (2005) Director's Cut # 1, Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears (2007) # 1-6, and Shadowland: Ghost Rider # 1
Written by: Garth Ennis and Rob Williams
Illustrated by: Clayton Crain

All-New Ghost Rider HC
Collects: All-New Ghost Rider (2014) # 1-12
Written by: Felipe Smith
Illustrated by: Tradd Moore, Damion Scott, and Felipe Smith

EPIC COLLECTIONS - These are high-end trade paperbacks, which collect a LOT of comics in chronological order, printed out of sequence (so you could have a "volume 4" of the back catalog printed first, for example).  These have the goal of printing all of Marvel's evergreen/tent-pole titles in a recognizable numbered order, sort of like color versions of the Essential books from years ago.  Naturally, a Volume 1 of Ghost Rider would include the same material as the first Masterworks volume I listed above, so I'm going to go another route:

Ghost Rider Epic Collection: The Curse of Jonathan Blaze (Volume 5)
Collects: Ghost Rider (1973) # 63-81
Written by: Michael Fleisher, Roger Stern, and J.M. DeMatteis
Illustrated by: Luke McDonnell, Jack Sparling, Tom Sutton, Don Perlin, and Bob Budiansky

TRADE PAPERBACKS - Naturally, there are some comics that need to be collected, but either a) don't warrant an expensive hardcover or omnibus or b) wouldn't fit within the confines of the Epic Collections.

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Classic Volume 3
Collects: Ghost Rider (1990) # 21-27, X-Men (1992) # 8-9, and Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness
Written by: Howard Mackie and Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by: Mark Texeira, Ron Wagner, Jim Lee, and John Romita Jr.

Spirits of Vengeance: Midnight Massacre
Collects: Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1992) # 7-13, Ghost Rider (1990) # 39-40, Nightstalkers (1992) # 10, Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins (1992) # 11, and Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992) # 12
Written by: Howard Mackie, Dan Chichester, Chris Cooper, Larry Hama, and Gregory Wright
Illustrated by: Adam Kubert, Joe Kubert, Ron Garney, Vince Giarrano, Kirk Van Wormer, Rurik Tyler, and Ron Wagner

Ghost Rider: In Chains
Collects: Ghost Rider (1990) # 56-66
Written by: Howard Mackie
Illustrated by: Salvador Larroca

Ghost Rider 2099 Volume 1
Collects: Ghost Rider 2099 (1994) # 1-12
Written by: Len Kaminski
Illustrated by: Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Peter Gross, and Kyle Hotz

Ghost Rider: The Last Temptation
Collects: Ghost Rider (1990) # 87-93, Ghost Rider (1990) # -1, Venom: Sign of the Boss # 1-2, and Ghost Rider: Finale
Written by: Ivan Velez Jr.
Illustrated by: Javier Saltares, Karl Kerschl, Josh Hood, and Tom Derenick

Ghost Rider by Rob Williams: The Complete Collection (New Printing)
Collects: Ghost Rider (2011) # 0.1 & 1-9, Shadowland: Ghost Rider # 1, Amazing Spider-Man/Ghost Rider: Motorstorm # 1, and Venom # 13, 13.1-13.4, & 14
Written by: Rob Williams, Rick Remender, and Jeff Parker
Illustrated by: Matthew Clark, Clayton Crain, Lee Garbett, Sana Takeda, Tony Moore, Emanuella Luppachino, Dalibor Talajic, Brian Ching, Lan Medina, and Julio Totino Tedesco

There you go, Marvel, there's your marching orders.  Seriously though, I realize that many of these are longshots, especially stuff like "In Chains" and "The Last Temptation", but it sure would be nice to see those get collected for new readers to discover.  I'm telling you, Marvel Collections Department, you are underestimating how many fans there are of Danny Ketch and Ghost Rider 2099, you might just be surprised by how well some of these would actually sell.

Rant over!