There have been a couple Ghost Riders throughout Marvel’s history. The first was Carter Slade, a vigilante cowboy who doesn’t really have much to do with the subsequent mythos. Carter was renamed the Phantom Rider after Marvel thought the Ghost Rider name better fit their new character– a stunt motorcyclist who made a deal with the devil and transforms into a flaming skeleton of vengeance– Johnny Blaze.
Blaze was followed in the 90s by the third Ghost Rider (or the second supernatural Ghost Rider), completely normal dude Danny Ketch. Normal in the Marvel universe is weird though, considering he got his powers through a series of events that started with “his sister was attacked by ninja gangsters” and ended with “stumbled upon a magic motorcycle”. Seriously.
The next Ghost Rider was Alejandra who literally nobody cares about and was forgotten in short order. She doesn’t even have a last name!
The most recent Ghost Rider is the teenager Robbie Reyes who in a change of pace actually doesn’t ride a motorcycle like his predecessors. Robbie instead has a haunted Dodge Charger. The car is, of course, on fire because you can’t be a Ghost Rider unless you’re on fire (Carter isn’t, but nobody cares about him either).
It took a surprisingly long time for Marvel to take the concept of the flaming spirit of vengeance who rides a vehicle and apply it to something other than a motorcycle. But when they did, the floodgates opened. The recent Ghost Racers miniseries featured redesigned versions of the classic riders and many newcomers, all forced to compete in a weird Death Race 2000/Mad Max combo… in Hell! So you get cool stuff like the Ghost Rider of 2099 being a robot riding a giant floating chainsaw. And you get fantastic crack like a Ghost Rider that is a gorilla on top of a train. Naturally, both are on fire. My personal favorite is the Ghost Rider that’s a cyborg T-Rex (on fire) riding atop a fighter jet (also on fire). Y’know, stuff that occupies a weird quantum territory of being simultaneously the worst and the best.
I’d like to think I’ve continued that proud tradition with my own Ghost Rider. His steed of choice? Unicycle.
Ka-kow. As rough as it is, this may actually be one of my favorite things I’ve drawn.
Rejected ideas for Ghost Riders and their vehicles:
- Segway. It was a toss-up between this and the unicycle. I think they’re equally funny though.
- Scooter. Maybe next time!
- Skateboard. This would actually be really rad.
- No vehicle. The Ghost Walker just has his legs on fire.
The only appropriate song to go along with Ghost Cyclist is of course… Tarzan Boy.