Ghost Rider Chronology

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In honor of the publication of my Ghost Rider article in the pages of Back Issue #95 (on sale now!), I’ll be putting up some supplemental material here on the blog homestead. As I put a lot of work and research into that original article, there’s a lot of leftover stuff that I think would be of interest.

First up is this full list of all of the Ghost Rider’s appearances in a chronological reading order, along with some explanations of the why & where, as well as other tidbits of info. As one can see, Ghost Rider really got around, particularly in his mid-70s heyday:

Marvel Spotlight #5-11

Ghost Rider #1-2

Marvel Spotlight 12 [First issue with “Son of Satan” as the title feature. Ghost Rider guest stars in a continuation of the storyline from Ghost Rider #2.]

Ghost Rider #3

Avengers #118 [Cameo app.]

Ghost Rider #4-5

Marvel Team-Up #15

Ghost Rider 6-11 [Note that Ghost Rider #10 is a fill-in reprint (of GR’s first appearance in Spotlight #5) despite the Hulk cover appearance. The actual Hulk story takes place in Ghost Rider #11.]

Marvel Two-in-One #8

Ghost Rider #12

Marvel Spotlight #22 [As this is a cameo appearance in a fantasy sequence from a “Son of Satan” story, it’s not really part of GR’s canonical history, but for the sake of total completeness, it can be placed here on a chronological pub-date basis.]

Ghost Rider #13

Captain America #191 [Details the fate of the Trapster in the wake of the events of Ghost Rider #13; GR has a cameo appearance in flashback.]

Ghost Rider #14 [Most of the story here takes place prior to the first two issues of Champions, with the last few pages taking place afterward.]

Champions #1-2

Ghost Rider #14 [last few pages]—Ghost Rider 15

Champions #3

Marvel Premiere #28 [“Legion of Monsters” story.]

Ghost Rider #16

Champions #4 [Note that Ghost Rider does not appear in Champions #5-6.]

Ghost Rider #17-19

Daredevil #138

Ghost Rider #20

Avengers #151 [Cameo app.]

Champions #7-10 [This string of issues can’t be broken as all the stories lead directly into each other.]

Ghost Rider #21

Champions #11-13

Ghost Rider #22 [This is the first time Johnny controls his transformation into the Ghost Rider. Therefore, this story must come after the Champions stories above, as the danger-triggered change is a major plot point in Champions #12.]

Marvel Treasury Edition #13 [Interstitial/framing sequence between older, reprinted stories.]

Ghost Rider #23-24 [Ghost Rider #23 opens with him riding away from his fellow Champions, but no Champions continuity really fits prior to this issue. Ergo, I put the treasury edition piece before it—seems as good a place as any.]

Marvel Team-Up #58

Champions #14-15

Ghost Rider #25

Human Fly #2

Super-Villain Team-Up #14

Champions #16

Iron Man Annual #4

Champions #17 [The narration detailing prior adventures states “lastly Modok” in an opening caption, which means the Modok adventure from the Iron Man Annual immediately precedes this tale.]

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #17 [Though published/released significantly later, the flashback scene detailing the Champions break-up goes here, chronologically.]

Ghost Rider #26-42

Marvel Team-Up #91

Ghost Rider #43-56

Defenders #96

Ghost Rider #57-60

Marvel Two-in-One #80

Ghost Rider #61-62

Avengers #214

Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel [Cameo appearance. The graphic novel has a pub date of April 1982, which is a bit off, but this is the best place to squeeze it in. Let’s say the Avengers took GR with them to visit the ailing Captain Marvel after the events of Avengers #214. This would also provide a logical explanation for why GR would be present at all, considering the character never crossed paths with Captain Marvel before.]

Ghost Rider #63-76

Team America #11

Ghost Rider #77-81 [Issue #81, the last issue of the original series, is Ghost Rider’s final appearance in the Bronze Age.]

Defenders #145-146 [Johnny & Roxanne appear, sans Ghost Rider. Last appearance of Johnny Blaze in the Bronze Age.]

 

…GR also appeared in What If #17, 28, and 34. As these are alternate-reality tales, they’re not part of the character’s canonical history, of course.

There’s also this formerly “lost” tale of the Champions drawn by George Tuska that finally saw the light of day in the Gambit issue of the “Marvel Vault” series in 2011. Published long after the Bronze Age (though illustrated by George Tuska in the midst of it), it’s an oddball in terms of chronology. First, it opens with an apparent flashback scene of the whole team fighting Rampage—but there was never a time when Rampage took on the whole team. As noted above, Ghost Rider wasn’t present for Rampage’s introduction (Champions #5-6), and the next time he showed up in full-costume gear (Champions #8), Black Widow was missing, as she had been kidnapped by Russian supervillains. Plus Angel was still in his red-and-yellow outfit in the flashback, which would seem to suggest the scene occurred (if one insists on its occurring) somewhere inbetween the panels of Champions #7. But wait… even THAT doesn’t work because Rampage is defeated and captured at the end of issue #6 and then sprung from a prison hospital by the Russians in issue #7. There’s simply no room for this Rampage scene in present continuity unless either Black Widow or Ghost Rider are eliminated from it. Even then, some major shoehorning is required.

As for the rest of the tale apart from the opening flashback? Yes, you might be able to squeeze it in between, say, Ghost Rider #20 and the Champs cameo in Avengers #151… but yeesh, wotta headache!

More to come in the days ahead.

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