2014: A Comics-Geek Odyssey, Part 6

This is me on the living room floor of grandma’s house circa early ’77. The comics (at least the ones we can see) are Daredevil #138, Ghost Rider #21, and Marvel Double Feature #21. The comic that is open in front of me is… well, I don’t know, and quite frankly it’s driving me nuts.


My initial guess was that this is an issue of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (or possibly Marvel Team-Up), because one panel appears to contain a Sal Buscema profile of Peter Parker. But I looked through my old, Sal-drawn issues of PPTSSM and Team-Up and couldn’t find it. I guess it’s possible that it’s not Sal; it could be a Winslow Mortimer page from Spidey Super Stories, but I just don’t know.

A No-Prize to anyone who can tell me which comic this is.

I should also take this opportunity to mention how much I loved Ghost Rider. I’m reminded of this due to the fact that GR makes a guest appearance in the above issue of Daredevil, in addition to his appearance in his own title (naturally) right next to it. So why did I love Ghost Rider? Like most fanboys, the reasons for this love were wholly subjective and fairly arbitrary.

First, I just found something inherently cool about a guy riding a badass chopper with a skeleton head that was on fire. I always loved how Ghost Rider scared the crap out of the villains he faced. I probably wished I could strike that kind of fear/respect into other people myself. And again, like with Hot Stuff the Little Devil, the Satanic trappings of the strip added some forbidden-fruit appeal.

Ghost Rider must have been a fairly popular character in his time. Not only did he enjoy a pretty long run (eleven years from his first appearance in Marvel Spotlight in 1972 to the end of his original series in 1983), he also had his own toy in the mid to late 70s. It was a plastic motorcycle with a figure that had interchangeable Ghost Rider/Johnny Blaze heads. In fact I still have mine:

gr917 gr918 gr919 gr920 gr921

I’m fairly sure this is not the original toy I owned. I think the original version had a different color motorcycle. Not sure what happened to it; I either lost it or my dog chewed it up. Then I got this one circa 1980. It’s in okay shape, all things considered, but it is missing the handlebars. But I’m glad it survived at all—it brings back a lot of fond memories. The original Ghost Rider was so cool. That 90s revamp? Not so much.

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