Marvel has announced that Johnny Blaze will ride again as Ghost Rider in a new series by Benjamin Percy and Cory Smith.
“I’m a horror head. I grew up reading Stephen King, watching John Carpenter and listening to Black Sabbath, and when it came to comics, I always reached first for the dark and weird which means I read a hell of a lot of Ghost Rider. That flaming skull. That spiked leather jacket. That monstrous bike coughing out clouds of sulfurous exhaust. To this day, the sight of the character blazing along a midnight highway makes my heart rev like a four-stroke engine,” Percy told Marvel.com.
Here’s the description from Marvel: Johnny Blaze has the perfect life: a wife and two kids, a job at an auto repair shop and a small-town community that supports him… But Johnny isn’t doing well. He has nightmares of monsters when he sleeps. And he sees bloody visions when he’s awake. This life is beginning to feel like a prison. And there’s a spirit in him that’s begging to break out!
The description seems to hearken back to the early days of Ghost Rider, when Johnny Blaze was essentially “at war” with the demon who possessed him, Zarathos. The character was created by Gary Friedrich and Mike Ploog back in 1972, making next year the character’s 50th anniversary. He first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #5. He went on to headline his own series and join the Champions.
Although Danny Ketch and Robbie Reyes have also used the Ghost Rider name, Johnny Blaze always seems to find his way back to it.
“Ghost Rider is arguably the best designed, but inarguably, the most heavy metal character in all of comics,” Percy said. “It would be badass to write this series at any point in my life, but launching on the 50th anniversary feels especially (un)holy. Cory Smith is killing it on art, and we’re going to honor the past while burning rubber into a terrifying future packed with mystery, action, and shadow-soaked emotion. Prepare yourself for the ultimate in road horror.”