and HtH #1
Summary: We begin this tale with the Ghost Rider cycling through the city, purposely ignoring a street corner murder. The killers do not ignore him, however, and GR is chased by them until he escapes them by driving over them like Evel Knievel. He then tears off for home, where he changes to a very disturbed Johnny Blaze who thinks back on his plight...
Johnny's father, Barton Blaze, was killed during a cycle stunt of his own while John was just a boy. Taken in by the cycle stunt team family of Crash Simpson, Johnny was raised to a man with Crash's family, the Mrs. and their daughter Roxanne. Johnny's mother is presumed dead - though finally shown alive in GR-1, until her untimely death. Mrs. Simpson dies at a cycle stunt show as well, and makes Johnny promise on her deathbed that he will never race cycles as the rest of the family does. The Simpson ride him mercilessly for his cowardice, as they remain unaware of Johnn's promise.
Johnny one day overhears Crash telling Roxanne that he too is dying, of cancer. Johnny decides to sell his soul to Satan and save his friend's life. Satan does this gladly, but has Crash killed in a cycle accident the next day. That night at dark Johnny becomes the GR for the first time, which leads us back to the beginning of the story.
Now done reminiscing, Johnny decides it might be best to leeave NYC, but before he leaves he changes into... the Ghost Rider!!
Angels from Hell!
Original Ghost Rider #2
Summary: Ghost Rider is met up by another bike gang, who first fight with the Rider but eventually take him back with them to their lair. Ghost rider recounts his origin and is hypnotized by the gang leader, who turns out to be Crash Simpson, the man Johnny sold his soul to save, in an otherworldly disguise. Simpson is out to make his own deal with Satan! He is unable to see the deal through, due to the interference from his daughter Roxanne and the coming of the dawn which turns Ghost Rider back to Johnny Blaze. He and Roxanne find each other shortly thereafter and he crashes with her and sleeps until Moonrise. The Ghost Rider once again rises. He defeats the gang's intent of killing Roxy so Crash can take Johnny's soul, performing so flawlessy that the crowd thinks it is part of the act, but once Ghost Rider leaves, Curly - Crash in disguise via Satan- hypnotizes Roxanne to unconsciousness, vowing to sacrifice her for his own soul.
...To Be Continued!
Die, Die, My Daughter!
Summary: Crash Simpson is "mostly dead" and looking to sacrifice his only daughter to Satan and preserve his own life. Meanwhile GR finally meets the cops, whom he evades with his stunt-riding skills. He then stops to rest in a graveyard, a habit that will become familiar in Vol. 2, for the first time. He sleeps there comfortably through the rest of the night and into the morning.
Crash brings Roxanne to the local Church of Satan, in Greenwich Village, to hold her until the ritual that evening. Johnny notices her abscence at that day's cycle show and goes after her at nightfall as the GR. He terrifies a few of the locals into giving him the information he needs and breaks in on the sacrifice just in the nick of time. He is forced to fight his now-revealed friend and mentor as Satan watches, laughing.
To Be Continued!
"The Snakes Crawl at Night!"
Summary: Ghost Rider is driven off a cliff by a giant snake conjured by Snake Dance. Mr.Casey, owner of the circus that employs Johnny and Roxanne, sends her out to find the missing Johnny with Sam Silvercloud, his right-hand man. Sam drives her out towards the canyon, telling her that he is one of they who have killed Johnny. He then kidnaps her, while Bart Slade convinces Casey that he can do the stunt. Johnny is saved by Satan, who tells him that his life is Satan's to take and no one else's. Johnny is then rescued by helicopter as Roxanne is taken to Snake Dance, who will use her as a bridal sacrifice to the Snake God.
Johnny return to the circus, changes again to GR and wows the crowd with a spectacular stunt show that snubs Bart and climaxes with his cornering the returning Sam. GR then goes after Roxanne, but not before she is bitten by the ceremonial snake. GR pounds the snake cult and rescues Roxanne, destroying the area with hellfire and riding away to save Roxy, unheeding of the remaining cultists' pleas to let them save her life.
To Be Continued!
"Coming of the Witch-Woman!"
Summary: Midnight - If Roxanne Simpson dies, so dies the Ghost Rider!
Sam confronts Snake Dance and nearly hangs the man before he is saved by his daughter, Linda Littletrees. She is also looking for GR, but to turn his soul in to Satan. She is also Sam's girl.
GR takes Roxy to the nearest hospital, frightening the staff and setting the doctor's lab coat on fire before he gets the resuts he needs: save Roxanne's life! Sam, Linda and Snake Dance argue the merits of sacrifice, ending with Linda taking the only remaining serum and going to save Roxy! GR leaves as Linda arrives, her timing being perfect in that she saves Roxy and still just misses GR.
Gr is chased again by cycle cops, and eludes them with crazy driving and blasts of hellfire. Linda remembers where she knows the name Simpson from, and that it was Crash Simpson, Roxy's dad, who saved her from death as a young girl. The irony of the present situation and her mission is not lost on her. At last she finally sees GR, still being chased by the cops. She follows, passes them and sets the trap for Johnny. He is deciding that he cannot outrun the cops in the end. Linda, now the Witch-Woman, draws GR into the thin air and transports him away, to deal with him without interference.
To Be Continued!
"Season of the Witch-Woman!"
continues in GR #1
Summary: The Witch-Woman confronts Ghost Rider!
While Linda has GR trapped in an otherworldly vortex, she runs down her history to him: In college she was roomed with Jennifer Glatzer, a satanist who convinced Linda to try it and even used Linda against her will to curry favor with Satan and her own group. Linda did not want to participate, and was sacrificed and reborn to Satan. This retelling causes Linda to drop her defenses and GR escapes to his cycle. Satan rrives and is not happy. He and Linda then devise a scheme to make GR think he has won; Or Linda think she has won. As the dawn is breaking she calls to GR and says she must pay for her failure to kill him. She burns herself to death with hellfire and GR can't bear to watch. He changes back to Johnny with the dawn and rides away, not knowing that the game is far from over...
NEXT: Ghost Rider #1!
to Vol.2! Danny Ketch! Coming Later!
to the Hammer Lane!
all images/comics/characters courtesy Marvel 2001