Tag Archives: Ghost Rider

What If The Silver Surfer Battled The Devil For The Fantastic Four’s Souls? (This Comic Contains No Fiddle Contests.)

Man, did this one take a turn for me. When I saw the title (What If The Silver Surfer Were Stuck On Earth) my first reaction was “Awww, the Silver Surfer. That shiny motherfucker…” but this thing is great.

We open on the Silver Surfer fruitlessly bashing his head against the force field that Galactus has used to bound him to Earth because he looooooves it soooooooooo muuuuuuuch. The Fantastic Four watch awkwardly as their friend has a total freaking temper tantrum.

Ben wore a shirt because space is chilly.
Ben wore a shirt because space is chilly.

“You know,” Reed pipes up. “You could join the Fantastic Four. We haven’t done a Fantastic Five story in a while and those always end really well for everyone and never with the Torch trying to wipe out an entire people.”

The Surfer is hesitant but eventually agrees because Reed offers to continue experiments to get Shiny back into space. And so the wielder of the Power Cosmic joins the FF. And they start wrecking shit up. I mean, yes. Tough dudes like Doom and Terminus are on the ropes, sure but you don’t even want to know how badly they beat up the Mole Man. That shit is CRUEL. It’s like they turned on friggin’ god mode. This Fantastic Five makes that one with Spider-Man look like a box of garbage. Hey! You reading this, Spider-Man? Fuck you!

I just love whenever the FF are dynamically charging into battle and the artist draws Reed's little regular guy feet.
I just love whenever the FF are dynamically charging into battle and the artist draws Reed’s little regular guy feet.

Alas, time goes by and the Surfer continues to sink deeper and deeper into depression. All he really wants to do is get back out into space, see his wife and maybe egg the Beyonder’s house. He also refuses to go see Army of Darkness in the theater with Johnny and Ben so he is frankly WASTING his time on Earth.

It wasn't the alternate title in this universe! Also they kept the original ending in!
It wasn’t the alternate title in this universe! Also they kept the original ending in!

One night, Reed gets a call from a priest. Which is weird because Reed is a straight stone cold atheist. Like he even acts super awkward on the phone.

“Dr Richards? This is a priest.”

“…”

“H… hello? Dr Richards?”

“How did you get this number?”

“You’re in the phone book.”

“Uh… huh.”

“I have a matter of some… well, it’s of a supernatural bent.”

“I’ll give you Dr. Strange’s phone number.”

“N-No, Dr. Richards. I… the church could really use the Fantastic Five’s help.”

“UUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh, FINE.”

"Sue! There's a robot on the phone who says we've won a cruise!"
“Sue! There’s a robot on the phone who says we’ve won a cruise!”

So Reed loads up all the Ghostbusters supplies he can find and the gang head over to New York’s spookiest church. They’re quickly alerted to some bad business when Reed notices the PKE meter spiking. And also the walls start bleeding and a pew starts flying around the room. Typical church stuff. And then a camera flies down the Priest’s mouth and he’s all into Evil Dead mode, prancing around in stop-motion and rhyming. Luckily, they’re then pulled into Hell before Ben has to cut his hand off and replace it with a chainsaw and if anyone wants to draw fan art of that, that would be awesome.

"Johnny, fetch me Tobin's Spirit Guide."
“Johnny, fetch me Tobin’s Spirit Guide.”

The Fantastic Five regain consciousness in actual hell, all strapped to rocks except for the Surfer who does not have time for Hell bullshit. I mean, neither does Reed but he has less say in the matter. They’re approached by Mephisto, he who is the devil, star of Ghost Rider: The Motion Picture. And MAN, does this giant red dude have a hate boner on for the Surfer. They’ve fought before and I guess the Surfer is like the purest most good dude in all of creation because Mephisto hasn’t wanted to drag someone to Hell this badly since Jesus. He does some typical Devil bragging, they have a pretty epic fight scene with one of the metalist splash pages I’ve seen since the X-Men went to Asgard and then Mephisto offers the Surfer a deal. If the Surfer volunteers to stay in Hell, not only will Mephisto free the FF but he’ll recall all his demons on Earth, bringing goodness to the entire world, prematurely ending Inferno and binding Johnny Blaze’s head in skin again (Huh, it turns out I’m really jonesing for a Ghost Rider comic. I want to see him battle a pope stealing wizard again. Let’s see here… issue 45? Son of a…). The Surfer reluctantly agrees and then Mephisto burns Johnny Storm to death to show that he’s serious.

“I already said I’d do it!” The Surfer yells.

“Talk faster.” The Lord of Douches replies.

"You fiend! You've turned him into a skeleton! Don't worry, Johnny! I'll spend the rest of my life trying to find a cure." "Don't hold yer breath, kid."
“You fiend! You’ve turned him into a skeleton! Don’t worry, Johnny! I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to find a cure.” “Don’t hold yer breath, kid.”

Anyway, true to his word, Mephisto boots the Fantastic Three back to Earth and then goes about drawing in every demon he has to bind the Surfer into Hell. And it’s actually pretty great. As the demons withdraw, people actually start to get a little better. They stop being less racist, crime drops, the Punisher actually puts away his guns. It’s the dawning of a beautiful new age.

"Weeeeeee'll meet agaaaaaaaaaaain. Don't know wheeeeeeeeeere, don't know wheeeeeeeeeen..."
“Weeeeeee’ll meet agaaaaaaaaaaain. Don’t know wheeeeeeeeeere, don’t know wheeeeeeeeeen…”

Back in Hell, Mephisto laughs. Humanity may be in a glorious golden age, but it won’t be forever. It’s not demons that make people shitty. They just help. And then he turns back to the important business of torturing the Surfer for all eternity. Unfortunately for him, the Surfer is having none of it. He won’t bend and in a fit of rage, Mephisto crushes him like a bug.

That little victory lasts about ten seconds before the giant glowing form of the Surfer appears behind the Devil, blinding him with heavenly light.

“THAT’S RIGHT, MOTHER FUCKER. I’M TOO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL TO BE DESTROYED. I’M GONNA BLIND YOU AND EVERY OTHER DEMONIC ASSHOLE IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY. SUCK MY LACK OF A DICK, SATAN!”

"YOU DIDN'T COUNT ON MY BEING THE MESSIAH, DID YOU, MOTHERFUCKER?"
“YOU DIDN’T COUNT ON MY BEING THE MESSIAH, DID YOU, MOTHERFUCKER?”

 

What If Ghost Rider Battled The Pope? Also: Something About Daredevil or Whatever.

Everybody who’s anybody remember the time that Hell’s Spirit of Vengeance, the Ghost Rider was separated from his host, stunt bike racer and mullet-haver Johnny Blaze by the evil red wizard, Azaziah, right? Like, I don’t have to go into details about how this Merlin-looking motherfucker deposessed Johnny in an effort to take the Ghost Rider for himself? And Blaze and the Ghost Rider realized they were both far weaker without one another and reunited and it felt so good? Good, I can skip all that boring crap and get straight to the blasphemy.

I literally just noticed that Ghost Rider is pointing like he has something to say but can’t because the Watcher won’t shut up.

In this new reality, Azaziah knocks Johnny on his ass and gives himself the power of the Ghost Rider easily. Then it’s an easy thing to summon Ghost Rider’s hellcycle and go out to try and take over the world. I’m a little delighted by the idea of an immortal wizard turning into an Evel Knievel style stunt racer but I guess thing about different hosts making different looking Ghost Riders hadn’t been written yet. Shame. I’d kill for a bearded skeleton riding around in a flaming wagon like Satan’s own Santa Claus.

“So long, suckers!”

Azaziah takes his motorcycle across the sea, heading straight for Vatican City in Rome. His goal: To murder the Pope! For by sacrificing the pope, Azaziah will be able to control the minds of every Christian on Earth. Or all of Christendom, as he repeats over and over and over again.

Not seen: Ghost Rider doing a sick jump off a whale.

Back in America, Johnny regains conciousness. Remembering Azaziah’s words about planning to attack “the pearl of Christendom”, Johnny realizes that this was the name people in the middle ages gave the “seat of papal authority”. Which is pretty good for shit-kicking hick in need of a haircut. Friggin’ hippy. Johnny realizes his chances of biking to Rome are pretty low so he steals a plane and gives chase.

Johnny Blaze: Theology Major.

 

Meanwhile, Azaziah has rampaged through Rome, openly mocked the papal guard for their ridiculous uniforms and taken the Pope to one of Vatican City’s many ancient torture chambers.

Every single Pope panel is hilarious to me.

Johnny finally arrives on a stolen Vespa but he busts his leg trying to jump the circle of hellfire surrounding the Vatican. Nice one, buddy. I thought jumping over fire on a motorcycle was literally the one thing you were good at. Azaziah quickly finds him and chains him to a wall, knowing he can’t kill Johnny without killing himself as well. Wonder if that’ll come up later.

Azaziah returns to normal (or “Old Man in a flowery dress form.”) and prepares to sacrifice the Pope, summoning a huge scarlet scimitar to stab him with. Gotta say, the pope’s taking all of this surprisngly well. He spends a lot of time just hanging out.

See? Here he is again, just being the Pope on a giant stone altar while Ghost Rider rubs his sore foot.

Luckily, Johnny’s able to pick the locks on his chains. By which I mean he pulls them out of the wall. Lousy shoddy ancient masonary. He’s then able to snatch the scimitar away before it can commit papalcide. Azaziah returns to Ghost Rider form but Johnny bonks him on the skull with the shattered masonary and then stabs him with the scimitar. This final act of heroism kills them both, leaving a very confused Pope wondering just what the fuck has happened.

“God be with you, hick who saved me from Alan Moore in a dress.”

Next we go to our backup AND cover story, an actual Daredevil comic by Frank “I’m not crazy yet” Miller! This one starts off simply enough with Daredevil’s usual origin: Kid saves blind man, kid gets hit in the face with chemicals, chemicals fall down storm drain, chemicals mutate four baby turtles and a rat, turtles and rat form media empire that lasts thirty years. Simple!

 

This time around, we learn that the chemical truck in question belonged to Tony Stark and Stark’s been following it across town to keep an eye on it. When Matt Murdock’s face gets splattered, Tony bustles the kid into his awesome flying car and takes him to the best medical facility on the planet: the SHIELD helicarrier on a rare day when it isn’t crashing.

Maybe you could also do something about that GIANT FIRE, Tony.

Unfortunately, all of this has been noticed by an agent of HYDRA who had been following Stark following the chemical truck. (You know, I’ve read a lot of Daredevil origins and I never remembered the truck accident being this BUSY.) The Hydra Agent figures an acid splattered teenager might be worth having for some reason and sends a Matt Murdock doppleganger robot over to Matt’s father’s gym. The fact that they have a Matt Murdock robot just kicking around raises the question of why they would want a human Matt Murdock who also can’t see at all but whatever. Robo-Matt kidnaps Matt’s father and then disappears from the story.

“I was replaced by a robot” is probably the absolute last thing Jack Murdock expected when he asked Matt how his day went. Runner-up is probably “went blind, got super powers.”

Up on the Helicarrier Stark and Fury have discovered that the chemicals have enhanced all of Matt’s senses. And dehanced his eyes significantly. Matt’s pretty bummed but Fury thinks that his new powers will make Matt a perfect SHIELD agent and begins training him right away.

“We swiped this technology from Professor X’s danger room, kid. Hope you survive the experience.”

About a month passes and Matt starts asking Fury about his father. Matt’s been missing a while and he suspects his father is worrying. Unbeknownest to Matt, Fury’s had SHIELD agents looking for Matt’s dad since they picked Matt up and had no luck finding him. Fury lies to Matt, making some lie up about Matt’s father being sent on a completely legitimate cruise or something but Matt realizes he’s lying and quits.

Matt’s just wondering how he’s going to locate his father when he’s approached by the shittiest double agent ever to work with SHIELD or Hydra. She offers to take Matt to see his father and the two of them try to escape the Helicarrier. It takes about three seconds for them to be recaptured by Fury who tells Matt that they’ve located the Hydra base Matt’s father is stashed at. Which is really handy considering an hour ago, nobody had any idea where the hell he was. Also if you’re wondering who the double agent was, what side she was actually on and what happened to her, join the club. She too disappears from the story.

“Let’s just say I’m the world’s worst double agent and I’m willing to blow my cover to a kid who’s worked here for a month.”

Matt approaches the underwater Hydra base, easily defeating the guards in some really damn sharp Frank Miller action sequences. He quickly rescues his dad from the pole in a giant empty room he was strapped to and then they escape. Fury also shows up to kill some people. Hooray!

I don’t have anything to say here, I just love this fucking action sequence.

Safely back on the Helicarrier, Matt finally tells his father what’s been going on and takes a job with SHIELD. Matt’s father celebrates that his son has found a good, useful career. And Robot-Matt and the SHIELD Double Agent have a Vegas wedding.

 

What If Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel Were Villains In Really Short Unsatisfying Stories?

This one’s another three parter, like a Simpsons Halloween Special. But not interesting. So, like a recent Simpsons Halloween Special. Uatu shows up in a splash page to tell us that this week, we’re going to see what would happen if Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel were all bad guys. Since we’re talking about a demon, a Hydra Agent and an alien from an evil space empire, we’re not at too much of a stretch here.

“What if these three yahoos were all evil? Who could even speculate?” Baldy yells, grasping his balls. “I can! For I am the Watcher!”

I love when he gets all mad about it. “Fuck you guys, I’m the Goddamned Watcher.”

We start off with Johnny Blaze, 70s stunt racer and future Nicholas Cage role, I’m sorry to say. Johnny and his lady friend Roxanne are excited that their travelling motorcycle circus (…okay.) has gotten a chance to perform at Madison Square Garden. They’re surprised when Johnny’s mentor and Roxanne’s father Crash “Flash Thompson” Simpson isn’t so in to the idea. Turns out he has cancer and could not be more blasé about it.

Johnny’s worried about his friend so he does the only logical thing. He sells his soul to the devil in a scene that’s pretty goddamn awesome.

Look at Johnny up there, praising Satan. I love comics.

So the Devil keeps his end of the bargain and cures Crash of his cancer. In the normal comic, he cures Crash only so that Crash can die performing his motorcycle stunt, driving home some of that irony that Satan’s so fond of. In this new universe, the Devil is… boring.

Crash safely executes the jump and then Johnny runs off to cry in his room. “Oh, boo hoo. I don’t have a soul any more. I had no idea this deal with the devil would go wrong.” At that point, Satan shows up and turns Johnny into the Ghost Rider, star of stage, screen and more drunken tattoos then Hot Stuff the Lil’ Devil.

At this point, Crash stops by Johnny’s room to see if Johnny still has any skin on his face. He fails to knock and Ghost Rider burns all his flesh off. BEHOLD THE FATE OF ALL SINNERS! Remembering who he is for a second, Johnny jumps on his motorcycle and takes off into the night, vowing to send to hell anyone who fails to politely enter a room. Just like in the Bible.

Not long after, reports start appearing all over America that Skeleton Evel Knievel is driving around setting criminals on fire. Roxanne sees this in the newspaper and realizes that that flaming skeleton can only be her boyfriend Johnny Blaze. She figures out that Johnny is heading for a prison so he can kill everyone in it and resolves to beat him there. Luckily Greyhound travels way faster than a motorcycle from Hell.

Roxanne arrives just as Johnny is attacking the prison and he murders the everloving fuck out of her. Like, we’re talking a fight of about one panel. I guess Marvel decided it’d be more interesting to have Ghost Rider fight Daimon Hellstrom: The Shirtless Son of Satan. Because showing the drama of a man possessed by a monster murdering his only friend is way less cool than him throwing fireballs at a dude in a Dracula cape with a pitchfork. At least we get a good shot of sad Ghost Rider.

That’s hilarious.

Daimon and Ghost Rider fight for a couple of page, before Daimon finally gets fed up and sucks out all of Ghost Rider’s fire. This leaves Johnny nothing but a skeleton in a jumpsuit in the middle of the desert, his only hope for the future to provide background in a Road Runner cartoon.

Alright, that done, we cut live to our second story already in progress. Jessica Drew (AKA Spider-Woman, no relation.) is strangling Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD* because Fury’s captured Jessica’s boyfriend and fellow Hydra agent, Jared (What a chilling name for a Hydra Agent.) Jessica tries to zap Fury with one of her venom blasts but Fury uses Jared as a shield** and Jess murders him. She goes to kill Fury but can’t do it.

At this point, Fury’s girlfriend and partner, the Contessa enters and Spider-Woman prematurely venom blasts Fury to death.

Whoops. At this point, Spidey-Womey decides to cut her losses and heads back to Hydra Headquarters, presumably in the Terror Dome.

Back home, Jessica turns to the Supreme Hydra and his Supreme Mustache for help. She wants to know what her secret origin is, but Brian Bendis won’t clear up that convoluted mess for thirty years. Just then, the Contessa and a metric fuck-ton of SHIELD Agents burst in. Supreme Hydra and Jess beat cheeks, leaving a bunch of faceless goons to die. Being in Hydra sucks.

Shocked by his betrayal of his troops, Jessica is further shocked when Supreme Hydra tries to leave her behind too. Wow, it’s like this guy can’t be trusted or something. He tosses Jess out of his escape craft and then crashes it in the woods. He probably shouldn’t have also betrayed his steering wheel and brakes. Idiot.

Jess is knocked out by the Contessa and regains conciousness in the middle of her trial, which doesn’t exactly seem legal.

She’s about to go down for a whole lot of terrorist and accidental murder charges when her defence calls his witness. It’s the Supreme Hydra. Uh, minus the costume. Looks like somebody knows how to dress for a court date, JESSICA.

Supreme Hydra tells the court that it’s impossible for them to try Jess as she’s not a human. She’s a mutated spider! Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s about as dumb as Wolverine being a mutant Wolverine who was raised by Wolverines. Jessica gets tired of this bullshit and flies away.

Six months later, we rejoin her, in Paris on the run from SHIELD and Hydra and paying off criminals with ridiculous accents for information on her origins. Her completely trustworthy informant betrays her for the bounty SHIELD has on her, but Jess zaps him and flies off to use the information he gave her to find her father. The end! Boy, that was unsatisfying! I told you!

Alright, finally, we get to the Captain Marvel story. I like Captain Marvel but the current awesome Kelly Sue DeConnick one. I don’t know a whole lot about the original guy, except that he’s a guy named Marv-Ell who is a soldier for the evil Kree empire come to Earth to see if we were a danger or ready for conquest or whatever. But then he really liked it. He’s like the Silver Surfer without the missing genitals.

We open with Marv battling the Sentry. No, wait, come back! It’s not the Superman guy in the gold tights that Marvel tried to convince us was interesting and not boring and stupid for ten years. It’s just a big invincible robot. Much cooler. I have no idea why they are fighting but it seems important.

Back on a Kree ship, Marv’s not really friend Yon-Rogg and Marv’s sort of girlfriend maybe Una are reporting to their boss, Ronan the Accuser (He’s the bad guy in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie! In my head, he sounds like Sean Connery!). Ronan’s pissed that Yon-Rogg has sent Captain Marvel to Earth on his own and then had the Sentry fight him just because Yon is trying to sleep with Marv’s girlfriend. He takes Una hostage and then escapes. Okay, this is all making a little more sense now. I think.

Back on Earth, Marv-Ell is getting his ass kicked by the Sentry when Carol Danvers shows up. Yay, Carol! A character I’m familiar with! Between the two of them they make some sort of plan and are able to attach the Sentry to a missile using Marv’s uni-beam. Which I guess is his thing. Sentry is killed by the power of the US Government’s missile program. At which point Yon-Rogg shows up.

Marv chases him off and then Yon beans him with a rock before promptly suffocating because Yon forgot to put on a space helmet or take pills so he could breathe Earth’s atmosphere. That’s… that’s terrible. Like… what?

Ronan arrives and congratulates Marv-Ell on his work and then leaves him on Earth to monitor it and see if it’s a threat or not. Like… like normal. Except this time, Marv acts all sinister like he didn’t just save the earth from an evil robot.

I… I didn’t care for this one.

 

*Strategic Heroic Something Something Whatever, True Believer!

**This one’s just an actual shield, not a secret spy agency.