Ghost Rider (1973) 39-B

Comic Book by Marvel, Dec 01 1979
     
 
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Ghost Rider (1973) 39-B by Marvel
Ghost Rider (1973) 39-B by Marvel

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Number:39
Variant:B
Printing:1st
Cover Price:$.12
Publish Date:DEC 01 1979
Caption:UK Price Cover
Content:CCA Approved

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Item Biography

Into the Abyss!"

Ghost Rider has been blasted off a cliffside road by the Death Cyclist Cultists he'd pursued after the death of Harley Baggs. Like a serial cliffhanger, it looks like an improbable escape is needed. Defying gravity and rational thought, the Satanic will, or perhaps the stunt cycle skill of Johnny Blaze propels the Brimstone Biker up a near vertical incline.

Now the Demon is vexed beyond measure. The Death Cyclists will pay dearly for this. His fiendish fervour easily frightens them. However, the fanatical worshippers of Death prefer to thwart vengeance via suicide.

The next evening, Johnny Blaze sits for dinner at Karen Sterling's home. Dining with them are Karen's father, Arthur, younger brother, Billy and political ally, Mark Crane. The topic of conversation around the table is a serious one; Arthur Sterling, State Senator is requisitioning local authorities to crack down on the Death Cult, but Crane, a practising Attorney warns him over violating the Cultists' First Amendment rights. The discussion is cut short by an appearance of Death Cultists fire-setting outside the door.

Johnny sees this as his excuse to exit the scene and give chase as the Ghost Rider. It doesn't take the Greased Lightning Ghoul long to catch the fleeing Cultists, and they soon wish they'd never crossed his path. The Demon merrily coaxes information out of a pair, using Hellfire as an inducer. Johnny Blaze returns to the Sterling home with two dazed Cultists in tow.

It would seem Crane had an ulterior motive after all, for going soft on the Death Cult. He is their leader, and brother Billy is an acolyte. Crane orders Billy to make a diversion so that he can escape. When Billy also makes off, Karen determines to follow her brother to the Death Cult's meeting place. Johnny is loathe to let her go, fearing that she'd become a casualty if the Ghost Rider were let loose to wreak unholy havoc.

Karen impersonates a Death Cyclist to gain entry to their latest gathering. It's business as usual for the Cult leader, who again orders the Death Ride ritual. Karen recognizes Billy's voice as one of the volunteers. Having witnessed the outcome of the ritual the night they tried to kill her, she desperately launches her cycle between the two before the flame-throwers can be fired.

The Cultists unmask Karen and hold her, intending to finish off what they failed, due to Ghost Rider's intervention. This is the moment Johnny Blaze arrives, just in time to be seared head-to-toe by a flame-thrower. It is the grim, skull-faced avenger that steps from the flames, bent on venting violence.

The Spook Cyclist ploughs through the Cultists like a propeller through flowers. Crane contrives to use the Ghost Rider's appearance and eerie image to his own advantage. The Cult supremo likens the Satan Spawn to Death itself and urges his rapt followers to make the ultimate tribute by leaping to their deaths from the mountain top.

Ghost Rider blocks their way and bellows in such an authorative tone, that none dare defy him. Crane is halted in his flight from justice and treated to the taste of soul-chilling Hellfire.

Karen is horrified to witness the cold, callous treatment dealt by the hands of the man she had just began to know. She bids him to leave her alone, now and forever. The Spirit of Vengeance duly obliges.

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