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Ghost Rider (1973) 40-A
Comic Book by Marvel, Jan 01 1980
Ghost Rider (1973) 40-A by Marvel
JAN 01 1980
No Story Arcs
"The Menace of the Nuclear Man!"
Ghost Rider's unique brand of terror on two wheels rolls into Kansas, Wichita to be exact. The skeletal one makes hearts flutter and palpitate by racing alongside an express train before jumping clear across the tracks in front of it.
Grandstand display over, the Demon gives way to the mortal frame of Johnny Blaze. Johnny is irked to find himself on foot on a rainy night. So, spotting houselights on across the road, he dashes toward the house in hope of some hospitality. Blaze nearly ends up hospitalized, as he's hit by a speeding drunk-driver.
Sounds of an accident bring the house's occupants rushing out to help. An elderly man and his daughter help the shaken Johnny indoors. Johnny recognizes the old man as a former nuclear scientist with a controversial past.
Professor Thurgood Vance narrates the story of how he, his daughter, Angela and her husband, Bill had worked at the town's nuclear plant. All until Bill died in an accident there, and shortly afterwards Angela gave birth to a deformed child. Professor Vance couldn't cope with the guilt of the cause of the baby's deformities and suffocated him one night to cease his suffering.
Vance spent years in jail, but through it all had become a firm anti-nuclear objector. Vance soon starts to resemble a rambling mad scientist when he shows Johnny a project he's been working on in the basement; a nuclear-powered suit of armor.
Fate intervenes in the form of a group of armed criminals wanting to put Vance's suit to their own dishonest ends. Vance and Angela are taken prisoner, while Blaze is ordered to stay put.
Johnny had thought to wait until everyone went outside before following after them. His hopes are crushed as he catches sight of an ascending helicopter. Might as well sit tight and leave it up to the cops then, yes? No, because a later report of an 'armored' robbery in progress over the radio prompts the Ghost Rider into action.
Satan-spawned strength allows the Demon to effortlessly pull the bank's steel doors off. Those selfsame doors flatten the crims inside. But Vance in his armor crashes through an opposite wall and again departs in the helicopter.
That's two airborne getaways now. The Brimstone Biker is rapidly losing patience with such lowly scum, as he sees them.
Vance lands the helicopter at a remote cabin where the gang's boss has Angela held at gunpoint. Something has snapped in Vance's mind. He kills the boss, but insists that the stolen loot will fund his anti-nuclear campaign. When Angela tries to reason with him, he turns on her, brushing her aside so violently she passes out.
When Angela wakes the grim Spirit of Vengeance™ is standing over her. When she explains that her father intends to blow up the nuclear plant, Ghost Rider reluctantly agrees to let her go ahead to attempt to talk Vance down once more.
Vance bulldozes his way inside the plant, intimidating the staff into leaving. While he tampers with the controls regulating the radioactive core, Angela creeps in behind him. Vance blasts her without looking back. It's only when she cries out before dying that he realizes what he's done.
Filled with a purpose for vengeance to fulfill, Satan's emmisary makes his dramatic entrance. Vance doesn't flinch, feeling invincible in the nuclear-powered armor. Heavy computer banks are heaved over the spook cyclist. Addled scientist takes to the air again, trying to effect the plant's meltdown.
It is time to stop trifling with this irritant insect of a mortal, the Ghost Rider muses. He summons forth his blazing Hellfire bike and performs yet another feat of cycle wizardry to arc up one of the plant's towers and aim his bike like a missile at Vance in the helicopter.
Only one survives the resultant inferno. That one being leather-clad and flame-skulled.
Alan "Al" Gordon
Donald "Don" David Perlin
James "Jim" Shooter
Michael L. Fleisher
Jonathan "Johnny" Blaze
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