|Item Data|| |
|Publish Date:||JUN 1979|
Ghost Rider (1973) 36-A by Marvel
"A Demon in Denver!"
Somewhere on a dark night in Colorado, a collision is narrowly averted. A long-haul trucker blunders into the Ghost Rider's path. Angered by the incursion, the flame-skulled fury decides to teach the road-weary truck driver a lesson in highway etiquette.
Stop 67 on the Brimstone Biker itinerary; Denver. The Spook cyclist leads the police a merry chase through the streets. Weaving between, and vaulting over their cars, until finally bidding them adieu with one final taunt.
Arriving in a state in which "Bedraggled" would befit his middle name, Johnny Blaze walks into Dickie's Bar & Grill in search of something resembling food. His loose change doesn't add up to the value of his order, so when a scantily-clad lady offers to cover the charge for him, you could forgive Mr. Blaze for getting the wrong idea.
Debbie, the young lady informs Blaze, she's not "that type of girl". She only works as a dancer to make money for her kid sister, who needs regular hospital treatment for a kidney disease.
The locals don't take kindly to Johnny monopolizing Debbie's attention. The biggest and loudest of them, Barney, approaches Johnny in an aggressive manner. Johnny showboats, perhaps to impress the lady, plucking a fly out of the air and dropping it into the loudmouth's beer. Barney takes a swing at Johnny, who ducks first, then lays him out cold.
Fearing a wholesale brawl, the barmaid suggests Debbie get Blaze out of there A.S.A.P. Debbie drives the bleary-eyed biker to her home. Johnny is still harboring thoughts of a one-night stand as he makes a pass at Debbie. Thank God for little sisters arriving opportunely to save an embarrassing brush-off.
It's time for Debbie to drive her sister, Beth, for her weekly treatment at the hospital. A lone biker that Johnny had noticed from the window waiting menacingly on the street is still watching as the trio leave for the car.
The cyclist cuts across them on the road. As Blaze reverses the car, another vehicle blocks them in forcing a crash in front of a gas station.
Barney has gathered some good ol' boys together to back him up for Round 2 against the guy who made a fool of him earlier that night. Blaze warns him he'll be sorry if he gets out of the car, but Barney's not listening and drags him from the driver's seat.
Armed with knuckledusters on both fists, Barney beats Blaze brutally, with the rest of the mob acting like jackals, gingerly joining in. You know what happens next; the Spirit of Vengeance appears to educate the ignorant, to school the scoundrel and smite the slime.
Bloody violence brings vengeance, as Barney beats a retreat. Debbie begs him to help her as her younger sister goes into shock. That moment's hesitation seals Barney's doom as the Ghost Rider lifts him over his flaming skull ready to mete out merited punishment.
Debbie pleads to any humanity left within the Ghost Rider, to help her get to the hospital on time. For once, the Ghost Rider forgoes the trial by Hellfire on a damned soul to change back to Johnny Blaze and display compassion.