Marvel Comics will celebrate Johnny Blaze’s 50th anniversary next year and will do so, in part, by giving the OG Ghost Rider a new, ongoing solo series. Writer Benjamin Percy (Wolverine, X-Force) and artist Cory Smith (Conan the Barbarian, Phoenix Song: Echo) will work together on the book and talked to Marvel.com about their plans for the Spirit of Vengeance.
Percy, whose character work on Wolverine is right up there with the legendary Chris Claremont, has always been attracted to the horror aspects of the character:
I’m a horror head. I grew up reading Stephen King, watching John Carpenter, and listening to Black Sabbath, and when it came to comics, I always reached first for the dark and weird which means I read a hell of a lot of Ghost Rider. That flaming skull. That spiked leather jacket. That monstrous bike coughing out clouds of sulfurous exhaust. To this day, the sight of the character blazing along a midnight highway makes my heart rev like a four-stroke engine.
The new series will see Blaze holding down a steady job and living the dream with his wife and two kids in a small town…but life isn’t all white picket fences when you’re hosting a vengeful spirit. Percy seems uniquely positioned to move the character into a new era while still paying homage to his wild, metal roots.
Ghost Rider is arguably the best designed, but inarguably, the most heavy metal character in all of comics. It would be badass to write this series at any point in my life, but launching on the 50th anniversary feels especially (un)holy. Cory Smith is killing it on art, and we’re going to honor the past while burning rubber into a terrifying future packed with mystery, action, and shadow-soaked emotion. Prepare yourself for the ultimate in road horror.
Johnny was recently seen going toe-to-toe with his brother, Danny Ketch (who is also a Rider) and taking over the throne of Hell. It is interesting to see Marvel launch a new solo series next year given the rumors that continue to swirl about the character joining the MCU. Pre-orders for Ghost Rider #1 will open up this week and the book will hit your LCS in February.