Doctor Strange #26-28 and Ghost Rider #11-12 (1991): GR is NOT Zarathos

Time for a big crossover. Roy Thomas is a legend of the comic book business, and the fact that Doc Strange can’t get much attention is obviously troubling, so they tie him in with one of Marvel’s newest breakout sensations: The new Ghost Rider.

It starts with Topaz’s return–she needs to find Werewolf By Night and Ghost Rider. She believes that the Montessi Formula, Werewolf By Night’s fur, and the flames around Ghost Rider’s head are the three keys to freeing her from a pesky case of demonic possession. So she asks Doc Strange to help track the guys down.

Werewolf has become a civil rights leader for lycanthropes, and is in the South trying to clear the name of a wrongly accused werewolf said to be responsible for mutilating cattle. Strange and his entourage assist. Aliens(!) end up being truly guilty of the crimes.

OK. I’m not saying that killing cows is okay, but is this really a Doc Strange level problem? Any why spacemen?

Anyway, once that’s cleared up (it takes two issues!), they get a fistful of Jack Russell’s hair and move on to find Danny Ketch.

The Ghost Rider issues of this crossover are much better. First of all the title to #11 is awesome: Hex, Lies and Inner Escape. 

Danny Ketch has been struggling with his new identity as the engine for Hell’s vengeance, and now we see Nightmare is haunting him as well.

Nightmare is looking for Zarathos, the demon who haunted Johnny Blaze and is the source of the Ghost Rider power.  There’s a re-hash of the Johnny Blaze origin story and his ultimate separation from Zarathos, and then Ghost Rider claims not to have those memories, indicating he is not Zarathos.

That’s when Dr. Strange shows up. And of course he at first thinks Ghost Rider is a threat.

I mean, the dude has chain weapons and a flaming skull head. It’s understandable. And I love that they call this story “Strange Tales.”

Strange and his entourage figure out that Ghost Rider is, in fact not Zarathos.  At that point, Strange’s pals Rintrah and Topaz take on undercover identities.

Ghost Rider has no sense of humor.

From there, Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider team-up against Zodiak and learn Zodiak works for some demons, who they then face head-on.  Strange still needs some of Ghost Rider’s flames so he gets some and goes back to his own comic.

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