Ghost Rider #17-19 (1976): Guest Starring Son of Satan!

Gratuitously, this arc starts with Ghost Rider saying goodbye to The Champions. Hercules seemingly breaks Johnny’s hand, but he’s fine so I guess the sound effect is exaggerated. 

Then, it’s on to a Ghost Rider/Son of Satan team up.

Karen Page has a become a series regular here, as the potential love interest for Johnny Blaze and a movie actress on a movie that requires a stunt double.  Her double, Katy Milner, gets possessed by Satan and Ghost Rider and Son of Satan team up to perform an exorcism. In the panel above, the beat on the air above her body. I think if they annoy the demon enough, it will leave.

But it just makes the demon mad.

So there’s a fight.

Cool. Then…

Along the way, Ghost Rider has to race against his past, vision versions of folks like Crash Simpson, Orb, Thing, Spider-Man, etc. 

Except they’re demonic imagery and not real, so I’m not listing them as guest shots.

If he can win this vaguely defined contest, the demon will leave Katy’s body.

And of course he wins.

In the end, we learn that Katy Milner is actually Roxanne Simpson-she was being hidden by the Devil-so Johnny is reunited with his true love and Karen Page limps off, jilted.

Karen has to have the worst love life of any Marvel character.

As far as Ghost Rider comics go, this is a decent one.  But that’s damning with faint praise.  (Get it, “damning”?)

I’ve tagged both Satan and Mephisto here because this issue only talks about Satan but in later Ghost Rider stories, his past is retconned that it was Mephisto all along who cursed Blaze with the Ghost Rider demon.

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