Ghost Rider #33 (1993)

The cover promises a showdown of Madcap’s ability to make people crazy and Ghost Rider’s penance stare: The stares of each drive men insane!.

Ghost Rider wins pretty easily.

Or does he?  Turns out, like Joker, Madman thrives on opposition.   And philosophy:

In the late ‘80s, DC went dark and in the process turned Joker into a sick, twisted, and violent force of nature—especially in publications like 1988’s The Killing Joke and, of course, in Frank Miller’s reinvention of Batman.  Here, Marvel starts doing that with Madman.  In many ways, this is the forefather of Marvel’s MAX line, which, just after the turn of the century, offered mature versions of gimmicky characters like Foolkiller, Devil-Slayer, etc.

Ultimately not a lot of significance here–Madcap will never be more than a speed bump in the Marvel Universe.

And speaking of minor characters, the HEART Corps that have been hunting Ghost Rider are all killed by “The Firm,” except for one member (Tyler Meagher), who will be disposed of shortly. And also Danny Ketch is adopted and decides to go look for his birth parents.

Also: Superman tribute!

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