Ghost Rider #4 (1990): 1st Jack D’Auria

I was so skeptical when I started reading this book, because Ghost Rider Volume 1 was mediocre at best and because I know that the character becomes ubiquitous in the mid-1990s, but so far, the new Ghost Rider is pretty good.

The concept is that his bike is “normal” until he touches the gas cap, which changes both Danny Ketch and the motorcycle into the powered, demonic alter ego.  So Danny has a problem—he needs to be able to stash the bike when he’s “normal” (whereas Johnny Blaze created his bike from pure hellfire).  But also in this issue, there’s a bit of a Knight Rider dynamic…

…As the bike goes to Danny when its needed.  In this case, he’s parked it at the garage of Jack D’Auria…

…Who will in the future become a masked karate vigilante named Shriker, so he’s tagged.

Also, unlike volume 1, this character is firmly entrenched in the Marvel Universe.  Last issue, he was involved with Kingpin.  This time, it’s Mister Hyde.

The battle goes on for several pages, smashing through walls and across an entire city, until Rider uses his “penance stare” power…

…Which turns Hyde back into Zabo (essentially his version of a Dr. Jeckyll persona).

Last issue, the penance stare made a villain experience all the horror of what he’d done to others.  There’s a danger that this power will become a deus ex machina—hopefully there are some limitations to it.

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