Ghost Rider #43-44 (1980): Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze split

Carmine Infantino is the guest artist, and while I usually don’t appreciate him as an artist, there’s something about the way he draws long lines and has an overall sketchy quality that works well with Ghost Rider.  In these issues, for the first time, Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider are physically separated by an old man who has a magical crystal ball.

Without Blaze’s conscience, Ghost Rider goes crazy and starts burning oilwells.  Seriously.  So of course Johnny feels responsible and eventually Johnny uses magic to reunite himself with Ghost Rider.

The separated Ghost Rider is Zarathos, and while I don’t tag him when he’s part of Blaze (just like I don’t tag Hulk and Banner separately or Phoenix and Jean Grey separately), this is the first time he’s acting independently, so I will give him a unique tag for this issue.

It would have been cool to see this story continue longer before returning to the status quo. It’s an above-average story in a book that is often below average, so it’s a B-.  It’s also kind of important because it’s the first time Marvel separated a body from its alter ego—which they would do in the future with Hulk, many times.  Of course, it makes more sense here since Ghost Rider is a demon stuffed inside a human body, whereas Hulk is just a radioactive effect on a human body.

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