Published June 27, 2019

Revisit 1990's Classic 'Ghost Rider' #1

As 'Marvel Comics Presents' #6 hits stands this week, look back on the issue that started Danny Ketch's story...


Every week we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to celebrate a major character's first appearance in the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas.

Thanks to a mix of big and small screen representations, as well as a starring role in AVENGERS (2018), people seem to have a solid sense of who the Ghost Rider is; the flaming skulled Spirit of Vengeance with the fiery ride rolls around punishing the wicked. And you probably know about Johnny Blaze (the guy who revved up the bike first) and the hot rod driving Robbie Reyes.

But are you familiar with Danny Ketch?

If not, the timing is perfect, because this week the hero rides back in all his '90s glory in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #6 by Ed Brisson and Juan Frigeri! 


Blaze became the most well known Ghost Rider from his 1972 debut in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT (1971) #5 through to the end of GHOST RIDER (1973) with ish #81 in 1983. However, an all-new GHOST RIDER series launched in 1990 with a new body under all that fire: Danny!

In the first issue, by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares, readers met brother and sister Danny and Barb Ketch as they wandered through the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn looking for Houdini's grave on Halloween Eve. They stumbled upon a robbery being committed by the masked villain Deathwatch against some of Kingpin's men. Barb screamed, which garnered attention in the form of a harpoon through the chest. Danny then dragged her to a nearby junkyard where he saw a motorcycle with a mysterious symbol on the gas cap...

Upon touching the glowing sigil, a burst of energy flowed through Danny and he turned into Ghost Rider, the Spirit of Vengeance! Though he looked similar to Blaze's Rider, Danny had a more biker-inspired look, with spikes and leather—plus the motorcycle itself took on a sleeker design.

Ghost Rider (1990) #1

Ghost Rider (1990) #1

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This new Rider chased away Deathwatch's men and then took on the cops who wanted to arrest him before driving off into the night where he garnered the attention of even more police officers. Drawn to avenge Barb's spilled blood, the Ghost Rider remained focused on that mission, but as the sun rose, the demon ceded control to its human host...who had a lot of questions about what just happened.

He later made it to the hospital where his sister was being treated and found that she'd been stabilized. Wanting more answers, Danny returned to the strange motorcycle that night.

Meanwhile, a member of the Cypress Pool Jokers by the name of Paulie made off with the case that Deathwatch and Kingpin both wanted. She escaped and brought it to the mausoleum where her gang was hanging out. They opened it hoping for money or drugs, but found only mysterious canisters. Both sides wanted the contents of the case back and sent men to get it, putting Paulie's crew and plenty of innocents in the crossfire.

Ghost Rider (1990) #2

Ghost Rider (1990) #2

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Sensing the conflict, Ketch turned back into Ghost Rider and raced to the scene. He defeated the bad guys and managed to save one of the kids, but Paulie revealed that they'd hidden the canisters! The mystery of the canisters deepened over the next two issues. It turned out that, once combined, they would release a Mutated Biotoxin that would kill half the population at first and drive the other half into a murderous rage. Deathwatch had been paid to unleash it, but Kingpin wanted to keep his city safe.

Along the way, Ghost Rider took out plenty of minions, but also had his first encounter with Blackout, the darkness-manipulating villain with mechanical fangs and claws. When the wannabe vampire intended to open the canisters himself, the Spirit of Vengeance used his demonic fire to fry them both!

Ghost Rider (1990) #3

Ghost Rider (1990) #3

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This volume of GHOST RIDER first ended in 1998 with issue #93, though issue #94 finally came out in 2007 to close out that nearly decade-long cliffhanger. In that time, the dark corners of the Marvel Universe expanded under an umbrella called the Midnight Sons that also included SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE, MORBIUS, DARKHOLD, and others.

Since then, Ketch has lost his connection with Ghost Rider and others have picked the mantle up. This week, though, he rides back in all his '90s glory thanks to a story in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #6 by Ed Brisson and Juan Frigeri! 

Read these titles and more on Marvel Unlimited! And read the new issue at your local comic shop now!


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