VENGEANCE UNBOUND
HOME l GHOST RIDER (1990) l PREVIOUS l NEXT

GHOST RIDER # 13

SYNOPSIS
Sunset in Cypress Hills Cemetery, Dan Ketch transforms into the Ghost Rider. Later, a group of junkies assault an elderly couple, beating them with baseball bats until they are stopped by Ghost Rider. Because of the drugs in their system, the Penance Stare has no effect on them, which prompts Ghost Rider to track down the drug supplier. Later that night, Dan returns home to find his mother getting out of an unknown person's car that she refuses to talk to her son about. Elsewhere, Johnny Blaze is in a motel room where he's preparing to locate Ghost Rider. His wife calls the room, but he hangs up on her without speaking.

The next day, Dan makes a delivery to International Contractors Unlimited and meets the receptionist Renee. Later, Stacy Dolan visits Dan at home to show off her new hairstyle, but Dan blows her off to go looking for the drug supplier. In Brooklyn Heights, that very same drug dealer - a superpowered blind man named Snowblind - speaks to his boss about the Ghost Rider interfering in his operations. Despite his protests, Snowblind agrees to take care of Ghost Rider himself.

Two hours later, Ghost Rider is interrogating a dealer by strapping him to the hood of his bike and racing through the streets. The dealer tells him where to find Snowblind, but Ghost Rider is then ordered to stop by an army of police officers surrounding him on the rooftops. They open fire, killing the drug dealer but unable to harm Ghost Rider, who rides off to find Snowblind. The villain is at his office, where he has ordered his staff to evacuate in preparation of his coming visitor. Ghost Rider blows through the wall of the office and finds Snowblind, who reveals his superhuman ability - he can project a field of visible white light that only he can see within and also increases his physical strength. He attacks Ghost Rider, only to learn that the Rider can actually see him within his white field. When Ghost Rider attempts to give Snowblind the Penance Stare, the villain simply turns his power off, making himself blind again. The two are then interrupted by two policemen, who chase Ghost Rider off with gunfire. The cops are working for Snowblind, and one shoots the other in the back to frame Ghost Rider for a police officer's murder.

Later, Linda Wei passes the information to Deathwatch, her and Snowblind's mutual employer. Deathwatch orders his aide to contact Tyler Meagher to begin hunting Ghost Rider for him. Back in Cypress Hills, Ghost Rider turns back into Danny only to have a shotgun pointed at his back. John Blaze has tracked them down, and he's going to kill either Dan or Ghost Rider.

ANNOTATIONS
Ghost Rider last appeared in Daredevil # 295.

John Blaze began his hunt for the Ghost Rider in Ghost Rider (1990) # 10.

Ghost Rider next encounters Snowblind in Ghost Rider (1990) # 21.

This issue begins Mrs. Ketch's subplot with Reverend Styge's church, which is resolved in Ghost Rider (1990) # 18.

The girl Dan meets during his delivery run, Renee Fuanaro, makes a return appearance in Ghost Rider (1990) # 22.

This issue also reveals that reporter Linda Wei, who started her negative reports about the Spirit of Vengeance in Ghost Rider (1990) # 5, is actually working for Deathwatch. Deathwatch's plan to use H.E.A.R.T. to capture Ghost Rider concludes in Ghost Rider (1990) # 15.

This issue was reprinted in the Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Classic vol. 2 trade paperback.

REVIEW
The Ghost Rider series enters its second year with Mark Texeira now the regular artist, giving readers a preview of what's to come in the next 11 issues.

Mark Texeira is no doubt the one single artist most associated with Ghost Rider, and this issue is the perfect example as to why. He'd been the regular inker during Javier Saltares run on the book and had even illustrated a fill-in art issue earlier in the series, but here is where his reputation on the book really took off. In fact, possibly his most iconic sequence is the first three pages of this issue, which shows the graphic transformation of Dan Ketch into the Ghost Rider. Coupled with Gregory Wright's colors, a book that already had great artwork has stepped things up even more.

Texeira also had good character design sense, judging by the look of the new villain Snowblind. I'm not sure what they're supposed to represent, but I love the white crosses on his gloves as a cool little embellishment. Snowblind's character is interesting as well, a drug dealing thug who sees himself as a business man. He provides a good stumbling block for Ghost Rider, since his blindness renders the Penance Stare useless. Snowblind never really grew to the level of Blackout or Deathwatch in the arch-enemy department, but he makes for a good opponent.

Reading through this comic again, I'd forgotten how many plotlines for the coming year get their start here. You have the police vendetta against Ghost Rider, which leads to Michael Badilino's introduction; Deathwatch's plots that involve H.E.A.R.T., Snowblind, and Blackout; and the return of Johnny Blaze. That last plot, in particular, defines the second year of the series more than any other. Readers had been waiting and waiting for Mackie to bring Blaze back into the series, and seeing him on the last page of this issue - all trenchcoat and ponytail and shotgun - was thrilling.

As much as I love the first year of the series, I wouldn't hesitate to say that the second year was better in pretty much every aspect.

Grade: A


Ghost Rider # 13
Published: May 1991
Original Price: $1.50
Cover: Mark Texeira

Title: "You'll Never See What's Coming Next!"
Writer: Howard Mackie
Artist: Mark Texeira
Background Inker: James Palmiotti
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Editor: Bobbie Chase
Editor In Chief: Tom DeFalco