Monday, March 21, 2011
Memoirs of a Bronze Age Baby: Marvel Team-Up #91
Here's one that has really stuck with me over the years and lends itself well to repeated reads. I would have been 7½ when this hit the spinner racks. I was in love with Spider-Man and morbidly fascinated by the Ghost Rider. Stephen Grant's story succeeds because he manages to sprinkle a superhero team up story with enough creepy occult elements to get a young lad's attention. Peter is visiting a circus sideshow and spots a familiar flaming skeleton (a certain muck monster named Ted is also part of the act). Eventually, the skeleton comes back to Ghost Rider mode and he and Spidey take on the mysterious magical madman (spoiler alert: it's Moondark) in order to free Johnny Blaze's soul. There's a call out to Freaks, something we'd also see in the regular Ghost Rider series. I'm never sure how I feel about Pat Broderick's art, as it's a bit too cratoonish at times with long limbs and short torsos. It suits the superhero scenes more than those with human interaction, but he certainly knows how to tell a story. There's a rather gruesome ending to this one, as Moondark is devoured by Satan himself. Spidey looks away, Ghost Rider looks on with glee. As a child, I was doing a bit of both.