Doppleganger (evilgrins) wrote in marvel_society,

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which spirit of vengeance are we dealing with?

6:30 PM 1/31/07 · While it is a given that any movie made from a comicbook series is never going to be bang on accurate...I still love to nitpick them. It's pointless, as I keep getting reminded from like everybody, but my fandom is very exacting... don't give me crap about it, just accept it.

On the 16th of February Ghost Rider will be coming out and it has Nicholas Cage in the starring role as Johnny Blaze. Actually, as far as that goes I have no real problem with anything. I do think it might've been nice if they gave him that reddish·blond hair that Blaze is supposed to have but that's really a minor thing.

There's really only two major things I really take issue with.

Marvel Comics has, so far as the normal universe goes, had two major hellpowered Spirits of Vengeance known as the Ghost Rider. The first was Johnny Blaze, who was cursed with sharing his form with the demon Zarathos who was a devourer of souls. For a number of years Blaze had control if his demonic form but gradually Zarathos began to take control until eventually Blaze was believed to be purged of his curse.

The other one was Daniel Ketch who was not connected to Zarathos in any discernible way, though many from Hell that he encountered were positive he was. I missed the end of his series so I don't know specifically what the source of his abilities was but it was revealed that his family had a long tradition in the occult.

The two Ghost Rider's were similar in a lot of respects but a bit different on the finer points. The Blaze version generated a motocycle from hellfire and was virtually indestructable while possessing a level of enhanced strength. Ketch's version had all of this but was able to sear the souls of the guilty with hellfire from his eyes that he referred to as his penance stare. Unlike Blaze to begin with Ketch exhibited a secondary personality from his initial transformation but his version was obsessed with protecting the innocent. That and, primarily, Ketch used a singular motorcycle that transformed along with him. He never actually created a motorcycle from npthingness like Blaze did but he did once discover (while teamed with Wolverine & the Punisher) that he cound transform other motorcycles as well.

All of which isn't very important really but I'm setting up to something. The thing that bugs me about the film is that Cage looks more like Ketch than he does like Blaze and his version of the Ghost Rider also looks like Ketch's version. In addition to the weapon used in the film as Blaze never used one but Ketch used a mystical chain...

...there's a current Ghost Rider series going on that has a redesigned version of the Blaze version of the Spirit of Vengeance that looks a lot like the Ketch version, with a few noticeable differences though. On an interesting note, for those that know where to look, there's been news of the fact that Ketch is not only still alive but also still the Ghost Rider and he will be making an appearance in the not too distant future.

On a final note, I have a small issue with the fact that the bad guy setup to be in the film (not a spoiler as it's been in several commercials) is Blackheart. Nowhere in the comics did Blaze and Blackheart ever mix it up that I am aware of. Blackheart, who is the son of Mephisto, wasn't even born until sometime after Blaze initially stopped being the Ghost Rider and just a little bit before Ketch took on the mantle. If anything, Blackheart mixed it up with the Ketch version excessively...

...I have seen from the previews, as I may've mentioned before, that a cowboy bathes in hellfire is in the film, riding a spectral horse. This was an enemy of the Blaze version but I'm not 100% sure that's going to be the presentation here.

A very odd mix of things...which doesn't mean that I won't enjoy this movie but I'm still not certain how it's all gonna play out.

For the record, while there are really only 2 main versions of the Ghost Rider...there are two alternate versions as well. Another guy, that I don't know much about, took the name Vengeance and he often worked side by side with Ketch. In the Marvel 2099 series there was also a Ghost Rider in that far flung future time...though he was more technological than mystical.
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