Monday, August 17, 2015

1970's Flashback: Night Rider

After introducing Johnny Blaze as their supernatural-motorcycling “Ghost Rider” Marvel renamed their earlier western hero to the unfortunate Night Rider (a term previously used in the Southern United States to refer to members of the Ku Klux Klan), during the mid-1970’s for a short run series. Carter Slade battled evil while dressed in a phosphorescent white costume, complete with a full-face mask, cape, and the requisite white hat. Slade had received this outfit and his white horse from Flaming Star, a Native American shaman. Eventually, the modern era Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze found himself transported into the 19th century where he met and teamed up with Carter Slade. Carter was badly wounded and Blaze took him to Flaming Star to be healed and then dealt with Carter's enemies. Carter recovered and Johnny returned to the present.
Night Rider #1 (Oct.1974)
After Slade's death in Western Gunfighters #7 (Jan. 1972), his sidekick Jamie Jacobs became the first of several successors, as in Marvel continuity after Slade's death, the name Phantom Rider was used retroactively for Slade and those who followed him. Carter Slade's spirit however returned in the modern era and possessed his descendant Hamilton Slade to make him a new Phantom Rider and rode out to rescue Johnny Blaze from certain doom.

1 comment:

Gene Phillips said...

Agreed that "Night Rider" was rather a clunky renaming, especially for a hero dressed all in white, but I guess Marvel wanted a word with the same number of letters. I liked the second renaming "Phantom Rider" a bit better.