At the opening intro to Ghost Rider film, they tell a legend of a Ghost Rider (presumably, Out West ~100 years ago) who had a powerful contract worth 1000 souls, and decided to not give it to the Devil and outran the Devil.

Is that legend originating in a specific issue/arc of Ghost Rider comics?

Just to be clear, I'm asking about the specific legend, NOT about the character of Carter Slade (or even a title of Ghost/Phantom rider)

  • To my recollection, Johnny Blaze was the first Ghost Rider in the comics. He sold his soul to Mephisto to save his father from cancer. – phantom42 Jan 24 '15 at 14:58
  • @phantom42, wiki agrees ^^ – Mac Cooper Jan 24 '15 at 15:01
  • @phantom42 - where'd the horse-riding dude come from then? (I'm afraid of what Richard will answer) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 24 '15 at 15:14
  • I'm not sure. I was never a big Ghost Rider reader. They may have retconned something in the comics, or they may have just come up with some new BS story for the movie. – phantom42 Jan 24 '15 at 15:21
  • Where's thaddeus when you need him (or Keen) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 24 '15 at 15:27

Not directly. Both characters were called the Ghost Rider but the movie version of the Ghost Rider is an adaptation and remix of several different characters in the Marvel bullpen used for the screen version of the Ghost Rider. In the comics, Johnny Blaze was the first character to become our two-wheeled, chained, flaming avatar of vengeance.

  • Ghost Rider is the name of several fictional supernatural antiheroes appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Marvel had previously used the name for a Western character whose name was later changed to Phantom Rider.

  • The movie remixes a character called the Phantom Rider whose name happens to be Carter Slade (same as it is in the movie) and originally appeared in a comic called Ghost Rider #1, 1967.

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  • Carter Slade, the first to wear the mask, debuted in Ghost Rider #1 (Feb. 1967). He battled evil while dressed in a phosphorescent white costume, complete with a full-face mask, cape, and the requisite white hat. Slade received his outfit and his white horse from Flaming Star, a Native American medicine man.

  • He was never called the Phantom Rider in these original appearances. In Marvel continuity, it was not until after Slade's death that the name Phantom Rider was given to the character, and reprints now retroactively use that name for Slade.

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  • The first supernatural Ghost Rider is stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who, in order to save the life of his father, agreed to give his soul to "Satan" (later revealed to be an arch-demon named Mephisto).

  • At night and when around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull. He rides a fiery motorcycle and wields trademark blasts of hellfire from his skeletal hands. He eventually learns he has been bonded with the demon Zarathos.

  • Blaze starred in the series from 1972–1983. The subsequent Ghost Rider series (1990–1998) featured Danny Ketch as a new Ghost Rider.

  • The merger of the two character designs for the movie was likely a nod to the first character to be named Ghost Rider and the more modern supernatural variant played by Nicolas Cage in the movie. Only a real fan of Marvel comics would have made the connection between the Phantom Rider (first character to be named the Ghost Rider) and the later more supernatural character of Johnny Blaze, played by Cage.

As to the legend of the souls not returned in the Contract of San Venganza, there was nothing like this in the original deal or stories of the Ghost Rider. It is likely the contract has more to do with the classic "Devil's Contract" of most Christian legends.

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  • unless I misread the answer, it doesn't actually address the question of what the legend of the 1000-soul contract (not the character) was based on, as clarified in my last paragraph. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 24 '15 at 23:45

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