2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of Ghost Rider. Marvel has already labeled next year “The Year of Vengeance.” How exactly are they planning on celebrating 50 years of one of the greatest anti-heroes ever created? Well, there is an old expression: The key to the future is in the past. That’s why Marvel is bringing fan favorite Johnny Blaze back into the saddle as Ghost Rider.  

The OG is Back 

The original Ghost Rider gets his own ongoing series next February. Johnny Blaze takes center stage as the “definitive” version of the character, though Marvel plans on bringing back nearly every incarnation in some capacity. While much of the creative team has yet to be determined for this title, we do know that writer Benjamin Percy is at the forefront of this brand-new story, along with artist Cory Smith. 

Horror & Heavy Metal Influences Pave the Road Ahead

Percy fancies himself a fan of the horror genre, and cited several influences for the upcoming book, including the works of Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Black Sabbath: 

“I’m a horror head. I grew up reading Stephen King, watching John Carpenter, and listening to Black Sabbath, and when it came to comics, I always reached first for the dark and weird which means I read a hell of a lot of Ghost Rider. That flaming skull. That spiked leather jacket. That monstrous bike coughing out clouds of sulfurous exhaust. To this day, the sight of the character blazing along a midnight highway makes my heart rev like a four-stroke engine.” 

Percy has an impressive resume, having previously worked on Wolverine and X-Force, and hopes to put his own unique stamp on the upcoming Ghost Rider series. By combining horror elements with heavy metal music influences, Percy hopes to give fans something they’ve never experienced before. 

He has a heck of a wingman by his side in artist Cory Smith, who is best known for his savagely awesome artwork on Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian. Smith echoed Percy’s love of the horror genre, and shared his own excitement to be working on the title: 

“As a comic nerd and a horror nerd, Ghost Rider has always been a favorite of mine so this project is a dream come true. Johnny Blaze, the Spirit of Vengeance is BACK. We’re firing on all cylinders and I can’t wait for everyone to see the hellfire we’re bringing! It’s about to get crazy!” 

If these two can’t get you hyped with how excited they are to work on this series, then nothing and nobody can! Look for Ghost Rider #1 to hit stands next February!