Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ghost Rider - Last Man Standing – Rol Hirst

Panel One.

A man in a dentist’s smock rides a satanic golf buggy across a scenic green, swinging a burning golf club before him. Middle-aged men in golfing pants run screaming in terror. It’s a glorious summer afternoon. The buggy leaves scorching tread marks across the green. The man’s head is a flaming skull, distinguished by a pair of those thick plastic safety goggles dentists wear.

Dentist: Under par? Under par!? I’ll give you under par!

CAP (Dr. Strange): A dentist in Wyoming with a faustian five iron…

Panel Two.

A 2 year-old girl in a fiery Hello Kitty push chair tears through a Parisian children’s playground, raising hell. This baby ghost rider is armed with a brightly coloured plastic toy flame-thrower. French parents grab and shield their children, running for cover. What remains of the child’s mother is dragging along behind the pushchair, her hands seared to the handles.

Child: Je ne veux PAS une glace fraise!

CAP (Dr. Strange): A Parisian toddler who hated strawberry ice-cream…

Panel Three.

An enormous fat trucker with a flaming ghost rider skull sits at a table a motorway service / transport café. The table before him is filled with body parts, served up as a ghastly meal. Lots of blood and gore but also the occasional tyre mark scarring the skin of the arms and legs and torsos he is feasting on. Outside the café window behind him we can see a flaming, hellish juggernaut truck. His ride.

The man is thumping his fist on the table, demanding service from a terrified waitress.

Trucker: More ketchup!

CAP (Dr. Strange): A British truck driver with a necrophagic penchant for human roadkill…

Panel Four.

Close on Dr. Strange, looking worried. If Dr. Strange is looking worried, things are BAD. He’s wearing casual clothing (a brown jacket and tie) rather than the full-on Strange suit but he does have a swirly, Ditko-patterned cravat so we know it’s him. Although we can’t see much of the background, he’s standing in a seedy, dimly lit bar. We also can’t see who he’s talking to in this panel, but obviously it’s Johnny Blaze.

Strange: And that was just the first three. There have been hundreds more in the past seven days. It’s taken me that long to find you.

Blaze (O/P): Complete and utter waste of a week.

Panel Five.

Pull out to a wider shot. Johnny Blaze sits at the bar, staring into a whiskey glass. There’s a three quarters empty bottle of bourbon on the bar next to him and a nervous looking bartender eying him warily. Strange stands behind Johnny, trying to persuade him how BAD things are getting. Johnny doesn’t want to know.

Strange: You don’t seem to grasp the severity of this situation, Johnny. The whole world’s going Ghost Rider!

Johnny: Not the whole world…

Panel Six.

Finally Johnny turns to face Dr. Strange. But something's wrong with the good doctor. His face is starting to smoke, his skin starting to bubble, his hair starting to frazzle. Johnny's face looks terrible: wracked with guilt and remorse worse than he's ever experienced before. What has he done?

In the background, the bartender's head goes up in flames.

Johnny: See, I made another deal, Stephen...

Johnny: I’ll never be Ghost Rider again.

NEXT: One Man vs. One Billion Ghost Riders.


  1. Reading the first panel I wasn't sure what you had in mind, the visuals seemed cool, but maybe a little to cartoony, but by the truck driver I was in. Those first three panels are all so different and gory but play so well with the idea of the Ghost Rider.

    Also the use of Dr Strange is always cool with me, and I felt you handled his and Johnnys dialogue really well.

    1. Thanks, Shaun. This was mostly inspired by Jason Aaron's GR run which was my favourite interpretation of the character. However, by the time I'd finished writing this page I'd realised how much fun (and potential) this character holds. I'd love to write Ghost Rider now.

    2. Writing my page I had the same realization, Marvel could do so many interesting and awesome things with this character but they are always happy just just have him under the radar.

      The Aaron run was one of the highest points for GR and your page for sure has the same spark as that stuff.

  2. I took my inspiration this week from Aaron's run too. It's just so gosh darn good.

    The page takes you central concept and sells it really well.

    Digging on Blaze's dialogue too, and anything that includes Dr Strange and a cravat has a thumbs up from me!

  3. Man, the Ghost Riders you mentioned are utterly insane and kinda hilarious. Good job. :)

  4. Wicked page, Rol. As always, you come up with the wackiest ideas and pull them off with seeming ease. This is the Ghost Rider story I never knew I wanted to read.

    As an aside, "Faustian Five Iron" would be a most excellent band name.

  5. Oh, that's good. A little subconscious Doctor Who echo?

  6. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. A little bit of humour mixed into a horrifying premise makes the humour even more horrifying. Or something. Love it.


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