Inspiration for The Ghost Rider?

Ghost RiderOne of the older and most beloved comics in my collection is a Ghost Rider comic that my older brother bought, read and tossed at me. I was immediately struck by the dynamic cover by the incomparable Gil Kane and intrigued by the flaming skull guy riding a really boss motorcycle a la Evel Knievel over a smashing demolition derby! Was there ever a comic book cover more aimed at grade school boys in the early 1970s? And who was this Ghost Rider guy? What was his story?

Back then I thought Ghost Rider was a conscious knock-off of the tattoo and patch emblem that I had seen in comic book ads like the one below and in some of the biker gang movies that were the craze in the late ’60s.

This, like a lot of the patches advertised in comics, was aimed at weekend warriors and phony tough guys. How many decals were you going to get on that Schwinn? And how long was it going to take you to remove them once you realized that none of the other kids in school were impressed?

Though I think Marvel missed an opportunity of having Ghost Rider either team up or fight the lolling tongue, cartoon wolf guy. I Was A Tex Avery Werewolf!

Once again, this ad was from Two-Gun Kid No. 91 published by Marvel Comics in 1967.

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