On the eve of the release of Nicolas Cage reprising his role as demon hero Ghost Rider, we hear the unfortunate strategy of Marvel’s lawyers going after the character’s creator, Gary Friedrich. The debate and discussion in the comic market is lively on the matter of creative ownership this past week. Are Marvel and Disney lawyers being unreasonable with the creator of this top selling property, or are work-for-hire artists retroactively reviewing their original deals?
In 1967, Marvel published the star of my recurring nightmares (1978-present)—a gun wielding ghost on a spirit horse called The Ghost Rider. After the introduction of the flaming motorcycle-and-chains madman we are more familiar with in the 1970s, this character was changed to The Phantom Rider.
When not terrorizing my fever dreams, The Phantom Rider, with his stardust-infused cloak and Colt .44 shoots phantom bullets and rides his horse Banshee.