Ghost Rider #3 July 1990: "Deathwatch"

Here we are at issue 3, the finale of the first story arch for this all new, all different Ghost Rider. Short version: stuffed between Danny Ketch's discovery of a haunted motorcycle and that erasable Blackout's shenanigans, there's the plot. The case that the Cypress Pool Jokers stole from Kingpin while Deathwatch was trying to steal it (witnessed by Danny and Barbara Ketch) turned out to be full of some weird canisters. Those canisters have finally be reclaimed by Deathwatch & Co. and he promptly fills us all in: 

They're full of a deadly biological weapon which will cause half the population to die outright, and the other have to turn into homicidal monsters. Deathwatch wants to release this stuff because the only thing that gives him pleasure is other people death (so he can watch). 

Kingpin's man shows up, and there's a fun page breakdown where a huge army of Kingpin thugs appear at the snap of a finger. I love all the shades of blue and the great rhythm the panels set up -- slowly moving to the "snap" and then the dutch angle extreme close up of Deathwatch's surprise followed quickly by the wide shot of the 50 dudes that just showed up out of nowhere.

Deathwatch basically gives up at this point and splits, so Blackout takes advantage of the situation by slashing the Kingpin's rep's throat, gouging out the eyes of Deathwatch's thug, grabbing the canisters and taking a female CPJ member hostage. 

I like this page layout for a few reasons. The colors are pretty great for one, with the bright red ninja in the foreground moving across the panels on the bottom, and the deep blues on top. Also love that GR hits him so hard the whole panel vibrates. 

Also love that Blackout is basically just speaking in metal lyrics at this point. 

GR catches up to Blackout, and they finally throw down. Blackout bites him, apparently puncturing GR's jacket, and gets half his face scorched off by an explosion of Hellfire (TM). He survives, disfigured, and runs off. 

Weird side detail, the narration box says "Blackout's mechanical fangs"...they don't look mechanical, but if that's the intention, that's some more gold to mine with this character.  

The day is saved and we get to peek in on  Wilson Fisk as he ponders the skyline and and wonders what Punisher and Daredevil are up to. I like this bit because it's some nice characterization of the Kingpin -- he's a criminal, but he's also a legit businessman. More or less he just operates in all possible business ventures and doesn't really have much (if any) concern for the law, just results. Destroying the world would be bad for business, so he intervened. He has a lot in common with Doctor Doom in this regard. 

The issue closes with Barb Ketch still in a coma and Danny feeling guilty and unsure about everything.

The issue closes out with a fun Stan Lee's Soapbox entry, where Stan waxes poetic about why Marvel comics are the best. He even throws around "Marvel Zombie."