Mark Millar once remarked that he has several notebooks with all kinds of ideas for Marvel characters. His new Ultimates mini-series has been giving him the opportunity to showcase a lot of revised heroes and villains.
Ghost Rider appeared in Ultimate Comics Avengers, Vol. 2: Crime and Punishment. His first appearance was in this glorious double page spread. His Ultimate origin still remains tied to Satan, and this supernatural creature is more than a match for the Ultimate Avengers.
M. Schulman is the lucky fellow who owns the pencils to this page by Leinil Yu. I was surprised to see that Leinil pencils the image on paper, not that I object, I just assumed all young artists drew on the computer.
Millar's take on Ghost Rider is a nice tweak, giving Johnny Blaze a new motivation to keep riding on his hellcycle. This series also featured the Punisher, who joins the Ultimate Avengers--against his will--to hunt down the Ghost Rider. The only problem is that he approves of the villains that Ghost Rider is killing.
One piece of Ghost Rider movie news came last week: Ghost Rider 2 will go into production very soon in Romania. It will be shot in 3D, of course, because you demanded to see a flaming skull as close as possible. Don't look too closely at the Penance Stare in this film.
According to this Nicholas Cage quote on Comic Book Movie News (who got it from MTV):
"This story picks up eight years after the first film. You don't have to have seen the first film. It doesn't contradict anything that happened in the first film, but we're pretending that our audience hasn't seen the first film. It's as if you took that same character where things ended in the first film and then picked it up eight years later - he's just in a much darker, existential place."
One stroke against this film right on the starting gate is that Cage is back as Johnny Blaze. Who wants to see a middle aged man as Ghost Rider? Johnny Blaze should be no more than 30 years old. Eva Mendes won't return as Roxanne Simpson, saving me from another frontal lobotomy. The directors are Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who produced an entertaining movie in Crank, but fell apart in other works.
I really don't demand too much from this type of movie. The first Ghost Rider film I can still watch, if I fast forward right to the scenes where the flesh burns off Cage's face. The scene at the end with the cowboy version of Ghost Rider, played by Sam Elliott, riding on a flaming horse was really cool. Nuff Said!