Marvel | Back To Ghost Rider | May 1990 | Volume 2 | USA | 795 Owned
1st App. Deathwatch

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May 1990
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    Cover Artist
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    Arcs :
    Stories May contain spoliers
     Life's Blood 

    After a seven year absence from comics, the Ghost Rider returns in a new role as the Spirit of Vengeance. The reemergence occurs on Halloween night in the Cypress Hills area of Brooklyn, New York. The new beginning of the Rider in Marvel Comics starts with Barbara Ketch dragging her younger brother, Daniel into the Cypress Hills Cemetery to visit Harry Houdini's grave. Daniel continues to try and talk Barbara out of the excursion as he follows along with the camera bags. Cypress Hills is known for its cemeteries; this cemetery, however, is one of the most notorious for tales of witchcraft, cults, and religious fanatics; child abductions have been attributed to all the above. One year previous, five kids from Rockwood disappeared here and Daniel is, rightfully, scared.
    Ignoring Daniel's pleas, Barbara insists on seeing the psychics attempt to contact the magician, Houdini, from beyond the grave-with pictures for proof. While walking through the graves, a group of masked teenagers calling themselves the Cypress Pool Jokers jump from behind the tombstones and scare Barb and Danny. After making fun of Danny and the fact he almost jumped out of his skin because of silly masks, they attempt to steal the camera bag strapped over his shoulder, but Barb is too quick for them and fights off the teens. Daniel was no help and he knows it. The Jokers run off and Barb and Danny continue toward the grave-site until a gunshot and scream stop their trek. Barb thinks it is something exciting and she has a camera, Danny does not have her enthusiasm and wants to leave. Barb is older. Barbara Ketch does not need her brother's help. Barb wins.

    Following the sound of the gunshot, Danny, going along with his big sister, finds himself at the edge of the graveyard staring down into Gallagher's Junkyard next door. The Cypress Pool Jokers are also watching the events in the junkyard unfold. Unfortunately for both the Ketches and the Jokers, they stumbled on the beginnings of a war between Deathwatch and the Kingpin. Deathwatch killed one of Kingpin's couriers (the gunshot) and Kingpin's men are in a heavily armed showdown with the masked villain. The courier was carrying a briefcase and both parties want it. Kingpin’s henchman appreciated the new player in the New York game, but killing a courier is frowned upon, and rules are rules in the underworld... They aimed their weapons. Deathwatch, expecting this turn of events, snaps his fingers calling forth masked assassins who take out one of Kingpin's men, Deathwatch kills another.

    In the ensuing battle, Barb screams as Deathwatch breaks his opponent's neck. It was the last sound she made. Seeing visitors in the graveyard, an unnamed masked assassin fires a crossbow arrow through Barbara Ketch's chest. The firefight continues and the Jokers steal the briefcase thinking it may be drugs or money. Daniel drags his sister away from the assault and carries her deeper into the junkyard. The Jokers run off with their prize. Deathwatch splits up his men to acquire the briefcase and to eliminate all witnesses.

    The masked assassins found the Joker, Paulie, with the briefcase, near the spot where Daniel was trying to hide his injured sister. Scared and telling himself he would save Barbara, Daniel pulls her into a large pile of wreckage. The assassins try to coax him out by telling him they only want to help, but Daniel is scared; so much blood, Barb's blood, is on his hands. The assassins have the young Joker, Paulie, with a katana at her throat; Barbara is dying, Danny is scared, and the junkyard starts to light up. Headlights from dead cars light the blackness and Daniel sees a motorcycle in the heap. The bike is pristine. It should not be there, but Daniel drags his sister to the bike. So much blood. Innocent blood. He touches the medallion on the bike. The ground shakes and a light pours from the junkyard as the assassins throw grenades into the wreckage. The Ghost Rider emerges.

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