- Actually your living body will be quite sufficient. I'll need it to get in touch with a mutual friend of ours -- someone to lead my demonic hordes across this dimension of yours... you remember him, don't you? A fellow by the name of...Zarathos!
- -- Blackheart
Appearing in "Crossroads"
Synopsis for "Crossroads"
Scarecrow is wandering in the Arizona desert, unsure how he got there and hoping for the opportunity to kill again, when a limousine pulls up. Strangely, Scarecrow finds himself afraid of the occupant, but when he tries to kill him, gets pulled through the window. Inside the vehicle is Blackheart.
Ghost Rider sits at Cypress Hills cemetary but soon changes back into Danny Ketch. Blackheart pulls up in his limousine and abducts Danny before he can change to Ghost Rider, and drives away.
Johnny Blaze rides through a western landscape and pulls over into a burger joint, unaware that Blackheart is close behind. Blaze threatens him when he enters but Blackheart insists they talk. Blackheart says he has murdered his father and intends to spread his hell realm onto Earth, and he wants Zarathos’s help to do it. Blaze tries to shoot him but it has no effect; Blackheart says he has no choice but to cooperate.
Danny Ketch finds himself in darkness with the Scarecrow trying to kill him. They scuffle and Danny is injured. He then finds himself surrounded by Johnny Blaze’s dead family, and his own deceased sister Barbara.
Blackheart chokes out a helpless Johnny Blaze, until the soul of Zarathos arrives to bond with him again. He becomes the maniacal original Ghost Rider.
Blackheart confronts Dan Ketch inside the hell realm and says if he can escape, he can take anything he wishes with him. Scarecrow has received the same offer, and if Scarecrow escapes first, or if Danny refuses to play along at all, Danny Ketch’s soul is forfeit.
Johnny Blaze’s Ghost Rider races toward Freshskills Penitentiary, where he bursts inside and fries the inmates with hellfire to burn away their evil. Blackheart says it’s not enough though; humans always return to their evil ways no matter what penance they do. Ghost Rider is convinced by his words, and proceeds to execute the inmates instead.
As Danny tries to flee Blackheart’s realm with Roxanne Simpson and his sister Barb, Scarecrow attacks, but a furious Danny defeats him with his own pitchfork. They clambor through a recreation of Cypress Hills cemetary where Danny has to witness his sister’s murder again. He finds the way out, but Scarecrow attacks again as Danny contemplates whether to bring Roxanne or Barb back to life with him. He battles and defeats Scarecrow, who says all he wanted was an end to the voices in his head.
Danny grabs his sister and prepares to leave when Ghost Rider races through the portal dropping off a criminal’s body. Blackheart is delighted to see Ghost Rider killing and taunts both brothers for their failures. Dan doesn’t know how to proceed, but realizes the only way to foil Blackheart’s plan is to bring the power of the Ghost Rider back with him, thus stripping it from Blaze.
Enraged, Blackeart expels both Ketch and Blaze from his realm. Both men have a chance to say goodbye to their lost loved ones. Ketch turns into Ghost Rider and summons forth a new hellfire bike, and as Blackheart vows revenge, they leave.
- Back cover art by Nord and McLeod.
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