- You cannot destroy one already beyond death, villain.
- -- Ghost Rider
Appearing in "If an Eye Offend Thee!"
- Orb (Drake Shannon) (First appearance) (Origin revealed)
- Prince Rey (Behind the scenes)
- Keeper of the Flame (Behind the scenes)
- Tyrannus (Behind the scenes)
- "Crash" Simpson (Only in flashback)
- Mona Simpson (First appearance chronologically) (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "If an Eye Offend Thee!"
Peter Parker is out on a date with Mary Jane Watson. Passing Madison Square Gardens, Mary Jane sees an advertisement for a motorcycle stunt show featuring the Ghost Rider. Needing something to get his mind off his recent troubles, Peter agrees that they should check it out. Soon they take the stands and watch as Ghost Rider takes to the arena. Peter is impressed by what he thinks is make-up, little suspecting that Johnny Blaze is possessed by a demon. Soon the show begins, with Ghost Rider jumping his motorcycle off a ramp over four other cyclists, including his girlfriend Roxanne Simpson. Suddenly, the show is interrupted by the arrival of a gang of motorcyclists led by a man wearing a helmet in the shape of a giant eyeball. The intruder introduces himself as the Orb and they begin running amok in the area. When a guard attempts to draw his gun, the Orb stuns him into a trance just by looking at him.
The Orb then begins using this ability on the crowd. While Ghost Rider decides to do something to stop this intruder, Peter Parker manages to look away from the Orb in order to prevent himself from being entranced. Deciding to do something himself, Peter uses his web-shooters to get up into the rafters of the stadium so he can change into Spider-Man. As Ghost Rider tries to stop the Orb and his goons, the villain manages to grab hold of Roxanne. As Ghost Rider pursues, the Orb's goons try to stop him. That's when Spider-Man swings in to lend a hand. As Ghost Rider pursues the Orb, the villain uses his hypnotic powers to make people in the audience to walk into Ghost Rider's path, forcing him to wipe out in order to avoid hitting them.
When Spider-Man tries to swing after the escaping bikers, the Ghost Rider uses his hell-fire to blast his web-line. This angers Spider-Man, but the Ghost Rider tells him that Roxanne Simpson's safety is his responsibility. Suddenly, the enthralled audience members begin reciting the same message: That Johnny Blaze is to meet with the Orb and exchange ownership of his stunt riding show in exchange for Roxanne's safety. The Orb is giving him two hours to make up his mind. Meanwhile, at his lair, the Orb snaps Roxanne out of her hypnotic trance. When she demands to know who he is and why he is doing this. The Orb reveals that he is Drake Shannon, a former partner to her father, the late Crash Simpson. He tells her how they both owned the stunt riding show. With neither man wanting to buy out, they agreed to a race where the winner takes control of the show. Unfortunately, circumstances were that Shannon ended up wiping out, and sliding 25 yards on the pavement on his face. Horribly scarred face, Drake became jealous of Simpson's success and faded off, never to be heard from again, until now. Concluding his story, he explains that he was found by individuals who gave him his orb. He then reveals his motivation: to take everything away from Crash Simpson. Removing his helmet and revealing his horribly scarred face, he says he is taking it to compensate for everything that Crash Simpson had over him.
As he puts his helmet back on, the Orb is interrupted by the Ghost Rider, who has managed to track him down. Blaze turns over papers giving Shannon control of the stunt riding show and is about to take Roxanne away when suddenly the Orb's men draw their guns. The Orb reveals he had no intentions of letting them leave alive to tell the authorities that they made the deal under duress. Before they can open fire, Spider-Man swings in and attacks, just as they had planned. While the two heroes are busy with the bikers, the Orb tries to make his escape with Roxanne again. After rounding up the Orb's goons, they take some motorcycles to follow the Orb down the subway tunnel outside his hideout. The trail leads them into Grand Central station, where Spider-Man manages to pull Roxanne to freedom with his webbing, while Ghost Rider disarms the Orb with his hell-fire. The Orb tries to make his escape down the subway tunnel again with the Ghost Rider in hot pursuit. However, the villain didn't expect a subway car heading the opposite direction. While Ghost Rider manages to jump to safety, the Orb is not as lucky and is struck down by the train. However, as they search the scene, they find no trace of the Orb except for the discarded papers, which turn out to have been forgeries. Ghost Rider uses his powers to burn them. With the danger over, Spider-Man swings away, slightly disturbed by a comment by Ghost Rider that he is not wearing a mask.
- The narrative refers to the arena as the "new" Madison Square Gardens. At the time of this story, the gardens had undergone major overhauls in 1968. References to these renevations being "new" should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Peter decides to go along with Mary Jane to see the stunt show, needing something to take his mind off his battle with the Kangaroo, who died fighting Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #126.
- Ghost Rider recounts that Madison Square Garden was where Crash Simpson had died in a stunt. That happened in Marvel Spotlight #5.
- The Orb was equipped by mysterious benefactors. Although their identities are not revealed here, Incredible Hulk #241 identifies them as the group known as They Who Wield Power.
- Cover art: modifications by Romita.
- As seen on page one, this issue is Story #1657-Z.
- This issue features a letters page, Mail It to Team-Up. Letters are published from Steven Chavez, Richard Nathan, Clint Ard and Rodney Hogan. The letters page also features a 1/2 page ad for Kull the Destroyer #11.
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