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The Grim GhostEdit

Recently hanged Revolutionary War highwayman Matthew Dunsinane is going to suffer the tortures of perdition, thanks to his new found buddy Satan... unless, of course, they can make a "deal". Lucifer wants Matthew to keep him supplied with souls for his domain since evil people deserve to die! Armed with a few parlor tricks supplied by Satan, the Grim Ghost is sent into the 20th Century to harvest his crop of evil-doers. He rides mounted atop a jet black steed laughing like a demon from the darkest pits of hell only to battle evil in our time. Check out the custom made Grim Ghost Action figure - click here

Publication HistoryEdit

The Grim Ghost #1
January 1975
Cover - Ernie Colon
Enter The Grim Ghost
Story - Mike Fleisher
Art - Ernie Colon
Editor - Jeff Rovin

Colonial America. 1743. A horse drawn carriage travels down a moonlit road when it is suddenly stopped. The carriage, carrying Lord and Lady Braddock, is being robbed by the infamous highwayman known as the Grim Ghost.

The authorities quickly arrive but the Grim Ghost has made his escape. Their search takes them to the home of Matthew Dunsinane, who has seen no one pass his way.

The following morning an outraged Lord Braddock demands that the Grim Ghost be apprehended. The authorities, who have never seen the Grim Ghost without his mask, have no way of catching him. Lady Braddock, however, claims that she can catch the Grim Ghost.

Several nights later, a lavish affair is held at Lord Braddock's mansion. Matthew Dunsinane attends, and is introduced to Lady Sarah Braddock. Several hours later, Lady Braddock tires and retires for the evening. In her bedroom awaits the Grim Ghost, ready to claim his prize. The Ghost, however, has been duped as the authorities quickly surround him. He is unmasked as Matthew Dunsinane.

Justice is swift and in just three weeks, Matthew Dunsinane is due to hang until dead. As he falls thru the gallows trap, he is transported to Hell, where he encounters Satan. In desperate need of souls for his kingdom, he offers Matthew a deal. Keep his kingdom supplied with the souls of the evil and he may remain on earth. Matthew agrees rather than endure the tortures of the damned.

Satan sends Matthew to the 20th century, where evil runs rampant. And so is born... The Grim Ghost.

The Grim Ghost #3
March 1975
Cover - Ernie Colon
The Grim Ghost Returns...
Story - Mike Fleisher
Art - Ernie Colon
Editor - Jeff Rovin

An explosion rocks the luxury liner Varonia. Aboard the ship is precious cargo, the priceless Moonstone Buddha, locked away in the Purser's vault.

Seconds later, a helicopter arrives, as the criminals attempt to leave the ship with the prized Buddha. Before they can make their escape, the Grim Ghost arrives on the scene, riding his black steed. He toys with the criminals before dispatching them to Hell.

Days later, Matthew Dunsinane holds a party at his Colonial home. Among the guests are the Police Commissioner, Harrison Marten and his wife, as well as his daughter Jackie.

The Commissioner is soon called away as he is informed that the Magruder boys are cornered on a city rooftop. An interested Matthew Dunsinane overhears the conversation and also makes a hasty exit, much to the dismay of Jackie.

The Ghost arrives on the rooftop and confronts the Magruder boys. Their souls are quickly dispatched to Satan and the Grim Ghost takes his leave. The Commissioner soon arrives at the rooftop, only to find that the Magruder boys have disappeared.

Note - The cover of this issue was sneaked through production in order to avoid it being seen by Publisher Martin Goodman, who would have rejected it because it did not follow his formula.

The Grim Ghost #3
July 1975
Cover - Ernie Colon
He is... The Grim Ghost
Story - Tony Isabella
Art - Ernie Colon
Editor - Jeff Rovin

While attempting to halt a mugging by two thugs, the Grim Ghost is attacked by the demon Brimstone. His goal - to topple Satan and rule in Hell. Brimstone gives the Ghost a choice, side with him or perish.

When he recovers, the Grim Ghost seeks out Satan for answers. He finds not only Hell, but Armageddon, a battlefield littered with corpses.

Satan, unable to battle Brimstone on earth, appoints the Grim Ghost to do battle with him. He endows him with additional powers and provides him with assistance in the form of Lady Sarah Braddock, the woman who betrayed him and turned him over to the authorities to hang. Much to his dismay, he is forced to accept her help.

The unlikely duo soon encounter Brimstone. The demon is too powerful however, and he soon overpowers both the Ghost and Lady Braddock. In a last ditch attempt to defeat Brimstone, he pierces the demon's mind. Brimstone cries out in anguish as he realizes that he will cease to exist the moment that he strikes down Satan, a precaution that Satan also took with the Grim Ghost.

Knowing that he can never rule in Hell, Brimstone simply ceases to exist.

ReceptionEdit

The Grim Ghost was not much other than a mixture of the Spectre and the Ghost Rider Atlas/Seaboard was a comicbook company founded in 1974 by former Marvel (Timely, Atlas, and all) publisher, Martin Goodman. Goodman's intent was to compete with Marvel and DC. Some say, he wanted to crush Marvel into the ground. (For more great info on Atlas/Seaboard's background, check out the awesome Atlas Archives.) The main thing Ol' Groove wants you to keep in mind is that Mischievous Marty was the same old flood-the-market-with-knockoffs-of-whatever's-popular publisher he'd always been. Atlas/Seaboard had tons of fantastic talent but very few original ideas. Goodman wasn't interest in original. He wanted formulas that would sell. [1]In this case, Goodman probably wanted a Ghost Rider knock-off. Editor Jeff Rovin, however, seemed to crave originality in spite of Goodman. He'd follow Goodman's orders, but give 'em a twist. Like when he happened to hire Michael Fleisher, yep, writer of the Spectre revival, to write the series. With Fleisher at the helm, Goodman got his "deal-with-the-devil" Ghost Rider type character, but he also got that Spectre attitude added into the formula. See, the Grim Ghost didn't fight evil; he worked for Satan, himself. It was the Grim Ghost's mission to send evildoers to Hell--so he wouldn't have to go there, himself. Twisted, ain't it? If you think that's twisted, dig this: Rovin hired Richie Rich (!) artist supreme Ernie Colon to draw the series!

The Grim Ghost only hung (oops, bad word choice since our "hero" was a colonial highwayman hung for his crimes!) around for three issues. About par for the course for an Atlas/Seaboard title, actually. But it was so cool, twisted, and so-bad-it's-good that the mag has become sort of a legend. So, without further ado, from (fittingly) October, 1974, here is the kitschy, creepy origin of the Grim Ghost by Fleisher and Colon!

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