Marvel gave the character another shot in the 90s, sprucing up his look but keeping the core elements while giving him a more hardcore (for comics) edge with the spikes and such. The writing was pretty lousy for the most part, but he still looked cool, especially when Ron Garney or the Kubert’s took a turn at drawing him.
Nic Cage got his superhero vehicle with Ghost Rider and it was a mish-mash of the 70s and 90s versions of the character (ignoring the orange version) and Marvel relaunched Ghost Rider with a return to the 90s model. I was actually a little disappointed with how traditional the movie and marvel’s return to the character was.
Eventually Jason Aaron took the reigns of the book and steered the book through some weird 70s-style goofiness partnered with some gutsy (I’m assuming European) artwork. The dozens of new Ghost Riders showing up was crazy-fun and the plot was opening things up to go in interesting new places with the characters, but, then, it just wrapped up.
Tom’s drawing set me to thinking; I don’t think Ghost Rider’s visual development has gone far enough. I think it’s time to approach it as a conceptual art development process. To do that we have to break down what is essential to the character.
You have to start with the biker-guy.