Critics are divided on whether you should see the Feb. 16 box office release Ghost Rider -- based on the Marvel comic book about a stunt motorcycle rider named Johnny Blaze who makes a deal with devil (and becomes a superhero). Whatever you think of the movie (we didn’t see it), we just wonder how things might have turned out if comic book writer Tony Isabella got his way.
In the May 2007 issue of trade pub Comics Buyers Guide, Isabella shares at length about his time as writer for the comic in the mid-1970s -- during which he planned something that would have changed the concept entirely: “I’d written a story wherein, couched in mildly subtle terms, Blaze accepted Jesus as his savior and freed himself from Satan’s power forever.”
According to Isabella’s account, the story arc took two years to unfold, and was approved by several editors. But when the story reached the big twist -- and a certain mysterious drifter was going to be revealed as Jesus Christ -- an assistant editor “took offense” and intercepted the issue right as it was about to go to the printer and completely rewrote the story.
“To this day,” Isabella writes, “I consider what he did to my story one of the three most arrogant and wrong-headed actions I’ve ever seen from an editor.”
So now you know.