Real Name: Towering Oak
Identity/Class: Human mutate/magic user
would be tribal leader
Group Membership: None;
former member of a Sioux village
Enemies: Flaming Star, Phantom Rider (Carter Slade)
Known Relatives: Flaming Star (father), Spotted Doe (sister), Ghost Wind Rider (presumptive niece)
Base of Operations: village outside Bison Bend, Colorado
First Appearance: Ghost Rider I#6 (October, 1967)
Powers/Abilities: Towering Oak was nearly 8' tall and possessed great (though not necessarily superhuman) strength. The Spirit Stone amplified his strength, granting him enhanced human strength; he could chop down a tree with his bare hand, or lift a fully grown horse over his head with one hand.
He suffered from an unspecified heart disease.
(Ghost Rider I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Flaming Star considered bequeathing the glowing dust and Spirit Stone to his son, Towering Oak, but decided against it due to Towering Oak's weak heart, which would be unable to tolerate the strain imparted by their power.
(Ghost Rider I#6) - Flaming Star gave the Phantom Rider the Spirit Stone to amplify his strength. However, almost immediately after the Phantom Rider left the village, he was struck down by an arrow from Towering Oak, who stole the Spirit Stone from him and donned it himself. Towering Oak then returned to the village and challenged his father's authority, intending to take over the village for himself. Flaming Star told him he must first prove himself by defeating a challenger, and Flaming Star appointed the Phantom Rider as that challenger. Fully healed at this point, the Phantom Rider held his own against Towering Oak, and the effort pushed the giant to exertion, which had the effect Flaming Star had intended: it drove his heart beyond its capacity to function, and he abruptly died of a heart attack.
Flaming Star buried the Spirit Stone along with Towering Oak, so that it would never again endanger the lives of peaceful men.
Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers, and George Bell.
Towering Oak might well have suffered from acromegally, or an excessive level of Growth Hormone, similar to the disease possessed by the professional wrestler Andre the Giant. Andre, like many others with acromegally, had a body too big for his heart, which eventually killed him, IIRC. Also, Acromegally is sometimes associated with male lactation, but that's another story altogether (Towering Milk Thistle? hmmmm...). Otherwise, I guess he could be a mutant or something else.
Bison Bend was named as being in Nevada in OHotMU Update '89#5 Data Corrections, but was later identified as being located in Colorado in Original Ghost Rider I#13.
One might guess that the Spirit Stone and possibly even the glowing dust used by Phantom Rider might have been derived from the Lifestone Tree. Or one might not.
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
Apparently arriving on Earth in the same meteorite that contained the glowing dust later used by the Phantom Rider, it was collected by Flaming Star, and later given to the Phantom Rider after he proved himself. Towering Oak stole the Stone and used its power in a plot to takeover his father's Sioux village, but the strain was too much for his damaged heart, and he died.
--Ghost Rider I#6 (6(fb) - BTS, 6
Ghost Rider I#6, p7, panel 3;
p8, panel 1 (face)
p4, panel 1 (Spirit Stone)
Ghost Rider I#6 (October, 1967) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (penciler), George Roussos (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Last updated: 11/28/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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