BOUNTY HUNTER

Real Name: Lemuel Haskill

Identity/Class: Human spirit, magic-user;
    Old West to modern era

Occupation: Former bounty hunter

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Hell horse;
    pawn of Mephisto

Enemies: Ghost Rider (John Blaze), Mephisto, the Salicrup brothers, the demon cowboys, and numerous other victims (several of whom were transformed into demonic beings by Mephisto)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Hell;
    formerly Last Chance, Nevada in the 19th century Old West

First Appearance: Ghost Rider II#30 (June, 1978)

 

 

Powers/Abilities: The Bounty Hunter could project hellfire blasts (typically from his shotgun) and form shapes such as lassos, much like Ghost Rider, but to a greater degree; he seemed virtually immune to the Ghost Rider's power, but could easily harm Ghost Rider. He presumably possessed some degree of superhuman strength and was likely immune to most forms of conventional injury, save magic. He rode a "hell horse," a fire-breathing black stallion that could match Ghost Rider's speed on his motorcycle (see comments) and presumably also had superhuman strength, durability, etc. Both were over 100 years old and apparently immune to the effects of aging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History:
(Ghost Rider II#32 (fb) / Sensational Spider-Man III#41: Mephisto profile) - During the 19th century, Lemuel Haskill was a merciless bounty hunter working out of Last Chance, Nevada, hated by most for his ruthless and underhanded behavior.

(Ghost Rider II#32 (fb)) - Haskill dropped another slain target, Mr. Salicrup, to the sheriff, who gave him his money and told him to take it and leave, asking only if he had shot the man in the back or gun him down in his sleep. Haskill headed to the local saloon for a drink, but Salicrup's brother soon showed up, demanding vengeance for his brother being shot down in cold blood. Haskill asked the man to discuss the matter outside, but as soon as the man turned around, Haskill shot him in the back. Attempting to flee on his horse before anyone else could come after him, Haskill was instead shot and killed by his last victim with his dying breath. Haskill felt himself falling, then arrived in another bar where a demonic bartender (Mephisto, possibly in union with one or more other Hell-lords) offered him as chance to save his soul by bringing him 50 souls of the demon's choosing. Setting Haskill afire with hellfire, the demon told Haskill that he belonged to the demon body and soul until he completed their bargain...and that if he failed even once, for any reason, his soul would be forfeit forever.

 

 

 

 

(Ghost Rider II#32 (fb) - BTS) - Over the next century and beyond, Haskill successfully brought in 49 souls for Mephisto. In recent years, he was tasked with capturing the Ghost Rider (John Blaze).

(Ghost Rider II#30) - The Bounty Hunter approached Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, having tracked Ghost Rider to that location. He was accosted by two police who then fled upon seeing his face.

(Ghost Rider II#31) - Upon the conclusion of Ghost Rider's encounter with Dr. Strange, the Bounty Hunter confronted him. Unwilling to become any man's possession, Ghost Rider leapt on his motorcycle and fled, but the Bounty Hunter pursued him and eventually ran him into a dead end alley. Ghost Rider ran up the side of a building, but the Bounty Hunter created a wall of hellfire in front of him, and it reacted explosively upon contacting Ghost Rider's hellfire. Blaze returned to human form and fell to the ground unconscious, and the Bounty Hunter told him, "It wuz either yew or me -- an' ah'll be hanged if'n ah die--again!"

(Ghost Rider II#32 (fb) - BTS) - The Bounty Hunter took Ghost Rider to the ghost town of Last Chance, Nevada and strung up  in a noose.

(Ghost Rider II#32) - As a monstrous demon emerged from the ground and tried to claim Ghost Rider, the Bounty Hunter insisted that it was not yet time and that Blaze still belonged to him. He blasted the creature repeatedly with hellfire until it dropped Ghost Rider. Together they apparently destroyed the demon, but Ghost Rider, closer to the creature, was stunned by the explosion, and the Bounty Hunter recaptured him. Haskill related his origins and announced that Blaze would complete his bargain with the demon and free his soul, but then a trio of demonic cowboys (all former victims of Haskill) appeared in the sky, announcing that the witching hour had passed, that the agreement had been broken, and that he must pay. Readily agreeing that Haskill had been deceived by their demon master, the demon-cowboys then attacked him. Ghost Rider joined with the Bounty Hunter against the demon cowboys, shattering two of them, only for them to re-form instantly. Proving immune to both Ghost Rider and the Bounty Hunter's hellfire, one of the cowboys lassoed Haskill while the other two grabbed Blaze. Refusing the demon cowboys' claims that they had a lot in common with them, Ghost Rider turned back into Blaze and broke free, as the demons were repelled by his human touch. Nonetheless, despite Haskill's pleas for help, Blaze could do nothing to stop the demon cowboys as they took Haskill and fled, vanishing into the sky. The Bounty Hunter's hell horse then rushed after them into the sky.
    Blaze mused that Haskill never conquered the demon inside him, and it destroyed him.

Comments: Created by Roger McKenzie, Don Perlin, and Jim Mooney.

    Haskill's first name was revealed in the Marvel Zombies handbook's Demons entry.

    In the Marvel Knights handbook, both Blaze and Ketch's speed is ranked as a 4, b/t 770-1540 mph. That seem excessive to me. I'd have thought they could reach more like 250 mph.

    The Bounty Hunter spoke with a stereotypical Old West accent.

    Salicrup was presumably named for Jim Salicrup, part of the Marvel Bullpen.

    Hell horse was a name Blaze used for Bounty Hunter's steed, but wasn't necessarily its official name.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


Demon Cowboys

    Composed of former victims of Haskill during his mortal bounty hunter days, they were sent to claim his soul the very second his prearranged moment to exchange Blaze's soul had passed. Immune to Ghost Rider and the Bounty Hunter's hellfire, they were repulsed by contact with the human Blaze. They rode atop flying demon-steeds, utilized hellfire lassos, and were able to heal instantly from physical damage.

    The Bounty Hunter was helpless against them and they captured him and took him back to their demon master.

--Ghost Rider II#32


images: (without ads)
Ghost Rider II#31, last page - full body image
    #32, p5, panel 4 (hellfire face)
        p7, panel 2 (human face)
        p10, panel 1 (human body)
        p11, panel 4 (demon cowboys)


Appearances:
Ghost Rider II#30 (June, 1978) - Roger McKenzie (script, co-plotter), Don Perlin (penciler, co-plotter), Jim Mooney (inker), Jim Shooter (editor)
Ghost Rider II#31 (August, 1978) - Roger McKenzie (script, co-plotter), Don Perlin (penciler, co-plotter), Bob Layton (inker), Roger Stern (editor)
Ghost Rider II#32 (October, 1978) - Roger McKenzie (script, co-plotter), Don Perlin (penciler, co-plotter), Rick Bryant (inker), Roger Stern (editor)


Last updated: 12/20/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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