Real Name: Bart Slade
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Road manager
Group Membership: Simpson’s Daredevil Cycle Show
Affiliations: Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Roxanne Simpson
Enemies: Johnny Blaze
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile within the confines of Simpson’s road show
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight I#7 (December, 1972)
Powers/Abilities: Slade was handicapped, but prior to his injury was a capable stunt rider.
(Marvel Spotlight I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Slade was a promising motorcycling stunt rider when he was injured via unrevealed means. Permanently sidelined, he was put in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the stunt show.
(Marvel Spotlight I#7) – Bart told Johnny about Roxanne’s failure to appear and was promptly chewed out for his trouble. He later reported about the appearance of a strange curly headed man seen the previous night, and thought he might have had something to do with Roxanne’s disappearance. Johnny apologized for his earlier outburst, which Slade accepted, but he silently swore that he do all he could to get Roxanne to see Johnny as he saw him.
(Marvel Spotlight I#8) – Unaware of the Ghost Rider’s rescue of Roxanne, or his emotional battle with the ghostly form of Crash Simpson, Slade sarcastically welcomed the arriving Blaze and Simpson as they staggered in with the morning’s rays. When Blaze chewed him out, Slade offered the excuse of his working most of the night getting the show ready for their next tour stop in Arizona as the reason for his attitude. When Blaze was preoccupied with Roxanne’s condition, Slade made a mental vow that Blaze would be the one crawling to him.
(Marvel Spotlight I#9) – With the Ghost Rider fighting Snake Dance, things grew tense with the rodeo owners. Slade took the opportunity to present himself before the owners as Blaze’s equal. Given permission, Slade was already on Blaze’s stunt cycle when the Ghost Rider returned. Mocking what he believed to be Blaze’s costume (unaware of his dealings with the supernatural), Slade boasted that he was the superior to Johnny Blaze. The Ghost Rider clotheslined him off of the motorbike in response and took his place, citing Slade’s disability as a liability. Slade conceded defeat, but sneeringly warned the Ghost Rider that it would be bad for Blaze’s reputation if his fans discovered him attacking a cripple. He swore that the people would know of this as the Ghost Rider rode off to do the stunt.
(Ghost Rider II#1) – With Roxanne recovering from her snakebites in the hospital, Slade was by her side almost the entire time. He broke the news about the show’s poor financial status and begged her to let him do the stunt. When an officer informed her of Johnny’s admittance to the ER (him having been shot attempting to jump a police roadblock), Roxanne grew upset. Slade cursed the man for his actions and told her again that he should do the jump. When Johnny failed to appear in time for the show, Slade talked Roxanne into letting him perform. Brushing off concerns as jealousy, Slade rode the motorcycle over the ramp and then promptly died as a gust of wind blew him off course, causing him to crash just short of the finish line.
(Ghost Rider II#2) –
Slade’s death weighed heavily on Johnny Blaze as he rode off
to confront the possessed Witch Woman.
Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils) and Jim Mooney (inks).
We never learned how Bart was injured, and as for his handicapped status, he seemed to need a cane to walk for most of the time, except the last issue when he was shown walking and standing on both feet unaided. He had a crush on Roxanne, and had a rather strong dislike of Johnny. He seemed to be turning into a Flash Thompson/Major Talbot character before he died. He did show up in the second issue, albeit more as a reminder of Johnny’s failure. His death was shown again for good measure.
Color images were provided by John Kaminski.
Profile by David Lawrence.
Bart Slade has no known connections to:
Marvel Spotlight I#7, p11, pan1
Ghost Rider II#1, p15, pan2
Marvel Spotlight I#7 (December, 1972) – Gary Friedrich (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#8 (February, 1973) – Gary Friedrich (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#9 (April, 1973) – Gary Friedrich (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Ghost Rider II#1 (September, 1973) – Gary Friedrich (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Ghost Rider II#2 (October, 1973) – Gary Friedrich (writer), Jim Mooney (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Last updated: 08/29/08
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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