Real Name: Unrevealed, presumably Bill
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze/Zarathos), Roxanne Simpson
Enemies: Orb (Drake Shannon) and his unidentified mind-controlled bikers
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Cowboy", nickname used by Johnny Blaze
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly mobile throughout Arizona;
formerly Texas (see comments)
First Appearance: Ghost Rider II#27 (January, 1978)
Powers/Abilities: Brahma Bill possessed no known
superhuman abilities. By nature, he was a talented, daring biker who
believed himself to be a suave ladies man and an expert on all things
dangerous. He carries a Colt. 44 handgun and is a trained shot, able to
hit and shatter a chain with a single shot while driving. Basically
noble, Brahma did have an antiquated and somewhat masochistic approach
to women. Brahma's bike of choice was a "bored-out chopper hawg" set up
for cross-country travel.
Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed, Brahma wears tinted glasses
Hair: Strawberry blonde
(Ghost Rider II#27 (fb) - BTS) - Brahma Bill was a rough riding, tough talking biker who spent most of his time trekking across the American South West, looking for a challenge. His travels brought him to the Arizona desert.
(Ghost Rider II#27) - In the early morning hours, Brahma spotted Johnny Blaze on his motorcycle, using the peace and quiet of the desert to practice some of his acrobatic driving tricks. Brahma decided to challenge him by cutting Blaze off, announcing his presence with a well-intended "Mornin' turkey! Eat my dust!" before racing off. Blaze decided to take on the mysterious biker and gave chase. Racing across the plains, they introduced themselves to one another, with Blaze noting that Brahma's bike was faster than his, but less maneuverable because of its size. With only one, small rickety old bridge between them and their agreed finish: the highway. Brahma managed to beat Blaze to it. However, Johnny successfully jumped over the ravine, gaining the lead and reaching the highway first. The two bikers congratulated each other on a good race and went their separate ways.
(Ghost Rider II#28) - Stopping in a local Arizona town to refuel, Brahma Bill was approached by Roxanne Simpson who was looking for Johnny Blaze. Taken by her looks, Bill tried to put the moves on her, only for the outspoken Roxanne to pull his cowboy hat over his eyes and telling him to cool down. Brahma nevertheless told Roxanne he had seen Blaze, pointing her in his general direction. As he went into a local diner, he unwittingly spotted the villainous Orb who had been chasing Roxanne hoping to find Ghost Rider. All Brahma thought was that this mysterious stranger was "a mean lookin' cuss in 'n I evah saw one... An' I seen 'em all!".
(Ghost Rider II#28 - BTS) - Before Roxanne could reach Johnny Blaze, the villainous Orb made his move. He used his mental powers to render her amnesiac, forcing Roxanne to forget everything about herself and the reason she'd come to Arizona.
(Ghost Rider II#28) - Brahma Bill spotted Johnny Blaze in
town and was intrigued when he rode off in a hurry. Intuitively figuring
out Blaze was headed for trouble, Brahma momentarily questioned whether
or not he should go after him. Though he was aware Blaze needed help,
letting him go also meant Brahma had another chance at courting Roxanne.
Momentarily entertaining this thought, Bill nevertheless decided to
follow his conscience and fired up his hog. Brahma caught up with Blaze
just as he was facing the Orb and his gang of mind controlled bikers who
had already forced Johnny into a corner. Bill decided to tag along,
acting like he was part of the group. He did nothing while the Orb's
bikers overpowered Johnny, chaining him up and attaching him to the
Orb's cycle. Being dragged across the rocky terrain kept Blaze too
distracted to transform into Ghost Rider. Having seen enough, Brahma
decided to intervene. Pulling out his Colt.44, he fired a single shot
that broke the chain holding Blaze. He then faced the Orb's bikers,
shooting at them long enough for Johnny to turn into the Ghost Rider.
Brahma was startled by the sudden appearance of the demonic looking
vigilante and kept out of the fighting while Ghost Rider and the Orb had
it out. Their confrontation ended with a massive avalanche, caused by
both hellfire and the Orb's laserblasts. With the villain defeated, the
weakened Ghost Rider was unable to free himself from underneath the
rubble and even changed back to Johnny Blaze. Brahma, not asking any
questions, helped his newfound friend to dig himself out. Before Blaze
could come up with a way to explain the sudden appearance of Ghost
Rider, Brahma simply shook his hand and said: "I don't rightly savvy how
you managed that blazin' skull business... and I ain't really hankerin'
to know... But put 'er heah pal! Thet wuz one hell of a fight!"
(Ghost Rider II#28 - BTS) - Before saying goodbye to Brahma, Blaze offered the biker to join him on his cross country trek. When Brahma refused, claiming he "had a little filly waitin' back yonder", Blaze drove off, unaware that his new friend was well aware this "filly" was actually Roxanne.
(Ghost Rider II#28) - Brahma returned to the town where
the still amnesiac Roxanne was wandering around, thoroughly confused
about who and where she was. Brahma pretended they were old lovers,
which was something the dazed girl accepted as truth even as Bill hugged
(Ghost Rider II#80 (fb) - BTS) - The effects of Orb's
amnesia ray faded after a few months. Once more aware of who she was,
Roxanne left Brahma Bill and tried to continue with her life.
Comments: Created by Jim Shooter (writer), Don
Perlin (pencils), Dan Green (inks)
The "Brahma" part in Bill's name has very little to do with the Hindu deity of creation. A Brahman is actually a type of bull common to the southern states, most notably Texas and Alabama. They originally hail from India, which explains the Brahma part. Cows are sacred, after all. You could say "Brahma Bill" is a variation on "Bronco Billy", the infamous Old West outlaw. Proto-Man pointed out that Brahma Bill speaks in a dialect reminiscent of either Alabama or Texas. Given the latter's close proximity to Arizona where we first meet him, I'd say Bill's Texan.
Back in 1978, no one raised an eyebrow at the ending of Ghost Rider II#28 which is baffling in retrospect. Brahma knowingly drove Johnny and Roxanne apart and then took advantage of her amnesia by telling her they were in love just so he could get in "dem there filly's pants... yeeee-haw!". Of course, this is a few years before the infamous Avengers I#200 and the mind-rape of Ms. Marvel that comicdom learned that fondling females against their will was wrong. But it's still unbelievable this gawdawful turn of events was allowed to fly.
Back in 2011, Jim Shooter revealed on his blog
that Brahma Bill was mostly Don Perlin's idea: "I’ve
told this story before, but one night, very late, wee hours, Don
called me, all excited, to say that he had an idea for a character
that he wanted to insert into a story—Brahma Bill! Wha…? Brahma
Bill? Whuhhh….? I said, sure, all right, whatever, and went back
to sleep. That was Don. Always enthusiastic, always trying to
contribute, always creating. Brahma Bill turned out to be great fun to
write. Don had a knack for creating characters, both headliners and
interesting supporting cast."
Profile by Norvo.
Brahma Bill should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Ghost Rider II#28, p8, pans3&4 (main image)
Ghost Rider II#27, p8, pan4 (meets Johnny Blaze)
Ghost Rider II#27, p9, pan1 (on his hog)
Ghost Rider II#28, p33, pan6&7 (puts the moves on Roxanne)
Ghost Rider II#27 (January, 1978) - Jim Shooter (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Ghost Rider II#28 (February, 1978) - Roger McKenzie (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Tom Sutton, Owen McCarron & Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Ghost Rider II#80 (May, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Bob Budiansky (pencils), Kevin Dzuban (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Last updated: 12/26/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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