ojo-el-19thc-phantomrider-mainel OJO

Real Name: Unrevealed; last name likely Santiago

Identity/Class:  Human (19th century "Old West" era)

Occupation: Professional criminal

Group Membership: Leader of pack of bandits

Affiliations: Unrevealed number of bandits

Enemies: El Aguila (Paco Montoya), Enriqué Montoya, Phantom Rider (Carter Slade);
    possibly Quetzalcoatl

Known Relatives: Christobal Santiago (brother, deceased)

Aliases: "The Eye" (English translation of name);
    "mi jefe" ("my leader")

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    he was last active in La Boca del Dios ("the Mouth of God"), Mexico; he apparently perished in the nearby Temple of Quetzalcoatl

First Appearance: Original Ghost Rider#15/2 (September, 1993)

ojo-el-19thc-phantomrider-face-closePowers/Abilities: El Ojo was experienced with knives, guns, dynamite, cigars, and tequila. 

    He was able to overcome superstitious fears and recognize some tricks.

    He had multiple agents to serve him, although most of them could be incited to flee via superstitious fear or were otherwise minimally effective due to alcohol intoxication.

Height: Unrevealed (he looked to be a little shorter than the 6'1" Phantom Rider, so perhaps 5'11")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 170 lbs.)
Eyes:  (eyepatch over right eye
Hair: Black (including mustache and beard (see comments))

Original Ghost Rider#20/2 (fb) - BTS) - El Ojo apparently sent his brother, the young and untested Christobal Santiago, to loot an army payroll wagon as a test of courage.

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 (fb) - BTS) - After el Aguila brought in Christobal Santiago -- who subsequently faced the Federales' firing squad -- el Ojo, swore that he would see el Aguila die for what he had done. 

   El Ojo only knew el Aguila by name, having never seen him directly.

(Original Ghost Rider#15/2 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to discover the lost Temple of the Aztec/Teteoh God Quetzalcoatl in La Boca del Dios, archeologist Enriqué Montoya was forced to hire desperados to help with the excavations, as none of the natives would come into the area for fear of Quetzacoatl's curse. Among those hired was el Ojo and a few other of his loyal bandits.

    Enriqué's cousin, Paco, secretly the heroic el Aguila, accompanied Enriqué's party as well.

    Enriqué sent for his old college classmate Carter Slade. Learning this, el Ojo sent one of his men to "ambush the gringo."

    Perhaps expecting to be ambushed, Carter Slade changed into his Phantom Rider costume before approaching the camp, and he used his black cape to feign being headless and scare el Ojo's man into fleeing.

    As el Aguila, Paco had observed this conflict and intended to get involved if needed.

(Original Ghost Rider#15/2) - As Carter arrived at the camp and greeted Enriqué, el Ojo's agent returned and reported the confrontation. He urged el Ojo that this was the curse of Quetzalcoatl and that they must flee. Slapping his agent and refusing to hear such talk, el Ojo reminded him that they were so close to discovering Quetzalcoatl's treasure, and when that happened, he would show him some real headless bodies.ojo-el-19thc-phantomrider-face-nobeard

(Original Ghost Rider#16/2) - Carter noted that texts reported that the temple had many devices powered by a running river and that the only river in sight ran into the side of a mountain, meaning that the temple was likely on the other side. Holding up some dynamite, el Ojo suggested they blast their way through, but Carter suggested that rather get that dastric, they could likely find some sort of catch or lever; Paco soon found such a mask with the face of Quetzalcoatl, which he turned, opening a secret passage. 

    As the Carter and the Montoyas prepared to enter the temple, noting the many traps, el Ojo and his associates followed, with el Ojo bringing a torch and his men bringing knives (allegedly to deal with snakes they encountered); Carter correctly suspected el Ojo's treachery. Faced with deadly traps (one of which set one of el Ojo's men afire), el Ojo noted that the walls were closing in. He told his associates that these fools didn't know what they were doing and they should kill them, take whatever treasure they could, and get out with their lives. As Carter and Paco fought against the others, el Ojo aimed his gun at Carter, but Enriqué Montoya punched him back, causing his shot to miss. Carter then rushed to find a place to change into the Phantom Rider, only to fall through a trap door. 

(Original Ghost Rider#17/2 (fb) - BTS) - Carter escaped the traps and then changed into his costume, while Enriqué navigated an escape from the traps above with Paco, and el Ojo and his men escaped by following his lead.

(Original Ghost Rider#17/2) - Outside the temple, el Ojo and his men held Paco and Enriqué at gunpoint, noting that their cowardly friend had escaped, but that he and his would hunt him down as they were finished with the Montoyas; Paco considered that he may have to act to save Enriqué. El Ojo then thanked Enriqué for having navigated the deadly traps, and told him he would take el Ojo's gratitude with him to the grave.

    Having suspended himself from a tree so as to appear to be flying, the Phantom Rider warned the "mortals" to lay down their weapons and release their captives or suffer the fury of the undead guardian of Quetzalcoatl. The same man who had previously encountered the Phantom Rider pulled his gun and warned the "demon" to stay back, but the Phantom Rider then shot his hat off; Paco and Enriqué took advantage of the distraction to flee into the jungle, with the former intending to return as el Aguila.

    When the Rider warned them to surrender themselves to the authorities at La Boca Del Dios or know his wrath, the sun began to rise, and el Ojo spotted the rope suspending the Phantom Rider from a tree. Pointing this out and noting that they did not face any phantasm. El Ojo then led his men to attack the Phantom Rider with shovels, mocking his helpless form as a pinata as he sank into unconsciousness.

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 (fb) - BTS) - El Ojo bound the unconscious Phantom Rider and left locked inside a wooden shack with one of his men sitting watch.

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 (fb) - BTS) - El Ojo and his men's drunken revelry continued for several hours unabated.ojo-el-19thc-phantomrider-mostlyfull

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 - BTS) - Observing the bandits, Paco predicted that they would soon turn their focus to the town and people of La Boca Del Dios. 

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2) - Laughing, el Ojo told his people they had done well, and soon they would gain the lost treasure of Quetzalcoatl, which would get them the money finance an army to conquer La Boca Del Dios. 

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 - BTS) - As the Phantom Rider awakened, the man mocked him, noting that it was good that he was alive so that el Ojo would have the pleasure of killing himself, "As the wise men say, 'It is best to meet death with one's eyes wide open!'" Adding, "and a belly full of tequila!" the man hurled some of the alcohol into the Rider's face, telling him to drink deeply, as it would be his last.

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2) - El Ojo then confronted the Rider, incorrectly identifying him as el Aguila and noting that he had looked forward to their meeting with great anticipation and then mocking "the flashing sword of justice" trussed up like a pig awaiting the slaughter. El Ojo then shared how he had vowed vengeance since his brother's death and that he would subject him to a firing squad just like his brother.

    With the Phantom Rider untied but blindfolded (and still masked, except for the torn open area around his mouth), el Ojo gave him a cigarette and lit it while noting that he was not an unfair man and offering him one final request. El Ojo was impressed when the Phantom Rider asked for a drink of tequila, noting that he faced his end with courage. After el Ojo told one of his men to give their target the bottle, the Phantom Rider soaked his blindfold with tequila (which the Rider noted to be strong, "practically pure alcohol," possibly indicating that it was much stronger than modern 80 proof (40% alcohol) tequila)) while he feigned gagging on the drink, then as he swiftly stuffed the blindfold into the bottle, he lit the blindfold and threw it at the banditos. 

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 (fb) - BTS) - Rolling out of the way, the Phantom Rider escaped during the distraction of the explosion.

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 - BTS) - After it blew up, the startled bandits noted that their captive was gone, and el Ojo replied, "...if he was not a ghost before, he must now be one for certain! On to the temple!"

(Original Ghost Rider#18/2 - BTS) - Weakened and doubtful of his ability to overcome the bandits if they were wise to his tricks, the Phantom Rider was confronted by el Aguila, who told him he must make them fear the man.

(Original Ghost Rider#19/2) - El Ojo led a large group of bandits, including a woman, to the temple. Via his phantom projector and some voice-throwing, Phantom Rider confronted the group. Although el Ojo assured the others that he was just a man and that they should shoot him, their bullets passed through his projection. While they were distracted, el Aguila used his whip to drop an agent of el Ojo who was holding el Ojo's blasting supplies. While the frustrated el Ojo swung at the projection, el Aguila began hurling lit sticks of dynamite at the bandits, and the Rider warned them to flee or suffer Quetzalcoatl's wrath. Many of the bandits indeed fled, and most who remained were too drunk on tequila to pose much of a threat, and the Rider and el Aguila swiftly took them down.

    El Ojo himself, however, insisting that no man or fiend would keep him from the gold he fought so hard for, rushed into the temple. As el Aguila and the Rider pursued him, the previously dormant Mount Diablo began to erupt...perhaps from the explosives...perhaps from the wrath of the gods...

(Original Ghost Rider#20/2) - As lava poured down the volcano, el Ojo was confronted by el Aguila, who warned him to surrender. Refusing, el Ojo fled and was soon cornered, and he was surprised to hear his pursuer identify himself as el Aguila, realizing his previous misunderstanding. El Ojo threatened to carve his brother's initials in el Aguila; recalling Christobal's name, el Aguila proclaimed him as guilty and deserving of his fate -- as well as accusing el Ojo of sending an untried boy to loot an army payroll wagon -- before the trembling ground caused an idol to fall over and pin el Aguila to the ground.ojo-el-19thc-phantomrider-death

    Telling Aguila that the gods had put the lie to his smooth words, el Ojo prepared to kill him, but the Rider then used his cloak to seemingly manifest as a face and a hand, warning el Ojo that he was summoning Quetzalcoatl to bring down the temple on him (taking credit for the increasing tremors and crumbling chamber due to the volcanic eruption). Appreciating the danger, el Ojo frantically shot at the Rider, but darkness, the Rider's cloak of night, and el Aguila's further unnerving el Ojo by telling him that there was no one there and that he had had gone mad all caused him to miss. 

    The seemingly spectral Rider accused el Ojo of having filled Christobal's mind with delusions of grandeur and promises of glory that led him to a life of evil, and then noted that he must be punished for his misdeeds and that the afterlife demanded its due. Unnerved by these experiences and the accusations, el Ojo put his pistol to his own head, shouted Christobal's name, and then fired his gun. 

(Original Ghost Rider#20/2 - BTS) - The Rider helped el Aguila to get out from underneath the fallen idol, and the two fled the temple, after which lava buried the temple.

Comments: Created by Dan Slott, and Dick and Rich Ayers.

    Marvel Western Files identified La Boca del Dios as being in Mexico.

    Stories like this always remind me of the Saturday Night Live skit where a bunch of James Bond villains discuss their experiences. Notably, one of them discusses that if you catch him, just shoot him...I know you're proud of your plot and what you've done, but don't waste time telling them to Bond and don't set up some elaborate execution, because he'll use that time to get free and ruin everything. 
    I saw the same discussion in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and the Incredibles. Don't monologue...Don't set up an elaborate execution...
    In all fairness to the plot, el Ojo was probably full of tequila during most of his decision-making.

    Interesting, despite the same art team, el Ojo had vanishing beard syndrome. While I have no doubt that he could quickly grow a substantial beard in just a few days...

#15 - beard and mustache

#16 - mustache only (this one could be days after #15, so no worries)

#17 - mustache only (which works well, as it continues directly from #16)

#18 - solid beard (see top left image) and mustache ("several hours" after #17)

#19 - mustache only (apparently half a day (dusk from dawn) after #18)

#20 solid beard and mustache (continuing directly from #19)

Maybe the Phantom Rider isn't the only one with tricks...

    This profile was completed 7/16/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Snood.

el Ojo
should be distinguished from:

: (without ads)

Original Ghost Rider#16/2, pg. 3, panel 1 (beardless, with torch);
    #17/2, pg. 5, panel 1 (mostly full);
    #18/2, pg. 2, panel 2 (face, not beardless);
        pg. 3, panel 6 (frontal; main; lowes legs obscured);
    #20/2, pg. 4, panel 3 (gun to head)

Original Ghost Rider#15/2 (September, 1993) - Dan Slott (writer), Dick and Rich Ayers (artists), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Original Ghost Rider#16/2 (October, 1993) - Dan Slott (writer), Dick and Rich Ayers (artists), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Original Ghost Rider#17/2 (November, 1993) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (plot/script), Dan Slott (plot assist), Dick and Rich Ayers (artists), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Original Ghost Rider#18/2 (December, 1993) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (plot/script), Dan Slott (plot assist), Dick and Rich Ayers (artists), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Original Ghost Rider#19/2 - 20/2 (January-February, 1994) - Tom Brevoort & Mike Kanterovich (plot/script), Dan Slott (plot assist), Dick and Rich Ayers (artists), Evan Skolnick (editor)

First posted09/10/2021
Last updated: 02/11/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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