Ghostrider (1988)

Did you know about a Joe who appeared in the Marvel comic multiple times, yet was never mentioned by name? Such was the fate of Ghostrider, the pilot of 1988’s Phantom X-19, the stealth jet. The Phantom was a truly amazing Joe vehicle. At the time of its release, the public had no idea what the US military’s stealth fighter truly looked like. The Joe designers didn’t get it exactly right, but made a good educated guess of what the fighter’s appearance would be.

So why then was the pilot of an aircraft that was featured prominently in quite a few issues of the comic, never referred to by his actual code name? Well, it was most likely because of that name. Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider, though he wasn’t starring in his own series in the late 80’s, was still a known presence in the comics. It would stand to reason that

Marvel’s editors at the time wouldn’t want confusion between one of their super heroes and a GI Joe character, especially since said character was not owned by them. I imagine this sort of thing wouldn’t even happen these days, with the attention paid to copyrights and character names.

 

The Ghostrider figure blends elements of the pilots of yesteryear with then modern military style. The real cloth scarf and high boots are the most obvious throwbacks to the pilots of the early 20th century, and give Ghostrider the appearance of a World War I flying ace. The figure maybe takes the look a bit too far, as he doesn’t appear to be wearing a G-suit. Then again, maybe it’s under his outfit. I hope so, otherwise he’s going to be hurting.

 

7 comments

  • I like this figure, and hope to have him someday. I think a better name they could have used would be something like Wingshade.

  • Ghostrider (with his professional scarf!) reminds me the Aces of World War 1. My “Romantic Flying Ace”: http://www.joedios.com/dioramas/showimage.php?i=9628&catid=member&imageuser=444 !

  • The X-19 jet looked somewhat similar to the 1986 Testors F-19 model kit (at least its body shape):

    http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/TESTORS%20F-19%20STEALTH%20PAGE.htm

    Managed to snag a Phantom X-19 mint in box for $40 around the time when the 25th Anniversary figures began appearing on store shelves. Always wanted it in my youth, but I had started high school in 1988 and girls were eating up my disposable income.

  • @Neapolitan Joe: That is a great pic of GR.

    @De: I know the feeling. Girls were the reason why I sold or gave away my collections at least twice. Wish I had the Phantom back. At $40, you got one heck of a bargain!

    I liked the “old whats-his-face” angle that Larry came up with for this guy. He was seen fairly often in the comic and rivaled Ace in popularity. I liked the scarf but wished his helmet had been removable. Easily one of the best fighter/pilot combos in the line’s history.

  • Some of the sculpted detail on the figure’s lower body might be suggestive of a G-suit.

  • So, my story as to how I got this figure will probably amuse some people. I was maybe (I’m not sure) 9 years old and I had bought a G.I. Joe Mudfighter. But the factory had screwed up and didn’t bother to include the driver. So, my parents wrote Hasbro customer service and they sent me a couple random vehicle drivers as replacements for Dogfight. One (oddly enough) was Windchill, who I knew because my brother had the Arctic Blast. The other one was this guy, who I never knew what his actual codename was (what with this being before the Internet and there not being good pictures for most vehicle drivers in the little ad flyers). Fast forward to the present and I’m reading reprinted G.I. Joe comics and I busted out laughing because no one on the Joe team could ever remember his codename either.

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