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.