Saturday, April 25, 2009

Comics: Hell-Rider.

Hell-Rider is a short-lived, black-and-white comics magazine published by Skywald Publications, a 1970s company best known for its horror-comics magazines Nightmare, Psycho, and Scream. Like them and the similar publications of Warren Publishing, these were mature-audience magazines not covered by comic books' Comics Code Authority. Cover price was 60¢, typical for that format and time, during which comic books sold for 15¢.

Lasting two issues, Hell-Rider (Aug. & Oct. 1971) starred the titular vigilante motorcyclist, a Vietnam War veteran, lawyer, and black belt martial artist named Brick Reese. With his tricked-out, flamethrower-equipped bike, and temporary super-strength courtesy of the experimental drug Q-47, the Los Angeles, California-based Hell-Rider battled The Claw, a masked, heroin-smuggling, secret society leader in issue #1, and a bestial rampager called The Ripper in issue #2. The stories featured scantily clad rock starlets, nightclub waitresses, and groovy, pot-smoking ' 70s chicks all quickly losing what little clothing they wore.
The series was created by Gary Friedrich, who would go on to co-create the far better-known, Marvel Comics supernatural motorcyclist Ghost Rider, and illustrated by the veteran team of penciler Ross Andru and inker Mike Esposito.

The 64-page magazine also included a motorcycle-related, Q&A and advice column, "Curly's Cycle Corner", also written by Friedrich.

See also

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