The The Demon Within! wiki last edited by guttridgeb on 05/06/13 02:40PM View full history

Johnny takes one last look at the scoreboard of last night’s narrow defeat against challenger Flagg Fargo, 825 to 820. “ Face it Johnny Boy", he says to himself, "You can stare at that scoreboard till the cows come home, but that still isn’t gonna change it. You lost fair and square.” He realizes he has to accept the fact that he is no longer the world champion of anything.

As he leaves the empty arena, he realizes that most of the blame for his loss came from the fact that he spent more time as Ghost Rider than practicing and getting rest. Musing on how the Rider has completely taken over his life, he decides once and for all to leave the identity of Ghost Rider behind him, and concentrate on becoming his own person. “No matter what happens, I swear here and now, that I will never become the Ghost Rider again!”

Next time we see Johnny, it is three days later, and though Johnny hasn’t changed into the Ghost Rider, he is beginning to feel the symptoms of withdrawal. He can feel the spirit of the Rider rising up in him, trying to come up to the surface. He stops at a roadside bar where he hopes a few beers will calm his nerves down and keep the Rider in him at bay.

Inside the bar, he orders a beer from the barmaid, but before he can enjoy his brew, is suddenly harassed by a trio of Motorcycle thugs who’ve instantly recognized Johnny from his televised Championship defeat. They approach Johnny and goad him into a brawl. They pour Johnny’s beer onto his head, and that’s when he’s had enough,. He slugs one in the gut and cracks one across the face before the bartender comes out with a stick to chase out the ruffians. After making sure Johnny is alright, they get him another beer on the house.

Later that night (and quite a few beers later as well), Johnny feels it is enough to “keep the demon down”, and stumbles out into the streets, where he find the three motorcycle thugs waiting for him on his motorcycle. The inebriated Johnny cannot even see straight, and the thugs begin beating him with chains and crowbars. The leader called Raz is about to stomp his heel onto Johnny’s head, when a policeman arrives in time to chase the thugs off.

The policeman and his companion, a pretty girl named Amy who is being taken in for loitering, check on the bruised Johnny, and determine he’s alright. Amy offers to take Johnny in if the cop will cite her some other night . He reluctantly lets her go.

Once in the car, Johnny is coming to, and tries to thank her for her kindness, but she says she recognized Blaze because her brother is a motorcycle fanatic, and the pleasure is all hers! At her little home, she shows him the couch to crash out on, and he promises to “sleep like a lamb.” His slumber is restless, however, for his nightmares are crowded with the specter of Ghost Rider haunting his mind. He dreams of torturing the thugs with hellfire, and wakes up with the bloodlust of the Rider bubbling up. He desperately needs another drink to drown the Ghost Rider back down into his subconscious. Amy thinks she is looking at a classic alcoholic when he demands a drink, but relents, and lets him have one, if only to relax him. He has managed, just barely, to keep the demon down again.

The next day is a happy one for the couple. Johnny apologizes to Amy for his actions the night before, as they make their way to the field, where they plan on having a relaxing picnic. After a meal together, Johnny and Amy are cozying up to each other, when Johnny hears the dreaded voice of the motorcycle thugs. They’ve come back to harass Johnny, but this time, all he wants is for them to leave. They rummage through his motorcycle pack, and pull out his Championship Outfit. One of them puts it on. Then they say they are taking Johnny’s cycle, and want his leather jacket, too. Johnny is angry, but Amy tells him to just do it so they will leave. Johnny reluctantly backs down, and taking off his jacket and handing it to them, growls, “Here, you rotten…Here it is!”

The three thugs ride off and Johnny is furious, but Amy is proud of him for not resorting to violence. She points out that the important thing is that they have each other. But no sooner have the words left her lips, when the thugs return.. and accost Amy! The thugs push themselves onto the helpless girl, and this is the final straw! Johnny has had enough, and as four days of demonic repression burst forth in one huge explosion of rage, Johnny become the Ghost Rider again, insane with anger!!!

This is the first time we have seen the Ghost Rider without his leather jacket on, and for the first time, we see what the Rider’s “muscles” are composed of, swirling, flaming muscular sinews roar around the bones of the enraged Ghost Rider ! With a demonic gesture, he conjures up his chopper in a billow of hellfire, and speeds on to catch his fleeing prey. He immediately has them in his grasp where they are immediately engulfed in icy hellfire, the cold flame searing through them and obliterating their very souls!

One the horrific deed is done, the fire and brimstone are suddenly sucked back into a weakened form of Johnny, where a frightened Amy rushes to his side. She fully understands his meaning of “Keeping the Demon down” now. “That’s what you meant, isn’t it?” “ That…That awful Thing!” Johnny admits that it is. As Johnny gets onto his cycle, Amy begs him to stay with her. “We can beat this thing if we stay together…I know we can!”, but Johnny sadly drives off, never looking back, and thinks, “The Demon is inside me, Amy.” “It’s inside to stay.”

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