5) BLAZING SKULL
Newspaper reporter Mark Todd was dispatched to cover the Second Sino-Japanese War, where a bombing forced him into a cave. There he met the Skull Men, who chose him to be their flaming-skulled champion decades before that Johnny Blaze feller ever saw a motorcycle. After a few minor appearances, he disappeared from view, only to pop up again in the 1990s. His modern stories now outweigh the Golden Age ones by a huge margin, and he has even been confusingly tied into the legacy of modern Ghost Riders. More on that in a moment…
With her cool Day of the Dead makeup, Veronica Lopez is a former Gotham City police officer who moved on to the Homeland Security department. A strange mutagen gave her telepathic and phasing powers which she uses to become a member of Checkmate in her new identity. She’s appeared exactly twice, but her visual makes me want to see much more of her.
3) SKULL MAN
One of the earliest antiheroes in manga, Tatsuo Kagura is a dark and brooding fellow who actually moonlights within the very agency tasked with bringing his alter-ego down. The original 1970’s story ends with the hero and most of the cast dying horribly in a fire, while a 90s-era remake is actually LESS dark! Skull Man is one of many brainchildren of Shotaro Ishinomori, creator of Super Sentai, Kamn Rider, Cyborg 009 and more, which is to say he is the creator of about 30% of all Japanese superheroes.
2) GHOST RIDER
When Johnny Blaze sold his soul to Mephisto in return for the life of his father, he didn’t expect to be cursed for life with a flaming-skulled alter-ego. Having been transformed into a living biker tattoo, Johnny set off on a series of adventures that would define the 1970s monster-hero genre and spawned a legion of antecedent Riders, even though he wasn’t Marvel’s first Ghost Rider character. (The original was the white-caped cowboy currently known as The Phantom Rider.)
For most creators, the Mystery Woman of the Jungle would be their greatest creation, but most creators aren’t Fletcher Hanks, the brains behind Stardust, the Super-Wizard. Using vast and undefined mystical powers, the glowing blue skull-headed jungle woman punished those who would do evil in wacky and terrible ways (at least until Fletcher Hanks moved on from the strip.) Though her status as a superhero can be argued, Fantomah is the first super-powered female hero in comics, predating Wonder Woman by more than a year.
Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite Nathan (@wnathans) for this week’s topic, Ten Skull Faces! Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only given that there’s a new Ghost Rider every thirty-five minutes or so… Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!