Friday, September 16, 2011

Ghost Rider and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Yes, that is the Ghost Rider's former human host Johnny Blaze, and yes,
he is riding his motorcycle with a zombie on the back.
Cover to Ghost Rider 
(Volume 5) #3 by
Adam Kubert.
While I have not been a long time collector of the Ghost Rider title from Marvel Comics, the most recent volume, featuring the first time a female human host has been chosen by the Spirit of Vengeance, piqued my interest. As a resutl of this new perspective, I have been picking the title for that last few months.

When the most recent issue hit the stands yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find a literary reference. One of the new additions to the supporting cast, a zombie-type character, references Robert M. Pirsig's "inspirational classic" Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Such a reference seems fitting (and the first I can recall in a mainstream comic, so a long time coming), especially given the motorcycle motif that has been a part of Ghost Rider lore for well over twenty years now.

Though I have long been in possession of a paperback copy of Pirsig's novel, I have never been able to make my way through it in it's entirety. While I am among the likely target audience for such a book, I have always found the first twenty or so pages to be a little heavy handed and melodramatic. Eventually, I will pick it up again and give it a go, and maybe this time, guided by my recollection of an indirect zombie endorsement, find my way to getting through it with a clear mind.

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