Monday, October 6, 2008

The Grim Ghost: Atlas/Seaboard's Answer to the Spectre

If you thought the Spectre was wild, Groovesters, then you're gonna flip over the Grim Ghost! Come on' into Ol' Groove's spooktacular library of supernatural superheroes as we delve deeper into...

Atlas/Seaboard was a comicbook company founded in 1974 by former Marvel (Timely, Atlas, and all) publisher, Martin Goodman. Goodman's intent was to compete with Marvel and DC. Some say, he wanted to crush Marvel into the ground. (For more great info on Atlas/Seaboard's background, check out the awesome Atlas Archives.) The main thing Ol' Groove wants you to keep in mind is that Mischievous Marty was the same old flood-the-market-with-knockoffs-of-whatever's-popular publisher he'd always been. Atlas/Seaboard had tons of fantastic talent but very few original ideas. Goodman wasn't interest in original. He wanted formulas that would sell.

In this case, Goodman probably wanted a Ghost Rider knock-off. Editor Jeff Rovin, however, seemed to crave originality in spite of Goodman. He'd follow Goodman's orders, but give 'em a twist. Like when he happened to hire Michael Fleisher, yep, writer of the Spectre revival, to write the series. With Fleisher at the helm, Goodman got his "deal-with-the-devil" Ghost Rider type character, but he also got that Spectre attitude added into the formula. See, the Grim Ghost didn't fight evil; he worked for Satan, himself. It was the Grim Ghost's mission to send evildoers to Hell--so he wouldn't have to go there, himself. Twisted, ain't it? If you think that's twisted, dig this: Rovin hired Richie Rich (!) artist supreme Ernie Colon to draw the series!

The Grim Ghost only hung (oops, bad word choice since our "hero" was a colonial highwayman hung for his crimes!) around for three issues. About par for the course for an Atlas/Seaboard title, actually. But it was so cool, twisted, and so-bad-it's-good that the mag has become sort of a legend. So, without further ado, from (fittingly) October, 1974, here is the kitschy, creepy origin of the Grim Ghost by Fleisher and Colon! (Click 'em to enlarge 'em...if you dare...hehehehehhh...)


  1. Thanks for posting this! I love those little-known comic heroes. Some of them actually had potential if they'd been with another company.

  2. actually, a lot of the Atlas titles aren't as bad as I'd like to remember them to be. I liked the Tarantula, meself, and I kind of got into the Planet of the Vampires, but don't tell anyone. their black & white efforts were pretty cool, too. they attracted a LOT of top talent: Russ Heath, Alex Toth, John Severin, Steve Ditko, Howard Chaykin among others.

    and, of course, Ernie Colon. yep, Ernie Colon.

    you went and beat me to Ernie Colan, you swine!!! this is some kind of scathing revenge against the Lawn thing, isn't it? damn you, Groovester! damn your hide!

    sweet post, by the way. just in case you were interested.

  3. Ahhh, sweet revenge! Mmmmmmmmmwhahahahaaaaa!

    Sorry. Actually, I love me some Atlas/Seaboard (actually own everything they published except Gothic Romances and Vicki).I've covered Thrilling Adventure #1 and have Planet of Vampires cued up for the very, VERY near future--unless ya beat me to it...

  4. Grim Ghost seems a bit of a Solomon Kane sort of thing.

  5. Origins a bit of dimwitted one.Too rushed like all Atlas Comics.Dialogues also crappy



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