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Phantom Rider

Real Name: Carter Slade
Occupation: Schoolteacher
Identity: Secret
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: Galloping Ghost, Ghost Rider I, Haunted Horseman, He Who Rides the Night Winds, Night Rider, and others
Place of Birth: An unrevealed location in Ohio
Place of Death: An abandoned mine somewhere in the American West
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Lincoln (brother, deceased), Hamilton (great-great-grand-nephew)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Bison Bend in the American West in the 1870s
First Appearance: GHOST RIDER (first series) #1
Final Appearance: WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS #7

History: In the 1870s, soon after he became a shaman (medicine man), a Comanche Indian climbed to a peak where it was believed his gods dwelled. There he asked the sky-spirit to give him a sign of the god's faith in him. Then, the shaman saw a shining, falling meteor, which he interpreted as a sign that the sky-spirit had recognized him. Therefore, the shaman took the name, "Flaming Star." As the meteor passed near 'the shaman, he was covered with glowing dust from it. Then, according to Flaming Star, he heard a voice tell him to gather and keep the dust from the meteor until a champion was sent to him. Flaming Star obeyed and collected all of the shining, phosphorescent dust he could find.

Later, schoolteacher Carter Slade, who had moved to the frontier from Ohio, came across a band of men who were disguised as Indians, but who were actually employees of land baron Jason Bartholomew, attacking homesteaders. Slade fought the band of killers but was gunned down himself. A boy named Jamie Jacobs, whose parents had been killed in the marauders' attack, found Slade dying from his wounds, put him atop the teacher's horse, and tried to bring him to help. They were found by Comanches, who took them to Flaming Star, who succeeded in saving Slade's life.

Flaming Star believed that Slade was the champion that the sky-spirit had promised to send him. Slade himself believed that God had spared his life for a purpose. Flaming Star gave Slade the phosphorescent dust as well as a cloak he had covered with the dust. Flaming Star also showed Slade a magnificent white horse that the shaman called the "ghost-horse." Slade succeeded in taming the wild horse and named him "Banshee." Slade decided to use Flaming Star's gifts to become the Phantom Rider, a masked gunfighter who would give the appearance of being a supernatural being, and who would battle evildoers such as those who were responsible for the massacre of Jamie Jacobs' parents and their fellow homesteaders. Indeed, the Phantom Rider began his crusade for justice by confronting Jason Bartholomew and frightening him into confessing his crimes and surrendering to the marshal.

The Phantom Rider became perhaps the most effective vigilante in the West of his time. Two of his most unusual adversaries were the criminal Sting-Ray and the original Tarantula. The Phantom Rider was allied on one occasion with Kid Colt.

Ultimately, the Phantom Rider joined forces with Marshall Lincoln Slade against the Reverend Reaper and his gang. Lincoln Slade was unaware that the Phantom Rider was actually his brother Carter. In his final confrontation with the Rider and Marshall Slade, which took place in an abandoned mine, Reaper was killed in a cave-in that he himself had triggered. The cave-in mortally wounded the Phantom Rider, who revealed his true identity to Lincoln Slade before dying.

Lincoln Slade became the second Phantom Rider, but began going mad. He used an Indian potion to force the Avenger Mockingbird, who had traveled back in time to 1877, to fall in love with him. After recovering from the potion's effects, the outraged Mockingbird battled the second Phantom Rider, and during their confrontation, the Phantom Rider fell from a ledge to his death. However, the second Phantom Rider's spirit lives on today in the body of the third Phantom Rider, Hamilton Slade, Lincoln's descendant.

Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 200 lbs1
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Reddish blond

Strength Level: The Phantom Rider possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in intensive regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Other Abilities: The Phantom Rider was a superb hand-to-hand combatant, having been a boxing champion in college. He was also an excellent horseman and a fast and brilliantly accurate marksman with a gun.

Limitations: The Phantom Rider wore glasses for reading, but the limitations on his vision apparently had no effect on his superb marksmanship.

Weapons: The Phantom Rider used Colt handguns and a lasso, both of which were covered with phosphorescent dust from the meteor to make them glow.

Paraphernalia: The Phantom Rider wore a white costume impregnated with the phosphorescent dust given him by the shaman Flaming Star. The dust reflected and somehow magnified light striking it, so that the Phantom Rider appeared to glow if struck by light. The inside of his cape was solid black and did not contain any phosphorescent dust. Hence, by manipulating his cape while standing in darkness, the Phantom Rider could appear to make all or parts of himself disappear.

Among his many tricks for feigning supernatural abilities, the Phantom Rider employed a lantern with which he could project an image of himself.

Transportation: The Phantom Rider rode a swift and powerful horse named Banshee, whom he also covered with the phosphorescent meteoric dust. Therefore, Banshee too appeared to glow when struck by light.

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