Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Obscure Marvel Character That Alex Ross Wants To See Make A Comeback - Exclusive

Alex Ross loves superheroes. That's clear from the countless covers, posters, and pieces of interior art he's done, and it's clear from his book, The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book, too. In addition to a number of oversized prints featuring classic Marvel characters, the new book also features small write-ups by Ross discussing each character's history, what he or she means to Ross, and how Ross decided on that particular design.

The book makes it very clear that Ross is incredibly fond of older superheroes and more traditional designs, a reading that his body of work supports. Ross' big breakout story, 1993's Marvels, is a street-level look at the Marvel Universe that takes place from 1939 to 1974. Kingdom Come, his blockbuster collaboration with Mark Waid, draws just as much on DC's Golden Age superheroes as it does their more modern equivalents. In 2009, he co-wrote Torch, featuring Marvel's first-ever superhero, and he cites his 1997 revival of Uncle Sam, who first appeared in 1940, as one of his favorite projects.

That affection informs Ross' design sense, too. When asked Ross what makes a great superhero costume, his answer is simple. "Timelessness," he says. "You want to have something that almost looks like it could have appeared in the 1940s," he continues, "almost like a costume that a Greek God could have worn."

With Marvel digging deep into its roster for its fourth phase — seriously, who are the Eternals, anyway?Looper asked Ross which obscure Marvel character he thinks deserves more time in the spotlight. Well, Ross had an answer, and while you likely recognize the name, the character's look will probably be brand new.

Why Alex Ross thinks this western hero could be a big Marvel star

In the next phase of the MCU, Ross would like the see this classic character revived: "The original Ghost Rider, who is a character from 1950, and who is a Western hero."

Created by writer Ray Krank and artist Dick Ayers, Ghost Rider debuted in Magazine Enterprises' Western comic Tim Holt #11, and received his own title just a little bit later. Magazine didn't keep up on the trademark, however, and Marvel published its own version of the character — with Ayers returning to handle the art duties — in 1967. Later, the character's name was changed to the Phantom Rider, and Marvel introduced Johnny Blaze, the possessed biker that Marvel fans have come to know and love.

For Ross, it's Ghost Rider's costume that makes him stand out. "He looks like a totally white Spider-Man," Ross says. "He's got the white eye shapes, so a completely white outfit with a big white cowboy hat. And he rides a white horse. His whole aesthetic is that he is supposed to glow in the dark, so that when people in these old West stories see him, he appears like a ghost."

Ross admits that a Western hero may be a hard sell in this day and age. He also doesn't think that matters. "He is such a cool looking character that, what do you care if you have some modern use of this guy riding a horse into the middle of Manhattan or wherever wearing this white costume?" Ross says. "He's just a gorgeous character and I'd love to see a full series revival with him."

The Alex Ross Marvel Comics Poster Book is available now.