Twenty years ago, Marvel created a new line called 2099. Based on initial ideas by Stan Lee and John Byrne, it saw creators such as Peter David, Warren Ellis, Rick Leonardi, D’Israeli, Humberto Ramos, Pat Mills and Chuck Dixon recreate Marvel superheroes in an increasingly sci-fi background.
It had some highs, it had some lows, it met its end when Marvel radically contracted their sales and staff in the nineties, but aspects still survive, and Spider-Man 2099 made a reappearance as a playable character in a recent Spider-Man video game.
And it was the first time we saw Warren Ellis blend his superhero ideas with hard ripped-from-New-Scientist headlines, as well as injecting the impact of realpolitik into superheroes. If you’re looking for where the likes of Planetary and The Authority began, his work on Doom 2099, Ghost Rider 2099 and 2099 Unlimited would be a good place to start.
One artist on Ghost Rider 2099 was Salgood Sam. Or he would have been if the 2099 line hadn’t been cancelled before his stories were published.
And one of them was by Warren Ellis, and has never been published. Here, courtesy of Sam’s website, are the first thirteen pages of an unpublished Ellis/Salgood Ghost Rider 2099 story from 1995. Warren tells me that he doesn’t have the script anymore, and little recollection of the comic, so what happens next? That’s up to you…