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|First appearance||Marvel Spotlight #5 (1972)|
|Created by||Gary Friedrich (writer)|
Roy Thomas (writer)
Mike Ploog (artist)
|Alter ego||Roxanne Simpson-Blaze|
|Notable aliases||Black Rose, Roxanne Blaze|
|Abilities||Affinity for the supernatural|
Minimal magic skills
As Black Rose:
Ability to form thorns
Roxanne Simpson is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted as a supporting character of the superhero Johnny Blaze, also known as Ghost Rider.
Fictional character biography
With his mother having abandoned him and his father dead, Johnny Blaze was taken in by Crash Simpson and his family. As a child, he was friends with Crash's daughter Roxanne Simpson. She eventually became his girlfriend. After Blaze made a deal with the Devil to cure Crash Simpson's cancer, Satan/Mephisto came to claim Blaze's soul. Roxanne arrived on the scene, and using a combination of her pure soul and some mystic incantations she had learned by reading Blaze's occult books behind his back, she was able to drive the devil away for a time. Much of Ghost Rider's early adventures were centered on the devil attempting to get Roxanne to rescind her protection of Blaze. Eventually, the devil did manage to trick Roxanne into renouncing her protection of the Ghost Rider, causing him to lose a great deal of his supernatural power and abilities. Despite the devil's failure to defeat Blaze, Roxanne realized that a great deal of her "innocence" was naivete and that she had to go away until she had matured emotionally.
Eventually, Roxanne had temporary amnesia and forgot who Blaze was. Blaze, convinced Roxanne had abandoned him, went off on his own. After several adventures, Roxanne and Blaze were reunited, and after Blaze was cured of being the Ghost Rider the two married and had two children. The family became deeply involved in the circus Blaze came to run; this itself would become the focus of many supernatural incidents.
While Roxanne and Blaze were visiting Blaze's long-lost brother Dan Ketch, a villain named Hellgate appeared. He was chasing the demonic entity Vengeance as part of a plan to capture and utilize the Ghost Rider entity for power and profit. During the battle, Hellgate shot an energy blast at Blaze's car, seemingly killing Roxanne and the children. However the children later turned out to be alive and working with the Wendigo.
Roxanne was revived as a demonic servant of Blackheart's, bearing the name Black Rose. Black Rose helped unleash the Olympian goddesses of vengeance known as the Furies to destroy the Ghost Rider and his accursed bloodline. The Furies' fiendish onslaught was expunged from the mortal plane by the Forces of Light, and she found herself cornered by the trio Noble Kale, Blaze, and the young sorceress Jennifer Kale. Black Rose was too weak to defend herself and was about to meet her death at the hands of Blaze and his hellfire shotgun, but Blackheart intervened and revealed via a cryptic message to the trio that Black Rose was Roxanne Simpson.
Black Rose later married the Ghost Rider, Noble Kale. Though she had no memory of her past self initially, Noble Kale restored her memories during his time as Ruler of Hell. Apparently feeling that Johnny had moved on, Roxanne decided to let Johnny continue believing that she was dead. It was recently revealed that she and her children have died and are in Heaven.
Powers and abilities
In her normal life, Roxanne seemed to have an affinity for the supernatural and some skill in magic. As the Black Rose, she could form thorns.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Roxanne Simpson-Blaze appeared as John Blaze's wife. Both she and her husband were murdered by a cult as part of a Satanic ritual, but Johnny was able to convince Satan to spare Roxanne's soul after offering an eternity of servitude. She was subsequently resurrected with no memories of her murder (as part of Johnny's deal with The Devil), and went on to marry a firefighter.
In other media
In the 2007 film Ghost Rider, Roxanne Simpson was played by Eva Mendes. Raquel Alessi played the younger version of the character. On one occasion, Roxanne went with her father to watch a performance by Johnny Blaze and his father Barton. After the show, Roxanne meets Johnny and tells him that her father is sending her to live with her mother, her father considering Johnny to be a bad influence. The death of Barton Blaze, the result of a coerced deal between Johnny and Mephistopheles, makes Johnny fear that he may harm Roxanne, and so he puts distance between them. Many years later, Roxanne, now an adult in her mid thirties, is now a reporter. In Johnny's stunt show, she meets him and interviews him. When the show starts, Roxanne refuses to watch Johnny's jump. When she is followed by Johnny, she tries to lose him but fails. Upon catching her, Johnny tells her to go out for dinner. Roxanne accepts, only if Johnny isn't late. When Johnny Blaze becomes the Ghost Rider, he begins to fight evil, so he forgets to meet Roxanne for dinner. The next day, she interviews a woman telling her about the incident on the previous night. The woman tells Roxanne that she was saved by a man whose face was a skull and was on fire. Later, she goes to Johnny's house to ask him why he was late. Johnny tells her the story of him making a deal with Mephistopheles and how he is forced to work for him at night. Roxanne doesn't believe him about the story. After Johnny Blaze transforms into the Ghost Rider and is pursued by the police force, Roxanne sees his new appearance and realizes that he was telling the truth. Johnny notices her, but, after being shot by the police, he takes off without a word. The next night, Blackheart, Mephistopheles' son, weakens Roxane with his power and kidnaps her in an attempt to bring the contract of San Veganza that the original Ghost Rider, Carter Slade, has to him. In Blackheart's hideout, Roxanne is released and tells Johnny to get up, who wants her to leave while he deals with Blackheart. When Johnny is almost defeated, Roxanne manages to use a shotgun given to Johnny by Carter Slade to help him. After Blackheart is defeated, Roxanne is surprised with his appearance. When Johnny replies "monster..." as he was ashamed of his appearance, she tells him she is "not afraid." When she touches him as the Ghost Rider, Johnny reverts to normal. After Johnny decides to keep his curse, he and Roxanne return to the place they met as teenagers to say goodbye since Johnny has now accepted his fate as the Ghost Rider.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Roxanne was referenced by Ghost Rider.
- Roxanne Simpson appeared in the Ghost Rider video game voiced by Peggy O'Neal.
- "Marvel Spotlight" #5 (1972)
- Ghost Rider #77 (1993)
- Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire #6 (2009)
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 #2
- Ultimate Comics: Avengers 2 #6