Comics: Ghost Rider #34

Ghost Rider #34

Ghost Rider #34

It’s been a long time since I reviewed any comics (so much going on), and I’m still a bit behind in my readings, but I wanted to take the time share my thoughts on Marvels latest incarnation of the Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider.

The current series (believe it or not is credited as volume 6) has wrapped up it’s Zadkiel arc ending in #32, and it looks as if Danny Ketch now the Ghost Rider again and writer  Jason Aaron with artist Tony Moore perhaps may be taking the book in a new direction.

After the culimation of such a long and convulted Zadkiel arc, this issue is a self-contained ‘fun’ issue that just stars Danny Ketch in the title role what the reader can imagine as only a few days or weeks after the issue #32.  It’s a bit unclear the exact passage of time, but it isn’t central to this story.  Danny realizes he was duped as Zadkiel’s agent in rounding up and destroying all the other Ghost Rider’s around the globe, and only has a fraction of the power he just had. 

Here Danny runs across the path of a Hillbilly Trucker who made a deal with a devil to sell his own soul so that he could continue to compete in today’s job market.  I know, I know…it’s sounds very lame up front, but the origin of the Trucker is actually done pretty well and within only a few panels.  It reminds you of the old ghost stories you heard around the campfire as a little kid…a legend of horrific fun.

There is the obligatory fight between the Trucker (with his truck no doubt) and Ghost Rider.  The action is tight and fast and Tony Moore’s art is really done well within the panels.  When Danny turns into Ghost Rider, the artwork on this alone give a whole new realization of the transformation process and you can imagine how brutal it is on the human host. 

The fight itself needs to be understood as fun, because you’ll need to set aside a little realism when your eyebrows cock that an 18-wheeler rig has the same hadnling and pickup speed of Danny’s cycle.  If you can get past that, supernaturally powered or not, you’ll have a good time.  The ending is good and a bit of a throwback to the old 70’s style B horror movies, and there a little gem surprise in the ‘end credits’ if you will.  I won’t spoil it here, but there was a little easter egg on the very last page.

I give this issue a 4 out of 5 for its art and fun value.

Now putting all the above aside I have a gripe and a concern.  My concern is that I think the regular run of this series may be ending with issue #35, and then launch into a 6 part miniseries and may continue thereafter as a ‘mini-series’ typ eof title.  That bums me out, because Ghost Rider has so much potential, and has had some good history and creativity under it’s belt, but it just can’t seem to get traction over at Marvel for the long haul.  They try and try with this title and it inevitably gets cut way before its time.  Maybe this sould be a ‘Max’ title, or bi-monthly until readers can appreciate this cast of characters.

Now my gripe:  Volume 6 started with Johnny escaping from ‘the’ Hell itself and having to defeat ‘the’ Lucifer (i.e. Satan…the antithesis of God).  After the first year Johnny not only put the Devil down, he also goes toe-to-toe with the Hulk (see World War Hulk crossover) and hold his own.  Then somewhere around the Zadkiel arc starting up, Johnny teams up with multiple versions of GR from around the globe and get defeated by Zadkeil?  WTF?  So Johnny can beat Satan, but can’t beat Zadkiel with the helps of others?  So is Zadkiel more powerful than Satan, the father of all sin and evil?  Yeah, I know this is a comic, but something just doesn’t seem to jive here….How did Zadkiel outsmart both heaven and Lucifer and defeat so many other Rider’s.  If you’re going to go that route, then you need to retcon Lucifer or change the story outcome somehow….this just doesn’t work in the overall mythos of the Marvel Universe, and that of our own to boot.

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Ghost Rider: Vintage Cover Catalog

1951 Ghost Rider #1

1951 Ghost Rider #1

In trying to find a nice cover image of issue #27 of the the latest incaranation of Marvel’s Ghost Rider series (2007), I came across this link courtesy of Cover Browser.  They also have the 1951 series linked here.

There are numerous comic titles listed here and a fun jaunt down both memory lane and also various comic cover artist appreciation. 

Just for grins and giggles, click on the Twighlight Zone link and discover a treasure trove of awesome painted comic book covers (Gold Key imprint) inspired by Rod Serling’s timeless show.

There’s a whole host of fun covers over there to look at and study.