Taking place between Morbius #1 and Darkhold #1 the second issue of Spirits of Vengeance is a bit of a one off. Returning to the Quinten Carnival for a bit of a break. When you are John Blaze you don’t get a break though, and on the way back they pick up a follower. At the behest of her master, Styge, Steel Wind is on a mission to have her vengeance on Ghost Rider and Blaze.
She is going to look silly while enacting that vengeance too. Looking like she walked right out of an issue of Youngblood she was clearly a nod to the idea that Image was putting out comics that scared Marvel to death. At the time those Image titles looked so fresh and cutting edge, and there were some serious missteps in the Marvel Universe where they overcompensated to try and keep up.
Luckily John Blaze saves the shit out of this issue. A midst a brutally pedestrian monologue from Steel Wind about vengeance and justice and the wrongs done to her and her sister. Blaze, ever the tough guy biker bashes her up side the head and holds her to the ground with a boot knife. There is something to be said about how awesome a guy can look in a trench coat with a giant knife standing next to a motorcycle. This verges on a lot of the same problems that I have with Nightstalkers, but reigns itself in right when I think I’m going to get really irritate with it.
After Steel Wind gets put in her place and Blaze tells us about how much he loves his family (not just wife and kids but the carnival as well). The Rider (who is in a coma for a lot of the book) tells Blaze that he knows what he needs to do to save Dan Ketch (who is trapped inside the Ghost Rider with mortal wounds), and that next step is finding the Darkhold Redeemers. The interweaving of story lines was my favorite part of the Midnight Sons in the 90’s and it is still one of the coolest parts of all the books. The issues stand up just fine on their own, but if you want to read the full scope of it, you have to pick up the other titles. Pretty great marketing scheme now that I think on it for a little bit, and Marvel got the bulk of my allowance for my middle school years so it worked.
I feel like a lot of the issues of Spirits of Vengeance that are time lined between the other Midnight Sons issues feel like they are just there to tread water. They are place holders while a bigger story is going on. Good for fleshing out the back stories and personalities of the main characters. Bad for becoming a place where stupid villains go to die. Unfortunately Steel Wind is one of those stupid villains that thankfully is gone, for now.