Ghost Rider: Fear Itself #2 (October – 2011- Marvel)

Ghost Rider: Fear Itself #2

Mephisto needs some help, and he has come to John Blaze for that help, much to Blaze’s amusement.  After all, he has just gotten rid of the curse of the Ghost Rider that Mephisto tricked him into in the first place.  Things are serious though, and even though Blaze wants nothing to do with Mephisto, there seems to be nowhere, and no one, else to turn to.  The Ghost Rider has been moved into the body of young Alejandra who has been trained since birth to be the weapon of divine sin destroying justice.

The vision of the future isn’t pretty either.  In an effort to eradicate The Serpent, an Asgaurdian deity that is stomping a mud hole in the earth, Adam will wipe all sin from the earth.  Leaving the future a bland and lifeless place.  The implication is that sin is our flaws, and our flaws are what make us human, and creative.  They give us drive, and desire.  Inner and real demons to overcome.

Blaze signs on, and soon finds himself trekking through the rain forest on a motorcycle on his way to confront the new Ghost Rider.  Upon his arrival Adam is getting Ghost Rider to give the penance stare to the others that were in training with her, the eradication of sin from the world is going to start with his own people.  Blaze interrupts and while Adam and Ghosty are distracted Mephisto sends in one of his major demons illiciting an overwhelming response for the Ghost Rider.  A swarm of locust pours from her mouth.

The direction this incarnation of Ghost Rider takes is pretty interesting, but not fantastically engaging.  It seems a lot like the antagonism that existed between John Blaze and Dan Ketch Ghost Rider in the 90’s.  So some of this seems like a bit of a retread to me.  The introduction of new and crazy powers for someone that is trained in how to be Ghost Rider is really interesting though.  Rob Williams seems to have a pretty firm (if not incredibly creative) take on Ghost Rider.  Matthew Clark’s art is good too.  Again nothing to unpredictable or surprising, just kind of by the book Ghost Rider.

Next Time:  Beware: Formula X

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Ghost Rider: Fear Itself #1 (September – 2011 – Marvel)

Ghost Rider: Fear Itself #1

The Fear Itself crossover was a company wide story line about the Norse god The Serpent attempting to take back the throne of Asguard.  With that said, the Ghost Rider titles within the Fear Itself story line, stand alone pretty well.

John Blaze has once again been freed of the curse and the duty of being the Ghost Rider.  So he has moved into the desert to relax in his effective retirement.  Meanwhile across the country Sin (First Avatar of The Serpent) is stomping a mud hole into Dayton, Ohio while Blackout and Deathwatch pick up the spiritual scraps to give themselves more power.  Enter the new Rider, and this time the Ghost Rider is a woman.

After putting down Blackout and Deathwatch with the penance stare, she goes to confront Sin.  Sin looks like she is about to be defeated when the flames of the Ghost Rider are extinguisher just from touching Sin’s hammer.

Flash back to John Blaze’s home where as he is returning from gathering wood he is faced with Mephesito in his cabin waiting for him.

Flash again to a few hours before.  A temple in the Nicaraguan jungle, corpses laid out in ritual, and Adam (the man who helped lift the Ghost Rider from John Blaze) has brought The Seeker to life to grant the powers of The Ghost Rider to another person.  Alejandra touches the chains and bursts into the hell fire.  The female Ghost Rider revealed.

Overall this is an inaugural issue, so there is just a frame work to hang the rest of the issues on here, but at least that frame work is decently interesting.  Though the Fear Itself crossover wasn’t crazy successful this title seems to be pretty interesting, and a good chance for the Ghost Rider character to build its mythology in an interesting direction.   You have to give it to Rob Williams, this is a pretty creative turn for Ghost Rider, and an obvious one that I can’t believe someone hadn’t already thought of.

Matthew Clark, who also did Doom Patrol, has a slick style that reminds me of a lot of the 90’s Image titles (without the insane guns and millions of pouches on bandoleers).  This is a good looking comic to say the least, but it is very superheroish.  The Ghost Rider at its heart is a supernatural superhero title, and sometimes the best way to draw it, is just like any issue of The Avengers.  I don’t mind that most of the time, because I know what I’m in for.  A dark superhero tale.

It will be interesting to see where this goes (I have several of the issues, just haven’t read them yet).

Next Time:  Deadman: Exorcisim Book 1

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