The Cosmic Ghost Rider may be the coolest character created at Marvel Comics in the past decade. He’s an amalgam of Punisher and Ghost Rider with a sprinkling of Galactus herald fairy dust. He’s also deeply insane and on a mission to right the wrongs he helped Thanos commit in writer Donny Cates’ excellent run with the Thanos character (Thanos Wins). This is more of the same.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
The first issue did a good job establishing who Cosmic Ghost Rider is and setting him on his mission which allows issue #2 to kick things into high gear.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with Cosmic Ghost Rider getting as drunk as possible on a foreign alien planet. Tied at his waist is baby Thanos, who most definitely should not be in a bar. Little does the bartender know baby Thanos is more dangerous than any alcohol behind the counter. Cates has written quite a strong issue, one that is so strong you could start here and it’d act as a good intro as it hits the ground running. Frank Castle is on a mission to fix Thanos, an impossible task to be sure, but he’s insatiable and willing to try whatever it takes.
This issue is a lot more comedic than the first, a nice change of pace since Cosmic Ghost Rider from the Thanos comic was quite comical. A recurring joke ensues with Frank attempting to steer Thanos away from violence only to continuously have him be witness to or part of incredible violence. Considering how jazzed baby Thanos gets about the violence you’d think Frank would give up on making him a good guy, but that’s part of the character and this book’s charm.
The art continues to be very good from Dylan Burnett with colors by Antonio Fabela. There’s a gorgeous double page layout, for instance, recapping all the things that happened to Cosmic Ghost Rider in the Thanos run and Burnett’s cel-shading style gives the book a less realistic feel that suits the alien terrain and characters. The colors pop very nicely too, as any cosmic comic should, and there’s some interesting detail used as we see through Cosmic Ghost Rider’s helmet. The comedy is aided by the art as well which succeeds every step of the way be it a shocked look on baby Thanos’s face or the reactions Ghost Rider gives (not an easy feat since he has two holes for eyes).
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m not sure I agree with how The Watcher is used in this issue. He’s been toyed with ad nauseum over the last 10 years, and his use here seems to continue the rule breaking. That said, part of the character’s charm is abandoned for a couple jokes. There’s also a confusing moment where I think The Watcher does something to affect the characters around him.
Is it good?
Cosmic Ghost Rider is firing on all cylinders and may be the funniest superhero book on the stands today. The series is hitting its stride and may only get better from here on out.