Back in December, people were losing their minds after Marvel released cryptic one-page hints at a big story coming in March. The images suggested Marvel was going to change the history of its most beloved characters. Eventually, it came out Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History was on the way and we all breathed a sigh of relief. No way a comical character like this is going to change the classic history of our characters, right? Right?!
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Paul Scheer is the latest comedian to join the ranks of Marvel Comics writers bullpen, which should suit this character nicely. This is also a visit back to major Marvel moments, so longtime fans will get a kick out of how Scheer and co-writer Nick Giovannetti put a twist on things.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
After the setup is over and done with (Frank Castle aka Cosmic Ghost Rider goes back in time to hang out with his wife and kid), this comic is a lot of fun. Speaking as a longtime comic book reader, all the references and new takes on Marvel history can be clever and quite funny. Scheer and Giovannetti basically poke fun at history here and there or add a few jokes into the mix. A reoccurring one that works revolves around characters being jealous, but you’d never think an entity like Galactus could get jealous.
I was getting Ed Piskor vibes from how the narrative flowed since it links together big moments in Marvel history but presumes Cosmic Ghost Rider was there at the beginning changing things. This issue primarily focuses on the Fantastic Four and how Cosmic Ghost Rider mucked up their timeline. This leads to a lot of Moloids being murdered, as well as a crazy twist when the Fantastic Four save Thing from Heaven. You gotta read it to believe it. It’s based on an actual comic (Fantastic Four #511) by Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo that’s so nutty it makes some of the twists on Marvel history depicted here quite normal.
Art is by Gerardo Sandoval with inks by Victor Nava and colors by Antonio Fabela that do the characters justice. There’s an old print style used to help age the stories too. A standout page integrates a ton of heroes on the page with a very funny remark from Wolverine to cap off the half page layout.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The narrative structure basically has Frank tell story after story with no real point or purpose. That makes things a little less interesting especially when you consider there’s no way in Hell Marvel is going to let Cosmic Ghost Rider literally change the origins of its characters. There’s something deflating in how the comic cuts back to Frank talking to a kid between stories that reduces the tension and interest of the story, too.
The humor isn’t quite as funny as one might assume either. It’s lighter, and sometimes doesn’t quite land. Silver Surfer calling Galactus Galen over and over, for instance, will put a smirk on your face, but you’ll probably not laugh out loud by any means.
Is it good?
This is a good time if you want to experience Marvel’s history with a twist. It’s certainly funny enough and it’s entertaining to relive some of the craziest Fantastic Four stories with added crazy man Cosmic Ghost Rider. I’ll be picking up the following issues to see how Scheer and Giovannetti put a spin on other important Marvel history.