Jason Aaron is back in the driver’s seat again when it comes to the Ghost Riders. Things have been building for both Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes as they face the responsibility of being the King of Hell and a Spirit of Vengeance, respectively. Now the Avengers fight to help their teammate Robbie and have called in Hellstorm, the Son of Satan, to help exorcise the evil from Robbie’s powers. So let us jump into this issue and check out the race — SPOILERS ahead!
This issue really does put the Avengers’ backs against the wall by having them call out a code 666 — nothing is safe, including their souls. Now with them calling in Hellstorm to help with Robbie, there was quite a backlash from the exorcism in last issue. It seems the evil force that has been plaguing Robbie has now taken over Avengers Mountain. This is interesting and quite a callback to earlier in the series, issue #5, as we’ve seen Robbie take the fallen Celestial on a “joyride” himself. This could be quite the showdown later on in the arc depending if the Avengers can take back their HQ. I like that this current team is facing such a powerful threat, as they are packed with heavy hitters.
The main part of the arc with the Riders is finally touched upon nicely in this issue. We see Johnny wanting to gain Robbie’s powers and Robbie doesn’t want them anymore…yet the race still has to happen? So I wonder if this could be Johnny’s way of testing Robbie or pushing him to have better control of his abilities. There are some great visuals by Stefano Caselli when the two race in Hell; a mix of weird and creepy, but expected, was on their race “track.” Of course the Hell Cycle and Charger looked amazing.
It was also nice in this issue to see Cosmic Ghost Rider make his appearance since being picked up/challenged by Johnny Blaze, back in Guardians of the Galaxy #6, along with a quick panel of Danny Ketch too. Hopefully Frank and Danny will become big players as this arc continues. With Cosmic GR I wonder if he will be a friend or foe to the Avengers…his usual attitude towards things is pretty out there, but with the Riders being in some strange times it could be bad to be around him.
All in all it was a good issue, definitely worth picking up for your Avengers collection or to see what will happen to the Ghost Riders. It was nice to see more of Johnny Blaze and his motivations, but all is not revealed yet as we have more issues to go. There is some nice history of the Riders worked into the story since now we have a Ghost Rider BC. The art was clean and consistent and showed off locations very nicely. Aaron’s script gave some great moments to the Avengers and Boy-Thing as the action took off.
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