Here we are in the month of October and all that spookiness that it brings and luckily for us we are getting a brand new Ghost Rider series. There have been several Riders and most recently we have been treated to the adventures of Robbie Reyes and Frank Castle as the Cosmic Ghost Rider. We most recently have seen the Riders come together in the Challenge of the Ghost Riders over in the Avengers comic in a story that hasn’t yet concluded, but here we are jumping into the lives of Danny and Johnny, so let us go inside this issue and see what is beginning. SPOILERS AHEAD!
I like that it is being established that not all demons are liking that Johnny Blaze is the new King of Hell. The fact that they are trying to escape their realm by sacrificing those who believe in Johnny means they are willing to commit to getting Mephisto back. Something that caught my eye the first time we see Ghost Rider is that the demons refer to him as Johnny Blaze, but the Rider talks about Blaze as another person. Reminds me of some of the aspects from volume 4 by Daniel Way and Jason Aaron.
When Johnny makes his way to our realm he takes on the normal appearance of Johnny Blaze and seeks out Danny Ketch. I like that his senses could always pick up sinners, but now as the King of Hell it is amped up…so I wonder how that’ll play out later as he interacts with other characters in this series and the rest of the Marvel Universe. Even as this issue progress we still see Johnny go demon hunting and when he finally catches up with one you see a darker version of Johnny as the King of Hell. Heavy lies the crown — what will be the price that Johnny pays for it?
It was nice to see Danny riding fresh off his appearance in Marvel Comics Presents #6, where we see that he has his own bar and is tired of being a Rider. In this issue we get reunited with him and Stacy Dolan, who was Danny’s on-again-off-again girlfriend from volume 2. Stacy has moved on with her life, having married and started a family along with her career as a cop; I appreciate that this drives Danny’s self-loathing as it is a reminder of what he could have had but is now lost since he is a Spirit of Vengeance. We are also told that Danny’s mother has passed and that seems to be one more weight that Danny carries with him in his life.
We are treated to a team up of Johnny and Danny in his Rider form and they take down a giant demon. Afterwards the two talk and it seems that Danny wants no part of Johnny’s troubles. After they part, Danny visits his mother’s grave just to see her and hear of a warning about what Johnny is becoming. The issue also treats us to a visit with Mephisto to see how he is still locked up in his Hotel Inferno jail cell, Lilith and her squad of demons looking to make a bid for the throne, and a rundown of all the other hellish realms along with the Caretaker Chronicles. I believe that this was Sister Sara in this part, but it was great to see that the books and mythos are back and looks like there will be some changes.
Overall, this was a stunner of a first issue. I’m glad to see Johnny and Danny back and I’m looking forward to see how they are going to be around each other since one is the King of Hell and the other is warned to stop it. It was great to catch up with characters from volume 2 and to see where Danny is right now.
Usually with the saga of the Ghost Rider we see the struggle that it puts on Johnny’s soul; this time, what will the corruption of hell do to him? I highly recommend this great story from Ed Brisson as he really gets into his characters, and this was something that he wanted to write for Marvel. Aaron Kuder is such a clean artist; his visuals are perfect for everything from the normal looking things to the hellish demons on the loose.
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