The second story arc begins here with issue #5 of Ghost Rider. What’s interesting is all the changes that have been made: Johnny Blaze is a darker Rider who also happens to be the current King of Hell and now Danny Ketch is now the Spirit of Corruption. And this is only issue #5! I would highly recommend reading the Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons #1 as it really does add to the overall story and helps to set the pieces. So, how does this issue move those pieces?
Right off the bat, we are introduced to some of the guest characters in this issue, and I have to say the banter between the Punisher and Wolverine was just perfect. Even Punisher’s assessment of what the mutants are doing on Krakoa was hilarious. Ed Brisson does a great job getting character voices in all his series and he doesn’t toss out continuity — it was nice to know Punisher and Wolverine remember working with Danny.
The scene shifts to Johnny taking on Mephisto as a prisoner and having him chained up. Mephisto reveals a lot of things in this discussion, which is great as this devil is probably manipulating the characters in order to get them clashing against each other for his own amusement. Speaking of Mephisto’s amusement, hearing him talk about how he would torture the demons that are on Earth is just horrible; he really is a messed-up devil. Mephisto does manage to get under Johnny’s skin with the idea that other dark realms are joining up to go after Hell.
If you’re a ’90s Ghost Rider fan, you’ll love the villain who makes a return to this series and I for one can’t wait to see what they do when tossed into this showdown. Like I said earlier, continuity is not tossed aside. Lilith has been given a better purpose since this new series started and I can’t wait to see where Ed and company go with this character. Speaking of appearances, we are also treated to a house call on Johnny, and they are mad about the breakout of Mephisto, so that’ll be a great showdown for the next issue.
In this issue, we have Juan Frigeri on the pencils and he is keeping the overall look on point for the series. The action sequences are dynamic and even when he has static moments, Juan finds a way to make it look important on the page. Ed Brisson is fantastic and you can tell that he was a major fan of Ghost Rider comics as he is using so many elements from previous series and is building towards a war of sorts — I’m hoping for a Damnation style event.
This is another great issue that keeps the series moving with forward momentum. I also recommend that you read the letters page — the fan base is writing some amazing stuff and sharing some great memories with fans.