The Demon Rider and Ghost Rider join forces this week in a special extra-sized one-shot worthy of both characters. B. Earl and Taboo are back on their second title together after last year’s Werewolf By Night. This is no walk in the park, either, as it changes the lives of its two title characters forever. It also supplies a heartfelt take on Kushala’s character.
This review will abstain from spoilers, but if you’d like to read the preview to see how the adventure gets started that’s fair game. After an exciting and fiery opening, the story delves into Kushala’s current status as a superhero and friend. It’s nice to see Taboo and B. Earl catch us up a bit on Kushala’s current status before dropping Doctor Strange into her life and setting her on a new mission. The mission is to save Johnny Blaze’s soul and to do so Kushala must enter his soul. No biggie, right?
As the story goes, Ghost Rider fans — especially Johnny Blaze fans — need to read this issue. The creative team doesn’t hold back as far as exploring the character’s inner issues, which helps add a lot of weight and purpose to this tale. The story certainly feels like an important step in the Ghost Rider mythos.
Meanwhile, Kushala aka the Demon Rider gets to show off her wits and powers. If you’re unfamiliar with her you’ll get plenty to dig into to understand the character here. Paul Davidson’s art supplies plenty of cool-under-pressure attitudes from Kushala as well as a rather cool costume. As the Sorcerer Supreme of her own era — technically, she’s from the past — she shows why she deserves the mantle. The only downside to her tale is how she’s a bit of a bystander for short stretches, though that’s just the nature of being inside Johnny Blaze’s soul.
The action ramps up at a few different moments in the book, giving it an ebb and flow that’s satisfying. This issue isn’t one long scene, but an epic told via one-shot. By the end, you’ll feel satisfied with the twists and turns and it certain earns the ending for both lead characters.
Dan Brown colors the fire and enemies quite well, and there are multiple full-page splashes to take in as well. You can tell Davidson enjoys a bit of horror with his flames when it comes to those. They work well together here and have some complex montages to pull off. Exposition can get a little thick, but the characters always seem to be moving and going somewhere so it’s not too static.
Jeffrey Veregge also draws a single page in this book, though it would spoil to discuss it in too much detail. The graphic design and pleasing symmetry of Veregge’s style are very satisfying.
If you’re looking for a single comic that has quite a bit of story and art, Spirits of Vengeance: Spirit Rider is a good pickup. It’s a story that captures both Demon Rider and Ghost Rider well and feels earned by its end. It also tells a story that needs to be told and sets up both characters for something altogether new going forward.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!