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'Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance' #2 is a gritty new take on the 'hero'
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance’ #2 is a gritty new take on the ‘hero’

The Hood is the new Ghost Rider, but how’s his first day on the job?

Sometimes, a shake-up is all a character needs to feel excited in a new way, which is the case with Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance. The first issue felt like a one-shot, revealing what happens when the Spirit of Vengeance leaves a host and tries to find someone better. It has found its chosen host, none other than the Hood. In Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance #2, we discover what he does with this newfound power.

If it’s not obvious enough, the new host was chosen because Johnny Blaze was too heroic and pure of heart to utilize the Spirit of Vengeance to full effect. It needed someone who could be even dirtier and more dangerous. By that score, Benjamin Percy and Danny Kim show that and more in this issue. We’re talking vampires getting their faces melted off, innocent folks losing hands, and Hood not caring if folks live or die.

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The issue opens right after Hood gets his Ghost Rider powers, which come from a ball of fire exploding a building. A homeless man rushes in to help whoever is inside, but the Ghost Rider burns his hand and runs off without fear of hurting an innocent.

Soon, this new Ghost Rider is sick and reeling from the effects of gaining the power. It’s in these scenes that Percy draws out the cost of wielding a spirit and Hood’s humanity. The protagonist is reeling from these new powers and is at a crossroads in this issue. How he’ll use them becomes evident with his first mission, which takes him to a vampire den in Chicago.

The darker and edgier side of Marvel continues to reign under Percy, with plenty of violence you’d never see in a Marvel Comic thirty years ago. Kim supplies a gritty visual style that feels dirty to look at. A key nine-panel grid reminds us of Hood’s past and how he got here, helping cement his unique position as the Ghost Rider. Flames have a fluid quality, and the character looks the part.

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance #2

This new Ghost Rider doesn’t mind hurting innocence.
Credit: Marvel

At least at this early stage, something that seems missing is how Hood is more than just a regular guy with Ghost Rider powers. We know the cloak and boots he stole from a Nissanti Demon give him abilities, but does this give him an edge over having Ghost Rider powers? It’s unclear. Mostly, this issue reminds us he’s not a great dude.

One other downside is the somewhat limp cliffhanger. It cuts back to Blaze, who is tied up at the moment. Not much is dealt with here, and it’s where we left off when we saw him in the last issue. Johnny Blaze’s fit in this story remains to be seen.

Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance #2 further shows what you can do with the Ghost Rider with a different host. The grittier and darker edge led by Percy in recent years continues to flourish in a truly street-level supernatural yarn worthy of adult readers’ time.

'Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance' #2 is a gritty new take on the 'hero'
‘Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance’ #2 is a gritty new take on the ‘hero’
Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance #2
Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance #2 further shows what you can do with the Ghost Rider with a different host. The grittier and darker edge led by Percy in recent years continues to flourish in a truly street-level supernatural yarn worthy of adult readers' time.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Good adult tone and themes
Highlights the darker vibe of Hood with the Ghost Rider powers
Art hammers home the grittier atmosphere and focus
Cliffhanger doesn't do a lot
Nothing about Hood's cloak and boots factor into him being a Ghost Rider
8
Good
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