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Review – Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics)

Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics) variant cover art (detail) by Aaron Kuder
Ghost Rider #1
Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10
  • Writing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Art - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
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Summary

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Aaron Kuder
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: Joe Caramagna 
Maturity Rating: Teen+
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 2, 2019

The King of Hell, the Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze, comes to Earth to collect some escaped demons. As Danny Ketch tries to rid himself of the Riders curse, the King of Hell comes knocking.

 

“South of Heaven” Ghost Rider #1

Johnny Blaze is the King of Hell and not all the demons are happy about the new leader. In Ghost Rider #1 a few demons escape back to Earth and it is up to Johnny Blaze to get them back. Can one Ghost Rider really catch all the demons that escaped? Johnny Blaze looks to an unwilling Danny Ketch to help even the odds. But with Hell left unattended more trouble starts brewing for Johnny Blaze, and Hell may not welcome its leader back!

Writing

Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics) cover art by Aaron Kuder
Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics )cover art by Aaron Kuder

Ed Brisson takes over the Spirits of Vengeance in Ghost Rider #1. I am a big fan of Ed Brisson from Iron Fist to The Ballad of Sang. He has a wide range and a good choice to tackle the craziness going on with Ghost Rider. Since the Damnation event last year Johnny Blaze has been the resident King of Hell. The past few months there have been teasers about what he is up to and what is happening with the Ghost Riders. Currently, the newest Rider, Robbie Reyes, is in the midst of some inner turmoil with Blaze himself over in The Avengers. We have gotten other teasers on story points here and there from little one-shots or short stories, most notably and recently in the Absolute Carnage Spirits of Vengeance #1 one-shot.

Brisson dives in directly with everything in Ghost Rider #1. It is not the easiest issue to jump into without knowing the ins and outs of the history of the Ghost Rider. Brisson does his best to sort it all out and get the ball rolling with this first issue. He does a solid job of getting to the gist of what Johnny has been up to and where Danny Ketch has been. Again, if you haven’t read any of the other stuff, all of the things in this story are a big surprise. 

The issue itself is, overall, well done. I like the direction Brisson is taking Danny Ketch. We haven’t seen a lot of him lately, so he gets to be a bit of a blank slate for Brisson to work with. 

Art

Aaron Kuder is the artist on board for Ghost Rider #1 and he delivers some wild visuals through the issue. You ever see a baby demon with a duck body? Or a demon with an eagle head, insect legs, and a human torso, wielding dual pistols? Well, you have after the first few pages of Ghost Rider #1!

It is those scenes and more that make the issue a lot of fun, visually, just to look at. To see what Kuder has put in and what craziness you can see. He catches the intensity of the Ghost Riders very well. The flames and the skull head all look as iconic and terrifying as ever. That, coupled with the flaming motorcycle that Kuder adds some nice detail to, and you get some great pages. Though I do wish the characters themselves were a little more dynamic and had a little more expression to them. I am also not sure how I feel about Johnny Blaze in a button-down shirt. That will take some getting used to.

Jason Keith does some solid coloring work, as well, in the issue. It has a nice dark undertone that Keith develops well throughout the pages. Again, the flames look spectacular, bursting out of everything.

Conclusion

I wasn’t blown away by Ghost Rider #1, but it was a solid start to the series. I think Brisson did the best he could do to get everything where it needed to be to start this series. Now that everything is in place I am more interested to see what Brisson has in store later on in the series. There are some nice visuals throughout the issue. The Ghost Riders themselves look ferocious and devilish as ever. If you haven’t been keeping up with the goings-on of the Spirits of Vengeance in other Marvel Comics you are going to be lost. But by the end of the issue, you should have enough grasp to enjoy the ride from here on out.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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