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Review – King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics)

  • Writing - 7/10
    7/10
  • Art - 7/10
    7/10
  • Overall - 7/10
    7/10

King in Black: Ghost Rider #1

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 31, 2021

Lillith continues to try to take over the Throne of Hell from Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider. As demons come to the mortal world, they encounter Knull’s symbiote army. It is a bad day on Earth and in Hell!

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Hell on Earth in King in Black: Ghost Rider #1

Things have not been easy for Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider, since he took over the throne of Hell from Mephisto. Who would have thought running the underworld would be so political and volatile? He has had to deal with a lot—most recently, Lilith gunning for the throne seat. Now it seems demon spawn that have betrayed Mephisto and joined Lilith in wanting to overthrow Johnny have spread to the mortal realm. Johnny comes back to Earth with Mephisto in tow. But, unbeknownst to the Ghost Rider, “hell” is already on Earth in the form of Knull the King of Symbiotes’ takeover. Now Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Caretaker, Blackheart, and Mephisto must figure out how to save Hell and Earth in King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 one-shot. What a team to save the day!

Writing

King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics) Women's History variant cover by Jen Bartel
King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics) Women’s History variant cover by Jen Bartel

So, basically King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 one-shot is Marvel giving Ed Brisson a chance to wrap up his storyline from his canceled Ghost Rider series. I was enjoying that series relatively well, so this was nice. As nice as it was, Brisson has a lot to fit into this one-shot issue. There are a lot of threads for Brisson to tie up. Plus Marvel is like “hey, tie in King in Black as well”. So, Brisson had his work cut out for him.

All in all, the issue served its purpose for Brisson’s story and the future of the Marvel Universe and characters. I won’t spoil anything, but things get back to “normal” by the end of the issue. I am not really sure what to make of Danny Ketch and his new persona. He gets a new name in King in Black: Ghost Rider #1. I like that he is getting a little spotlight but I am not super sold on the new look or the horse-riding bit.

I would have liked to have maybe seen this stretched out more. A four-issue story of Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Caretaker, Mephisto, and Blackout would have been fun. Brisson did an excellent job with them, with the short amount of time. There is no getting around it, though: the book does feel a bit rushed. But in terms of what it is and what Brisson had to get accomplished, there is not much he could do. So, things do feel a bit disjointed but, all in all, Brisson sets things right and leaves some very interesting plot points to hopefully be picked up on in the future.

Art

Juan Frigeri takes the lead on art in King in Black: Ghost Rider #1. He was on the regular series on art as well. Good detail and action sequences. Hey, he draws a pretty excellent Ghost Rider riding a giant symbiote dragon, so, that is pretty rad!

It is hard to find something to complain about artwise; everything looks good. Maybe I wish he played with different angles and shot more, just to give some different perspectives and such. But all in all, it is good work. Also, though, nothing really spectacular or anything that stands out, either. His style is tight and clean and everything looks good.

Jason Keith handles the coloring work in King in Black: Ghost Rider #1. Again, good solid work from Keith. Nothing crazy, but he captures the story well.

Conclusion

King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 one-shot does exactly what you are expecting, which is not a good or bad thing in particular. Brisson does what needs to be done to set the story he was telling previously straight and to bring some pieces back together to wrap everything up nicely. He also does his best to tie it in to King in Black. I do like where he leaves all of these characters, and will be interested if any other creators pick up things Brisson left. The art, again, is solid, but nothing spectacular or that will blow your hair back. If you followed Brisson’s Ghost Rider run then you definitely need to buy this issue to get that story wrapped up. 


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