Comic Book Review: Ghost Rider #1

The Revolution is a monstrous Ghost Rider fan. I have complete runs of every Ghost Rider series. I am thrilled that old flame head is getting another title. I’m also psyched that one of my favorite artists, Mark Texiera will be on this new title. Mi hermano, Texiera draws the best Ghost Rider. Of course, with the good comes some bad. I am less than thrilled with Daniel Way being selected as the writer of this title. I have never been impressed with Way’s writing. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Daniel Way
Breakdowns: Javier Salvatares
Finishes: Mark Texeira

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with Ghost Rider trying to escape Hell. Like Garth Ennis’ mini-series, this version of Ghost Rider is the real one. Johnny Blaze. Of course, every time he thinks he has succeeded, he realizes that he is still stuck in Hell with no escape in sight. We see Lucifer laughing at Ghost Rider’s anguish. Ghost Rider angrily punches a whole in the ground and reveals a demon that looks like a slug in the ground. The slug demon begs for Ghost Rider’s help and tell him that he can get him out of Hell. We then see Lucifer’s army come and grab the slug demon and ride off with him.

We then shift to Lucifer’s castle where the slug demon, named Greexix, apologizes to Lucifer and claims that he was simply digging in the pit and lost his way. That he was not trying to escape. Lucifer orders that Greexix be tortured for his actions.

As the guards are taking Greexix away from Lucifer’s castle, Ghost Rider appears and grabs Greexix and makes a run for it. Lucifer’s army gives chase. Ghost Rider then jumps the pit of Hell and gets to the other side. Lucifer’s army has to travel all the way around the pit in order to reach them. Due to their head start, Ghost Rider and Greexix enter a cave. Greexix tells Ghost Rider that while he has been digging around that he found water. That Lucifer just creates the illusion that there is no boundary to Hell. That there is an actual boundary where the water exists. Greexix asks Ghost Rider if he promises to help him so that they can both escape. Ghost Rider agree and shakes Greexix’s hand. Ghost Rider thinks to himself that since Greexix is a demon of Hell, that he has no problems lying to him that he is going to help Greexix. Suddenly, Greexix turns into Lucifer who then tells Ghost Rider that it is a sin to lie.

Lucifer then drags Ghost Rider into the water in the cave and tells Johnny that he will see him on the “other side.” We then shift to a couple walking along the beach at night. They see a fiery light coming from the ocean. Suddenly, zombies coming walking out of the ocean. We then zoom into the fiery light over the ocean and see Ghost Rider thundering across the water. End of issue.

The Good: Ghost Rider #1 was an average issue. I will admit up front that I have never been impressed with Daniel Way. I find him to be a poor man’s Garth Ennis. Way mimics Ennis’ style, but unfortunately, doesn’t even have half of Ennis’ talent. So, I was hardly surprised when I found out that Way would be following Ennis’ footsteps on Ghost Rider.

The writing was ok. Nothing great. Nothing terrible. I am absolutely thrilled that this version of Ghost Rider is the real deal. Johnny Blaze. Accept no substitutes. Marvel isn’t going to pull a DC and change who is Ghost Rider just to make it “new” and “exciting.”

Way does an acceptable job writing Ghost Rider and Lucifer. Even though this issue is mostly a re-hash of the Ennis mini-series, it does seem like Way is trying to lay the foundation to an interesting storyline dealing with the conflict between Lucifer and Ghost Rider.

The artwork is fantastic. I love Saltares and Texeira. Texiera is one of my all time favorite artists. So, obviously, the artwork in Ghost Rider is going to impress me. Ghost Rider #1 was a wonderful book to look at. The artwork is rich and detailed and fits the dark mood of Ghost Rider perfectly. Saltares and Texeira draw one of the best Ghost Riders. And their Lucifer is pretty sweet too. I could stare at their art forever. The artwork helps to elevate rather average writing and makes this a fun book to read.

The Bad: The writing was pedestrian. My biggest complaint is that nothing happened that we didn’t already cover in Ennis’ mini-series. We saw Ghost Rider continually trying to escape Hell. We saw his misery and torment. So, what does Way give us in this first issue? More of the same. It is the same exact storyline with the exception of the last 2 pages.

When writing a first issue to a new series, the writer has to hit the ground running and hook the reader quickly. Way failed to do this. The story re-hashes too much from the mini-series and doesn’t do much to set up any new storyline or characters.

It also seems that the first big storyline is going to be Lucifer v. Ghost Rider. I don’t know how interesting that is going to be. I worry if Way is going to be able to find an interesting purpose for Ghost Rider within the Marvel Universe. Ghost Rider is not an easy character to deal with. Hopefully, Way treats Ghost Rider as a comic centered on strange and bizarre things that go bump in the night.

Overall: Ghost Rider #1 is a comic that relies heavily on the fantastic artwork. The story is nothing special and I don’t know if any readers outside of die-hard Ghost Rider fans are going to be really interested by Way’s story. Hopefully, the artwork will be enough to keep readers interested while Way gets his story into gear. I’ll definitely be sticking with this title for at least the first 6 issues. I love Ghost Rider and I desperately want this title to be successful. If you like Ghost Rider then you’ll like this issue. If you are a fan of Way, then you’ll like this issue. For everyone else? I’m not too sure. Ghost Rider definitely has potential and is worth checking out for the first several issues.

1 thought on “Comic Book Review: Ghost Rider #1

  1. Interesting commentary on GR#1. I think you got it WAY wrong about Way. I think he is a great writer. WAY-ke up and smell the coffee Mr. RoKKKrinn. This writer is WAY too cool for you.

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