Comic Book Review: Ghost Rider #3

The Revolution has always loved Ghost Rider. However, I have not been very impressed with this new Ghost Rider comic. That is mainly due to the writing of Daniel Way. I have never particularly enjoyed anything that Way has ever written. This title is no exception. Way delivers a weak story. Luckily, Salvatares and Texeira are doing a great job with the art duties. Will Way finally win me over with Ghost Rider #3? Let’s find out.

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

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue starts with Ghost Rider believing that Dr. Strange is just Lucifer in disguise. Therefore, Ghost Rider starts brawling with Dr. Strange. Dr. Strange keeps saying that he is not Lucifer, but Ghost Rider claims that he isn’t going to fall for that again. During the battle, Ghost Rider breathes fire blasts at Dr. Strange. That is a new power that surprises Ghost Rider. Dr. Strange responds by blasting Ghost Rider with a massive bolt of energy.

Ghost Rider lies on the ground unable to move. At first, Ghost Rider thinks he is dead. Suddenly, mystical chains flow out of Ghost Rider’s chest and grab Dr. Strange. Johnny thinks that for the first time since he became Ghost Rider he feels like he is actually burning. Ghost Rider says that vengeance is his and he commands the demon to open his eyes and look at Ghost Rider.

We cut to an old man in the country walking out of his house that has blood all over the floor and walls. He sits outside on his porch with an older woman. They are both actually demons who have taken control of these bodies. The demon says he took over this man’s body after the man died about two days ago. The man’s wife and grandkids came home and he slaughtered them. (Oh, there it is! The patented Daniel Way “shocking” scene that must appear in every issue he writes!)

We then shift back to Ghost Rider holding a chained up Dr. Strange. Ghost Rider is giving Dr. Strange his “penitence” stare. End of issue.

The Good: Ghost Rider #3 was not a particularly good issue. Now, let’s see if I can follow the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with regard to this issue. What did I enjoy about this issue? The art. Mi hermanos, Salvateres and Texeira turn out another excellent looking comic book. For me, they are the only artists who should work on Ghost Rider. Their dark and heavy lined art matches the mood of this story. And their Ghost Rider is just wicked cool.

I thought Ghost Rider’s new flame “breath” was a neat addition to his pre-existing powers. I’m interested to learn more about this new power and any additional new powers that Ghost Rider may have.

The Bad: Way continues to unimpress me with this work on this title. I didn’t think it was possible, but Ghost Rider #3 is actually worse than the first two issues. I thought that Way might actually improve as this title progressed. I was wrong. Way continues to display average at best writing abilities.

The pacing in this issue is terrible. This issue lacks any direction or focus. This was a slow issue and it neither developed nor progressed a single plotline. This was a waste of an issue. Absolutely nothing happened. We got “treated” to a mindless fight between Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider. It was one of those generic two heroes battling because of a “misunderstanding.” That is pretty much the entire issue.

Way delivered his trademark “shocking” scene with the two demons who have taken control of an old man and an old woman. One of them mentions how it killed the wife and grandchildren of the old man it possessed and is eagerly awaiting the old man’s daughter to come over to pick up the children. Wow, Way, you are so hardcore. Too bad you absolutely overwhelm and overload the reader with numerous “shocking” scenes that they end up having absolutely no impact on the reader at all. Instead, the reader either shrugs and moves on unimpressed and unaffected or the reader (like me) busts out laughing because it is so predictable and heavy handed.

Way delivers a very boring read in Ghost Rider #3. No plotlines are introduced or advanced. This title seems to be stuck in neutral and is just rambling in no particular direction. There seems to be a total lack of vision or purpose for this comic book.

Way’s dialogue is stiff and dull. None of the characters are well developed nor do they catch my interest. Most alarming is Way’s handling of Johnny Blaze. Way has delivered the most boring Blaze that I have ever read. Way’s Blaze is completely devoid of anything that would even remotely pass for a personality. There are mannequins that have more personality and character than Way’s Blaze. An intensely dull main character makes for an uninteresting comic book.

Overall: Ghost Rider #3 is a pretty weak issue. Way’s writing is problematic for me. Either I don’t get his style or Way is just not a very good writer. Either way, Ghost Rider #3 is a real snoozer. I love Ghost Rider’s character and will support his title no matter what. However, I cannot recommend Ghost Rider to anyone other than a die-hard Ghost Rider fan or a person who is a big fan of Daniel Way.