Once I picked up Ghost Rider #6, I knew something was terribly wrong. This issue sports a guest artist in Richard Corben. I’m sure many people love Corben’s work and he is certainly a legend in the comic book industry. However, I cannot stand his artwork. So, here I am, holding Ghost Rider #6 knowing that the only thing I have enjoyed every issue (Salvatares and Texeira’s wonderful artwork) is going to be absent. That leaves me with art I don’t like and Daniel Way’s writing. *Gasp* Yeah, few things are scarier than that. I don’t think I’m going to enjoy reading Ghost Rider #6. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Daniel Way
Artist: Richard Corben
Art Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 1.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The issue begins with a preacher baptizing people from his congregation in a river. The preacher drowns the first person and then tells everyone to take it easy that if they give him a couple of ties he will have it down perfectly. The preacher then asks who is next. (Wow, right off the bat we get our trademark Daniel Way “shocking scene.”) Suddenly, Ghost Rider appears and attacks the preacher. The preacher then transforms into his true form: Lucifer. Lucifer and Ghost Rider start brawling.
We then flashback to some jerkwater town in Tennessee “a long time ago.” We see a cop beating up Johnny Blaze and then arresting Blaze for “resisting” arrest. We see the cop putting Johnny in the local jail. There is another guy already in the jail. His name is Clay. Clay asks Johnny what kind of motorcycle he rides. Clay then tells Johnny that tonight a local bartender got shot in the head. Now, the local police are arresting all of the “undesirables” in town and locking them up until they find their man. And if they can find the man that did it then they will pin it on one of the “undesirables” that they have arrested.
Johnny asks Clay if he is innocent. Clay says that he isn’t innocent, but he certainly did not kill the bartender.
We then shift back to present time where Lucifer and Johnny are still brawling. Lucifer gets the upper hand and breaks off Ghost Rider’s leg and proceeds to beat him with it. (Oh that Daniel Way. Isn’t he just so totally hardcore?) Ghost Rider thinks to himself that he has been holding back. Because he doesn’t want it to take him over. But, now he sees that that’s not going to work anymore. That if Ghost Rider is going to beat Lucifer then he has to go at it full-throttle and let it all out.
We shift back to sometime in the past. The cop tells Johnny that he can leave the jail. The cop tells Johnny not to leave town. Johnny leaves the jail and sees Clay standing out front with a huge limo. Clary is already drinking. Clay tells Johnny to get inside the limo. Inside the limo is Mr. Bedelstraum, Clay’s attorney. Bedelstraum tells Johnny that they need his help. That Mr. Bedelstraum has agreed to represent Johnny for free in exchange for Johnny providing Clay an alibi. Clay tells Johnny that there is no way they can get a fair trial in this town. That this is their only option. Johnny says he will do it.
Johnny comments that judging by Mr. Bedelstraum’s limo that he must know what he is doing. Clay then tells Johnny that the limo isn’t Mr. Bedelstraum’s. It is Clay’s limo. Clay says he may look and act like a dirt bag, but that is by choice. Clay says he holds a very lefty position with a certain fraternal order. We then see Clay’s limo pull off onto the road. The license plate of the limo reads “HLSANGLS.” End of issue.
The Good: You’re kidding, right? I have to find something good about Ghost Rider #6? I think this may be the first time that I will be unable to follow The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity. No, I’m not going to give up like that. I am going to find something positive to say about this issue…..still thinking…..still thinking.
Um, well, Richard Corben is a legend in the underground comic book industry. He is 66 years old and it is great to see him still drawing. It is also pretty cool that this ultimate underground artist is actually drawing a Marvel comic book. I may think that his art looks absolutely horrid, but you can’t deny Corben his place in comic book history. Corben is an influential artist who should deserves the respect due a professional of his stature who has given so much to the world of comic books.
The Bad: Ok, I’m going to be blunt about this. Ghost Rider #6 was an absolutely pathetic read in every way shape and form. What stuns me is that just when you think Ghost Rider can’t get any worse, it actually does. Ghost Rider has become a horrifying train wreck of a title. Reading this comic book is only entertaining in the same sense in how a terrible car wreck can captivate your attention. Personally, I am curious to see just how bad each issue can get.
I was convinced that Daniel Way just couldn’t write an issue any worse than the past couple of issues on Ghost Rider. I was convinced that Way couldn’t possibly write a story that failed to move a single plotline even more than the previous issues. I was so wrong. Way manages to go yet another issue and not advance a single plotline.
What did we get in this issue? A little bit of another boring and tired fight between Lucifer and Ghost Rider. Wow, haven’t seen that before. Plus, we get the same dull and worn out banter between Lucifer and Ghost Rider. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day just reading over the exact same dialogue issue after issue. And we also got some random flashback scene about Johnny a long time ago involving the leader of the Hells Angels. Why? We are only on issue #6 and we are already getting pointless old flashback scenes rather than trying to develop new plotlines.
It is absolutely stunning that we are now six issues into this new series and absolutely nothing has happened. Seriously, other than setting up a basic Lucifer versus Ghost Rider never ending battle, Way has failed to establish or progress a single plotline. I have never read a comic where literally absolutely nothing has happened over a six issue span.
This has to be the absolute worst beginning to a new series and is certainly going to doom Ghost Rider to an early cancellation. With Way at the helm of this rapidly sinking ship, I see absolutely no way Ghost Rider survives for more than another year. That is a real shame. Ghost Ride is such a cool character. When I heard he was getting another shot at a monthly title I was really excited and hoped that we would have some success this time around. Unfortunately, that has clearly not happened.
Marvel is certainly going to want to keep this title long enough for when the Ghost Rider movie comes out and then the DVD after that. However, I just can’t see Ghost Rider making it much further than issue #25. If Marvel wanted this title to be a real success then they have to remove Way from this title. Way is guilty of robbery for taking a paycheck from Marvel and giving this pathetic effort in return.
As I said before, I respect Richard Corben for what he has done for the world of comic books. However, I think his art looks horrible and is definitely not suited for a mainstream super hero comic book.
Overall: Ghost Rider #6 is an absolute waste of the paper it is printed on. This issue combines horrendous writing with ugly artwork to create a truly miserable read experience and a total waste of $2.99. At this point, I wouldn’t even recommend this title to even the most hardcore Ghost Rider fan.