Comic Book Review: Ghost Rider #7

Just when The Revolution was convinced that Ghost Rider couldn’t get any worse Ghost Rider #6 came out and proved me wrong. Without Tex and Salvatares’ awesome artwork, the last issue was just horrid. Way’s writing has continued to suck and, unfortunately for me, I just can’t stand Corben’s style of art. And Ghost Rider #7 is the second part of this two issue story arc with Corben handling the art duties. Since we have firmly established that I don’t think Way has any talent and I don’t dig Corben’s style I have no reason to believe that I’m going to enjoy Ghost Rider #7. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
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: We begin with Ghost Rider and Satan engaging in some lame dialogue as they continue their brawl. We then cut to back to the past where Arvis, the local cop, is telling the District Attorney that Bedelstraum got Johnny out of jail early this morning. The District Attorney tells the local cop to go apply some pressure to Johnny. That Johnny is a loser and will do something stupid.

We cut to Johnny at Clay’s place. Clay has tons of motorcycles in a massive professional garage. Clay tells Johnny to grab a bike so they can go riding. The two men go out riding. Johnny thanks Clay for everything. Suddenly, we see Arvis drive up behind the Johnny and Clay. Clay pulls out a gun. Arvis then hits the two bikers with his car. Arvis then walks over to a wrecked Johnny and asks him if he has a license to the gun lying next to him.

We shift back to the present day with Ghost Rider battling Satan. Ghost Rider ends up “killing” Satan. Ghost Rider then transforms back into Johnny Blaze. Johnny has no memory of what just happened. Johnny thinks that he doesn’t even want to know what just happened. That whatever needs to be done, Johnny needs to step back and let the Ghost Rider handle it. That Johnny is no match for the Devil.

We hop back into the past. Clay and Bedelstraum appear at the local jail and bail Johnny out of jail. The three men then go into Clay’s big limo. We cut to the District Attorney pissed at Arvis for only getting an unlicensed firearm charge against Johnny. The District Attorney was hoping Arvis could get Johnny to take a swing at him or something. The District Attorney then says he is going to pray that “they” don’t know how to push Johnny’s buttons.

We shift back to Clay, Johnny and Bedelstraum in Clay’s limo. Bedelstraum tells Johnny that the gun that was found next to him was a match for the gun that killed the bartender. Clay tells Johnny that he and Bedelstraum set Johnny up. That Bedelstraum gave Clay the gun to give to Johnny. That Johnny is going to take the fall for Clay killing the bartender.

Bedelstraum then asks Johnny how he feels. If Johnny wants to make them pay for what they have done to him. If he wants vengeance. Johnny says no and struggles to not turn into the Ghost Rider. Clay then shoots Johnny in the head. Johnny dies and we see Ghost Rider plummeting down to Hell. He lands in front of Satan who tells him that they had a deal and it is time for Ghost Rider to pay up.

We cut back to Bedelstraum telling Clay he has done a good job and it is time for Clay to move on to his final reward. With that, Clay shoots himself in the head and dies.

We shift to Bedelstraum meeting with the District Attorney. The District Attorney says that his side is prepared to make a deal. Bedelstraum says that he is willing to hear what the proposed deal is. We see a shadow of an angel behind the District Attorney. We see a shadow of a demon behind Bedelstraum. End of issue.

The Good: I have no idea how I’m going to satisfy The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with Ghost Rider #7. This was just a terrible read in every sense of the word. What in the world did I enjoy about this issue. I guess that this was only a two issue story arc and that Tex and Salvatares will be returning next issue.

The Bad: It is stunning just how bad of a read Ghost Rider is without Tex and Salvatares cranking out the artwork and carrying Way’s sorry ass. Ghost Rider #7 was another pointless read. Way is wandering around like a blind man in a desert. This title has had absolutely no focus or direction. I have never seen a new title so stunningly lacking in any type of excitement or purpose and point to the initial story arc. Way has done absolutely nothing to hook readers into returning to this new title. And that is so crucial to a new title having any type of success.

Ghost Rider #7 was terribly plotted. It has now been seven issues into this series and still nothing has happened. Way has done nothing up to this point to suggest he has any type of plan or purpose for Ghost Rider. Instead, all we get is another boring and tired fight between Satan and Ghost Rider. We have seen this fight in every issue since this series began. Seeing Satan and Ghost Rider fight has become mind numbingly boring.

We also get treated to more flashback scenes as Way does possibly the most pathetic job at retconning a character that I have ever read. And, honestly, I have never thought that Ghost Rider was really that much in need of a soft retcon. Usually, the point of a retcon is to provide a more modern take on a character. The retcon is supposed to freshen up the character and help simplify and streamline a convoluted and confusing history of that character.

Way’s soft retconning on Ghost Rider has done none of that. Instead, Way’s soft retconning is simply boring and poorly plotted. I find Way’s meddling with Johnny Blaze’s past to simply make things more confusing than ever. I have absolutely no idea what Way is up to with his mucking about in Blaze’s past. And what is more alarming is that Way has failed to generate any interest I may have for his little twists on Blaze’s past.

As always, we get treated to plenty of stiff and unoriginal dialogue. Way cannot generate anything that can pass as engaging or realistic dialogue. But, what is even more alarming is how horribly Way has written Johnny Blaze. Way’s version of Blaze is by far the most shockingly boring version of Blaze I have ever read. Way doesn’t even make a token effort to create anything that might even be remotely confused with a personality for Blaze. Reading Way’s Johnny Blaze is like eating a Styrofoam sandwich. There is nothing there at all.

And to make things even worse, not only does Blaze have zero personality, Way also makes him dumber than a bag of rocks. Blaze comes across as almost borderline retarded in this issue. Way writes Blaze as a totally stupid loser who is a total schmuck and cannot do anything right. I have never equated with Johnny Blaze with this type of moronic loser that Way is giving us on this title.

Overall: Ghost Rider #7 was painful to read. Way’s wretched writing combined with Corben’s style of art made this a complete train wreck of a read. Ghost Rider is a cool character that has tons of potential and definitely deserves more than what Way is doing on this title. I’ll keep getting this title because I want Ghost Rider to have a title. I just hope that Marvel wakes up and realizes that a writer that actually has talent is desperately needed on this title. Unless you just love Ghost Rider’s character I strongly urge you to not waste your money on this title.