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"Cosmic Ghost Rider #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Cosmic Ghost Rider 2 00

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Dylan Burnett
Colored by Antonio Fabela
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 1st, 2018

Review:

The quintessential time travel question has always been, “Would you go back in time and kill baby Hitler?” Frank Castle has the opportunity to do that. Imbued with the Power Cosmic and the demonic abilities of Ghost Rider, he’s kidnapped a three-year-old Thanos, but he can’t bring himself to murder the adorable little tike. Instead, he intends to raise him as his own. That’s right, folks. The Punisher is going to raise Thanos. This will turn out well.

The first issue of Cosmic Ghost Rider is pretty great. Somehow the creative team ups the ante here with Galactus and space sharks. What else could you possibly want? How about Frank drinking at a bar with toddler Thanos, dropping some wisdom? This results in some of the best dialogue I’ve seen of late. Writer Donny Cates fills this book with fast-paced humor mixed with the right amount of heart.

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That emotion might seem foreign at first to a hard-nosed character like the Punisher, but it’s right at home here. Frank is on a path to redemption. He’s made some mistakes in his life that led to far too many deaths. If he can turn Thanos into a force for good, maybe he can make up for that by rewriting history. We see this in a gorgeous double-page spread when Galactus mind-melds with Frank, getting a look at his troubled past.

This is far easier said than done because the little guy clearly has a bloodlust. Artist Dylan Burnett draws what just might be the most awesome panel of the year, featuring a baby Thanos leaping at an alien bouncer with a broken bottle ready to stab his face off.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Burnett does a tremendous job balancing humor with sheer awesome, especially when Galactus and the space sharks show up. Quick side note, who wants to start a band with me called “Galactus and the Space Sharks”? I call Galactus.

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Click images to enlarge

Colorist Antonio Fabela amplifies every single panel of Burnett’s work with a vibrant palette. I love how the fire of Frank’s Ghost Rider form contrasts with the blue energy crackling around Galactus. Although this book deals with some dark ideas, it’s full of life. We’re not diving into grim and gritty territory here despite the Ghost Rider being involved. Instead, it’s embracing the space and sci-fi elements, like the best metal album cover ever.

There’s one panel in particular that really stands out. Galactus doesn’t recognize Frank in his Cosmic Ghost Rider outfit. He moves the swirling fire in his helmet to reveal half of his human face within. It shows the battered old man caged inside, looking for help from a giant purple planet-eater.

Frank’s speech changes when he transforms too. Letterer Clayton Cowles changes the word balloons from your standard white ones with black letters to black with orange letters. It’s like the guy’s voice is now coming from Hell itself. Galactus also has some larger-than-life word balloons, which is fitting, as the character is one of the most intimidating in the Marvel Universe.

It’s impossible to read Cosmic Ghost Rider and not smile. This has quickly become one of my favorite comics. It’s a quirky and absurd concept that works so incredibly well. It’s an absolute shame this is only a mini-series because I would totally read about the ongoing adventures of Cosmic Ghost Rider and baby Thanos traveling through space on a sci-fi motorcycle. There is no part of that idea that I dislike.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Cosmic Ghost Rider 2 Cover
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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