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"Ghost Rider #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Ed Brisson
Illustrated by Aaron Kuder
Colored by Jason Keith
Lettered by Joe Caramagna
2019, 32 Pages
Comic released on October 2nd, 2019


Heavy is the head that wears the crown, even if that head is covered in flames. That's the lesson Johnny Blaze is learning as the king of Hell. Demons are escaping the underworld, so Johnny tries to enlist the help of Danny Ketch, another Ghost Rider. That is easier said than done. Looks like Johnny is going to have to handle this himself...but to what end?

You'd think it would be a good thing to have a hero sitting atop a throne in Hell. It's better than the devil, right? Well, something is happening to Johnny. He's changing. Artist Aaron Kuder shows this in a menacing fashion, twisting the Ghost Rider's signature look to add a crown of horns to the flaming skull. Don't get me wrong. Ghost Rider already looked badass. Now he looks like the king of all badasses.

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That's just part of the awesome work Kuder delivers in Ghost Rider #1. There are so many different demons on display in this book. They're all unique and some are super weird. Seriously, what's up with the part man, part praying mantis, part chicken? He's got two six shooters and he's not afraid to use them either. Also, there's a creepy devil-chicken-baby. Is it related to that other guy? We may never know the answer.

Letterer Joe Caramagna adds a nice touch to the various demons with some unique font choices. They all reinforce the monstrous nature of these creatures. This extends to Ghost Rider too, inverting his word balloons into black with white letters.

The key to a great Ghost Rider comes with the flames. Colorist Jason Keith makes these pop on the page to the point where you can practically feel the heat coming off of the fiery motorcycle. I had to shield my eyes at some points with how bright that flame burns. This contrasts well with the dark and moody atmosphere that seems to surround both Johnny and Danny. It's like their lives are dim and foreboding until they tap into this supernatural power. That's saying something considering where that power comes from.

Click images to enlarge

There's a lot to digest in Ghost Rider #1 and it's all great. Writer Ed Brisson lays out a nice path for both of the main characters. They have many flaws, including a reluctance to get involved in super heroics, but this is the hand they've been dealt. They're stuck in this life (or in Johnny's case, the afterlife) and they're going to do something about it.

This book cuts to the heart of what makes Ghost Rider interesting and it does it twice in a single issue since we've got two of them in here. It's much more than just a cool looking design and a bitchin' ride (although that helps). It's a very good time to be a Ghost Rider fan.


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Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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