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"Ghost Rider 2099 #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comcis


Written by Ed Brisson
Illustrated by Damian Couceiro
Colored by Dono Sanchez-Almara
Lettered by Joe Caramagna
2019, 36 pages, $4.99
Comic released on December 4th, 2019


What will Ghost Rider be like in the year 2099? This one-shot explores a futuristic version of the character and ties him to the original, Johnny Blaze. Of all the ideas introduced in 2099 in the Marvel Universe, Traverse City is definitely one of the oddest and most dystopian. It's a city that's constantly moving. Everyone is on the roads and which roads you're on dictate your status in the hierarchy. If you stop moving, you're dead.

This is where we meet Zero, a member of the Hotwire Martyrs street gang, as he breaks into a transport vehicle looking for power cells. We don't have a lot of time to get to know Zero before he's killed and resurrected as a cyborg Ghost Rider. Writer Ed Brisson gives us a top line idea of who he is and why he's doing what he's doing, however there's clearly more to his story.

That's the thing about some of these one-shots. They work almost like pilots to really cool ongoing series that we'll probably never see. Brisson introduces a number of interesting ideas dealing with corruption, capitalism, and a possible supernatural alignment to a company called D/Monix. While this issue has an ending, it's very much a beginning, leading to some potentially awesome adventures for a new Ghost Rider.

Click images to enlarge

Artist Damian Couceiro paints a rather dreary picture of the future. The roads look dingy and crowded with huge and intricate vehicles. Zero's transformation is rather shocking, going from an angry kid to a soulless machine. The rage is what shines through, manifesting itself as fire billowing out of his mouth and the top of his head.

Colorist Dono Sanchez-Almara amplifies the artwork a thousand fold, first in the foreboding nature of Traverse City and then in the burning of hellfire in Zero's cyborg form. There's a stark contrast between the streets of the city and the mobile headquarters of D/Monix. The former is dark and dirty while the latter is bright and clean. This is clearly a case of the haves and the have nots.

Zero hacks into a security system and we're taken inside a computer console. The art team shows an entirely new world here that's a little fuzzy, as if we're seeing it through a screen. This is a land of infinite possibilities, juxtaposed against the dystopian vibes of the real world.

Click images to enlarge

Adding more to the questions that will probably be left unanswered is what part Johnny Blaze plays in all this. In the present day Marvel Universe, he's the King of Hell. Here he's the King of Ghostworks and I'm not entirely sure what that is. He still has his fiery crown though. As interesting as Zero's tale is, it's almost overshadowed by the few pages featuring Blaze. This is partially due to the fact that we're already familiar with him and Zero is a brand new character.

Once the transformation is complete, Zero rises in a new robotic form that bears a striking resemblance to the Terminator. Letterer Joe Caramagna uses a blocky, computer-like font which coincides with the emotionless form the character has taken on. This doesn't quell the rage boiling inside him though.

Ghost Rider 2099 gives us an idea of what we could expect from Marvel's spirit of vengeance in 80 years. It introduces a number of cool concepts that I'd love to see explored further. There's just enough here to sink your teeth into, but it's more of an appetizer than a main course.


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 3.5 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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