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Ghost Rider Return Of Vengeance 1 Main

"Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Howard Mackie
Illustrated by Javier Saltares
Inked by Javier Saltares & Marc Deering
Colored by Arif Prianto
Lettered by Joe Sabino
2020, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on December 30th, 2020


With Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketchum bouncing around Earth, it was only a matter of time before Michael Badilino got a second chance at life. The guy was buried deep down in Hell after his time as a spirit of vengeance. He's not going to have an easy way out, but he has his sights set on freedom and returning to the land of the living as the fiery entity known as Vengeance.

I had no background for Vengeance going into this one-shot, however writer Howard Mackie provides more than enough background and context for the character to make this easy to jump onto for any fan. Each of the Ghost Riders has their own morals and perspective on the world. Michael's is a little darker than the rest. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty.

Click images to enlarge

The way he's chained up in the beginning of this comic makes him look like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Michael looks big too, like he could rip your head off your shoulders in his human form. As intimidating as he is like that, it pales in comparison to how he looks as Vengeance. Artist Javier Saltares bulks the character up further, fueled by hellfire. His gruff face is replaced with a fiery skull with tusks and a bone mohawk. His ribs are exposed on the sides revealing fires burning within.

Vengeance has a very '90s look to him that screams “badass.” That's amplified by his motorcycle, made entirely of bone and powered by fire. The demons Michael is up against require someone as big and powerful as Vengeance to put them down. Letterer Joe Sabino completes the package by framing all of the character's dialogue in flames.

Click images to enlarge

Saltares inks his own pencils for the first half of the book and is then joined by Marc Deering for the second half. It's a smooth transition and nothing is lost in the hand-off. The shadows loom large as Vengeance makes his way through Hell searching for a way out.

Colorist Arif Prianto makes the fires of Hell pop on the page with an unholy energy. These aren't the yellows and oranges of rays of sunshine. These are more sinister shades, particularly when they're beaming out of Vengeance's gaping maw.

Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance ushers in the next chapter for these warriors from Hell. Ghost Rider has been on hiatus for a bit and I hope we get to see more from this corner of the Marvel Universe soon. Hopefully this is the first step towards that. For now, crank up some metal and enjoy this badass one-shot.


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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