Ghost Rider #2


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Ghost Rider #2


  • Words: Garth Ennis
  • Art: Clayton Crain
  • Inks: Clayton Crain
  • Colors: Clayton Crain
  • Story Title: The Road to Damnation Part 2
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 12, 2005

The road to damnation continues as the Angel Malachi confronts the Ghost Rider in secrecy to offer him a deal of a lifetime.

The second issue of this six issue revitalization of the Ghost Rider was released on Wednesday by Marvel Comics. I will openly admit to being the biggest fan of this character, despite the botched continuity in the past few years. According to Marvel hierarchy, this series is meant to correct those continuity blunders in lieu of the upcoming film. I know we’re only two issues in, but I have yet to witness these supposed corrections.

Maybe I am still just a tad skeptical, but the opening scene was dark enough to get me to change my skepticism somewhat. It opens with the maligned Texan oil barren Earl Gustav mouthing off to his board of directors. He’s bitter over being confined to a wheelchair after crashing his Aston Martin into a school bus. He’s seen here as a grotesque, overbearing and mean-spirited individual who fires every member without thinking twice about it. Earl then retires to his private chambers harboring a dark secret, and as the scene progresses we learn he’s cavorting with a demonic entity. The entity is seeking freedom and needs a human host to walk the earth, and Earl has agreed to find one. In exchange, Earl will be freed from his confinement, and in turn seal his pact with the devil.

The opening scene sounds interesting enough, but if you’re wondering how this relates to the Ghost Rider I can’t tell you that. Let’s just say that this plot thread will definitely unfold in the next issue, and as for good ‘ole Ghostie himself, well he’s seen here tearing up sulfurous asphalt with a vengeance. He meets up with the Angel Malachi and gets the skinny on his impending freedom from hell, and again the scene is just a set up for the next issue.

I can’t say I am totally sold on this issue. I did feel it was more interesting than the first issue, but I am still waiting for answers to all of GR’s past continuity blunders. So for those of you who want the same answers as me forget it, since I don’t think this series is going to address them outright. I do think that writer Garth Ennis has at least restored the darker tone to this character’s mythos, and that’s a plus for me. I also like the way he’s handled the satanic elements thus far, and it’s very reminiscent of the earlier GR stories told back in the 70’s. I have always felt those elements were missing from the modern incarnation of the character, and Garth has gone back and addressed that aspect. So kudos to him for doing that!

Now as for the art, well again my faith has been restored somewhat. I was never a fan of the previous Marvel Knights series that had Trent Kaniuga illustrate a silly and over-exaggerated version of the character. This time around Clayton Crain was tapped for the art chores and his work is much more suited to helm the horrors of satanic possession. His work here is breathtaking to look at, and his use of CGI has given this series a horrific look. I have nothing negative to say about his talents, but if I did it would probably revolve around the way he illustrates some of the human characters. They tend to look like static computer images, but don’t let that hinder your enjoyment of this book overall. His version of Ghost Rider is an incredibly wicked incarnation, and probably the best I have seen in years.

So just to recap for you all Ghost Rider fans– the first two issues were slow moving and without much exposition to explain past continuity. On the plus side though is obviously the art, and that alone is well worth picking up an issue for. You may not be satisfied with the continuity, but you’ll at least the love the look of it.

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