Overview

Ghost Rider Vol. 2 #93

Review

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Ghost Rider Vol. 2 #93

Credits

  • Words: Ivan Velez
  • Art: Javier Saltares
  • Inks: Mark Texeira, Javier Saltares & Klaus Janson
  • Colors: Brian Bucellato & Tom Chu
  • Story Title: Finale!
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jan 31, 2007

This has been more than ten years in the making, but finally the long awaited final issue of the Noble Kale era Ghost Rider is seeing the light of day.

Okay, I don’t know about you, but I never did see this one coming. I can’t believe Marvel decided to print an issue that’s more than ten years old, especially since it completes the second series for all those hardcore collectors out there. Of course though, I think it was only fair that Marvel righted this wrong and actually had the foresight to appease long suffering fans who wanted a fitting ending to the Ketch/Kale era of the Ghost Rider. This one surely did answer some long standing questions, but it also continued to expose the glaring continuity errors that have been dogging this character ever since.

In this issue, Dan Ketch has finally been freed of the curse of becoming the Ghost Rider. He is seen enjoying his life once more and this is juxtaposed with images of Noble Kale wandering in Hell contemplating his next move as the new ruler of the dark realm. He decides to call his loyal subjects together and announces to them that they now are free to do as they wish so long as they no longer commit evil. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with the powers that be and a surprise appearance by Uriel is put in to warn Noble of his decision to release the denizens of Hell. Noble doesn’t care about the powers that be and he seems genuinely pleased with his decision and after making this announcement, he bestows upon Vengeance the responsibility of ruling Hell by proxy. This move may ultimately prove to be his undoing, but for now Noble Kale is free to do as he pleases.

Well, as much as I liked the ending to this series, I still have reservations about the muddled history of the Ghost Rider. I can’t really fault writer Ivan Velez here, since he was never really given the chance to address many of the loose plot threads at the time. If anything he wrote a plausible enough ending under the circumstances and that was in conjunction with steadily paced plotting and competent dialogue. The trouble I have though with this ending is that it exposed many glaring continuity errors that still have not been addressed to this day. I would like to know what happened to Noble and whether or not current Rider (Blaze) is bonded to him or someone else. For that matter, what happened to Dan and the rest of the Ketch kin? These are all very important matters that still need to be taken care of, but that no longer rests in the hands of Mr. Velez.

On the flipside, the art chores of Saltares and co. did an admirable job of finishing up a story that was supposedly only half penciled when this series was originally cancelled. I did enjoy Javier’s work here for the most part, but you can tell that modern technology was employed to enhance the work and it doesn’t seem to match the tone as much as it should. I was hoping for a more seamless connection given the decade long gap here, but you can surely see the difference in the pencils. I suspect though that colorists Brian Bucellato and Tom Chu had a hand in this enhancement, but obviously times have changed since the time of this series publication.

I think overall though, this issue may appeal more to long time fans than to the casual comics reader. Now I don’t want to deter anyone from giving this issue a try, but just be aware of the context of this series and what it meant to the 90’s era of Ghost Rider. As a swan song to Noble Kale/Dan Ketch this was plausible enough, but surely after reading this the burning question on my mind is always centered on Noble and his current whereabouts in the Marvel Universe. So as I end this review I call out loud to you, Noble, and wonder where the hell you are?

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