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Thursday, June 9, 2011

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: "GHOST RIDER" # 0.1

GHOST RIDER IS BACK!!! The Spirit of Vengeance makes his return since the comic was cancelled back in 2009. Now the comic gets another reboot in this special # 0.1 issue, following with a new ongoing series from Marvel Comics! Surrounding the events of Marvel's latest "Fear Itself" story arc, Johnny Blaze returns as Ghost Rider, ready to tear up the asphalt on his demonic bike!

"JOHNNY BLAZE made a deal with the DEVIL, Now he's CURSED to wander the earth. Carving a path of fire on his hellish cycle, meting out brutal retribution against sinners and evildoers. Where there was once a man, there is now only THE SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, and the only thing louder than the screams of his victims is THE ROAR OF HIS ENGINES. Prepare for HELL'S WORST ANGEL...
Prepare for GHOST RIDER!"

Ghost Rider's story starts from scratch as we learn how Johnny Blaze made a deal with Mephisto to save the life of his Stepfather, dying from cancer in exchange for Johnny's soul. Then of course, Blaze is bonded to the demon Zarathos and his stepfather dies anyway in a bike crash. After a little back story, we find Johnny Blaze drunk and depressed in a bar droning on and on about his curse when in walks a mysterious figure who introduces himself as Adam. He informs Johnny that the world is ending, the "Serpent" is here AND he can offer to lift the curse from him and give his life back if ONLY he will trust him... Of course Johnny declines and gets his ass kicked trying to save a woman during a riot. Later, Johnny awakens having been cared for by the woman he tried to save but out of anger, turns into the Rider and leaves after she offers to help him. Soon he accepts Adam's offer and he gives Johnny a magical tree root to swallow and tells him to drive so fast that it'll rip the Rider from him. Once the demon is gone, it will attach itself to someone else but Johnny will be free. As Johnny rides faster than he ever has he sees visions of Hell and demons as the Rider is ripped from his body. Although Johnny is free, the war on sin has just begun...To Be Continued!
This new series marks the return to the more classic version of Ghost Rider. While this version  of Johnny Blaze seems to be much more of a cynical character, weary from his curse (and with a southern accent, much like the movie version). As Marvel sends Ghost Rider in a new direction under a new creative team including writer Rob Williams ("Throwbacks", "Daken") and artist Matthew Clark ("Superman", "Doom Patrol"). Although this is the original Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, the new series has obviously made some changes to his orign story, one being the fate of his now "stepfather"?! Although I have been eagerly awaiting the return of Ghost Rider, who has always been one of my favorite characters, I am reluctant to accept ANOTHER reboot! Since last years reboot of "Wolverine" and even "The X-Men", I have been very disappointed with Marvel. (DC Comics is no better with their own reboot of the entire universe in August) And since this is now the fifth time Marvel has brought back the "Ghost Rider" title (1990- Danny Ketch, 2001, 2005 and 2006-ending with 35 issues!) will this be THE last time...? I doubt it. So, in the meantime, the new series will have to prove itself as an ongoing series and NOT just another failed reboot...show me what you got Marvel!
Look for the new "GHOST RIDER" #1, Coming July 6th!