Comic Reviews: Let’s Ride!
Ghost Rider #0.1
Marvel’s “Point 1” initiative rolls on, this time setting the stage for the upcoming Ghost Rider relaunch, in which ol’ flamehead will get boobs. Yes, that’s right, the Ghost Rider in the new upcoming series is going to be a lady, not Johnny Blaze. Ghost Rider .1 catches us up to speed with Blaze, and gives us insight into just why he wants to be rid of the curse of the Ghost Rider.
The issue finds Blaze fighting off a demon who is kidnapping a woman. After easily dispatching the creature, the attractive lady in distress actually turns out to be a vampire, thereby launching into a long monologue from Blaze stating that he is tired of there always being a catch whenever something somewhat good appears for him. This part of the issue is told in flashback, as Blaze is informing a local bartender of his life. Then the mysterious “Adam” enters, telling Blaze that he can help him be free of the Ghost Rider forever. Blaze tells him to get lost, and helps another attractive lady with her ex. Blaze gets the crap kicked out of him(he decided not to transform because he’s pretty tipsy), but the woman takes him home. When Blaze wakes up the next day, he lashes out at the woman and her son, convinced that they are demons from another realm. After driving off, he realizes how because of being Ghost Rider, he can never trust anyone. He then summons Adam to him, who helps him remove the curse.
While this issue does a really good job setting up Ghost Rider for new fans, I’m really curious when ever writer started characterizing Johnny Blaze as a good ol’ boy from the south. It’s really too much, but not nearly as bad as his abysmal Shadowland one-shot. Writer Rob Williams also throws in some humor into the issue, although I’m pretty sure everyone stopped making the “vampires are the new zombies’ joke a year ago. That being said, the issue sets up an intriguing premise for the upcoming series, as it’s pretty clear that Adam is not what he seems, and that Blaze will probably rethink his decision to get rid of the curse. The art by Matthew Clark is very well done. His Ghost Rider is one of the best I’ve seen, and I really enjoy the fact that they didn’t make him look exactly like the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider from the 90’s. If you’re a fan of the character like myself, you won’t mistake picking this up, especially since it sets up the new series.
Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman
Okay, I’ll admit this: Aquaman is a character that I think has a lot of potential to be really cool. Thankfully writer Tony Bedard knows this too, as his Emperor Aquaman tie in for Flashpoint showcases many ways that one can make the character a badass when his relaunched book arrives this September. However, the difference between the two Aquamans is that the Flashpoint universe Aquaman is a very, very bad dude. He also seems a little misunderstood and hurt, but also very bad. This first issue gives us pieces of the puzzle as to how Aquaman and his army were able to flood Eastern Europe in the main Flashpoint series. I won’t spoil how they do it, as it’s integral to the plot, but I will say that it is very cool, and makes the character seem extremely cold and driven. We also get more information behind his motives, and we learn that Aquaman was responsible for the death of Wonder Woman’s mother (SPOILER he had her assassinated on the DAY OF THEIR WEDDING! Man this guy is COLD!) Ardian Syaf’s art is wicked good here, especially in the opening pages, in which Aquaman swims through the ruins of Rome. Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman may not be essential for the main series, but as someone who is very intrigued by the Flashpoint universe (and of the opinion that Aquaman COULD be cool), it’s just what I wanted.