Comic Reviews: Ghost Rider and Killswitch!
Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics)
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Ghost Rider title on the stands, but with the latest series, the question is “which Ghost Rider do you follow”? Danny Ketch? Johnny Blaze? Robbie Reyes? Well, if you’re the new creative team of Ed Brisson and Aaron Kuder, you split the difference between Blaze and Ketch, and let Reyes hang out with the Avengers.
With Johnny Blaze serving as the new king of Hell, it’s up to his brother Danny Ketch to take up the mantle of the Ghost Rider on Earth and punish the souls of the guilty. But Blaze isn’t having the best of times in Hell, as the demons of the realm aren’t too happy with their new ruler, and are constantly escaping and undermining him at every turn. As Blaze heads to the surface to track down some of his rogue demons, Danny Ketch is visited by the spirit of his dead mother, who warns him that Johnny Blaze is not what he seems, and is in fact slowly being corrupted by the realm he rules, leading to a war that will be for the very souls of the Ghost Riders themselves.
Ed Brisson is no stranger to some of the darker heroes of the Marvel universe, but he really does a fantastic job with Ghost Rider. Splitting the spotlight between the two most well-known Ghost Riders is really a genius idea, and he balances both characters expertly. Both Blaze and Ketch have interesting stories, and while I’ve always been an OG Ghost Rider guy, I have to admit that Ketch is written really well in this series, and is just as compelling as Blaze.
Aaron Kuder’s name on the credits for this issue sets a pretty high expectation for the book, and luckily he doesn’t disappoint. Kuder is really put through his paces with this issue between showing off Hell and it’s demons, AND showcasing the human world as well. But he handles the challenge expertly, and even has some of the coolest splash pages around in this issue. With any luck, Kuder will be on the title for a long time, as he establishes a very high bar with this issue that will be very hard for other artists to live up to.
Ghost Rider has long been one of my favorite Marvel characters, but lately it’s seemed like he’s been an afterthought with the publisher. However, this new series looks to finally give us a Ghost Rider series that’ll please both Blaze and Ketch fans of the character, and gives us a pretty nifty hook to boot. I’m ready to ride again next month.
Killswitch #1 (Action Lab)
A futuristic spin on The Fugitive, Killswitch follows a renegade group of people who can see the future (called “Augers”) who escape their compound and go on the run. Which is a pretty interesting idea, but the first issue, written by Jeffrey and Susan Bridges and drawn by Walter Geovani, takes way too long to get to the main thrust of the series, and by the time the plot really gets going, the issue is already over.
A lot of comics get stuck info dumping in the first issue, and Killswitch suffers from some of that, but a lot of the book is filling you in on information that also seems kind of frivolous. The Bridges’ script starts out by introducing us to the head of the security force that rounds up the Augers, only to then spend a bunch of pages introducing us to the Auger test subjects that are used to help predict the future. While we get the necessary information for the world of this series, there’s really nothing with ay of the main characters that allows us to connect to them, and the whole thing feels like a pitch to reboot Minority Report.
Walter Geovani’s art is solid, but like the script, it’s also nothing to really write home about. It’s not terrible, but it’s also nothing that will blow you away. The world of Killswitch looks like every other futuristic sci-fi world that you’ve seen, so much so that I’m surprised no one has called the creators out about it.
I’m sure the team behind Killswitch had the best intentions with this book, but the simple fact of the matter is that it’s just okay. It reads less like a comic that the creators wanted to make, and more like a movie or TV show pitch that was passed over a bunch of times, and the comic is their last shot to get it made. With so many futuristic sci-fi comics out there, you really got to wow the reader to stand out, and unfortunately Killswitch just couldn’t do that for me.
Posted on October 2, 2019, in Comic book reviews and tagged Aaron Kuder, Action Lab, Ed Brisson, Ghost Rider, Jeffrey Bridges, Killswitch, Marvel, Susan Bridges, Walter Geovani. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.