Thursday, June 28, 2018

Micro-Reviews: GHOST RIDER - Volume Two, Part One

GHOST RIDER #8 (December 1990) Hey, it’s the return of…those guys.
Texiera is back to inking over Saltares. One of the less stylized issues, although it does look nice.

We’re still in edgelord territory, with a reference to a girl’s ripped out throat, plus a murdered dog and blind man on the same page.
And the ongoing hate crime subplot advances with the debut of (wow) H.E.A.R.T Corp. - Humans Engaging All Racial Terrorism. #SJWs
Let’s make this more ‘90s! Ghost Rider encounters Morlocks terrified of Masque’s leadership, setting up next issue’s X-Factor appearance. Mackie does make an interesting turn here, playing up Danny’s Catholic guilt after his demonic possession. We’re even introduced to his parish priest (murdered two pages later by the mystery villain.)
Great characters do have these internal conflicts, so it’s a valid direction to explore for Danny. One of the series’ weakest elements so far has been Danny, vacillating from issue to issue. Sometimes he’s eager to dole out vengeance, others he wants nothing to do with Ghost Rider. Charitably, this could be seen as a human reaction. It came across as inconsistent writing, though. A more human Danny benefits the series. And, as tired as some of this stuff feels now, I get why kids embraced the “edgy” tone of the book. There’s a hint this isn’t standard Marvel, even though it follows much of the Shooter/DeFalco comics philosophy. 

It’s hard to hate any comic with the double-page Marvel Impel trading card ad.

GHOST RIDER #9 (January 1991) Guest-starring X-Factor, because Claremont’s driving Bob Harras crazy right now, with no official X-Men team.
An early indication of Mackie’s less than stellar dialogue skills. Reads like Shakespeare compared to his later X-FACTOR run, though.
So, Danny’s aged to 19 in-between issues. And 9 issues in, we learn Danny’s girlfriend is in the police academy. Shouldn’t this cast be far more developed by now?
Brooklyn kids hanging out in cemeteries comes from Mackie’s childhood. One of the few elements of Danny’s backstory that doesn’t feel generic. Got to love gratuitous continuity shout outs like this. Honestly, I believe these bits helped to form the rabid Marvel fanbase of the 80s and 90s.
The original Pixie, not the one Marvel tried to push 10 years ago. Goes out as cannon fodder in a few pages.
After all of this buildup, Ghost Rider & X-Factor barely meet. And the all-female merc squad accomplishes nothing, either. Can’t even say this one is stylish & cool, as it looks like a rush job.

GHOST RIDER #10 (February 1991) Ghost Rider versus, well, a Zodiac killer.
Another comic that has street punks torching homeless people. This showed up constantly in the 90s. Was this ever a phenomenon?
It just sounds made up. Not that homeless people have it easy, of course, I just question how many bored teens or street punks ever consider torching them. Danny decides for the third time to embrace his role as Ghost Rider, hunting Zodiac. It’s been almost a year now, pick a motivation. An example of Mackie’s, ah, “work-shy” approach to comics writing. The villain just blurts out his secret plot, motivation, etc literally five seconds after meeting Ghost Rider.
A hitman covering his kills with a serial killer gimmick is a decent idea. Setting him up as the typical “grim” villain you expect from this era, then swerving like this, is actually clever. But the execution…sheesh. Danny questioning just what the demon is, that’s more interesting. And the art’s back to its normal standards.

1 comment:

dschonbe said...

It sadly happens.

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