Ghost Rider, the little engine that could, hit twenty issues this month and to celebrate we get a brand new creative team: Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi. Aaron’s claim to fame is a little known Vertigo title named Scalped. Now, I don’t read Scalped, but after this issue of GR, I may have to pick it up in trades. Boschi reminds me of a looser Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets) and while some of the art was kind of scattered for my taste, once I got into the story’s flow I was able to put it out of my mind and enjoy the ride.
First, Marko Djurdjevic’s cover is amazing. And not just amazing, it lets us know before we even open the book that shit is heating up in GR land. Just check out the redesigned bike with armored plating. Sick. The story opens with Johnny Blaze harassing a priest in what appears to be a small country town. He tells the priest to warn the Angels because “…vengeance is coming.” He then transforms into the Ghost Rider and nearly burns down the church while making his flaming getaway. See, GR found out last issue that it wasn’t the Devil he made a deal with, it was an angel named Zadkiel. Now, he’s looking for some payback, and some answers if anyone is still breathing.
Aaron delivers Blaze’s inner monologues in that old noir-ish style. Bitter and to the point. So, every time GR fires up the bike, people die? AWESOME. GR is all about the pain now. Why wasn’t this retconned in sooner? There’s a pretty sweet “fantasy” sequence toward the middle that I don’t want to spoil, since it even threw me for a loop. More gore and violence than the last 19 issues combined… no, that’s not true, the artist just does a better job of illustrating it. It’s the details that do it for me. Like some of the panels on this page. You can see the pizza skin sliding off her face. Heh.
So yeah, despite some trepidation (I was really hoping I could cut this book from my pull list), the new team delivered just enough to get me to come back. I’m not sure about this whole “I got to break into Heaven and kill an angel” shit *cough*Preacher*cough* but I’ll stick around anyways to see where this highway to Heaven takes us. The coolest part, by far, was the letter from Aaron in the back. Reading that, you know this guy has some clever debauchery planned for his readers.
Thumbs up for now… till Aaron gives me something to complain about.