Every Marvel fan is aware that the Ghost Rider is the Spirit of Vengeance. However, the latest volume of the Rider’s series is showing fans that the Rider is not the only avatar of the realms of Hell…
Ed Brisson, Juan Frigeri, Jason Keith, and Joe Caramagna reunite one of Marvel’s greatest team-ups as we meet the Spirit of Corruption in last week’s Ghost Rider #5
Johnny Blaze is cutting a fiery path through the country with Mephisto (literally) in tow. Lilith is gathering her forces in Hell. Danny Ketch is still trying to figure out what Belasco did to him and his new powers. It’s probably a bad time for Wolverine and the Punisher to come looking for Ketch…
Brisson is juggling a lot of balls in this issue but he does it in a very skillful and engaging way. Each plot thread feels like a bombshell, and some of them are closer than others to exploding in Danny or Johnny’s face. I also like that Brisson is portraying Johnny with heroic actions although his motivations are selfish and villainous. It makes him complex and keeps him from crossing the line into irredeemable.
Adding Wolverine and Punisher does push the story into dangerous territory though. It works in this issue, but there’s now so much in play that it’s starting to feel messy and overloaded. With the final page twist, it’s in a tough place for the issue to be.
Frigeri’s art has grown quickly in a few issues. His layouts are scattered and chaotic, matching the frenetic pace of the story. He also makes the Spirit of Corruption an imposing threat, both in the POV used in its fight with Logan and Castle, and in the effect it has around him (especially on Logan). Keith’s colors continue to impress as he uses tones and pallates to establish not just the scene but also the moods and horror of the situation.
The series continues to be a fun popcorn story. It’s going to continue to be an interesting ride.
Ghost Rider #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.