Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Ghost Rider, Volume 2: The Life & Death of Johnny Blaze Review (Daniel Way, Richard Corben)

Johnny Blaze the Ghost Rider escaped Hell but unintentionally brought Lucifer back to Earth with him who then splintered into multiple avatars - Ghost Rider has to hunt down and defeat each of Lucifer’s avatars to send him back to Hell! But how did Johnny end up in Hell to begin with? Find out here! Also, Ghost Rider goes to Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, to fight Jack O’Lantern (another biker dude but with a flaming pumpkinhead)! 

Daniel Way’s Ghost Rider continues to be disappointingly mediocre with Volume 2: The Life and Death of Johnny Blaze. Neither of the stories in this volume are bad but they’re not great either. They also both weirdly use the same trope of small town cops taking advantage of drifter Johnny who’s getting framed for murders he didn’t commit which gets a little repetitive, not to mention unimaginative. 

The story of how Johnny wound up in Hell isn’t that exciting but the awesome Richard Corben draws it which makes up for the lack of interest a bit. I really liked Corben’s Ghost Rider and Lucifer - the dude just knows how to illustrate the hell out of horror in a way that’s so compelling! 

The Jack O’Lantern story is better if only for having some sweet Ghost Rider action where he and the sheriff explosively take on zombies and the demonic Jack. Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira’s artwork isn’t bad either - it’s not as striking as Corben’s but it looks good for the most part. 

Though I usually enjoy Daniel Way’s comics, his Ghost Rider definitely isn’t among his best work nor is it a must read whether you’re a fan of this writer or character. The Life and Death of Johnny Blaze is an ok comic but if you want to read some excellent Ghost Rider comics check out Jason Aaron’s run that follows Way’s.

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