By Andy Frisk
May 29, 2009 - 21:26
Johnny Blaze is somewhere in the far east hanging around a bunch of Buddhist monks looking for some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, for a Spirit of Vengeance, there really is no such thing. He quickly becomes embroiled in a battle with The Skin Bender, a type of flesh demon whose power is that “all flesh is mine to shape at will,” and her flesh bended demonic creations. After realizing that she can’t bend Blaze’s flesh and he transforms into The Ghost Rider, she promptly falls in love with him. She’s not Blaze’s type, obviously. So…well, you can figure out the rest. The Caretaker arrives arguing that “we have to keep fighting. Zadkiel hasn’t won. There’s still hope. I know it,” after which the two saddle up and prepare to ride into the pages of Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire this August.
Writer Jason Aaron’s stint on Ghost Rider has been an enjoyable one and the mini-series in August will hopefully continue the supernatural show on the road with gusto. This issue, like last issue both serve as filler between the end of the Zadkiel arc and the new Zadkiel arc beginning in August but they weren’t quite throwaway filler. While last issue with its darkly humorous re-invention of The Highwayman was a little better than this issue with its freaky harajuku girl, manga looking Skin Bender demon chick. I guess now that Gwen Stefani is back with No Doubt her little entourage had to do something, there were just as creepy as Skin Bender so maybe one landed a gig in this issue. Okay, bad joke…but you got to admit Stefani’s little girls were creepy looking…yuck…(“yuck” applying to her music as well).
"Hey baby, hey baby, hey!" OOPS, sorry momentary lapse of reason there...
Weird manga/anime looking demon chicks aren’t the only creepy things making and appearance here as Moore, much like he did last issue, ramps up the B-Movie gore camp with walking brains, snakes that bust out of a monk’s mouth, weird two headed dogs, campy bug-eyed, nipple ring sporting demon bikers, and a sailor with an arm twisted like a slinky. It’s a great silly freak show, campy stuff but part of the appeal of his stint on Ghost Rider. It’s weird enough to give you the creeps but silly enough to laugh at. In other words, it’s great!
Overall, Ghost Rider, while not chocked full of many deep thoughts, is a great ride and wonderful escapism. It’s a great book to look forward to each month simply for the pure fun of it. Hopefully, Ghost Rider: Heaven's on Fire, although I think it will be a little more dark and serious in tone, will be an event worth looking forward to as well.
Rating: 7.5 /10