Writer: Ed Brisson, Art: Aaron Kuder, Colorist: Jason Keith, Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna, Cover: Aaron Kuder & Dean White.
Yet another reboot starting over at #1, and yet somehow still counting toward the legacy number of Vol 1 of the series, Ghost Rider #1 “King of Hell, Part I” continues the “Damnation” storyline from Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider (2018), where Blaze assumes the throne of hell.
This reboot features not just one Ghost Rider, but two. In addition to the current King of Hell (the original GR from the 1970s), Danny Ketch, the second flaming motorcycle-riding modern GR with the mystical flaming chains that expand to whatever length is required, and the current occupant of the Spirit of Vengeance, is also present. He is a reluctant recruit in Blaze’s mission on earth: demons from hell have opened a portal into this world and are pouring out, and Blaze is tracking them down and sending them back to hell. As if he didn’t have enough problems, Lilith is after his job. Is she behind the hell-jailbreak, or is she just power-hungry?
Meanwhile, the former King of Hell, Mephisto is cooling his heels (if that’s even possible for his hot self) in a magical prison with Wong as his warden. He is of course mystically aware of the power struggle in hell and boasts apocalyptically about what is coming.
I haven’t been a fan of Aaron Kuder’s art, until now. His style has seemed too simple and cartoony for me, and his faces too similar and awkward. But in this series, he has altered his style to be much more textured and detailed, with a look and feel that is reminiscent of Geoff Darrow (Hard Boiled, Shaolin Cowboy), with more than a hint of John Romita, Jr. influence as well. It’s a refreshing change, and works well with this gritty new series.
Ghost Rider #1 is on sale October 2, 2019.
First Appearance: Ghost Rider (1973)
Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider (2018)