Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider #1

This issue is a tie in to the Doctor Strange ‘Damnation’ storyline.  It’s too bad, because this issue really caught my attention, and I’d be interested in an ongoing or even a limited series.

The Cover

Clayton Crain did the cover in this issue, and it is impressive.  Ghost Rider is front and center, all black leather and flames.  I think I can honestly say this cover is about as perfect as a Ghost Rider cover could be.

Screenshot 2018-04-03 22.23.55

The Art

Phil Noto handles the interior art of this issue.  While not as impressive as the cover, the art does support the story.  Both Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze look good, though the background settings don’t seem as dark as they potentially could be.  That said, the issue is more of an exploration between Johnny and the Spirit of Vengeance, and both of them are very well rendered and clearly the focus of every scene.

The Story

Christopher Sebela brings us this issue, set in the Doctor Strange ‘Damnation’ story arc.  The issue begins with Johnny Blaze falling to his death at the hands of Mephisto, and of course, plunging into hell.  He is quickly reunited with the Spirit of Vengeance, and after briefly arguing, the Spirit agrees to help Johnny with his plan.  The bulk of the rest of the issue is the two of them making their way through hell, before we finally discover just what Johnny is up to.  It seems that with Mephisto up on Earth in the restored Las Vegas, his throne stands empty.  This ending is the second reason I want this to continue.

All told this was a really solid issue.  The story was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the interaction between Blaze and the Spirit of Vengeance.  The art was solid, and supported the story.  The best part of this issue is the cover.  This is probably the best cover I’ve seen since I started collecting again.  It’s just a beautiful piece of art.  If you can still find this issue, I strongly recommend picking it up!

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