Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1
If you haven't read Marvel's Cosmic Ghost Rider character before, don't worry! This issue does a great job of getting you up to speed right away!
All caught up? Great! Let's go! This new entry into the Cosmic Ghost Rider saga sees Frank returning to visit with his family (specifically Frank Jr. in this issue) the day before they slaughtered, an event which sends Castle down his storied-path. Posing as a long-lost Uncle to Frank, CGR sits down with Frank Jr. and... tells him stories of his past involvement with various key moments in Marvel history.
Each story more outlandish than the last shows these key moments as if fact, a question the series will undoubtedly wrestle with before this all over. In the end, we see Frank's plan revealed-- to stop the murder of his family the next day! But not if Uatu the Watcher has anything to say about it!
As I approached this series, having purposefully avoided what appeared to be a cosmic version of Deadpool, I did with the full knowledge that this was not a series written for me. I was prepared to turn my back on it after reading #1.
I was wrong.
Yes, there are plenty of silly moments throughout the issue. And yes, this Frank Castle sounds an awful lot like Cosmic Deadpool. But there’s something ineffable at work here, as well. This book has a beating heart. It is fan service at its very finest.
Who among us long-time Punisher fans hasn’t wished for this moment (if not in this particular manner)? Frank, reunited with tragically devastated family, getting the opportunity to sit and tell stories to his son is something I never thought I’d get the chance to see. As a parent myself, I understand the value of these small moments in time, when reality fades away and you have the chance to just be in a moment with your kid and I shudder in horror at the thought of losing those moments.
Stepping away from the heartwarming nature of the premise, the issue itself is very well executed. The art team does an excellent job oscillating between older and more modern art styles without clearly attempting to ape the works of Kirby, Ditko, Wood and the like. It feels distinctly its own and also borrowed at the same time. Narratively speaking, perhaps the most interesting feat this issue achieves lies in the dual narrative structure of the flashbacks, in which we hear Frank’s story yet read a different telling of those events on numerous occasions as we witness the events unfold.
Do I think this is going to be a title that has any real bearing on the MCU as a whole? That any of these events will be retconned into continuity? No. Absolutely not. But having taken the leap of faith required to read #1, I will be continuing on the ride and enjoying it far more than I could have ever conceived of enjoying it.
Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1 was a shockingly well-constructed and heartwarming tale set amid absolute absurdity. A must-read for long-time Frank Castle fans.
Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1: Second Verse, Different From the First
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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