Ghost Rider #5
Just when Dan Ketch thought he was out, he finds himself in way over his head, with strange new abilities to boot! Guest starring Wolverine and the Punisher!
While Ghost Rider #5 kicks off a new arc, Hearts of Darkness II, it’s a powerful continuation of the ongoing conflict between two brothers who struggle with more than the wrath of hell at their back.
Brisson has tapped into a duality with Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch that just gets more intriguing with each new issue. The dark yet fantastic elements including the Mother of Demons, Mephisto and their unnatural abilities are certainly exciting, but it’s the humanistic elements that push this series into new depths. The most obvious among these is the penchant for alcoholism displayed by both the brothers. Everything from the script to the artistic execution draws this comparison in despair and helps to ground the series with remarkable emotion.
The feud for the crown is the driving force in the series, but there are a lot of moving pieces that make up this battle. In Ghost Rider #5 we get new players to the game introduced in the form of Wolvie, Punisher and a surprise at the end, follow up on the Mother of Demons after her solo one-shot issue, and see Blaze trying his hardest not to fumble the power of Hell. Even with all of this ongoing, the issue doesn’t feel cluttered or lost at all, it’s still cohesive and just a lot of fun to read. And the Spirit of Corruption once again steals the show with a purely badass design. I want a spinoff series with him yesterday!
The visuals have plenty of room to shine, but its the emotional depictions that really set this issue off. Frigeri and Keith balance the action and dialogue with great pacing and deliver a solid overall reading experience. The greater Marvel Universe connections help to add some fun layers to the story without feeling overbearing, but I am hoping the conflict begins to come to a head soon. The horror aspects are not quite as prominent in the issue considering it’s character work, but they are still just as impactful.
This series has already proven itself to be a can’t miss for any fan of Ghost Rider, but this issue shows it can have a larger appeal to the general Marvel audience with some interesting connections. With complex drama and furious action, Ghost Rider #5 shows that this series won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Ghost Rider #5 is packed with dark yet fantastic developments, but it's the humanistic elements that continue to push the series into new depths. This is required reading for any fan of Ghost Rider!
Ghost Rider #5: No Fear of False Kings
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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