Ghost Rider #7
Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch already went to war against each other as Spirits of Vengeance, but now that Danny is possessed by the Spirit of Corruption, the real fireworks are ready to begin!
The conclusion to the Hearts of Darkness II art has arrived in Ghost Rider #7! Brisson and company continue to let hell’s wrath flow out of Johnny Blaze as Ketch, Wolvie, Punisher and Doctor Strange try to wrangle back the forces of evil.
The return of Ghost Rider and the reestablishment of horror at Marvel isn’t something this creative team has taken lightly. As we reach the end of the second arc, it’s easy to see that this series will have lasting ramifications on not just Ghost Rider, but the greater Marvel Universe as well. This story has been inching closer and closer to a Spirit of Vengeance vs. Spirit of Corruption confrontation and this issue finally delivers on that potential with a frightfully epic clash.
There are quite a few moving pieces to keep up with as the reign of hell undergoes turmoil. Lilith is still on the edges ready to strike, but there are much worse things to deal with in Blaze’s rampage. The Penance Stare, used countless times over the years, has imparted the wickedness of those individuals onto Blaze, corrupting him to his core. This reveal is a wonderful evolution of the Spirit of Vengeance lore and sets up the Spirit of Corruption to explore a unique dichotomy between the brothers. It captures the history of the character and pushes Ghost Rider in an interesting new direction without sacrificing fundamental traits we’ve all come to love.
The Spirit of Corruption is a character who I hope lingers just because of the badass design alone. Now that his powers offset to wickedness imparted on the Ghost Rider, there is a precedent to keep him in the mix. While there are a lot of other inclusions that could easily steal the show such as Doctor Strange and Wolverine, the story does a great job focusing primarily on the brothers and not getting lost in connective tissue to the larger universe. This allows the issue to bring a clean and enjoyable resolution to the arc while still setting up more hellfire to come.
The artwork from Aaron Kuder and Jason Keith is among the best of the series so far. The monstrosities give plenty of opportunities to shine with action-packed moments all throughout the issue. Although some of the background work is a bit too simplistic for my own preferences, the character depictions are spot on and the lettering clear. It’s strong execution that helps to elevate the story, not detract from it.
Despite the arc becoming a bit cluttered with the inclusion of so many different narrative elements, Ghost Rider #7 proves to be another fun entry in a dark, yet rewarding series hellbent on bringing back horror at Marvel. It’s a great time, but it also sets the stage for a much larger conflict now that the reigns of hell are under more control. It’s not revolutionary and it won’t change how you see the character forever, but it’s quality storytelling with exciting art, delivering more than enough to keep me coming back.
Despite the arc becoming a bit cluttered with the inclusion of so many different narrative elements, Ghost Rider #7 proves to be another fun entry in a dark, yet rewarding series hellbent on bringing back horror at Marvel.
Ghost Rider #7: Dawn of a New Hell
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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