Review: Ghost Rider #3 Rides Through The Calm Before The Storm

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Aaron Kuder and Jason Keith

Casualties are inevitable in a war, and when the war is amongst demons for the rulership of Hell, they might be a little bit crazier than what you’ve seen in even the goriest of war movies. Add a Ghost Rider, and well, things are going to get messy.

Ed Brisson, Juan Frigeri, Jason Keith, and Joe Caramagna prepare the Riders for the coming battle.

Danny Ketch has been stripped of his powers as a Ghost Rider. John Blaze is riding for Las Vegas, where Doctor Strange has imprisoned Mephisto. Can Dan find the strength to continue as a hero, despite his lack of infernal powers?

I always think that the slower, quieter issues are some of the best to judge a writer on. Anyone can write two motorcycle; riding fiery skeletons punching each other, but when things slow down, Brisson does some really fun things here. He focuses mostly on Danny’s struggle – on one hand he’s free of the Spirit of Vengeance, but on the other he had to decide if he has a duty to stop his brother on his bloody warpath – and is successful in that drama. He also continues to transform Johnny into a formidable antagonist, without making him unrelatable or irredeemable.

Frigeri steps in on line art here and does a great job. He is able to convey the struggle Danny is going through without making it melodramatic, and also shows his connection to his friends and loved ones around him. Perhaps best of all are the prologue and epilogue of the issue though, especially in concert with Keith’s deep, lush colors. They make a completely new villain totally frightening, and the fight between Johnny and a pair of demons is visceral and engaging.

Things are bad for the Riders, and they promise to get worse. But for readers this is a hell of a ride.

Ghost Rider #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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