Sunday, October 21, 2012

Book Review: Ghost Rider Omnibus

I'm amazed that there hasn't been a good Ghost Rider movie. Granted, the character has never been considered Marvel's greatest creation, but everything about him screams that he'd make for a fun little B-Movie. I mean, it's a guy with a flaming skull for a head who made a deal with Satan. Everything about him should be awesome in that sense. Well, Jason Aaron realized this, and he helped create a Ghost Rider tale in the comics that managed to actually make the character and the universe he lives in largely awesome.

Johnny Blaze is out for vengeance. He thought things were finally going to go his way, until he discovered that he was taking orders from the archangel Zadkiel, who wants to overthrow God and create the universe in the way he sees fit. In the process, Johnny will find himself fighting against a new array of villains (a religious fanatic known as the Deacon, a monster known as the Skin Bender and people who worship Zadkiel) some old (the return of Blackout) and some friends (a nun who becomes the new Caretaker and the other Spirits of vengeance) who either make things harder or help along the way. Also back is Johnny's brother Danny Ketch, whose made a bit of a deal with Zadkiel.

To say this is better than the movies would be an understatement. This is everything those should have been, with it's biggest strength being the way it fully embraces it's status as pure pulp. This is the comic equivalent of one big B-Movie, with zombies, demons and monsters (to name a few) thrown into the mix of motorcycle races around the world and Satanic conspiracies that's incredibly fun. It also helps that there's a sense of humor within the proceedings. This is a book that knows it shouldn't be taken too seriously, and it thankfully is more funny than not. Oh, and it actually has interesting characters, with Sister Sara being my favorite-she's actually a devout but tough as nails character who manages to transcend the usual stereotypes you'd expect to get. Oh, and then there's this guy

He's Knuckles O'Shaugnessy, and while he's not in this a whole lot, he's pretty much awesome. I mean come on, look at the guy.

On the downside, the art can be uneven and the ending feels a bit rushed. There's three artists working here, and while I like the second and first artist, I found the art from Roland Boschi to be kinda flat. The ending meanwhile, feels kind of rushed and concludes a bit too neatly for my taste.

Those are minor complaints though, as this is a blast of pulpy entertainment throughout that packs enough fun characters, black humor and crazy situations to please even the most jaded person. Okay, maybe not the most jaded, but if like this kind of thing, then you should love this.

Rating: 8.5/10

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