Every now and then, a comic comes along, kicks you in the head, and reminds you just how crappy a comic book can be when a good character is written badly.
I give you GHOST RIDER #1.
Folks, I can't even begin to tell you what a pile of trash this book is. Page #1 seemed to have the makings of a decent story, but suddenly the issue went horribly wrong with every page that followed.
For those that don't know what happened in this pseudo-FEAR ITSELF/SERIES RELAUNCH, let me enlighten you: Johnny Blaze is free of the curse of the Spirit of Vengeance and is enjoying his freedom. Meanwhile, Sin (Red Skull's daughter who is power mad with a mystical hammer) continues her rampage on the city, along with two old Ghost Rider foes: DEATHWATCH and BLACKOUT. Suddenly they are confronted by...a female Ghost Rider.
The female Ghost Rider uses some sort of "Penance Snowball" on the super-villain duo equivalent of Cheech and Chong, and then goes after Sin...but when the chance to pick up Sin's hammer comes around, she is instantly made human upon touching it. Nice.
In the meantime, Johnny Blaze continues his very worry-freeUNABOMBER lifestyle, living alone in a one-room doorless shack and enjoying his favorite pasttime: gathering sticks. When Mephisto, who is disguised as a wolf (because you know...out in the middle of the desert flats, someone one else might be within 1000 miles of you) shows up in Johnny's living room and states that they must save the human race...together.
There are a myriad of questions I wish I could ask about this book: starting with how Johnny Blaze de-aged to look like he's 19 again to explaining how in the hell a female Ghost Rider has BREASTS under the leather jacket if she's a skeleton?
Oh, so many questions: but thankfully Marvel was kind enough to publish the true 11 criminal masterpieces behind this issue in the credits on pages 2-3, including Writer Rob Williams, Artist Matthew Clark(who honestly didn't do half-bad), Editor Stephen Wacker, Assistant Editor Sebastian Girner and let's not forget Alan Fine, Marvel's C.M.O. of Marvel Characters as....producer Guys, seriously, you should be ashamed for publishing this terrible excuse for a comic with 5 different variant covers.
In short: If this book doesn't take a radical turn, I see nothing that will appease old school GHOST RIDER fans such as myself.
Listen, there's 3 things you need to have even a somewhat successful GHOST RIDER story: strong writing, believable characters and GHOST RIDER. So it's 3 strikes for GHOST RIDER #1.
Don't believe me? Go to ComicCollectorLive.com, hit the library search and type "GHOST RIDER" in the search. You can buy one for yourself. Seriously, there's so much information on all the different GHOST RIDER titles published, your head might burst into flames.
But individual results may vary.