Comics

Four Colour Thoughts – Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance #1

The Creators – Howard Mackie – Writer, Javier Saltares – Artist, Javier Saltares & Marc Deering – Inkers, Arif Prianto – Colours, Joe Sabino – Letters

The Players – Michael Badalino (Vengeance), Anton Hellgate, Skinner

The Story – The title says it all.

The Take – If there was one thing that was not expected in 2020, it was the return of Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares to a Ghost Rider book, at least of a sort. Instead of the familiar Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch though, this story features the one and only Michael Badilino, now in Hell where he is about to find himself being tortured for an eternity, the Spirit of Vengeance within him shackled. While things might not be going his way at the moment, he finds a bit of help in the form of Skinner who has been keeping a secret for quite some time and it is something that will help Badilino become Vengeance once again in return for a little help. Mackie and Saltares pack the book full of action once Vengeance is freed and while he might be a little rusty when it comes to a fight, he quickly shakes it off and tears through the realm as only a Spirit of Vengeance can. Saltares has not missed a beat in the artwork department, the man’s pencils as good as ever and while he might not be drawing one of the original Ghost Riders, seeing him on any book is worth the price of admission. As for Mackie, the man writes a good tale, the man wasting no time in establishing who Vengeance is for newer readers and giving the man not only a mission but a new lease on life. What is a bit of shame is the fact that none of these plans will come to fruition as Ghost Rider’s latest ongoing title was cut short, culled amid a slew of crossovers that would steal readers away, lost in a sea of titles vying for the hard-earned dollars of the public. There is a possibility of course but that would have to involve a little promotion and push behind the product and Ghost Rider received none of that in 2020 at least. At least Vengeance is around now, a possible tool to use in great stories going forward whether he is seen or not and a character nobody and their dog would think to see in their own one-shot this year.

Worth It? – Yes.

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