Ghost Rider #29
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #29
Ghost Rider really is a crossover junkie. He's guest-starred in just about every book that Marvel publishes, and he's just finished a crossover with the X-Men, and he's literally in the middle of the Midnight Sons crossover. But that doesn't meant it's too soon to have the X-Men Wolverine and Beast over as guest stars again.
But this issue is really a Steve Gerber level satirical attack on the artists that left Marvel for the Image exodus. Frederick Penner, who runs a security firm (and makes for a decent stand-in for Tom DeFalco) is facing a defection from his "most popular" operatives who are demanding a larger share of the profits, but who really want to "go independent". They've also been lobbying "other operatives" to come with them.
These agents, who called themselves "Next Wave" are meant to represent the big three Image artists, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, and Rob Liefeld. Agent-X is Jim Lee. He was the X-Men artist, and he has the ninja swords. We'll learn that Snare is Canadian, so he's Todd McFarlane (i first thought his costume made him look like Deadpool, but it's definitely meant to evoke Spider-Man, as we'll see). Turk's pouches and big gun suggest that he represents Rob Liefeld. Turk is the least stable of the three. Note that he is complimented for his "imagination" after mindlessly blowing things up.
Turk accidentally kills a woman because he has no impulse control and gets distracted.
Ghost Rider leaves Johnny Blaze behind to get some sleep, and then he and the X-Men are attracted by Next Wave's rampage.
Snare has webs that aren't all that advantageous.
Here's where we learn that Snare is Canadian.
And here's where they name themselves.
Wolverine is not impressed. He's seen it all before, and done better.
But Next Wave is insistent that they are the way of the future. And they're going to capitalize on their abilities while they're still in their prime.
But Ghost Rider ultimately delivers the necessary vengeance. Maybe this was cathartic for Marvel editorial.
Wolverine has been tracking Ghost Rider since they met in New Orleans because he sensed that something was wrong with him and he's afraid that GR is still infected by the Brood. But it turns out he's just sensed the fact that the Danny Ketch side of Ghost Rider is dying. And there's nothing Wolvie can do about that.
In the end, Wolverine talks about the pure motives that Marvel has when they have Wolverine guest star in every book imaginable, not like those money grubbing Image artists.
This issue is pretty funny if you understand that it's a parody. For readers who might not have gotten the joke, it might have seemed like Ghost Rider and the X-Men were just fighting some random and hapless braggart generic villains. The Next Wave characters do appear again, here and in Silver Sable. I haven't read those appearances and i'm curious to see if the joke is carried forward.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Spirits of Vengeance #1 but before Morbius #1; Ghost Rider and Blaze are in Connecticut on their way from Rhode Island to New York to find Martine Bancroft. It seems Wolverine has been on the trail of Ghost Rider since the end of Ghost Rider #27, so this should be the next appearance of Wolverine and the Beast after that issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAgent-X (Next Wave), Beast, Frederick Penner, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Noble Kale, Snare (Next Wave), Turk (Next Wave), Wolverine
Are we supposed to believe Wolverine followed Ghost Rider's scent all the way from New Orleans to New York? Has he ever followed a scent that far before?
Posted by: Michael | March 4, 2016 7:55 PM
... okay, I admit that I totally didn't get the meta-joke behind that issue. Is it really that obvious?
BTW. The Next Wave should get their butts kicks by Nextwave! :)
Posted by: Piotr W | March 5, 2016 4:13 PM
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