Ghost Rider #2-3
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #2, Ghost Rider #3
Ghost Rider shows up to protect the kids. Despite Howard Mackie writing an almost Silver Age-like story, the art can get very violent, like with this sequence of Ghost Rider punching a guy's face into a bloody pulp.
One thing i do like is how Mackie lets the art do the work of showing off Ghost Rider's chain weapon, which can sometimes become as stiff as a pipe...
...and other times snake around a victim's legs.
Classic "show don't tell". Nicely done.
The (still not named) penance stare does require text, though.
These issues introduce a henchman of Deathwatch, named Blackout. He appears to be like a vampire, with an additional attribute of causing all lights in an area to shut off when he's around.
In 1995, at a time when Marvel action figures were still relatively rare, Toy Biz put out a line of Ghost Rider toys. My instinct was to buy them all, even though i didn't know who they were. They were Marvel toys! But i passed on Blackout on the grounds that the Blackout i knew was the crazy Darkforce guy from the Masters of Evil.
After getting information on the canisters from the cop that he killed, Blackout goes to his boss, Deathwatch. The two meet often enough that Deathwatch knows to turn on the infrared lights when he approaches. Deathwatch has the power to pull memories from other people, so that's how he gets the info from Blackout. And their interaction is certainly... interesting.
Later, one of the Jokers' lights go out while he's playing Nintendo (with a joystick? And it doesn't look like a NES Advantage. He didn't buy one of those cheapo third party add-ons, did he? Those things sucked).
Blackout murders the boy's family. The boy tries to escape and backs out of a window, luckily to be caught by Ghost Rider. So this is the first encounter between these two.
Blackout uses "speed and leverage" to throw Ghost Rider into a wall, and then flees.
Ghost Rider: The Lazy Super-Hero. "He killed my parents! He's getting away! Get him!" "Yeah, but then i'd have to run. Maybe next issue."
At this point two of the three canisters have been recovered by the police, but the Jokers don't remember where the third one was hidden (maybe they are tokers). So Deathwatch, Blackout, and the ninjas attack the police station. They get the first two canisters and kidnap the Joker that hid the third one.
They then go to the Jokers' clubhouse in the Cypress Hills cemetery.
The Kingpin is one step behind Deathwatch...
...but he sends his goons out after the Joker that hid the canister as well.
It turns out that the canisters contain a biotoxin that will kill half the population of the tri-state area quickly and kill the rest slowly. Deathwatch is working for an organization that wants this to happen, but Deathwatch has a personal interest as well, since all the death will mean "ecstasy" for him.
Danny Ketch's gas cap starts glowing when Deathwatch's group starts killing Jokers to jog their memories, but first the Kingpin's men show up. Deathwatch sees himself outnumbered and turns the canisters over to the Kingpin's goons. But Blackout doesn't like that and he attacks them.
Meanwhile, Ghost Rider circles the perimeter, killing ninjas.
Eventually the two get their rematch.
This time the penance stare is named, and it's also said that Blackout's fangs are mechanical.
Ghost Rider's flame burns out the contents of the canisters, and also burns Blackout's face.
Blackout says he wants vengeance. But not, you know, right now. What is it with people in this book? Doesn't anyone have a sense of urgency anymore?
It turns out the Kingpin's role in this was to prevent the canisters from being used in his city.
Note that Ghost Rider is being set up (clunkily) as a peer of Daredevil and the Punisher, to fight the street crime of the Kingpin and the like. Vampires had basically just been re-introduced into the Marvel universe, so likely it wasn't possible for Blackout to be a vampire anyway, but identifying him here as a fake vampire (mechanical fangs) might have been to give the book some supernatural trappings while still keeping the book grounded. Of course he still has the blackout power and there's Deathwatch's weird power.
Anyway, this continues to be a decent set-up. This is still really the first story so i'm reserving judgement to an extent. But the book is clear and readable, and Ghost Rider looks great.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The events of issue #1 happened "last week". Kingpin tells a henchman to contact the Arranger, placing this before Spectacular Spider-Man #165.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showBarbara Ketch, Blackout (Demon), Death Ninja, Deathwatch, Doris Ketch, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Kingpin, Noble Kale, Paulie Stratton, Stacy Dolan
Loving the art here. Looking very Neal Adams-y.
Posted by: Berend | May 21, 2015 3:46 PM
The ninja that Ghost Rider seemingly kills will appear again and be called Death Ninja, so he should be listed as a character appearing.
Posted by: Michael | May 21, 2015 11:01 PM
Added "Death Ninja", thanks. But is Howard Mackie kidding me? Does the guy whose face got pulped come back as Death Goon?
Posted by: fnord12 | May 22, 2015 7:17 AM
Deathwatch and Blackout split leadership duties in the the Legion of Guys With Michael Bolton Hair.
Posted by: Bob | June 4, 2015 3:20 AM
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | July 30, 2015 7:01 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|