Ghost Rider #52
Issue(s): Ghost Rider #52
Anton Hellgate is apparently putting Michael Badilino through the Weapon X program.
Badilino had given a notebook to Danny to give to Stacy Dolan before he was captured in Ghost Rider #50, but Danny has kept it for himself. It's about Hellgate, and thanks to the notes, Danny has found a way to track Hellgate down. Ghost Rider is also being stalked by someone named Shriker, who joins him in fighting Hellgate's goons.
The weapon that Hellgate was able to use to shut down Vengeance's powers doesn't work against Ghost Rider (but it does hurt him). But thanks to Shriker, Ghost Rider is able to defeat the goons. Shriker then leaves. Hellgate himself is gone, but Ghost Rider rescues Vengeance, who decides that he's going to leave New York.
The back-up story has Badilino in the Rocky Mountains, working with Federal agents to raid a factory that is associated with Hellgate. Badilino steps away from the agents so that he can attack as Vengeance. The head agent, Uno, tries to arrest Vengeance, but fails.
It's really amazing how Howard Mackie didn't miss a beat in swapping in Hellgate as the latest mysterious uber-villain with vast resource and vaguely defined motives. And now we have the identity and motives of Shriker to string along, too. This book may lack characterization (beyond "Danny's mom is depressed") and, frankly, interesting plots, but it's got no shortage of ongoing "mysteries".
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Despite Vengeance saying he's not going to work in New York anymore, i'm allowing him to return briefly for the story in Ghost Rider annual #2. Agent Uno will appear in Marvel Comics Presents #165 (and beyond), so this takes place before that.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAnton Hellgate, Doris Ketch, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Noble Kale, Shriker (Jack D'Auria), Uno, Vengeance
I can't believe that I actually stuck with Ghost Rider until this issue. I guess that when you're a teenager with less-discerning tastes, and also comic books were a lot less expensive, it was easier to follow a mediocre series hoping it would eventually pick up. But this was the point where I finally had enough. I think it must have been the intro of Hellgate that was the last straw for me. As fnord so accurately observed, "Howard Mackie didn't miss a beat in swapping in Hellgate as the latest mysterious uber-villain with vast resource and vaguely defined motives." Yeah, my reaction was pretty much the same, and I finally dropped this series.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 28, 2018 10:24 PM
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