The Avengers are fresh off a day off from adventuring. Next up: an exorcism to try and save Robbie Reyes. This new story arc will be involving many other supernatural heroes and previous Ghost Riders. So, let’s get ready to ride and check out the issue — SPOILERS inside.
If you are a fan of Jason Aaron, the Avengers, or Ghost Rider, it’s a safe bet that you will see this through to the end. There has been some action and sightings of the Ghost Rider in various comics across Marvel, but they should involve too much for you to catch up with. However, to enhance this story and understand where Johnny Blaze is at in this story, I would recommend the Damnation event by Donny Cates and Nick Spencer.
With this issue I really liked how at the start the focus is on Robbie Reyes and we are introduced into his life. Jason Aaron does a good job in introducing the struggles of Robbie with his family and money; this works really well as I do enjoy Ghost Rider, but I’m not familiar with all the Riders, so Aaron does a great catch up for us with Robbie. I like the conflict between Robbie and his powers, which puts not just him in peril, but goes after his younger brother. When that happens, Robbie is pushed to the limit and takes out his frustration on the Hell Charger and this is a scene right out of the Twilight Zone or Strange Adventures where the car survives all punishment.
I also appreciate that for once when a member has an issue they come together as a team to help…plus they call in experts, so we are treated to Blade’s return and a guest appearance by Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. His appearance here really hammers home the supernatural in this exorcism. While the Avengers are dealing with that, there seems to be a subplot developing with Iron Man and Thor checking out a mysterious cave with Okoye, of Black Panther fame. So, I will be curious to see how this will play into this story or the next since it has fallout from the War of Realms.
With Jason Aaron’s line up of Avengers he really picks a lot of the famous characters from the MCU, but he has done a great job with this volume of making them a team. Robbie’s real concerns about his powers are heartbreaking as this is a curse and it doesn’t seem like it will hurt him as much as it will hurt his younger brother; which really makes Robbie’s struggle that much more since it isn’t all about him. The last page is a treat as we see Johnny Blaze, but so far at this point it is really hard to determine his motivations; and Danny Ketch fans don’t feel too left out as he was mentioned in this issue. Now I am really hyped for this story arc as I am a Ghost Rider fan, but I will admit this was a slower issue — albeit vital to the arc.
Stefano Caselli’s art on this issue was amazing — his character renderings are very spot on with a classic look. The redesign of Daimon Hellstrom was intriguing and honestly made him look demonic, which is a nice change from the usual suit and tie look. Caselli’s Hell Charger was nice and I appreciated the ways he had it attack the Avengers. Major credit to the colors on this issue as they did a great job with the fire when it was used and especially on the wheels of the Hell vehicles.
A slow burn for the anticipation of the main race, but a good and necessary start to the arc. It will do a great job for new readers coming to the title to catch up or see what will happen. To the readers of the main series you will revisit some of the hints dropped in other issues, but they will start to take center stage this time. Get it for the main story and hold on because, hopefully, the arc will start revving up next issue.