twofacedjoker's Ghost Rider: Vicious Cycle #1 - Ghost Rider: Vicious Cycle review

A Ghost of a Story

I've never been terribly fond of Ghost Rider. I've never seen in many comics, and the live action film... well, we all know how awful that was. I'm hoping that the upcoming All-New Ghost Rider might final bring a new and exciting light to this overlooked character, but, in the meantime, I thought I'd pick up this to see if I could get into the vengeful spirit of it all.

Shouldn't have bothered.

Daniel Way has never been one of my favorite authors. Admittedly, his Deadpool series was the first comic book series that I followed from book to book religiously, and is the only series in my collection that I have collected more than four volumes (7). But when I was gathering these, I was much younger, less critical or familiar with the genre and ideas presented; now looking back, they were alright, but nothing to rave about. This book, on the other hand, is a travesty. It's quite literally get from point a to point b, and then try to get back to a. There's almost no character development, a lot of unnatural exposition, and the conflict is rather thin in conception. Johnny Blaze can be boiled down to being stupid and regretful of his stupidity, and doesn't show any real progress over the course of the book. And everyone takes a turn on the exposition train, whether it's Johnny recounting his origin, Satan talking about how dumb and awful Johnny is, and... I mean, there are only two other characters that really matter, but these guys are our main players, so it's not like we get some robust cast to explore. And Satan as a villain is terribly disinteresting. We all know he's just straight up evil and wants to take over everything; he's a character that, in conception, is pretty flat, even if you try to add some Marvel charm. There's no where to go and nothing to explore there.

And the art is just abysmal. There's an attempt at a level of realism that just comes off as looking blurry and boring, constantly marred by the fact that the only two colors used are fire orange and black. It's dull and feels flat rather than interesting, not to mention the artists change from comic to comic, a pet peeve of mine.

I know this is only the start of the series, but it's one that isn't promising; the conflict seems detached and tedious, seemingly promising to last much longer than it should with samey villains that don't drive the plot well, Johnny is a weak and empty character, not driving anything but his bike, and the art's just nothing worth looking at. Don't bother with this book, it's not worth your time.


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