COMIC REVIEW: Ghost Rider #28
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Jason Aaron has spent the last few months putting Ghost Rider on full speed ahead, pilling action on top of action at a breakneck pace. Finally taking a moment to rest and recharge, Ghost Rider 28 is the calm before what appears to be a major storm brewing the flamehead's universe. Even though this issue is considerably slower than the issues the preceded it, it still gives tantalizing information about the nature of Ghost Rider and the conflict between brothers and Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch.
When Johnny Blaze found out that he was not an agent of Hell, but of Heaven, he set out to find the angel that had cursed him as part of a plan to take over Heaven. Instead, Blaze found more questions surrounding the fate of his brother and former Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch. Ketch now appeared to be on the side of Zadkiel, the rogue angel, and had allied himself with Blackout, the vampire villain responsible for the death of Ketch's own sister. Blaze briefly caught up with Ketch at the home of the Caretaker, a long time ally to the Ghost Riders and one of the few people who held a lot fo the answers Blaze was searching for. Unfortunately for Blaze, Ketch killed Caretaker and escaped to Tibet after setting Caretaker's house on fire. Blaze set off to track down Ketch again, this time with Caretaker's granddaughter and former nun, Sara.
This issue takes us to Tibet and we find Nima, the Spirit of Vengeance and Ghost Rider of the mountains of the disputed region of China. Ketch kills Nima and takes Ghost Rider powers. Apparently, this is part of the quest that Zadkiel sent Ketch on – tracking down Ghost Riders from around the globe and killing them to absorb their powers. The power of Ghost Rider is the power that Ketch seeks and Blaze views as a curse. As Ketch makes a move to attack Sara, Blaze steps in to stop him, setting the showdown for the next issue.
While the average comic book fan may feel that this issue is ultimately skipable due to the subdued nature of the story, Jason Aaron tossed in enough information to make it an enjoyable read for those who have been trying to unravel the story for the past few months. The Blaze/Sara dynamic moves boldly forward, and the revelations of Danny Ketch's motives make the issue worth checking out. Tan Eng Huat even starts to look more comfortable as the artist in this issue, partly due to the Tibetan setting that seems to favor his style of drawing.
Ghost Rider 28 is certainly a break from the pace that Ghost Rider has built as a series recently, but knowing that the showdown begins next issue adds to the feeling of growing drama as the issue unfolds. There is even an extra 10 page recap of the history of Blaze and Ketch as the Ghost Riders which significantly adds to the value of the book. There are also two different covers from comic book favorite Marc Silvestri that can be positioned side by side to make a panoramic view of the Blaze/Ketch conflict, so any fan of variant covers should certainly take a look too.
Ghost Rider 28 is $3.99 and is available now at a comic book shop near you. To find your local comic shop, call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK.