Writer: Paul Scheer & Nick Giovannetti
Art Team: Gerardo Sandoval, Victor Nava, Antonio Fabela, VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: March 6, 2019
You can always count me in for some more of Cosmic Ghost Rider, whether that be in the form of the title Guardians of the Galaxy, or C.G.R. Destroys Marvel History doesn’t matter to me. The more the merrier. So without hesitation, because the title of the book pretty much spells out whats going down here, lets discuss the latest title to feature Frank Punisher gone even more wrong.
The book starts with Cosmic Ghost Rider, in his Old Frank Castle form. He’s been kicking around the Marvel Universes past for a few centuries, keeping himself entertained, possibly creating a few time paradox in the process, waiting until this moment, where he approaches his old house the day before his family dies. It all starts with a pretty interesting premise, leading to Frank passing as a long lost Uncle, eventually even invited inside.
From there is where things turn into a bit of a mixed bag. The remainder of the issue seems to suddenly turn into story time with Frank Castle as he entertains his son from a past life. The concept again itself is solid but a main problem for me is that the idea just wears entirely too thin too quickly. There are several stories told from Frank’s point of view, highlighting (I guess) how he killed his time in the past, waiting for this current moment he could finally approach this house again. Can you take them seriously? Some of it is true sure, but the majority of it is hard to tell, due to the nature of its unreliable narrator, which adds a bit of mystery but not enough to carry the title.
There are several brief snippets that turn out to be interesting, a few jokes hit the mark garnering a laugh, and a handful of scenes with Ghost Rider’s zaniness leading to some good fun, but if this ‘story time’ concept is all that is planned for the series, I wont be able to follow it beyond next issue. Personally the character I actually enjoy the most is the little boy in this series so far, and not Frank/CGR himself, that’s not a great sign. Cosmic Ghost Rider seems to be a character that needs to be handled by a certain and select few, while also not being over used at the same time, which he’s sadly been lately. I just hope we’re not nearing the danger zone of over-usage for a character that has turned out to be a lot of fun.
The art in the series does a great job of echoing the look and feel of the previous books Cosmic Ghost Rider has made appearances in. There is a distinct style to scenes where Frank is telling his story, which make them stand out from the scenes told in the time period he currently finds himself in, making the storytelling direction very clear. It was definitely a positive sign for the series going forward.
Overall, Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History is a bit of a mixed bag. While it starts off on solid footing, with a very interesting premise and some solid art, it becomes all to repetitive by the conclusion of the first issue. I hope the series has other plans other than story time with Old Frank Castle, because while some of the stories are solid, and I chuckled a bit here and there, it all became long winded and boring by the last page. I’m not sure I need more and a one shot would have sufficed just fine.