Writer: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Artist: Scott Hepburn
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Covers: Scott Hepburn & Antonio Fabela; Cully Hamner & Matthew Wilson; Logan Lubera & Rachelle Rosenberg
Release Date: March 25th, 2020
Frank’s got soul and he IS a soldier, but not the Cosmic Ghost Rider any longer. What will be the ramifications of the Cosmic King giving the Punisher his soul back? Let’s find out in Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum’s REVENGE OF THE COSMIC GHOST RIDER #4!
The book kicks off in an unlikely place, with two alien kids getting playtime interrupted by none other than CGR’s sidekick Cammi, spit out of the other end of the black hole the King through her in way back in issue #3. We quickly find out that not only has she safely traveled some distance physically, but also back through time. And coincidentally (maybe overly so) into the house of the Cosmic King before he became THE Cosmic King. We also find out that Dennis Hallum has seen “E.T.”, which gets tiresome at the third reference.
The bulk of the issue is a Cammi story, and while the character worked well in the earlier issues, she’s not enough to carry a whole book, particularly one titled REVENGE OF THE COSMIC GHOST RIDER. If fact CGR isn’t technically in the book either, since Frank got his soul back. There’s only a handful of Punisher at the end of the book, but Hallum does show what a badass Frank is, powered-up or not.
There are some fun moments to be had, from Cammi escaping the King’s house to hitching across the galaxy just in time to “save” Frank. Scott Hepburn’s art and Antonio Fabela’s colors are mostly on point, although Cammi looks a little rough at times, and the subdued splash page felt like a waste of Fabela’s talents. Mostly the book just felt like filler, and the ending seemed like a cop-out to get to next issue’s conclusion.
REVENGE OF THE COSMIC GHOST RIDER #4 stumbles towards the finish line of the series by focusing on a secondary character that’s just not as intriguing as the primary one. This issue harkens back to the filler feeling of #2, and that’s a shame for a series that has been mostly fun and entertaining. Even the setup for next month’s conclusion doesn’t feel particularly earned or interesting, but hopefully Dennis Hallum & team can pull off a great capper to the short series.