Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Cory Smith, Brent Peeples, Roberto Poggi, Oren Junior
Colors by: Bryan Valenza
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by: Kael Ngu
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: March 30, 2022
Ghost Rider #2 hits the lonely highways and byways as Johnny Blaze struggles to regain his identity, his memory, and his place in the world after being gone for so long. When he stops at a lonely motel to rest and think, he finds hidden dangers for lonely travelers.
Was It Good?
Ghost Rider #2 is… not bad. You may be thinking that doesn’t sound like high praise, but it’s a best-fit assessment for this issue.
Issue #1 was serviceable but not great because it leaned into the horror and spirit of mind-bending horror well, but it had almost no Ghost Rider in it. In issue #2, Ghost Rider is back on a familiar road using issue #1 (which should have been an FCBD issue #0) as a prelude to where Johnny Blaze has been all this time.
There’s more focus on horror in this issue, which is a positive. The story centers on an out-of-the-way motel that has a manager who picks lodgers for a brutal, demonic sacrifice, so you have a familiar horror setup with a Ghost Rider twist. In all, I like the spirit (no pun intended) and theme of this issue.
The down point (which is a correctable down point) is Percy’s excessive use of flowery, symbolic narration. In some spots, the narration drags the pacing to a crawl when it has no bearing on the story. Rather than letting the art breathe and tell part of the story, Percy overtalks it when the narration isn’t necessary for several panels.
Speaking of letting the art breathe, you can see from the credits that multiple artists were brought in for this issue. Normally, multiple pencilers and inkers signal a red flag for art inconsistency, but there’s none to be found here. The character designs, especially the main villain, are excellent. There are no obvious, jarring transitions from one artist to the next, and the coloring is excellent.
Ghost Rider #2 is a solid example of comic horror and a noticeable improvement over the first issue. The setup is the stuff of classic horror films. The artwork is excellent. And the resolution opens the door for monster-of-the-month adventures. That said, the narration was frequently unnecessary and dragged the pacing in several spots.