Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Cory Smith, Oren Junior
Colors by: Bryan Valenza
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by: Björn Barends
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: December 7, 2022
Ghost Rider #9 takes the Rider and Agent Warroad to Chicago, one of the five nexus points for the evil infecting the country, to discover the source of the infection and clean house.
Is It Good?
Ghost Rider #9 is a serviceable yet unsatisfying entry in the most horror-themed comic Marvel has going right now. The ideas and imagery are potent, viewed through a horror lens, but the issue ends just when the plot starts picking up steam, leaving you to believe this penultimate issue in the arc will head into a rushed ending.
Benjamin Percy loves his horror, so if you’re a fan of horror, there’s a lot to like in this issue. Crucified priests, yanked teeth, death by subway train, and toxic body melting are all on display for your horror-loving eyes.
In fairness, this issue isn’t just about the shock value. Blaze and Warroad head to Chicago to figure out who or what is at the heart of a nationwide evil uptick. There they find all the horror mentioned above, as well as a collective of demons in an underground lair sacrificing humans for some dark purpose and the arrival of Exhaust to give the duo a challenge.
What’s not present is a clear direction for the story, lending credence to the idea that the arc’s finale in the next issue may have to be rushed to make it all make sense. We don’t know where Exahuast came from or what it wants. We don’t know where Blackheart figures into anything that’s happening. Blaze and Warroad don’t know what they’re looking for, and nothing is clearly explained. When the action finally gets going, the issue simply stops mid-fight.
In other words, events are happening, but because Percy hasn’t explained who, what, when, where, how, or why, there’s no motivation for anyone’s actions. It’s a comic filled with actions and reactions but no rationale to make it all make sense.
If Percy pulls it together in the arc’s finale, kudos in advance. However, the jarring stop to this issue and the seeming lack of connection between the events don’t bode well. We shall see.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Ghost Rider #9 provides readers with plenty of gore and potent imagery to keep horror fans happy. However, the characters lack motivation, and the plot hasn’t clearly presented itself, so the hopes of a satisfying finale in the next issue are quickly dwindling.