Written by: Stephanie Phillips
Art by: Juann Cabal
Colors by: Espen Grundetjern
Letters by: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover art by: Valerio Giangiordano, Morry Hollowell
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: March 1, 2023
Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 gives new life to Frank Castle’s cosmic alter ego when a bounty hunter calls for revenge against the Rider’s carnage. But does the bounty hunter have the wrong Rider?
Is It Good?
Cosmic Ghost Rider # is, to be blunt, not bad. Marvel tapped Stephanie Phillips to revitalize one of the weirder variants in Marvel canon. So, expecting an offbeat story with an irreverent tone, plenty of violence, and an uncertain direction is natural. Here, we get all that wrapped in an intriguing little mystery (which the editors saw fit to partially spoil on the “Coming Next Month…” page. Oy!)
For the uninitiated, Cosmic Ghost Rider is the future Spirit of Vengeance inhabiting an older, time-space-displaced Frank Castle. We catch up with Frank as he tries to live a quiet life away from his distant past as the Punisher and the more recent past as the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
Unfortunately, a bounty hunter blows into town for payback after the Cosmic Ghost Rider is blamed for cutting a deadly path across the galaxy.
What’s the twist? The Cosmic Ghost Rider killing so many people may or may not be Frank Castle.
It’s an intriguing idea (which, again, Marvel editors saw fit to spoil on the last page. Oy!) that leads to unpredictable possibilities. Is Frank turning into Cosmic Ghost Rider (CGR) without his knowledge? Is there a copycat roaming the galaxy? If the CGR pretender isn’t Frank, who is it, and what do they want?
A good story gets readers to ask the right questions, so Phillips succeeds beautifully on that count.
Where does it go next? Unknown, but this first issue is solid enough to make me want to find out.
Regarding the art, this issue works as well as it does because of Juann Cabal. In particular, the CGR’s facial expressions, while acting as a merciless killing machine, ultimately sell the character’s ruthlessness. If you’ve never heard of CGR, Cabal’s figure work and action will leave you wanting more.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
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Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 resurrects one of the weirder characters of the Marvel Universe with a promising start to a mystery about a killer who may or may not be Frank Castle. Juann Cabal’s art is fantastic, and Phillips lays a solid foundation for an intriguing story.