There is a lot going on in Cosmic Ghost Rider #1, especially for those who may be unfamiliar to the character. In short, the Cosmic Ghost Rider is Frank Castle, who you might know better as The Punisher. Huh? (Don’t worry, it gets more fun).
The first few pages of the book help you get up to speed on how Frank became the Cosmic Ghost Rider. But if you would like the full story I would recommend picking up the “Thanos Wins” collection, which was also written by Donny Cates.
Basically, he dies alongside other heroes fighting Thanos, makes a deal with the devil to be a spirit of vengeance, becomes a ward of Galactus, and later Thanos’ right-hand man. To be honest, this book and concept are a bit wacky. Since this is comics though, I won’t protest too much, especially since I’m having fun with this. Sometimes stories unknowingly go to ridiculous places but Donny Cates wants this to be crazy and it shows.
A Good Kind Of Ridiculous
After the brief recap, we get right into the action of Frank in the middle of a good ‘ol bar fight with Koldaxe the Grave. He is supposed to be enjoying his paradise in Valhalla but instead causes trouble. Odin regrets having rewarded Frank and sends him packing.
The idea of Frank Castle being a space Ghost Rider is short of being the most off-the-wall thing that happens in this issue. Donny Cates has created a character that is still Frank Castle, but who has lost his mind a little bit, having experienced things that no mortal should. What we get is someone crazy and full of piss and vinegar.
Although, for a book where there is a lot going on, not a lot is going on. I’m okay with that because the road trip that Donny is preparing us for seems like an enjoyable one.
Galactic Lines and Colors
It is difficult to not love the character designs and Geoff Shaw’s cover really shows off how unnecessarily cool Cosmic Ghost Rider looks. A lot of the appeal comes from colorist Antonio Fabela, but more on him later. Impractical accessories like large spikes on shoulder pads and glowing wristbands make for a fun looking, over the top character.
The interior pages don’t quite match up to Shaw’s work, but it definitely has its moments. Dylan Burnett has a style that comes up a bit blocky, but he does know how to draw action well. A lot of his line work helps the eye get to where it needs to go. There is a close up of Cosmic Ghost Rider towards the end that helps engulf you into his fiery gaze.
The real stand out in this issue though is the work of Antonio Fabela and his colors on the pages. Being a book that takes place in space, things are going to shine and Antonio capitalizes on that without making you feel overwhelmed.
Planets, flames, and stars really come out and give this book life. The backgrounds are colored nicely and blend in so that whatever is in the panels really pops. All of the oranges and reds in the Ghost Rider’s flames contrast beautifully with the blues and violets of space and other environments.
Let’s Take A Trip With The Cosmic Ghost Rider #1
Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 is a bit out there but who says that’s always bad? I feel like the character designs on Frank are okay, but Dylan really excels at drawing Cosmic Ghost Rider.
Besides that, he also knows how to show you where the action is. The highlight of the issue is Antonio’s colors. His choice of colors being used are nothing short of smart and excellent to gaze at.
Again, not too much happens, but it’s the first issue of five. Donny Cates is setting things up for the rest of the series and I’m more than excited to see what else there is to see on this galactic road trip.