Cosmic Ghost Rider #4 Review

by Harlan Ivester on October 03, 2018

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Dylan Burnett
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            Cosmic Ghost Rider has just been stupid fun, hasn’t it? I can agree with the notion that Marvel has been going a little overboard with the character mash ups lately, but CGR has just been too good for me too care. Last issue was pretty much non-stop action while this one is conversely and surprisingly emotional. It takes a breather to prompt important questions about why Castle is who he is. Let it not be said that this story is just dumb fun.

            Being the most dialogue heavy chapter yet, this one of course depends on convincing character interactions to do its job well. I never thought I’d buy into a version of Thanos trying to care for his dad, Frank Castle, of all people, but here we are. It would be so easy for this to have been anything but great, but Donny Cates is simply excellent at creating distinct voices, even between characters that are the same person. He also takes full advantage of the ludicrous timeline shenanigans to set the stage for “what if?” moments that slam the brakes, not in a pacing kind of way – rather a thought provoking one. Why is Castle the way he is? And Thanos? Does he believe in second chances? Can the future be changed in any meaningful way? My answer: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Read the book to find out.

            I wouldn’t say Dylan Burnett’s visuals are everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m a fan. Sure, some body parts can be a little inconsistent, but it’s never jarring. It doesn’t really pull you out of the experience, and I would say it’s made up for in other areas. He’s been great at giving everyone distinct facial features, a skill I think many will agree is too rare. The same goes for emoting. There’s so much value in the chosen perspectives and supernatural flare. And let me tell you, the landscapes, CGR’s flames – I’m here for them. They’re freakin’ mesmerizing, thanks to the combined efforts of Burnett and Antonio Fabela. The mood can turn on a dime from calm and peaceful to climactic or hopeless. I don’t think anyone would call the art in this issue perfect, but it’s perfect for this book. I can’t think of any creative team that would be a better fit.

            Donny Cates, the mad lad. He can’t be stopped. Such insanity and sentiment are exactly what I want out of a comic book, generally speaking. It’s all laid out with artists that perfectly match the tone and always deliver captivating and energetic pages. A part of me is eagerly awaiting the next chapter, and another part of me is sad for the title to end, but all good things must. Pick this one up and join in me in the bitter sweet celebration.

Our Score:


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