Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider #3

by Nick Devonald on February 19, 2020

Writer: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Artist: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Antonio Fabela

Cosmic Ghost Rider is one of my all time favourite Marvel characters. High praise when you think he’s only been around for a few years now but he’s such an insane, crazy pile of cosmic fun you can’t help but love him. With such a rich history a lot of time has skipped over his moments as Frank Castle, the Punisher. This issue remedies that by taking a good hard look at Frank Castle. We also get a proper look at the moment when he decides to sell his soul to become a Ghost Rider.

It’s clever because it’s an interesting look at his character which has been glossed over a little since his introduction. But it also serves an important story part going forward. Hallum is taking the character in some new and quite interesting directions and after reading this issue I hope he continues to write for the character after this story arc ends.

In between all the various flashbacks to different times in Franks life it’s an all-out battle between him and the Cosmic King and it doesn’t disappoint. He’s a villain who’s powerful enough to take Frank and the battle is epic.

There have been times in this run where it seems that Hallum is going to tell the kind of story that’s been told before. The first issue for example has Castle get himself locked into a prison to take out the bad guys. We’ve had Punisher stories along these lines before. It didn’t take long before the twist at the end proved to us we shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security. And he does exactly the same again here. Just when we think we know what kind of story we’ve got on our hands he twists it up a little and we realise we haven’t got a clue. Excellent writing.

Hepburn proved in the first two issues that he was the right man for drawing Cosmic Ghost Rider. It takes a special kind of artist to properly capture the insanity and Hepburns art is suitably mental. He also gets a chance to flex a different kind of artistic muscle here in some of the flashbacks and he proves he’s just as capable of a calmer (although arguably just as nuts) Frank Castle.

Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum continues to surprise me. Everytime I feel like I’ve got a grasp on the story and where it’s going he pulls the carpet out from under me and everything shifts dramatically.
Hepburns art is perfectly suited for drawing both the manic moments and the quieter (that’s quiet-ER moments, not quiet) and is an excellent fit. Antonio Fabela’s colors accentuate the artwork and take it to a whole new level. I’m excited to read the next issue and see what’s coming next.

Our Score:


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