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Non-Review Review: Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance

I’m convinced that there must be a half-decent Ghost Rider movie to be made. In fact, I’m sure that Nicolas Cage already made it, in the form of the deliciously pulpy Drive Angry, which touched on a lot of the grindhouse and B-movie qualities one expects from a movie featuring a stunt driver with a flaming skull who sucks souls from criminals. In contrast, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance feels like it’s trying a little too hard. The script feels just a little bit too stilted and conventional, while the direction seems to overcompensate, feeling gimmicky to the point of being distracting and almost disorientating.

Hell’s Angel…

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Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron Omnibus

You’re the divine wrath of God himself, Johnny Blaze. Yet you spend all your time cruising around the U.S. of A. Did you really think that was the only country God cared about?

– Sara, The Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance

Ghost Rider is a strange character. Created in the seventies, he saw his stock take a huge increase in value during the nineties in the era of “darker and edgier” heroes before slowly fading down to relative obscurity. The closest the character has come to mainstream success has been the god-awful Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider film. So, he makes a strange choice to receive a Marvel Omnibus, somewhat comparable to the Omnibus collecting  The Immortal Iron Fist a few years back. The prestige format is usually reserved for the best of the best, high profile runs (past and present) on characters of either historical importance or receiving a feature film in the coming year. Jason Aaron is a creator rising in prominence, but it still seems a strange choice to publish his Ghost Rider run in the format. That said, it is perhaps the best run ever written on the character.

Head-to-head, skull-to-skull...

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