COSMIC GHOST RIDER #1 written Donny Cates, art by Dylan Burnett, colors by Antonio Fabela, and letters by Clayton Cowles finally rides onto the shelves after his freakin’ awesome debut in Thanos Wins.
What does Cates have in store for our Cosmic Ghost Rider and, can his writing overcome artistic struggles? Let’s find out!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
COSMIC GHOST RIDER SPOILERS TOO…
Cosmically Catching Up
Donny Cates opens the issue by getting the readers up to speed on Frank Castle, the deals he’s made, the people he’s worked for, and the dirty deeds he’s done. After what appears to be a barroom brawl, Odin confronts Frank about his actions in Valhalla and has a sit down chat with him.
The colors on the page above by Fabela are very bright and bring out the color of the Rainbow Bridge. However, I’m not pleased with the art overall in this issue. Maybe it’s because I’ve read VENOM or even DEATH OF THE INHUMANS by Cates giving me something else to compare COSMIC GHOST RIDER too? But, the art in this issue isn’t as good as the other titles mentioned.
Frank Rides Again
The story continues as Odin gives Frank the opportunity to go back to any time and any place he wants. Cates does a fantastic job of explaining everything SO WELL. Odin plucked the Cosmic Ghost Rider from the THANOS WINS timeline. When present-day Thanos reverted his timeline and rewrote the future, Odin pulled the Rider out of that timeline and sent him to Valhalla.
Therefore, the way I understand it is that we technically have two Frank Castles in this timeline and continuity. One that is the Punisher and the other that is the Cosmic Ghost Rider. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I’m told that I’m wrong a lot…
However, as impressive as this story is, I still have a difficult time getting past the art. Look at Frank’s face in the top right panel. He doesn’t have eyes. He has two dots. I understand that Burnett is trying to show shock from the character, but it looks like an elderly, elongated Caillou with long white hair. AND, the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s bike and chain have no depth. The chain is supposed to look like it’s hot or on fire BUT it just seems red. The front orb of the bike looks more like a circle than a sphere of energy.
The Mad Titan
Taking Odin up on his offer to go anywhere he wants, the Cosmic Ghost Rider chooses to visit Thanos as a baby and kill him. I feel like this idea to a story has been done before. BUT, Cates does it in his humorous style that still made it funny and exciting.
Surprisingly enough, baby Thanos overpowers the Cosmic Ghost Rider leading him to use his Penance Stare on the Mad Titan. Even though it’s Thanos, he’s still a child. So Frank, feeling ashamed and appalled in his actions, makes a quick decision!
Best Buds Forever!
Cates ends the issue with the Cosmic Ghost Rider having a change of heart. Instead of putting baby Thanos down, he straps him to his chest like a baby carrier and rides off. This part was hilarious! Where are they going exactly? I couldn’t tell you. But, the art makes it look like they’re riding through the sun.
The Cosmic Ghost Rider was highly anticipated. I was looking forward to this series. To be honest, this issue had its moments, Cates did an excellent job of using his style of humor, creativity, and ingenuity to develop a good foundation for the series moving forward. He gave us a how, a when, a why, and a direction. However, I feel like I’ve been to this rodeo before.
And because of that; this is where the art of a story can really help mask some of the writers missteps. The characters are fun, and I think the adventure they’re going to take is going to be interesting, BUT Cates wasn’t able to hook me as well as he’s done in the past. And, I genuinely feel it was because of the art.
The art keeps pulling me back out of the story after each read. It’s the art that’s showing some of the blemishes in this issue. It seems rushed. Nothing appears to have curves or texture to it. Everything looks very “geometric” in a way or has rough, sharp, blocky edges. Maybe this is Burnett’s style? Perhaps this is the feel Cates and Burnett want? If so, I’m not a fan.
Art is subjective, and again maybe this is the style Cates and Burnett are going for, BUT I love realistic art that makes me feel like I’m in the story. When I look at this issue, I don’t feel like I’m in the story at all. I read comics to get lost. I want to escape. This art continued to throw me out of the story and genuinely frustrated me.
Should you pick up this issue?
Yes. The story is fun, and the characters are nuts! Baby Thanos and Cosmic Ghost Rider Marvel Team-Up sounds epic! I have faith in Cates to make an exciting story. My hope is that the art team or even art style change.
Should you add this series to your pull?
Yes. However, I’m just not as excited as I was before it came out. I think Cates needs to channel some of his inner THANOS WINS, as well as that art team, to get readers more pumped. I’m hoping Cates’ can throw this series on his back and overcome some of the artistic flaws and blemishes I feel presented themselves throughout the issue.
Well, what did you guys think of COSMIC GHOST RIDER #1? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu