Ghost Rider will always be one of the more nonsensical and comic book-y comic book heroes, so what could be better than one Ghost Rider? Have two Ghost Riders fight each other, and luckily Ghost Rider #2 delivers in spades. Writer Ed Brisson’s script does not need to carry the chapter but more so set up the inevitable conflict and succeeds at doing so. The art team consisting of Aaron Kuder, Craig Yeung, John Lucas, and Luciano Vecchio, as well as Jason Keith on colors, deliver the goods on a semi-consistent basis. Due to the crowded art room, some of the shifts in styles seem out of place, but the panels and pages that need to sizzle pop right off the page.
Ghost Rider #2 begins with classic Ghost Rider and temporary King of Hell, Johnny Blaze, violently attempting to recapture all of the escaped demons. One of which is a regular at other Ghost Rider Danny Ketch’s bar, the Fadeaway.
Brisson does an excellent job of setting up the opposing viewpoints of the Ghost Riders within the first couple of pages. Since his time on the throne of Hell, Blaze has become one-sided and ruthless in his chase of the fugitive hell spawns. This is blatantly opposed to Ketch’s perspective considering one of the hell spawns was a regular at his bar, and he didn’t even notice. It certainly sets up Blaze to be the antagonist of this conflict, and it certainly plays into the character’s faults of being reckless and headstrong since his demon underlings are using this to manipulate him.
On the other side of the coin, not enough time is spent on Ketch in this chapter, which makes him read a bit dumb or naïve. He almost reads as a reluctant righteous do-gooder of sorts, which feels off considering he has a satanic spirit of vengeance residing in him. But mostly the script is there to set up a Ghost Rider vs. Ghost Rider title fight, and while Brisson does his best to throw the reader off the scent, it seems like a forgone conclusion that one of the last chapters of this run will be Blaze vs. Ketch before they join forces in some way.
The art department is strong throughout the chapter, despite some tonal inconsistencies. For the majority of the story, the art team is attempting a photo-realistic style with minimal shading and precisely defined line work. However, when there is a Ghost Rider vs. Ghost Rider confrontation, the linework becomes sketchy and heavily crosshatched. The linework becomes increasingly amplified and magnified. There is nothing wrong with either of these styles, as they both look pleasing. However, the sudden change between the techniques can take some getting used to. VC’s Clayton Cowles letters are a standout in this chapter as he changes the font and color depending on which Ghost Rider or character is speaking, which helps clarify who is talking when the Ghost Riders confront each other.
Ghost Rider #2 is a fine chapter that attempts to set up a blazing battle between opposing Ghost Riders. Brisson’s script is solid if anything, and the art team does more than hold their own. Ghost Rider #2 is more of classic Ghost Rider goodness, it’s a flaming skeleton clad in leather riding a flaming motorcycle so really what more could you ask for?