I honestly don’t remember much about Vengeance, the Ghost Rider also-ran. I remember he existed and the design but as a whole the specifics elude me. Thankfully, Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance catches readers up with a nice recap of what you need to know and why the character is important.
Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance lays things out in its title. It’s a one-shot that’s focused on the return of the character. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Michael Badilino, aka Vengeance, is in Hell, held prisoner for whatever reasons. With threats of torture and being forced to battle for his life, Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance is a prison break story.
Your enjoyment of the comic will really depend on how much you care about the Ghost Rider corner of the Marvel Universe or the character. This is a piece of whatever puzzle is being put together for all of that. It’s a jailbreak story with a beginning, middle, and end, but that’s about it. There’s little more than that and Badilino’s background. It’s a chapter of whatever is going on with Ghost Rider and the battle in Hell.
Howard Mackie’s story is fine. It doesn’t stand out in any way but also isn’t terrible either. It feels like a throwback to the comics of the 1990s when Vengeance was a thing. The dialogue is a bit cheesy and there’s a slight choppiness to the narrative. But, it’s a straightforward story. There’s little that’s surprising and a few things you just need to accept.
Javier Saltares handles the art. Saltares is joined by Marc Deering on ink, Arif Prianto on color, and Joe Sabino on lettering. The art too is a bit of a throwback though the opening has a bit of a modern feel to it. There’s not a whole lot that screams “Hell” to me beyond the demons on the page. It feels like a missed opportunity. There’s some details dropped in characters and panels as well that makes the art just ok.
There’s nothing bad about Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance but there’s also little that stands out. It’s a perfectly entertaining comic in a turn off your brain sort of way. The comic exists as part of the big picture plans for Ghost Rider and that corner of the Marvel Universe. It doesn’t really stand on its whole but it gets the motorcycle rolling for whatever is to come for Vengeance.
Story: Howard Mackie Art: Javier Saltares
Ink: Javier Saltares, Marc Deering Color: Arif Prianto Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.75 Art: 6.95 Overall: 6.85 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review