REVIEW: Spirits of Vengeance #1: Back With a Vengeance!

Spirits of Vengeance #1 is the first of the Marvel Legacy titles I’ve read and so far they’re off to a good start.  I had taken a break from Marvel a few years ago.  I was tired of everything needing to facilitate the crossover mega-event of the hour and all of my childhood heroes being replaced for what seemed like no story or plot purpose, but just to do it. I think I was exactly the target audience for Legacy, the longtime fan who no longer felt connected to the characters they grew up with.

Marvel took a step in the right direction with relaunching this franchise. In keeping with the theme of  Legacy, I was relieved and extremely excited to see that this team’s Ghost Rider is none other than Johnny Blaze, who is hands down my favorite Ghost Rider of all time. I once had a conversation with Howard Mackie about our favorite incarnations of Ghost Rider and even he, despite having created the Danny Ketch version, had to agree with me that Johnny Blaze took the top spot.

This issue kicks off the War at the Gates of Hell storyline, which will bring our quartet of supernatural powerhouses together. The team will consist of Ghost Rider, Hellstorm, Blade, and Satana. Johnny Is very quickly pointed in Daimon Hellstrom’s direction by a mysterious stranger who dies under even more mysterious circumstances. Together they begin to clue together that something big is coming.  There is a definite sense of impending doom.  Near the end of the issue we get a glimpse of Blade doing what he does best, though not yet having met up with the others. Satana has yet to appear, but is sure to be around soon.

Victor Gischler’s script was well paced and kept your interest from drifting.  You got a definite sense of importance to Johnny and Daimon’s quest for answers and are left wanting to find out what is going on as much as they do. The characters were well written and behaved just as longtime fans such as myself would expect.

The art was a little underwhelming.  Not that David Baldeon’s art was bad, it just wasn’t my taste as it seemed a little more cartoony than I prefer for a serious supernatural adventure story. I was disappointed with the first appearance of Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider in the issue for the same reasons, it didn’t seem serious. If this were more along the tone of something like Army of Darkness where there is more of a comedic tone even to the gore then this is exactly the kind of art I would look for, but for this I prefer something in a more realistic style.

For new readers who may not be as familiar with the characters we are given a quick half page recap of each of their back stories to get you up to speed. If Spirits of Vengeance is any indication of what Marvel Legacy has to offer then Marvel just might win me back.

Story: 4
Art: 3
Overall Rating: 3.5

Written by Victor Gischler
Art by David Baldeon
Cover by Mark Texeira
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