This “Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire” miniseries is, of course, simply a continuation of Jason Aaron’s run on the temporarily cancelled “Ghost Rider” ongoing. It’s more than that, really, it’s the conclusion to his “Ghost Rider” run. It’s the final arc in the best “Ghost Rider” story ever told.
And it’s no surprise that it’s very good.
Aaron has made the Ghost Rider universe interesting for the first time, well, ever. He’s done it not by radically changing the characters, but by showing that Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch and the rest of the crew were more than just guys with flaming skulls and motorcycles. They were guys with flaming skulls and motorcycles who were wicked cool! Guys who lived in a nasty, brutal, darkly comic world in which a dude with an Evel Knievel uniform and a giant eyeball for a head could pose a serious threat.
Okay, so maybe the All-New Orb didn’t pose any kind of threat at all, but he was a brilliantly-used character and now that he’s back as part of the Ghost Rider Assassination League, someone’s gonna pay.
Just to clarify, issue #2 of this series is titled “Are you there Devil? It’s me, Danny” and if that doesn’t give you an idea of what kind of comic book this is, and it doesn’t sound like something you’d like, then there’s probably no hope for you.
Did I mention that this issue also has the best-ever portrayal of z-grade West Coast Avengers villain Master Pandemonium? No? Well it does. The issue opens with the now-Ron-Jeremy-looking former supervillain battling with his own demons in a fleabag motel. And when I say “battling with his own demons,” I don’t mean that metaphorically. I mean his hands have been transformed into tiny demons and they are punching him in the face.
And you might think, “hey, how could it possibly get better than that?” but it does. Because in this issue the “Ghost Riders” begin to assemble and prepare for their assault on Heaven and the Ghost Rider Assassination League adds some new members. New members like Madcap and Scarecrow, Big Wheel and Trull the Inhuman (a sentient steam shovel with glowing red eyes and a scowl, of course).
This comic is a complete and utter blast to read. And for your $3.99 you get a partial reprint of the original “Ghost Rider” #1 in the back of this issue. It’s a stupid, pointless addition to this comic, but I suppose Marvel feels like it needs to justify the $3.99 cover price somehow. Honestly, though, this Jason Aaron/Rolan Boschi story has more than enough awesomeness make it worth the four bucks. This is the best Ghost Riders-vs.-the-Heavenly-Host comic money can buy. Without a doubt.