By: Rob Williams (writer), Lee Garbett (artist), Rob Schwager (colorist), Sebastian Girner (editor)

The Story: Now free of the control of Adam, Alejandra has to figure out what to do with herself and her curse. Her wordless conversation and grudgingly-given trust to the demon Zarathos begins to define what she is now that she is a free agent.

The Review: This book was a smooth, supernatural ride. I loved the overt plotline of Alejandra seeking herself through the new mentor Zarathos, with whom she cannot speak. She can only follow his lead and trust that where he brings her, their interests overlap. Beneath this relationship is the metaphorical undercurrent of how we make decisions and how we define ourselves, especially at the beginning of adulthood. We all carry angels and demons in us, and we rarely understand exactly what they say or why they do, and we can only trust that when following those urges, that we may be arriving at a good place. Layered over all of this is Alejandra’s more conscious perception of who she is as a person defined by her adoption, and as a spirit of vengeance defined by her the mandate of her curse. It’s too early yet in this series to tell whether Alejandra is a reliable narrator or not. Narrators may lie to us and they may also be wrong about the world and themselves, so Alejandra’s engaging monologue carries that uncertainly. In the end, this stand-alone issue was not about Alejandra defeating some over powerful foe, but about finding her footing under the informal mentorship of Zarathos.

Artwise, Marvel has a ringer on deck in Garbett. You’ll recall that Garbett penciled a ton of Batgirl stories (see, for example, WCBR’s review of Batgirl #1) where he, with Scott as inker, produced some beautiful visuals. Garbett is inking his own pencils here. I’ve got to say that as much as I loved Scott as Garbett’s main inker on the Batgirl run, I’m loving Garbett on his own. The images, from the faces to the environment and hellfire to the careening truck, locusts and long-lost father, are all great. The fiery effects courtesy of Shwager are pretty cool and Garbett sets up some pretty interesting overlapping panel layouts.

Conclusion: I’m a fan of Marvel’s supernatural side, but I waited until the latest interminably Marvel event was done before checking back into Ghost Rider. I was totally surprised by how much I loved this book and will be back for issue #6. Pick it up.

Grade: B+

-DS Arsenault

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