GHOST RIDER # 1/2
On a rooftop, the president tells the Rider that the boy did indeed die because of their faulty safety procedures. He says that twenty different executives signed the bike's release sale form, despite the engineers finding problems. If the Rider takes him out, his vice president (who busts onto the roof at that moment with several other men) would step right up behind him. The Ghost Rider picks the man up and throws him off the building, then turns to the vice president and says two words: "do better."
Ghost Rider last appeared in Ghost Rider (2001) # 6 and makes his next appearance in Ghost Rider (2005) # 1. After this issue, Johnny Blaze is killed and taken to Hell, as shown in Ghost Rider (2006) # 7.
The idea of a corporation being the target of the Ghost Rider's vengeance is certainly intriguing. The problem here, however, is that nothing is done with the concept past the cliched "corporations are bad" straw-man argument that weaker writers fall prey to. Yes, companies are there to make money, bottom line - but that doesn't mean every capitalist is evil. The most disappointing part of this story is that Grayson had plenty of time to address such gray areas, but instead filled the 16-page story with 8 pages of the Ghost Rider riding his bike through a building and getting shot at. I certainly didn't expect a thesis on ethics in big business from a Wizard promo comic, but I would have at least liked a tiny bit of story to chew on instead of a story that took approximately 30 seconds to plow through.
What I DID like about the story was the ending, namely the speech the Maxa Corp president gives to the Ghost Rider. As he says, "you can't kill a corporation" because it's not a living entity...akin to a hydra, where two heads replace one that's cut off. But the unflinching evil of the president still makes him a cliche, no matter how appropriate his final words are before the Rider tosses him off the building.
We're also treated to some more of Trent Kaniuga's artwork, which got sloppier and more rushed as the series progressed. I'm assuming this issue fell around the middle of the mini, since it doesn't look as sharp as # 1 nor as bad as # 6. Kaniuga DID produce one really memorable bit of action, however, when the Ghost Rider catches a bullet between his teeth and proceeds to spit it back at the shooter. It's completely ridiculous, but still manages to look quite cool.
So should you try and track down this issue? I'd give it a pass, especially considering the high price you may have to pay for it, given it's limited production. An interesting idea not taken to it's full potential.
Ghost Rider # 1/2
Title: "Corporate Hell"