MARVEL MANGAVERSE: GHOST RIDERS # 1
I admit now that I am definitely not a fan of manga or anime as a whole - I don't like the art style and I find the standard tropes of Japanese storytelling (robots, body modification, fetishes) to be terribly cliched. So with that in mind, I wasn't really looking forward to Marvel's attempt to cash in on the manga bandwagon, especially not with my favorite characters. Even worse, they picked Chuck Austen to write and draw this issue, which should have been a major warning sign for me to stay away. If I wasn't a Ghost Rider completist, I would have avoided this book like the plague.
It's fitting that the worst Ghost Rider comic ever produced was by Chuck Austen, who wrote the similarly terrible runs on Uncanny X-Men and the Avengers. I fail to understand how a man so utterly deprived of talent was given so many plumb assignments in the mid-2000s. His awful writing almost made me forget that he was an equally terrible artist, as evidenced in this issue. He apes the manga style capably enough I suppose, but he relies on using the same panels over and over and over again. That's just plain lazy, especially since he's not even drawing the pages by hand - they're all computer generated. The only thing I came even remotely close to liking is how Ghost Rider's skull looked.
The plot is juvenile at best (see Satana's giant breast implants) and the artwork is garishly amateur with the computer effects standing out like a sore thumb. I also have no idea why Werewolf by Night is on the cover when he has no role in the interior, which seems to be a failure of communication between Austen and the cover artist.
I hate this comic. 'Nuff said.
Marvel Mangaverse: Ghost Riders # 1