Rating: 3.5/5 – Marvel’s Supernatural Heroes in the Middle of a War Between Hell and Heaven.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell
One Marvel Legacy that caught my eye was the “Spirits of Vengeance” title with Johnny Blaze instead of the current Marvel Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes. Being a big fan of the 1990’s run of the title, I just had to pick up this legacy relaunch. Thoughts of the guest appearances and critical “family first” storyline made the old Spirits of Vengeance a much remembered event. This time around we still have familiar faces, but things seem to take a while to pick up.
After 3 issues, Spirits of Vengeance still seems to be lacking something. Johnny Blaze, Blade, Daimon Hellstrom, and his sister, Satana Hellstrom are all out to save the world from Hell and Heaven waging war on earth. Between issue 1 and 2, there seemed to have been a good amount of time lost. Not weeks but maybe days. When an gap like this happens in the Marvel Universe other comic titles will sometimes fill in the blank spaces, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here (at least I couldn’t figure out what comic, if any, filled the gap). Issue 1 was a great start to this comic, old characters that are not routinely seen appear. By issue 2 I was a little lost, but things started leveling out by issue 3.
A silver bullet was found in issue one, it’s important for some reason; by issue 2 we discovered the silver bullet is made from the silver that was paid to Judas for turning Jesus Christ over to the Romans. The reason behind the bullet is pretty good, but other than the dark humor and slightly interesting story, the comic failed to gather the intensity for me that I remember from the previous “Spirit of Vengeance” title. Writer Victor Gischler had a good basic story idea and good dialogue, but it fell short on keeping me highly interested. So far, it’s been 3 issues of building a weapon that can kill higher beings such as angels, that’s it. Now we will be supplied with several issues of people using that weapon for a heaven and hell war.
The art is by David Baldeon and his style seems to vary depending on what scenes he’s illustrating (with violent action seeming far more chaotic). It almost seemed to me as if two completely different artists were illustrating the comic, which can be a positive or negative depending on the perspective and art appreciation of the reader.
A war between heaven and hell has been brewing for a long time, Spirits of Vengeance focuses on the possibility of something that could turn the tide of that war and what kind of impact it would have. I had problems with both the writing and art and cannot imagine this becoming a top seller for Marvel, but there is enough going on to keep devoted fans of the characters on board. If you’re a big fan of Johnny Blaze, Blade, or the Hellstrom siblings you’ve probably already checked this out. If you’re not a pre-existing fan of these characters, you may be better off finding older comics featuring them in the back issue bins instead of starting here.
Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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