“If You Ain’t Cheatin’, You Ain’t Tryin’” (Avengers #24 Comic Review)

Avengers #24 Comic Review

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Stefano Caselli & Luciano Vecchio

Colorist: Jason Keith

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Cover: Stefano Caselli & Frank Martin

Variant Covers: Greg Land, Jay Leisten & Frank D’Armata

Challenge of The Ghost Riders Part Three

Cosmic Ghost Rider Vs. The Avengers

“If You Ain’t Cheatin’, You Ain’t Tryin’”

What You Need to Know

The Challenge of The Ghost Riders rages on, and Robbie Reyes learns from an unexpected source that he will have to play dirty to win. Meanwhile on Avengers Mountain, a Ghost Rider unlike anyone has seen before has possessed the Avengers headquarters and has been wreaking havoc in his attempt to destroy the Avengers. Can the Avengers stop this Spirit of Vengeance before Robbie Reyes’ soul is lost forever?

What Just Happened

The issue begins in Hell, where Robbie Reyes meets with the Ghost Riders of the past to get tips on how to defeat Johnny Blaze. Johnny Blaze tries to cheat again by using demons to stop Robbie Reyes, but the past Ghost Riders intervene to clear Robbie’s path. Johnny Blaze summons Robbie’s Uncle Eli in the form of Callus The Void of the Final Host.

On Avengers Mountain, The Avengers battle the Cosmic Ghost Rider. Thor and She-Hulk combine gamma energy with lightning to blast the Cosmic Ghost Rider. The Cosmic Ghost Rider gets the upper hand on the Avengers thanks to building a gun out of Tony Stark’s armor and summoning his cosmic motorcycle. Black Panther and Captain America respond by powering up with Celestial energy from the mountain to fight back. Blade and Daimon Hellstrom enter the fight after the Cosmic Ghost Rider attacks Boy-Thing. After Blade shoots Cosmic Ghost Rider, he realizes Johnny Blaze has tricked him into fighting the Avengers. Cosmic Ghost Rider decides to help the Avengers get into Hell to help Robbie.

Eli continues to pursue Robbie and mock him and Robbie becomes fed up and gets out of his car to confront him. Eli confuses Robbie by showing him his parents, and uses the distraction to crush Robbie’s Hellcharger. Johnny Blaze passes him and threatens to send Robbie’s whole family to Hell after he wins the race.

My Thoughts

This arc of Avengers is getting wacky. Introducing the Cosmic Ghost Rider to his arc kind of took away from the menacing and spooky tone of this clash of Ghost Riders. Jason Aaron always has a method to the madness, but I feel the Cosmic Ghost Rider takes away from what has been a very interesting last few issues. An arc that is supposed to revolve around Robbie Reyes does not even feel like he is the main focus anymore. Way too much time is spent with the Cosmic Ghost Rider making annoying quips while fighting with the Avengers. Not to say these fight scenes lack pretty cool action, especially when Thor and She-Hulk introduce their new tag team move. Black Panther also proves that he was a smart choice to be appointed Chairman of the Avengers, as he remains able to adapt to any situation. Also, don’t mess Boy-Thing or you’ll really piss Blade off.

Robbie Reyes heeding the advice of past Ghost Riders was intriguing, and seeing these Ghost Riders from different time periods was very cool. I’m still not sure of what Johnny Blaze’s endgame is with this challenge. Johnny says he just does not want the throne of Hell to fall into the wrong hands, but the previous Ghost Riders say he is lying and some of his actions prove he is not a benevolent king either. With a new Danny Ketch-starring Ghost Rider ongoing beginning soon, I just hope that Robbie Reyes is not taken off the board by the end of this arc. I really enjoy him as a member of the Avengers.

Stefano Caselli continues to strengthen this book with his art. Caselli’s sharply drawn artwork contributes greatly to the horror-tinged elements of this book. My only criticism is Hell looks kind of bland in this issue. Caselli does great elsewhere in this book especially in illustrating the powered up She-Hulk and the Celestial-fueled energy of Black Panther and Captain America. Luciano does a good job filling in for a few pages in this issue but can you definitely see the difference in artists.

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Marcus Freeman

Marcus Freeman

Bay Area bred, LA livin Blerd. Avid fan of comics, video games, music, wrestling, the Lakers, and the 49ers. Constantly catching up on DVR’d TV shows. Spends a little too much money at movie theaters. Also passionate about serving my community and providing the youth with tools for success.
Summary
The Cosmic Ghost Rider has been sent to kill the Avengers while Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes are racing to see who is the Ghost Rider over all Ghost Riders. The Avengers will need to assemble to rescue Robbie from Hell.
Good
  • Ghost Riders from different time periods
  • Thor and She-Hulk's tag team move
  • Powered up Black Panther and Captain America
  • Blade loves Boy-Thing!
Bad
  • Too much Cosmic Ghost Rider
  • Not enough Robbie Reyes
7.8
Good
Story - 7.5
Art - 8.5
Character Development - 7.5
Written by
Bay Area bred, LA livin Blerd. Avid fan of comics, video games, music, wrestling, the Lakers, and the 49ers. Constantly catching up on DVR’d TV shows. Spends a little too much money at movie theaters. Also passionate about serving my community and providing the youth with tools for success.

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