Blaze #1-6 (1994-1995)

Marvel tries to make Johnny Blaze–not Ghost Rider–a marquee star. Basically, Johnny Blaze is a dude who uses a hellfire shotgun to seek vengeance. I guess it makes sense to bring on Larry Hama as writer–he’s good with “tough guy” comics–but the fit between him and the supernatural isn’t great.

Blaze finds people to shoot because he gets referrals from Ghost Rider.

And of course, his carnival buddies now have mystic connections and occult powers.

The villain in this first arc is a serial killer who is possesing the kid who approached Ghost Rider in the panel above, and its tangled up with a “Great Spirits” fight in Canada. Along the way of putting the evil spirit to rest, Blaze fights Man-Thing for no reason, meets up with Ringmaster’s Circus (a competing carnival–and Princess Python ends up joining the Quentin Carnival), and has a “Native American” adventure with Warpath and Wyatt Wingfoot, facing off against Wendigo. Hm. Not just a Native American adventure–one with all “W” characters. Also, Johnny Blaze’s face gets healed from injuries incurred before this series, miraculously, but they don’t really explain why or make a big deal of it beyond a few panels.

Things like that are what make it hard to give a crap about this comic. If even the creators don’t care to develop the story, why should I be invested?

I know I’m painting with a broad brush here, but…There’s really not much to write about. Nothing in here is terrible, but nothing is all that interesting, either.

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