Review: Marvel’s Spirits of Vengeance #5

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
February 12th, 2018

Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.

Review: Marvel’s Spirits of Vengeance #5
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Devilish Good Fun

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 12, 2018
Last modified:February 12, 2018

Summary:

Spirits of Vengeance closes with a fiery finale with a wonderful showcase of Marvel's horror heroes. VIctor Gischler handles the characters with precision and sets the stage for more. David Baldeon and Andres Mossa deliver some of their best work yet. War at the Gates of Hell isn't exactly war but rather the prelude to war. Let's hope Marvel has the good sense to give readers more of these great characters.

Price:
Devilish Good Fun

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On February 12, 2018
Last modified:February 12, 2018

Summary:

Spirits of Vengeance closes with a fiery finale with a wonderful showcase of Marvel's horror heroes. VIctor Gischler handles the characters with precision and sets the stage for more. David Baldeon and Andres Mossa deliver some of their best work yet. War at the Gates of Hell isn't exactly war but rather the prelude to war. Let's hope Marvel has the good sense to give readers more of these great characters.

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It’s all out war at the gates of Hell in Spirits of Vengeance #5 from Marvel Comics. Writer Victor Gischler and artists David Baldeon and Andres Mossa bring Ghost Rider, Blade, Satana, and Hellstorm together to keep the oldest rivalry in history from tearing apart the cosmos.  ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look at the final issue of the series.

Review: Spirits Of Vengeance #5

The supernatural/horror corner of the Marvel Universe is perhaps the last area of their comic book world in need of rejuvenation. What once was a sturdy pillar in their comic book catalog, both in the seventies and the nineties, these horror heroes have struggled to reconnect with readers for over a decade now. That’s not to say Marvel Comics hasn’t been trying.

With Doctor Strange now firmly reestablished in comics we’ve seen a door to the supernatural world opened. Last year a few titles in this vein saw print: Robbie Reyes – Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, and Carnage (the latter of which being the best Marvel horror comic in decades).

Spirits of Vengeance is the latest book from Marvel attempting to breathe new life into these classic characters.

Synopsis

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The book centers on the idea of the Covenant: A ceasefire between Heaven and Hell with a thousand year summit in which both sides meet to reaffirm the truce. A sorcerer named Necrodamus has found a way to kill angels, by means of the cursed silver once belonging to Judas Iscariot. An angel informs Johnny Blaze of this plot, who in turn enlists the help of Daimon Hellstrom, Satana, and Blade.

“War” is a bit of an overstatement. The war doesn’t occur until this final issue and even then it’s more of a battle than full blown war. Ultimately the story feels smaller than what was promised. While the subtitle is a bit misleading, writer Victor Gischler wraps up the story neatly.

The book comes across as a wonderful opening salvo for a bigger story on the horizon. Whether that bigger story comes or not remains to be seen. As is, it would be disappointing if nothing else came from this. Left on the table at the end is the Devil’s massive army ready and waiting in Hell and the Heavenly Host owing the four heroes a favor.

Gischler handles the four protagonists very well, Daimon Hellstrom or simply “Hellstorm” standing out best among them. The dynamic between Daimon and Satana is one of the shining aspects of the series and something Marvel should consider exploring further in a future series (a new Warren Ellis Hellstorm series anyone?). And Johnny Blaze being the key to stopping Necrodamus was an ingenious usage the character’s inherent nature. The only cast member that felt underutilized a bit was Blade.

David Baldeon utilizes two distinct art styles in this book. The predominant style employed for the series is a realistic approach. Perhaps his skills have improved, or it’s Andres Mossa’s colors in combination. Whatever the reason the artwork is some of Baldeon’s best. The linework is crisp and clear. Daimon’s hellfire burst and the angels facing off against the demons are only some of the book’s standout imagery.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The second style employed by Baldeon is restricted exclusively to Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider’s anatomy is exaggerated, thinned and elongated. In all his 45 years the character has never appeared quite like this. Baldeon’s take on Ghost Rider is unique and inspired. The artist leaves his own stamp on the character with this series.

Art preferences aside I’d be curious to see Baldeon’s realistic version of Ghost Rider or Spirits of Vengeance cover artist Dan Mora contributing interior art for a Ghost Rider book.

Lastly Andres Mossa's dusky colors lend the perfect tone to the book. There are no bright or loud colors. The book possesses a dry color pallet, ready to catch fire at any moment. And when Mossa sets the book ablaze the results are spectacular. Andres Mossa’s colors are a vital ingredient in this incredible book.

I daresay this is one of the best books to have come from the Marvel Legacy initiative. The book shows readers who these characters are and why they're great, all set to a classic backdrop yet moving the story forward. And at five issues this outstanding book is over.

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It is a treat when Marvel brings these characters together. Despite what one might think, this kind of assemblage of Marvel characters doesn’t happen very often. The pairing of these characters feels natural and works. A monthly ensemble horror book may be just what's needed. Regardless, Marvel needs to do more of this.

Credit: Marvel Comics

As a reader I’d rather see Satana or Ghost Rider together with another supernatural character rather than with someone like Spider-Man or Iron Man. Sales being what they are however, I’ll take these characters any way I can get them... as long as they’re written and drawn well of course.

Marvel has the creative talent to do great things with these characters and this underutilized corner of their universe. And it is my hope that they do. Gerry Conway, Mike Perkins, and Andy Troy (the men behind 2015’s Carnage series) would be my top choice for a creative team to revitalized Marvel’s horror brand. Now I feel Victor Gischler, David Baldeon, and Andres Mossa have done and could do more wonderful things with these characters too.

What did you think?

Drop us a comment below

Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche

Spirits of Vengeance #5

  • 4

Devilish Good Fun

Spirits of Vengeance closes with a fiery finale with a wonderful showcase of Marvel's horror heroes. VIctor Gischler handles the characters with precision and sets the stage for more. David Baldeon and Andres Mossa deliver some of their best work yet. War at the Gates of Hell isn't exactly war but rather the prelude to war. Let's hope Marvel has the good sense to give readers more of these great characters.

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