Nothing screams cyberpunk like a robot hosting a spirit of the Ghost Rider. Come see how “Zero” turned from hacker to robot in Ghost Rider 2099 #1 by Marvel!
GHOST RIDER 2099 #1
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Damian Couceiro
Colorist: Dono Sanchez-Almara
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Chris Robinson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 4th, 2099
Previously in 2099: A new interpretation of the 2099 universe has been released this year! This version had Dr. Doom erasing the memory of superheroes from society and has taken away the need for them in the first place. These are the stories of heroes and villains that persist in this world despite Dr. Doom’s watchful eye. Kenshiro “Zero” Cochrane is one of those powered beings who prowl the streets of Transverse City as the Ghost Rider.
A JOB GONE WRONG
Zero and his crew are about to pull of a job in Transverse City by robbing a moving truck that has power cells. Breaking into the truck, Zero plugs into the vehicle’s security system and moves through the cyberspace. From here, he hacks into the security system to let the rest of his crew further into a truck. However, instead of finding power cells they find a deactivated robot. Meanwhile in D/Monix Headquarters, they have noticed a security breach and Harrison Cochrane commands the truck to self destruct and killing the thieves and in turn his own son. Instead of dying, Zero enters the Ghostwork and meets an entity known as Blaze. Ghostwork is revealed to be a digital hell and Blaze informs Zero that his dad ordered to kill him.
Zero in anger makes a deal with Blaze and is resurrected in the robot body as a Ghost Rider. After a brief interlude of returning home, he attaches a chainsaw to his arm and heads to D/Monix HQ with a mission of revenge. Zero quickly murders everyone with a flaming chainsaw before finding his father. Harrison pleads for his life but Zero doesn’t hear any of it. Killing his own dad, he swears that D/Monix has no business in Transverse City and will fight back if they ever show up again.
I have always been a little uneasy about resurrection stories. Most of the time they go two ways: they mimic the biblical story of Jesus Christ or they do the exact opposite. Think of the Lazarus Pit from DC comics that drives people mad and with bloodlust. Ghost Rider 2099 went this same route and portrayed Zero as a ruthless murderer. I think it is disappointing when stories make this decision. Not trying to discount the book and the plot point set up, it is just a tiring trope that doesn’t appeal to me.
What does appeal to me is the mix of mysticism and technology. The Spirit of Vengeance that gets mixed with a robot is a cool concept and is visually stunning on the page. There is also a theme of identity because of Zero’s humanity with robotics and a need to figure out the balance of oneself. This leads to a lot of potential for good stories for this character in the new 2099 books. Especially when the main villain of the world seems to be Dr. Doom who has some of those same themes. This is a recipe for success and I hope the writing team takes Zero and turn him into a more three-dimensional character.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD IDEAS BUT BAD START
I like the ideas that were being set up but I wasn’t a fan of the execution. I think the writers were rushed in their pacing and instead of exploring Zero’s humanity; they saved time by making him a killer. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t for me at all. If you are planning to read the 2099 series then I think it is necessary to pick up to learn the origin of the character. 3 out of 5 stars for Ghost Rider 2099 #1 by Marvel from me.
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Ghost Rider 2099 #1
There is also a theme of identity because of Zero’s humanity with robotics and a need to figure out the balance of oneself,