Marvel Review – Ghost Rider (Marvel Universe)


Intro:
            All my life, I’ve been a huge fan of comics, although it was pretty hard to me to find constant supply of good quality comic books since I was young, partly due to a few factors. I love Marvel and DC comics the most, but they are all not that easily available from where I stayed and plus, even if you managed to find them, they are extremely expensive!
            In those days, when you talk about comic characters, people normally think of Spiderman, Hulk, Batman or Superman. Those four have transcended into culture icons – instantly recognizable even among non-comic fans. Other characters such as Wonder Woman, Flash, Captain America, Iron Man, X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Green Lantern have their own followings too, back in those days, although there were not as many – from where I come, back then, people were that much into Western comics.
            Me, though I love all those characters mentioned above, there was one particular character, along with The Hulk, that really captured my imagination, but unfortunately, he was almost unheard of in these parts, back in those days, as such, its comic titles are really difficult to come by. That character is none other than Ghost Rider.
            My first exposure to the Ghost Rider was somewhere in the late 80’s and my first Ghost Rider comics was actually a Chinese-translated comic of the Dan Ketch’s version of the Rider. I was instantly hooked on it. I mean, here we have a flaming skeleton, clad in spiked motorcycle leather jacket with chains, and he was virtually unstoppable.
            He even has his own superbike from Hell that could do lotsa amazing stunts, who wouldn’t dig that?!
            So yeah, I was already in love with Ghost Rider, ever since back then, long before the movie was made.
            For those who are not familiar with the lore, here’s a quickie.
            The original Ghost Rider was Johnny Blaze, who was possessed by the demon Zarathos, as a result of a deal-gone-wrong he made with the devil Mephistopheles. As the story continued, we were told of the origin of Zarathos and his connections with Mephisto.
            Soon, it was revealed that there was an existing curse on the Blaze family, with a connection to one medallion of power, which was broken into several pieces, and came to the hands of two other families – the Ketch and the Badilino – the two other Spirit of Vengeances to have held the title of Ghost Riders. Dan Ketch’s Ghost Rider, whose powers came from the spirit of Noble Kale and Michael Badilino’s Ghost Rider, more popularly known as Vengeance were the two other original major Ghost Riders.
            As the story goes, the myth gets more and more complicated, and after involving Hell in the storylines, to the extent of Ghost Rider actually becoming the ruler of Hell, it was inevitable that the story would soon involved Heavens and God. In fact, it is said that the current Ghost Rider, hosted by Johnny Blaze is actually the creation of God himself. This version of Ghost Rider is said (as admitted by the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange) to be the most powerful hero in both the mortal and the immortal realm, and is equally, if not more powerful than even the Green Scar version of the Hulk.
            So ladies and gentlemen, that is exactly how cool Ghost Rider is…
            Anyways, enough with the rant and let’s get to the actual figure itself. I got this particular figure from an eBay seller, who bundled this guy up with the Marvel Crossover Ghost Rider that I bought from him. I never had any Marvel Universe figures prior to this, so it was my first exposure to this line. The figure is actually the Johnny Blaze’s version of the character, not the Dan Ketch’s version of the character, which I had initially hoped for, but still, it’s a Ghost Rider nonetheless.
            From the packaging, it states that the figure is from Series 2, number 030.

Figure:
            When I first got this figure, I was very impressed with the sculpting of this figure. Though not as thoroughly detailed as the previously reviewed Hulk figure, there are some details of this figure that are worth mentioning.
Brilliant headsculpt
            The head sculpt is absolutely fantastic! The flame sculpts are just so neat. The effects of the flame are also evident in the eye sockets, the mouth and nose, as well as the hint of orange flames on the white of the skull.

            The sculpting of the rest of the body to mimic the leather jacket of a stunt rider is quite accurate, and I especially love the sculpting of the boots, where they are smooth and shiny black.
Ghost Rider riding Ghost Rider...
           Articulation-wise: The head turns, and it can both look up and down limitedly, and also turn to left and right. The collar of the jacket is on a separate joint and swings either left or right.
            The shoulders consists of two separate joints: the 1st joint, which is the inner joint consists of a hinge joint, and when it is combined with the 2nd joint – a swivel joint, they provide the shoulders with complete range of motions. The elbows bend and the wrists turn.
            There’s also an abs-crunch joint, waist joint, ball-jointed hip (due to the design, their movements are somewhat restricted), legs rotation slightly below the hips; double-jointed knees; and finally, forward and backward-tilting ankles.
            So as you can see, the articulations are fantastic.
Ghost Rider vs Hulk
            Since the other Marvel Universe figure that I have is in the form of Hulk, I can’t help it but notice how small and skinny Ghost Rider is compared to the Hulk, I guess this should be quite scale-accurate, since Ghost Rider is only a bag of bones, whereas Hulk is a huge mass of muscles.
            So when you stand Ghost Rider next to Hulk, he looks rather miniscule.
Ghost Rider kicks Hulk's rear-end
            However, do remember that according to fiction, Ghost Rider is more than capable to defeat the Hulk is one-on-one combat.
...And gives him a Penance Stare for good measure
            Unlike Hulk, although Ghost Rider does have the similar amount of articulations as the former, he doesn’t have a wide base (a.k.a. large feet) to provide support, so it can be quite frustrating trying to put him in various fancy poses. This, however, can be overcome via a method, which I will elaborate in a while.   
Hulk and Ghost Rider
            Again, you can put him in various poses with or against his fellow Marvel Universe counterparts.
Having each others' back
            As a figure itself, he is neat, but ‘fraid not, there’s more.

Accessories:
            The pack comes with various bonuses – the most significant of them being the stand. In order to put Ghost Rider in various ambitious poses, the stand can be a huge assistant.
Stand
            The Rider also comes with a flaming chain, made from a piece of rubber. The paintjob is fantastic, although I do wish that the chain can be somehow malleable – it could provide more posing options.
Top Secret Envelope

            Other accessories include a Top Secret envelope that contains several documents. The first is the Superhuman Registration Act card that depicts Johnny Blaze’s fingerprint, a photo of the Ghost Rider, as well as other physical attributes as well as a rough description of the Ghost Rider’s powers. At the back of the card, there is an artwork of Ghost Rider, which is absolutely fabulous.
Front and back of the Superhuman Registration Act card
            There is also a letter inside the envelope, purportedly written by Dr. Victor von Doom to Norman Osborn, whose advice to Norman Osborn to not mess with the Ghost Rider.
Letter from Doom to Osborne
Summary:

            Ghost Rider is a fun, fun figure, and with the accessories that he comes along with, it really gives him an extra dimension.
            I am really glad to have this Ghost Rider figure, along the Hulk, and it was fitting that I have the figures of both of my most favorite comic characters in my collections.

            Final verdict, 10/10.

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