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Review Group Week 167 - GHOST RIDER #34

Discuss the latest comic book news and front page articles, read or post your own reviews of comics, and talk about anything comic book related. Threads from the two subforums below will also show up here. News Stand topics can also be read and posted in from The Asylum.

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Postby ****** » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:50 am

thefourthman wrote:And that is closer to the quality of the book. It is a good solid fun book. It is not a great book, it is a great Ghost Rider book though. The fact that the second clause has to be qualified (and it really does) shows that it is not brilliant.

How many folks gave it a second read? A great book is just as exciting the second time, maybe even the third time, regardless of the frequency it is read. The second read on this one provides no more details, no nuances, it is just a rote story at that point.


The comic completely succeeds in what it is though. Fun is just as admirable a quality as density.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:56 am

amlah6 wrote:The comic completely succeeds in what it is though. Fun is just as admirable a quality as density.

admirable and great are not the same thing. This is the kind of thing that gets covered in an honorary award, not the recipient of the actual award itself.

Let me put it this way... Transformers completely succeeded at what it was supposed to do... it made a lot of movie in the box office, even more in dvd sales and opened the way for a sequel creating a franchise for the studio. Does that make it a great movie?
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Postby Punchy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:57 am

Fourthy, you gave it a 9/10, why bash it?

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:59 am

Punchy wrote:Fourthy, you gave it a 9/10, why bash it?

Not bashing it. Just saying, it is not great. It is far above average, but does not quite make it all the way and if you look at my score it is the writing that drags it down. It is a nice action piece, that is fun, it is hardly world changing or thought provoking.

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Postby Punchy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:04 am

thefourthman wrote:Not bashing it. Just saying, it is not great. It is far above average, but does not quite make it all the way and if you look at my score it is the writing that drags it down. It is a nice action piece, that is fun, it is hardly world changing or thought provoking.


I don't think anybody is saying that it is world changing, I myself referred to it as 'a fun breather', 'silly dark fun' and that it had 'great action choreography'.

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Postby guitarsmashley » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:05 am

amlah6 wrote:Super just sunk Punchy's battleship! :shock: :lol:

Down from 9.10 to 8.93.

GR started the day as the second highest rated book ever and now it's down to fifth.


I change my score to an 8.
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Postby ****** » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:06 am

thefourthman wrote:Not bashing it. Just saying, it is not great. It is far above average, but does not quite make it all the way and if you look at my score it is the writing that drags it down. It is a nice action piece, that is fun, it is hardly world changing or thought provoking.


Why does something have to be world changing or thought provoking to be great?

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Postby Punchy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:07 am

guitarsmashley wrote:I change my score to an 8.


No! No score changing!

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:12 am

Punchy wrote:I don't think anybody is saying that it is world changing, I myself referred to it as 'a fun breather', 'silly dark fun' and that it had 'great action choreography'.

and while all of that is true, it does not make it Watchmen or Four Eyes or Planetary...

Jason Aaron is a great writer. He has shown that with the Other Side and Scalped. However, his Marvel work is paced to the trade and it suffers as a result. Scalped and The Otherside compel you to feel for the characters, the are meaningful and entertaining. Wolverine Weapon X and much of his Ghost Rider work suffer from an absence of meaning. They are fun and serviceable, to quote Amlah "the succeed at what they are supposed to do." However, that should not be the only component of quality... if succeeding at what you are supposed to do is all we need then Hulk, Dark Avengers, and the like are the best book published right now, because they succeed at remaining at the top of the charts... whether they succeed in more or not is up for debate, but I the feeling that most of us would argue they do not. Ghost Rider is a fun book. It is entertaining, it is not "great".

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Postby Punchy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:13 am

thefourthman wrote:and while all of that is true, it does not make it Watchmen or Four Eyes or Planetary...

Jason Aaron is a great writer. He has shown that with the Other Side and Scalped. However, his Marvel work is paced to the trade and it suffers as a result. Scalped and The Otherside compel you to feel for the characters, the are meaningful and entertaining. Wolverine Weapon X and much of his Ghost Rider work suffer from an absence of meaning. They are fun and serviceable, to quote Amlah "the succeed at what they are supposed to do." However, that should not be the only component of quality... if succeeding at what you are supposed to do is all we need then Hulk, Dark Avengers, and the like are the best book published right now, because they succeed at remaining at the top of the charts... whether they succeed in more or not is up for debate, but I the feeling that most of us would argue they do not. Ghost Rider is a fun book. It is entertaining, it is not "great".


But you still gave it a 9.

And Wolverine has only had 1 issue, give it a chance.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:13 am

amlah6 wrote:Why does something have to be world changing or thought provoking to be great?

Doesn't have to be, but it has to bring more to the table than this book does.

Great pieces affect the reader in numerous ways. I don't think any of us were affected by this book.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:17 am

Punchy wrote:But you still gave it a 9.

And Wolverine has only had 1 issue, give it a chance.

But that's the point, it is the FOURTH ongoing title of one character, not of a set of characters, of one guys. It shouldn't need to be given a chance. It should knock your fucking socks off, make you cum, serve you diner in bed and then suck you off. You should then proceed to the comic store and ask for the next issue to be immediately put in your box regardless of release date, you need it now.

Ghost Rider #34 was a fun book. It is not a particularly memorable one and it is not going to change the way people who aren't reading the book see it. It works for people who were presupposed to like it, it will not convert others. We will not see the sales of the book spike as a result.

It was somewhat formulaic and predictable if we are being honest with ourselves.

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Postby Punchy » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:21 am

thefourthman wrote:But that's the point, it is the FOURTH ongoing title of one character, not of a set of characters, of one guys. It shouldn't need to be given a chance. It should knock your fucking socks off, make you cum, serve you diner in bed and then suck you off. You should then proceed to the comic store and ask for the next issue to be immediately put in your box regardless of release date, you need it now.

Ghost Rider #34 was a fun book. It is not a particularly memorable one and it is not going to change the way people who aren't reading the book see it. It works for people who were presupposed to like it, it will not convert others. We will not see the sales of the book spike as a result.

It was somewhat formulaic and predictable if we are being honest with ourselves.


I don't let outside influences effect my reviews as much as you do, I judged W:WX #1 on it's own merits, and I liked it a lot more.

Who cares if there are other Wolverine books?

And GR #34 certainly has made quite a few of our members to decide to go back and pick up the trades of Aaron's run, so it has changed the way certain people feel, more than one review has remarked that they never expected to enjoy a Ghost Rider comic so much, that's pretty great in my eyes, in the same way that Immortal Iron Fist was great.

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Postby ****** » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:37 am

thefourthman wrote:and while all of that is true, it does not make it Watchmen or Four Eyes or Planetary...

Jason Aaron is a great writer. He has shown that with the Other Side and Scalped. However, his Marvel work is paced to the trade and it suffers as a result. Scalped and The Otherside compel you to feel for the characters, the are meaningful and entertaining. Wolverine Weapon X and much of his Ghost Rider work suffer from an absence of meaning. They are fun and serviceable, to quote Amlah "the succeed at what they are supposed to do." However, that should not be the only component of quality... if succeeding at what you are supposed to do is all we need then Hulk, Dark Avengers, and the like are the best book published right now, because they succeed at remaining at the top of the charts... whether they succeed in more or not is up for debate, but I the feeling that most of us would argue they do not. Ghost Rider is a fun book. It is entertaining, it is not "great".


Not what I said at all. I said it "succeeds in what it is" which is to say that in being a horror comic with elements of action and comedy, a popcorn comic if you will, it's an entertaining bit of escapism.

I think by limiting "great" to thought provoking works you're eliminating a huge part of the creative process of the comic which is the actual art. The chase sequence in this comic is freaking awesome as is the page of Ketch's transformation into Ghost Rider. If art isn't being included in the equation as to what makes a great comic, you might as well just stick to prose.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:49 am

Punchy wrote:I don't let outside influences effect my reviews as much as you do, I judged W:WX #1 on it's own merits, and I liked it a lot more.

Who cares if there are other Wolverine books?

And GR #34 certainly has made quite a few of our members to decide to go back and pick up the trades of Aaron's run, so it has changed the way certain people feel, more than one review has remarked that they never expected to enjoy a Ghost Rider comic so much, that's pretty great in my eyes, in the same way that Immortal Iron Fist was great.

But outside influenes are there and do effect the book.

And I enjoyed the book. I didn't hate it. But the job of a review is to tell someone why they should read the book over the other books and it is difficult to make a case for that book over any of the other wolverine books. Even Origins has been good since Dark Reign started, although with this last issue it seems that it may have been a short lived thing.

Dilution is one of two really big factors (the other is the comics industry's inability to market outside of its niche audience) that I think keeps comic book sales where they are at. So I will speak out about it every time it happens for no reason.
There are 8 seperate Wolverine titles on my shelves right now in single issue format. That means that if the trailer works and there are more people finding their way to comic shops as a result of the Wolverine movie we are sending them in eight different directions. And this doesn't even take into consideration comics inability to act like a professional industry i.e., they are jumbling the release schedule because Millar and McNiven can't get a book out on time.

That being said, I am sending movie goers to Weapon X, not because it is better than Millar's book, but because it is a better starting place for movie goers. I don't base my personal recommendations on my personal quantifiers, but on whether or not it works for the customer asking the question. In recommending a book in store, it is all about whether or not the customer as end consumer will be satisfied with the product and whether or not that purchase will get them to come back. I think my review of the book (Weapon X) reflected that attitude.

I try to make my reviews fit as wide as they can as opposed to giving an arbitrarily high score to a book because I liked it, I try to give high scores to books that I think most people will like and try to explain why they will or won't.

I also read more books than you, so it does take more for a book to impress me, as it should.

And if people are going to go back and pick up the trades or add the book then great, but the book is not going to see a significant increase in sales as a result of this issue or its positive reviews.

Ghost Rider probably got a higher score than a lot of books, because it was entertaining, but it is not a perfect book and as I have said, it is not a book that means any more than what is on the page. Doesn't detract from the quality of the work presented... it just doesn't make the next echelon of quality.

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