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Cosmic Ghost Rider

Marvel Ultimate Legends
by Rustin Parr

"Siri, what does the phrase 'hat on a hat' mean?"

Supernatural powers transform Frank Castle from a force of retribution into an eternal Spirit of Vengeance.

When I heard that Marvel had not only made Frank Castle Ghost Rider, but also put him in space... well I mean that's just the dumbest, gimmickiest B.S. I've ever heard... but then, I saw the design. I mean look at this crazy-ass thing, it's just so damn cool!

CGR was introduced in the 2016 Thanos series. In that story, we see the Mad Titan take over the Chitauri homeworld, whereupon he's approached by someone he assumes to be an emissary of Mephisto. Despite the appearance, no: Comic Ghost Rider is a former herald of Galactus, hailing from millions of years in the future, where he now serves someone called "The Final King." It's immediately hinted he was secretly a character we already knew, but the popular money was on Deadpool (guns, insanity, rivalry with Thanos). It's ridiculous to think that this is Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher) and therefore I choose not to.

The design of the figure is, as the name suggests, cosmic and evil looking - it's quite rad. The figure itself is really cool and at a glance looks entirely new, but the legs are reused from the "modern" Taskmaster. His skull and the fire rising up around it are pretty narrow; they look fine as long as you leave the Mr. Freeze-ish dome on him, but you pop off and suddenly the sculpt seems awkward.

One of the things that's really cool is the wrists have three concentric sky-blue rings on them in a very Flash Gordon-y style. They look great and they're molded in a pretty clever way to maintain their shape and look, while also giving the sense of being individually separated. He's got big spiked shoulderpads, and his chest armor looks like a skull (it was more subtle in the comics, which is why his identity could remain a mystery).

He comes with the same flaming chain as the previous Ghost Rider (allegedly carved from the bones of Cyttorak) as well as two awesome space guns! Like the chest armor, the guns are based directly on Dylan Burnett's art for CGR's solo series. Each of them come with their own removable fire-blast effects. The fire across the board on this set is just excellent beyond words. The sculpts are stellar and they seem to be cast in a translucent yellow plastic, then shaded with some translucent orange and translucent red paint that just give a great depth to everything! I mean it just looks awesome! He is a little loose in the joints and tough to get standing, but really who is going to have this guy not on the bike?

The space-cycle is just retro sci-fi gold. It's clearly something meant to be used in the interplanetary void, not on the ground. It has no wheels, just a single sphere of cosmic energy in the front and a large engine in the back. To keep it upright, the set includes the same translucent "cloud" stand Hasbro introduced for Star Wars. That plugs into the bottom of the bike via balljoint, for maximum posing.

The big ball in front is a cool multi-piece affair with white plastic lightning within a translucent globe that has texturing on the inside, which altogether helps sell the energy-ball effect pretty well. On the exhaust is a very excellent fire effect coming out of the engine; it's not removable, which is a bummer, but it does look damn cool. Front to back, the ride measures about 13" long. There are holsters for both guns just behind the seat - they're different shapes, so each gun will only fit on its specific side.

This whole motorcycle line has been a bit of a mixed bag as far as I'm concerned, in really this is the first one I got since that first Ghost Rider. That's partly because this looks so cool and partly because it's so much new tooling across the board, while the line has generally relied on some not-so exciting repaints. I hope that this helps set a precedent for the future and that will see more like this - I'm desperate for a Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, so desperate!

-- 11/16/20

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