Ghost Rider (2) #57 - 65 "Betrayal"/"In Chains"(1995)
Writer: Howard Mackie
Penciler: Salvador Larroca
Inker: Sergio Melia
Colorist: Kevin Somers
Letterer: Janice Chiang:
In NYC, a special team led by Lt. Sokolowski is tasked with arresting Ghost Rider. Their pursuit bring them to the attention of the mysterious government agent known as Spook. Spook sends Nick Fury to meet with Sokolowski and offers the team training and equipment. After weeks of personal training from Fury, Stacy Dolan, a member of the taskforce and a friend of Dan Ketch, aka Ghost Rider, grows suspicious of the motives behind Spook and his sponsored training. Fury is forced to help in capturing Dan Ketch and bringing him to The Black Hole, a secret government research facility.
In the Hole, Ketch undergoes various tests, supervised by Spook to understand how Ghost Rider works. Elsewhere in the facility, the Scarecrow and Skinner are also undergoing tests. Ketch unleashes the Ghost Rider and soon the whole facility is overrun by the supernatural test subjects. S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers are called in to clean up the mess, Fury leading a team into the heart of the mysterious base. Fury and Black Widow try to take on the Scarecrow, but Ghost Rider arrives to finish the job. Spook sets the self-destruct, but Ghost Rider whisks Fury and company to safety as the complex explodes. In the aftermath, Fury refuses Spook's order to arrest Ghost Rider and lets the spirit of vengeance go, while threatening Spook with a showdown at a board of inquiry into his affairs
- First appearances
by the unnamed director of the Black Hole project, Others call him 'Spook' although it's made clear that it is only a nickname. His true name is never revealed.
- Appearence by Mikel Fury and Lockhart.
- Issue #59 features an in-house ad for Marvel Edge, promoting a new series for Nick Fury in February.
- Spook threatens to transfer Dr. Keene to the "Castle project", foreshadowing the events of Over the Edge.
Exciting story line kicks off the Marvel Edge
arc with a bang as Fury and Ghost Rider cross paths with the nefarious
Spook. Fury only makes a few token appearances in the "Betrayal" arc, but the story leads straight into the very exciting "In Chains" story, where Fury has a strong showing. There are a few things to ponder in these issues, namely who is Spook? Plenty of dilaouge makes it clear that his name is not 'Spook', but everyone calls him that, or "Director" (in one inelegant moment, 'Mr.. Director'). His agenda seems to be collecting supernatural beings, but his later involvement with the Punisher breaks that pattern. Also left vague is how he outranks Fury. It's obvious that Spook is ordering Fury with the training of the Ghost Rider unit,but who is he to order Fury anyhow?
Another topic top consider is how S.H.I.E.L.D. is allowed to outfit the NYPD with the gear that is seen here. Especially in light of how controversial the militarization of local and state police forces has become in 21st century, it's interesting to see this happening in the comics without much comment.
The art team is fantastic and there is some great S.H.I.E.L.D. tech designs on display here. Ghost Rider and the various demons on display here look awesome and this is art I never get tired of looking at. Very moody and dark. Kudos also to the lettering design with characters like Ghost Rider.
A good read for any Fury fan and as it leads directly
into the Over
the Edge story; its pretty much a must-have if you want to collect
the Death of Nick Fury.