“There’s a tale they tell in the darkest depths of hell.”
Garth Ennis hates religion. If that wasn’t obvious through his work on ‘Preacher’, it will be after this.
‘Road to Damnation’ sees Ennis turn his talents to Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider. And he’s probably perfect for the job. He has the edgy still to really pull it off – in a ‘Spirit of Vengeance’ type of way. I guess he might take it a bit far in some people’s eyes, especially if you’re not used to his humour. But the writing is far more hit than miss in my eyes, with some genuinely darkly hilarious moments.
So the writing is good, the story is cool. But he kind of wastes the main character. It’s meant to be a Ghost Rider comic, but he spends the whole story being tricked and used by the other characters. It’s fine that Ennis wants to say something about religion, and uses the various hellish and heavenly characters to do so, but not at the detriment to the protagonist. It’d be better if Johnny had a little more agency in the overall plot.
But the art is astounding. It’s the 3D kind that can look bad sometimes, but here every panel is a work of art. It’s so detailed and brimming with style – the scenes of demons and hell resembling a renaissance painting and not a mainstream comic book.
Overall, it could be a ‘Preacher’ spinoff. It covers the same themes and the angel characters could be straight from Jesse Custer’s world. And it’s set in Texas! It just falls a little short, perhaps if it was eight issues and spent a little more time with Johnny Blaze himself, I could recommend it a little more.
As it stands, it’s opened my eyes to some fantastic art and yet more Garth Ennis work. Check it out if you like his work, or of you enjoyed the insane Nic Cage ‘Spirit of Vengeance’.
Reviewed by Jack