Friday, May 13, 2016

Marvel Comics Presents (1988) # 93

Cover Artist: Sam Keith
Published: Nov. 1991
Original Price: $1.25

Title: Servants of the Dead, Part 4: "Nothing to Fear"
Writer: Howard Mackie
Artist: Guang Yap
Inker: Bud LaRosa
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Fernando Mendez
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco

Ghost Rider and Cable have been pulled beneath the lake of bones in the Grateful Undead's cathedral.  The priests then throw the young girl that the heroes had been attempting to rescue in with them, all of them pulled under into a murky mire by large tentacles.  Ghost Rider and Cable both free themselves from the tentacles and, working together, are able to free the girl as well.  The three burst out of the lake of bones on Ghost Rider's motorcycle and ride out of the cathedral, toward the surface.  When the priest orders his men to follow them, he finds all of them struck dead by the Warriors of the Dead, another sect of the Grateful Undead.  Angered that the priest's actions may have killed their god, the leader of the Warriors of the Dead kills the priest and vows to track down the surface dwellers to slay.
This issue is reprinted in Ghost Rider and Cable: Servants of the Dead # 1.
This issue of MCP also contained stories featuring Wolverine, Daredevil, and Nova.
"Servants of the Dead" continues with a really blatant example of killing time.

So, nothing really happens in this issue, does it?  Ghost Rider and Cable fight their way free of the "god" that lives under the bone cathedral and escape with the girl...that's pretty much it.  I really had to embellish a lot in the above synopsis, because we literally get 8 pages of narration about the heroes fighting a tentacle-monster.  The two stars of the book have no dialogue whatsoever, due to the majority of their time on panel being spent underwater, and the girl they're so desperate to save still has no personality, dialogue, or even a name.  This is page-filler, with the only items of consequence appearing on the last page with the introduction of a different faction of the Grateful Undead.  That, however, is a problem as well, because we've been given so little information about the Undead so far.  What's the difference between the priests and the warriors when the priests were toting around rocket launchers in chapter two? 

Guang Yap still turns in a serviceable job on the artwork, at least.  I genuinely like his rendition of Ghost Rider and Cable, and while his action scenes aren't flashy they are well drawn and it's clear what's happening.  The shot of Ghost Rider slowly removing his glove and shoving his flaming, skeletal hand into the tentacle monster looks pretty swell, as does the splash page of Mystery Girl being thrown into the bone pit.

I had fond memories of this story, but upon reading it again the lack of any kind of plot is starting to wear pretty thin.  Here's hoping it picks up next issue.
Grade: C