Thursday, November 3, 2016

Marvel Comics Presents (1988) # 121

Cover Artist: Joe Madureria
Published: Jan. 1993
Original Price: $1.50

Title: And Let There Be Light..., Part 3: "The Bride of Grimbat"
Writer: Paula Foye
Artist: Alexander Morrissey
Inker: Ken Branch/Tim Tuohy
Letterer: Steve Dutro
Colorist: Sarra Mossof
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco

In the dungeons of Grimbat's castle, Ghost Rider and Cloak bust free from their prison to rescue Dagger. They have just been told that the planet Zianon is filled with suffering people from the lack of light, and that Grimbat has been causing even more suffering to gain power over light. Cloak and Ghost Rider climb upon the demon's motorcycle and ride through the cavernous tunnels, the darkness surrounding them seeming as if it has a life of its own. Entering a labyrinth, the two heroes encounter creatures desperate to claim Ghost Rider's light. Cloak attempts to absorb one into his darkness, but recoils due to their pain being too much for him.
Upstairs, Dagger is served by Grimbat's minions, enthralled by the dragon's spell, until she is confronted by a strange elderly woman. The woman, Melona, breaks Dagger free from the spell and tells her that her friends are not free. She tells them that the men are most likely lost in the labyrinth leading to the prisons and gives Dagger a key to a trapdoor in the floor. Without attracting Grimbat's attention, Dagger enters the tunnel and quickly finds Cloak and Ghost Rider. The three make their way back to the surface, but are discovered by Grimbat. The dragon grabs Dagger, but is interrupted by Melona, eliciting a reaction of shock from Grimbat. Using the opportunity, Dagger blasts the monster with a powerful burst of light, stunning him to the floor. The three heroes then ask Melona who she really is, to which she replies "the bride of Grimbat".
This issue of MCP also contained stories featuring Wolverine/Venom, Andromeda, and Mirage.
And the arc continues on, to my dismay. I've quickly run out of things to say about this terrible, terrible story; so I'll try and make this brief.
The bad: The script continues to be laughable, both in terms of characterization for the Ghost Rider (still horribly inaccurate) and in the attempt to make Grimbat a sympathetic villain. It appears that Grimbat is going to all this trouble simply to help his people, but it keeps being mentioned that he's doing it for selfish reasons that I just can't fathom due to a lack of explanation of this. And, y'know, this seems like it might be a little important since he's the villain of the story.
The good: Alexander Morrissey's artwork has improved somewhat since the first two chapters, possibly due to the addition of a new inker. His style here reminds me of a less talented Mike Parobeck, but he does score a point for the accented eyeteeth on the Ghost Rider's skull that gives a nice touch to Foye's Zarathos throwback version of the character.
So, yeah, the story still sucks but at least the artwork is slowly improving. This couldn't finish any quicker.
Grade: D-