I mostly picked up this trade paperback out of my undying love for Ghost Rider.Â The presence of Wolverine was just an added bonus, really.Â This trade collects the Wolverine segments of Marvel Comics Presents #62-71.Â Marvel Comics Presents originally contained four stories per issue, so as a result, each Wolverine segment is rather short (a quarter the length of a regular comic, appropriately).Â So youâ€™re not really getting ten issues out of the deal, more like four or five at best.
This trade collects two story arcs.Â First is the two-issue â€œSign of the Beastâ€ arc, where Wolverine is roughing it through the jungles of Madripoor when he happens upon a downed plane containing two friends of his being taken prisoner by followers of Abdul Alhazred.Â The entire plot of the arc is that Wolverine is going feral and picking off the goons one-by-one to save his friends.Â Through-out the story, the female prisoner (named â€œTyger Tigerâ€â€¦ugh) is fretting about Wolverine giving up his humanity or some such drivel.Â A pretty standard (ie: boring and stupid) Wolverine story weâ€™ve all seen done a million times; certainly not the main attraction of this trade.
The eight issue-long â€œActs of Vengeanceâ€ story arc, featuring a fight and then team-up between Wolverine and Ghost Rider is the real reason anybody is going to pick this book up.Â Basically, goons of Ghost Riderâ€™s then-arch nemesis, Deathwatch, have put a bounty of the heads of Danny Ketchâ€™s (Ghost Riderâ€™s alter ego) friendâ€™s karate sensei (yeesh).Â After Dannyâ€™s pal is injured by one of Deathwatchâ€™s ninja henchmen, Ghost Rider swears vengeance.Â Then enter Wolverine, who is tricked into getting involved by one of Deathwatchâ€™s goons and becomes a target of Ghost Rider.Â The two brawl and eventually team-up with Yuji, the karate sensei, and Yujiâ€™s son, a crappy superhero named Brass.Â They then set out to stop Deathwatch and rescue some hostages.
In all honesty, as much as I like Ghost Rider and Wolverine, this story pretty much blows.Â The quarter-length format doesnâ€™t do it any favors, with them having to recap events from the last issue or just repeat them awkwardly, then end every installment with a â€œdramaticâ€ cliffhanger.Â I do like Deathwatch as a villain, though, and wish Marvel would get the lead out and release trades collecting the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider series.Â Deathwatch only appears at the very end of this trade and doesnâ€™t do much.Â The real mastermind behind the whole thing is some low-level crook in Deathwatchâ€™s organization.Â Weak.
Then thereâ€™s Brass.Â Obviously, his character was so well-received in the early 90â€™s that he has completely withstood the test of time to this very day.Â Or not.
All-in-all, if youâ€™re a Ghost Rider completionist then consider checking this book out.Â Itâ€™s $13 bucks and packed with Danny Ketch-Ghost Rider action, and you donâ€™t see him any more, these days.Â Otherwise, thereâ€™s no reason to buy this book.Â Itâ€™s honestly pretty bad and I bet you can find the individual issues for less that $1.50 a piece.Â At least that way you get all the other stories not included in this collection (oh boy, a Poison story!Â A spotlight on Volstagg!Â Woohoo!).