The Marvel Comics universe can be a pretty spooky place, what with all those demons, evil sorcerers, vampires, and malevolent spirits running around. To shut them down, you need a dose of divine wrath delivered by the Spirits of Vengeance. Luckily, Marvel is rebooting the Spirits as part of its Legacy event, in an all-new series written by Victor Gischler, penciled by David Baldeon, and with covers by Mark Texeira.
Published in the 1990s, the original Spirits of Vengeance comic dealt with various Ghost Riders who were possessed by (surprise) the spirit of Vengeance, an entity sent from heaven to punish the wicked. Marvel Legacy’s Spirits of Vengeance builds on this concept to bring hardcore smiting into the 21st century. The Legacy series, Gischler said, aims to preserve the “vibe” of the original, but the overall feel of the comic is “mostly looking forward, not back,” with a hefty dose of awesome. “I’ve had a chance to glimpse some of David’s art, and it’s exciting stuff…We’re just cranking the coolness up to eleven.”
Part of that move forward involves focusing on a different central cast. Instead of an all-Ghost Rider lineup, the main characters in the new Spirits of Vengeance include Daimon Hellstrom, Satana, and Blade–the Daywalker himself–alongside Ghost Rider/Johnny Blaze. Gischler also teased the appearance of characters that readers haven’t seen before: “There’s a particular character I’ve invented for this book and I’m dying to [see] what David has come up with for the character’s look. And it’s the sort of character that needs to be in a book like this.” Plus, he hinted, “who knows who we might see in the future?”
Alternate cover by Ken Lashley
As befits a comic about supernatural retribution, the Legacy Spirits of Vengeance is going to get dark; taking an eye for an eye leaves a lot of nastiness on your hands. “These characters…are not squeaky clean heroes,” said Gischler, adding that the creative team makes the most of “play[ing] with macabre and horror toys which maybe wouldn’t fit so well in another book.”
Cynical fans may wonder whether the resurrection of Spirits of Vengeance is just Marvel’s attempt to snag that sweet nostalgia revenue, since for many readers the series is firmly rooted in the extreme (X-TREME) 90s. After all, the characters looked like this:
While Gischler acknowledged that some fans may pick up the Legacy Spirits of Vengeance out of nostalgia, he described this as a side benefit of the series rather than a main attraction. “For me it’s pretty simple,” he said. “I think these are great characters that need to be showcased. If the book feeds an appetite for 90s nostalgia then great, but you’re not going to be left out if you missed the 90s. If these characters are brand new to you, you’re still in for a wild ride.”
Are you pumped for the return of Spirits of Vengeance? Which supernatural characters are you hoping to see in the new series? Tell us in the comments!