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Avengers #7: Review

Sep 2018
Jason Aaron, Sara Pichelli

Story Name:

Fire and bone

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #7 Review by (September 8, 2018)
The date of 1,000,000 BC would make Ghost Rider a member of a precursor species to Homo Sapiens such as H. Erectus or H. Antecessor. The pack are shown using fire, which fits. Both species are believed to have had the physical requirements for complex speech. (Which still doesn't explain how our boy could converse with the Wendigo when he'd had no-one to talk to before.) The lad is shown studying hand stencils on the cave wall. We haven't found any which date back that far. It doesn't look like our boy made them because his hand is too small.

The boy refers to sabercats and walking mountains. Varieties of sabercat were around at the time. If walking mountain means dinosaurs like the brontosaurus then of course they were long-gone - at least on our Earth. And on Marvel Earth they survived in the Savage Land.

Mammoths and mastodons were also alive at the time. This is presumably a mammoth, species of which occurred all over the world, whereas mastodons were restricted to the Americas. And of course the cave people would have been in Africa or Eurasia.

Is the Big White supposed to represent an Ice Age? Technically we are still *in* the Quarternary Ice Age that was happening then - we're just in an Interglacial Period where the ice has retreated a lot (although climate change might break us out of that cycle). The warm Interglacials and the coldest peaks of the Ice Age are geologically short, and it seems that 1 million BC was in a more common intermediate stage where the ice covered a medium amount of the globe. But geological changes are so slow that the ice would seem to be static. Except of course in a large boundary region where it would snow in winter and melt in summer. Possibly GR's people lived in that boundary area, but near the permanent snow which was the Big White.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #7 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue takes place about 1 million BC and tells the story of the 1st Ghost Rider.

He was a cave boy in a pack surviving on the edge of a permanent snowfield he calls the Big White. (Of course he can't have used words like that because as he says his people didn't have language.) Our boy knows he's smarter than the others but hides it, because it's dangerous to be different. He can make more complex sounds than the others.

The people never go into the Big White but 1 day a large stranger comes out of it. He has better weapons than theirs and kills their pack leader to take over. Our boy knows this is going to be trouble even though the pack accepts him.

Later the new guy comes over to him and speaks to him. The boy's astonished to hear someone else making such sounds. But they have a conversation. (I'm not going to say *anything* about this!) Big guy says there are a few others special like them scattered through the packs. They are the masters of the world.

He says the pack he was born in were all killed by something stronger and hungry. He bares his long fangs and turns into something even larger and animal-like, and slaughters the rest of the pack. Our boy grabs some weapons and tries to kill him, but the monster easily stops him. He calls the boy Ghost because he doesn't know he's dead. And then leaves him.

Ghost wraps himself in a fur and sets out across the Big White for vengeance. But all too soon he collapses. However he is visited by a large white snake who also talks to him and promises him vengeance and warmth. All Ghost has to do to seal the deal is say the snake's name. And somehow Ghost knows to call him Mephisto.

At this word Ghost painfully bursts into flame. The snake laughs and then is squelched by the foot of a mammoth.

5 years later the boy has earned another name, Rider. (People call him that, so lots of them must have learned to talk in the  5 years.) The big killer detects the scent of the boy approaching, and turns to see a skeleton-headed man riding a mammoth, both wreathed in flames. The mammoth picks the killer up with its trunk and the Ghost Rider and demands to know his name. The killer turns feral again a names himself Wendigo.

The Wendigo frees himself from the trunk and prepares to attack. The mammoth snorts flames at him, but the Wendigo leaps and pulls the Rider down from his perch. As they fight the monster admits to being a cannibal, but accuses the Rider of feeding on souls. Ghost says they're both monsters but there isn't room in the world for both of them. The Wendigo says there are *more* monsters out there.

GR is knocked into the Wendigo's den, littered with bones of his victims. But he forms a magic chain out of the bones and sends it to loop round his foe's throat. However it's not enough and Wendigo soon has Ghost Rider at his mercy. Which is when the faithful mammoth spears him with his tusk. However even that is not enough as Wendigo  breaks the tusk and pushes the mammoth over a cliff, soon to follow it down.

Ghost grieves at being left alone. But then he hears a female voice in his head saying not all the different are monsters. She is Lady Phoenix (a cave girl possessed by the Phoenix Force) and her companion is Odin (who thinks the Wendigo would have been a better ally). Phoenix says they have a world to save.

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Sara Pichelli
Sara Pichelli
Justin Ponsor
Geoff Shaw (Cover Penciler)
Geoff Shaw (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Lady Phoenix, Mephisto, Wendigo (1MBC).