Ghost Rider Wolverine Punisher TP Hearts of Darkness NM Howard Mackie John Romita


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Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness Paperback
by Howard Mackie (Author), John Romita (Illustrator), Ron Garney (Illustrator)

Three of Marvel’s most hardcore heroes take on Blackheart, demonic son of Mephisto! When Danny Ketch, Logan and Frank Castle are lured to the Mid-West town of Christ’s Crown, they are offered a devilish deal: kill the king of hell, and the answers to secrets that plague them will be revealed! But with the life of a local girl in the balance, can Ghost Rider, Wolverine and the Punisher resist Blackheart’s pact? As the demon’s design unfolds, and his deadly Corrupt overrun the town, all hope lies with the vigilante trio. Will they be overcome by the darkness in their hearts, or will it prove to be their greatest source of strength?


Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Marvel

This book (which is in prestige format, I believe) has a simple story: Danny Ketch, Logan, and Frank Castle have all been drawn to the town of Christ’s Crown by Blackheart (the son of the Mephisto), unbeknownst to them. The three heroes must then team up to rescue a little girl who is kidnapped by Blackheart, who is trying to coax the heroes into joining with him for a special purpose. What really sells this book is how Howard Mackie writes all of the characters in the book. They all sound like they should: Wolverine is gruff, Danny acts like a normal guy, The Rider (who acts very differently from Danny) has a mythical feel to him.

The art is done by John Romita Jr., whose art is as iconic as always. From what I’ve seen of JRJR’s artwork, this is certainly some of his best stuff. It definitely has a different look and feel to the stuff he does now.

I consider this graphic novel to be the best thing to come out of Marvel Comics in the modern era. It is a morality play- and a very good one.

The action takes place in Christ’s Crown, a sleepy midwestern town. It is here that Blackheart, son of Mephisto, heir to the throne of hell is reborn on our plane. It is also here that he decides to both depose, and surpass, his father. His strategy is to tempt and corrupt the new breed of hero- those that walk the razor’s edge between Light and Darkness in the service of justice.

To do this he summons Ghost Rider, Wolverine, and Punisher to town. He does this with notes that promise them secret information on what they desire most. Unfortunately, for him, he has misjudged the men that he has summoned. When they all automatically reject his offer of unlimited power in the service of Darkness, Blackheart then resorts to corrupting the entire town to use against them. Here he makes one fatal mistake when abducts the one innocent, uncorrupted soul in town- and spills her blood while doing so. The heroes fight their way into the heart of Hell itself to rescue the little girl…

As Ghost Rider states in the story: It doesn’t matter if there is an edge, or if we occasinally cross it. As long as the innocent are protected, our cause is just.

The 1991 edition is printed on first class paper in brilliant color. There is an excellent four-panel folding dioramic cover.

Collects Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness 1 and Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: The Dark Design 1. Near mint, 1st print.