Ghost Rider's summoned by the Kingpin to deal vengeance upon every New Yorker's current enemy - - the Hand - - and the task is almost like a mob hit for the often enslaved spirit.
Crain's art is absolutely ravishing. He wears all the hats here, given his work a mutli-media painterly quality, and the result makes Ghost Rider look cooler than I've ever seen him look. No matter how absurd some of the situations get (like the whale riding) he renders it all in such a way that makes it a look cooler than any video game (and I was getting some serious Kratos-style vibes off how he drew GR here.) I especially enjoyed the attention he lavished on certain details, like how GR's doesn't actually have a neck... his skull's just floating there.
I wasn't feeling how GR was handled, here. I realize he's supposed to be this surly redneck, but his frequent jibes at Kingpin being a fatty got so overplayed that they weren't that funny. Kingpin and the Hand leader had more believable portrayals, honestly. There are some fairly bizarre plot turns here - - like GR biking across the oceans and taking a pit stop on a whale's back - - that seem too ridiculous, even for a book about a biker with a flaming skull.
The Verdict - 2.5/5
The funny thing about Shadowland is that I've only gotten to read the tie-ins without getting the chance to read a single issue of the main storyline. I liked the central premise of this one-shot - - how Ghost Rider's indutured into doing the Kingpin's dirty work like he's just another wise guy - - but the execution's a little messier than I would've liked. Crain's art is phenomenal, but I don't know if this is one of those tie-ins that would've been better left as a throwaway reference in the main series.