“Featuring Ghost Rider 1,000,000 BC” in a stand-alone origin story set “before the dawn of civilization”, Jason Aaron’s storyline for Issue Seven of “Avengers” probably pleased the vast majority of this comic’s 65,815 strong audience in September 2018 with its intriguing hypothetical insight into the life “of cave folk struggling to survive on the edge of the Big White” and its subsequent depiction of a seemingly unstoppable blood-crazed Wendigo, who in just one night “killed and ate them all.” In fact, it’s arguable that many within this comic’s increasing audience probably wished that “Fire And Bone” was the start of an ongoing series focusing upon the Spirit of Vengeance and “a period of Marvel history that’s never been explored” before, rather than a simple ‘filler’ following the conclusion of the Alabama-born author’s “first explosive arc featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”.
Perhaps foremost of this twenty-page periodical’s biggest draws is the way in which its Inkpot Award-winning writer pens the primitive life of the Neanderthal, at a time when neither names nor speech were even known, and Ghost’s fellow cave-dwellers simply “communicated with grunts and fists.” “Smarter than everyone I knew” the fledgling super-hero’s determination to track down the human-shaped monster who slaughtered his entire clan proves a somewhat mesmerising experience, especially when tired, alone and dying of exposure the young man encounters a giant talking snake called Mephisto and haplessly agrees to the snow-coloured reptile’s generous offer to “make it sso you’re never cold again.”
Of course, in making such a deal the semi-conscious adolescent curses himself to a fiery future, but at least finds himself in a position some five years later where he is sufficiently strong enough to challenge the savage might of the bestial stranger who once slaughtered everyone he knew. Indeed, the Rider’s ensuing battle with Wendigo, complete with Sara Pichelli’s perfectly pencilled woolly mammoths, really does bring this comic to a sense-shattering conclusion as the white-furred ‘feeder upon manflesh’ demonstrates just why his scourge would later prove so difficult for Alpha Flight to overcome in the Modern Age of ‘capes and cowls’, whilst Mephisto’s flame-headed agent has an opportunity to demonstrate his prehistoric powers by drawing the grim skeletal remnants of his opponent’s former feasts into a hellfire-fuelled chain; “The bones say you’ve eaten your fill. Now it’s their turn to feed.”