Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t the biggest fan of All-New Ghost Rider. While I admired the art by Tradd Moore, the series that introduced Robbie Reyes to the world just didn’t do much for me. Maybe it was because Johnny Blaze will always be my favorite Ghost Rider, or maybe it was the fact that this time the Rider drove a muscle car instead of motorcycle, but something just didn’t click with me. Despite this, the Robbie Reyes version of the character has a pretty devoted following, and he’s returned with a brand new series written by Reyes create Felipe Smith, with art from Danillo Beyruth. Unfortunately this new series doesn’t do much to convince me to keep following this Rider’s adventures.
This new series is clearly designed to cash in on Robbie Reyes’ live action debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but even if a bunch of fans of that show buy this issue, they may find themselves scratching their heads. Felipe Smith’s script doesn’t offer a lot of catch up. In fact, it doesn’t offer any background at all. By and large Smith assumes you’ve read the previous Ghost Rider series, and if you didn’t (or bailed early like me), all you get is the standard Marvel first page recap. Hell, I didn’t even know that the spirit possessing Reyes was his uncle, something that must’ve been covered after I stopped reading All New Ghost Rider. Leaving this much information in a recap page that a majority of people will probably not even read isn’t the best idea.
Smiths’ script bounces between Reyes’ life in Los Angeles with his brother and Amadeus Cho’s Hulk investigating a new alien life form. Now usually this is fine, but so much time is spent with Cho that this read more like a team up book than one starring Ghost Rider. In fact, now that I think about it, there’s more Hulk action in this book than Ghost Rider action. I’m all for having Marvel heroes interact with one another, but Felipe Smith’s script teeters dangerously into the “too much” side when it comes to the Hulk cameo.
While Danillo Beyruth is no Tradd Moore, his art is definitely just as dynamic. Beyruth’s style is a little cleaner than Moore’s, but it has the same intensity and sense of motion that the Luther Strode artist is known for. Beyruth has a lot of fun in the few Ghost Rider moments of the book, and he makes a car chase, something that should be impossible to do in a comic, tense and action packed.
Ghost Rider still hasn’t converted me to the Robbie Reyes camp. While there’s certainly plenty of room for this version of the character in the Marvel universe, at the end of the day there’s just some books that you can’t get into. Fans of Reyes will likely eat this issue up, but as for me, I’m going to wait it out for Johnny Blaze to come back.