Initial Review: All-New Ghost Rider

I

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Author: Felipe Smith

Artwork: Trad Moore

Initial Review Based On Issues #1 and #2

Chrome Skull
Chrome Skull

 

I really don’t know how to feel about the All-New Ghost Rider. All the ingredients are there for me to like it. But I feel like I’m not liking it as much as I would like to like it.

I’m a bit confused.

The whole feeling is similar to what I felt when I played Bioshock. On the paper there was no reason for me to dislike it. But when all was said and done there was an empty feeling in my heart. Something was wrong, and I had to think hard to find out what it exactly was.

It’s not because it’s new. I’ve been known to like new and shiny things. I use Windows 8.1 for God’s sake. This Ghost Rider surely qualifies as shiny with its chrome skull. And it’s new. In fact it’s all new, not so subtly implying that I should like all of it… maybe…

Alright… First things first. This is a relaunch of Ghost Rider. A few things are different. Before we proceed you should know that…

1) This is not the story of Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch. This is the story of one Robbie Reyes, an all new Ghost Rider indeed. He’s a young mechanic/street racer who lives in a bad neighborhood and looks after his disabled little brother. Or so it’s implied… By that I mean both that it’s implied the little guy is his brother and that it’s implied Reyes is a smart kid. While we have little reason to not believe the former, the latter seems like a hard sell to me. Reyes sure has courage and probably a pure heart but his intelligence is, shall we say, not constant. He’s clever enough to not get cheated by his boss but also dumb enough to bet everything on a street race. The whole idea becomes dumber especially if we consider that he’s driving a “borrowed” car and he didn’t even think about checking the trunk. Maybe he’s just “young”. I understand that we need to like this guy. But I simply could not bring myself to caring about him.

Ghost Rider or Ghost Driver?
Ghost Rider or Ghost Driver?

2) There’s a vehicle change. This ghost rider does not ride a bike. This time it’s a muscle car. So I guess this makes him the ghost driver? I don’t know.

Unlike some of  Marvel’s better reboots All-New Ghost Rider is not a stand-alone story. Reyes is a new character. This fact, perhaps by necessity, forces Smith to write an origin story for Reyes. However, it’s pretty by the book as far as origin stories go. We meet Reyes. We get to know his basic traits. We understand that he is a good guy with a flawed personality. We get that he’s powerless against all the evil people in his neighborhood. And then we see him acquiring his powers and suddenly doing amazing stuff. It is all okay. There’s nothing wrong here. Yet… I could not care less. It feels bad to say this because the material here is genuinely… okay. There’s nothing wrong with it.

What’s extra ordinary at times is Trad Moore’s art. Moore has an incredibly dynamic style and a good eye for action scenes. His art is kinetic for lack of a better term. Action scenes almost feel animated in this comic book. The characters on the other hand look more comical. And I’m not sure if such a style fits Ghost Rider at all.

Two issues in, we still don’t know why Robbie becomes the Ghost Rider. And this is fine too… I understand that this is part of the mystery. However I feel like I’m not interested enough to learn the truth.

So, this makes me think. Is it the car? Does Ghost Rider have to ride a bike according to my subconscious? Is this too much of a change?

Considering that Ghost Rider started its life as an all white wearing, masked cowboy, who rode a pale, white horse… no. The car is not a big change.

If anything it’s the opposite. I guess this All-New Ghost Rider is not new enough for me. So far this does not feel like a new interpretation. Just feels like the same super hero in a new, updated costume and a new vehicle.

I’m not saying that it’s bad. It’s actually good… probably. And that’s the problem. It’s not good enough or bad enough to be interesting for me.

Verdict: Meeeeh…

 

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By Fasih

Disclaimer

Daniel works at Riot Games.

Fasih works at Crytek.

They have opinions. Their opinions are theirs only and are not necessarily shared by their companies.

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