Another Ghost Rider enters the fray this month, as all new creative team Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore take another teenager and imbue him with the spirit of vengeance. The excitement of the most recent hellish hero burns out quick. As “All-New Ghost Rider” #1 is a by the numbers origin that hardly feels earned or charismatic and only really gets interesting with the final page.
I was totally psyched to dive into this book. Ghost Rider was the first character that really drew me to comics. I came along in the Johnny Blaze days, and the character felt edgier and cooler than the rest of the Marvel universe. Robbie Reyes is no Blaze. In fact, Smith’s minimal script goes out of its way to show us the definition of the character, but somehow falls flat.
I didn’t feel a thing for his situation. I did find him relatable but I didn’t really understand the motivation for making him Ghost Rider, nor did I really feel anything in that moment.
Tradd Moore’s art is hyper stylized and helps to flesh out the world. It seems Smith’s script relies on Moore to do the heavy lifting and for the most part he succeeds. The quick cuts between panels create a sense of energy that is unrivaled in a Marvel comic elsewhere. The small flame flourishes in otherwise regular action added a nice touch to Robbie’s struggles early in the issue, but for the most part nothing overly stuck with me by the issue’s end.
Instead we’re treated to an empty origin story that gropes around in an attempt to find heart with an undefined character who is seemingly fucked into becoming the spirit of vengeance for no good reason. He’s duped, tricked, and doesn’t make any attempt to define himself outside of a quick act of compassion in a no win scenario.
What’s to come still hold hope. First issues are hard to stick. They have to keep a lot of plates spinning and sometimes its almost impossible to balance everything perfectly. I’m intrigued to see more of this Ghost Rider, but only because of the previews of issue two. As a standalone introduction to the character this feels underdeveloped, under utilized, and ends far too quickly. The last three pages actually feel like the beginning of the story.
Rating: 2/5 Skulls.