Marvel Now! 2.0 is here and it’s removed Ghost Rider’s motorcycle and replaced it with a hot rod. Go figure. You’d think they’d have done this ages ago considering how popular The Fast and the Furious has been.
All-New Ghost Rider (2014-) #1 (Marvel Comics)
What we have here, straight up, is an origin story. There’s no big baddie, no fight sequence, nor is there much in the way of romance. This book opens and closes with Robbie Reyes, yet another alliterative name added to the mix, a young man who takes care of his little brother in East Los Angeles. He’s a mechanic, likes to race cars and tries his best to keep his wheelchair-clad broseph safe from bullies. Unfortunately he’s your average kid with crap parents and a chip on his shoulder to do it all himself. Essentially this issue is setting up all the responsibility on Robbie’s shoulders so that, when the bad guys do strike, all is lost.
Writer Felipe Smith does an exceptional job setting up the hard-knock life of Robbie Reyes. He also captures his thrill for driving, all in 19 pages no less! Sure, the book is technically 22 pages, but do we count the cover and two pre story pages? No! It is unfortunate how short this issue is, because it breezes by very quickly. By issue’s end I felt like it could have used another three or four pages to bring on the full enjoyable feelings this origin story wants to bring. Within the 19 page limit though, it does a great job establishing the world, brother dynamics and this new character.
Check out that fluidity!
Artist Tradd Moore, most famous for his book Luther Strode, works magic in this book. I for one love fluid pencils even if it shirks reality here and there. It works for our title character, partly because he’s so lean and long, but you’ll notice it in small touches like punches to the face or the curve of an arm. It’s subtle but makes the imagery come alive with kinetic energy. Which is why he’s a perfect fit for a flaming superhero! We don’t get a ton of Ghost Rider though; he gets about a page, but that’s due to the origin aspect this issue takes on. The design of Ghost Rider is pretty great too, with the horrific looking mouth giving him a much more disturbing look than our traditional flaming hero.
Reminds me of Drive.
Is It Good?
It is, albeit it could use more pages and more time on the bad guys. That said, this number one issue delivers a solid origin story, solid art and a solid start for a brand new, four-wheeled riding superhero.