Monday, March 31, 2014

Ghost Rider #1

   I was a fan of the original Ghost Rider (especially the art by Mike Ploog),  but I wasn't sure what to expect from this rebooted version of the series.

   It brings us a brand-new Ghost Rider, and ditches the classic fiery motorcycle in favor of a souped-up race car. (Some wag has already tagged the new character as the Ghost Driver. Wish I'd thought of it.)

   Somewhat to my surprise - I liked this issue quite a bit.

   The central character is a young man named Robbie Reyes who works in an auto repair shop.

   He also has his hands full raising his wheelchair-bound brother in a crime-ridden neighborhood in east Los Angeles - so he takes part in an illegal race to try to raise money.
   And that's when things go badly, and the new Ghost Rider appears (to say more would give away too many surprises).

   The story is by Felipe Smith, and it works well, establishing the characters, the conflicts and the horror in a well-crafted tale.

   The art is by Tradio Moore, and it's very different from the standard superhero fare. It's a unique, stylized look, loaded with energy and speed. It captures the bleak neighborhood and the people who live there, and contrasts it with high speed racing and violent crime. The style is perfect for this story, though it may be a bit extreme for some mainstream fans.

   It's an impressive first outing, and if they can avoid the "invincible demon" pitfall for the Ghost Rider, then they should have something very special here. The series is off to a great start!

Grade: A-


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