Tag Archives: Ghost Rider

Review: All-New Ghost Rider #1

Written by Felipe Smith

Art by Tradd Moore

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In the 90s, I had a hard time searching for dark and gritty comics which recognized my teenage angst and pragmatic worldview yet still had the mother approving seal of the comic code on them. Since I was enamored predominantly by Marvel (I flirted with Superman and Batman, but my love was the 616) I leaned towards particular titles. These included Wolverine, Spider-Man (by Todd McFarlane), Punisher, and the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider. One of my main memories was picking up issue 25 with the gore filled covered of Danny’s transformation to Ghost Rider. I thought I had picked up something I wasn’t supposed to, but the seal in the top left corner meant it was okay. I say all that to say that I have a great fondness towards Ghost Rider, mainly due to him being one of my earliest forms of teenage rebellion. I’ve always looked at Ghost Rider comics as somewhere some kid’s first rebellion towards authority. He’s a spirit of vengeance that is basically a demon and has no issues killing those that deserve it, and those who are inhabited by him usually have to wrestle with this possession by basically a fire breathing Punisher. I think as the hormones start to course through a young man or woman’s body there is some aspect of this which translates to them. In certain ways I can see this idea being continued forward in the latest volume of Ghost Rider as Robbie Reyes takes the mantle passed from Alejandra (and Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze).

ImageThis series starts with the basic introduction of the character as he is doing his best to both take care of his crippled brother and sow his wild oats in a sketchy part of Los Angeles. Robbie cares for his brother and seems like a good guy, but is also shown to be reckless and quick to use violence. Felipe Smith does a great job handling the introduction of the character and helping us understand who Robbie Reyes is and what are his priorities. The sequencing and passing of the script make for a fairly quick but a solid read. I think my many problem with this book is the same problem I have with so many books: the quickness of the read. As is with many comics, there is a chance you have just dropped $4 to read something for ten minutes with very little left to give reason for a second read. I read this issue three times and gained nothing extra that I didn’t get from the first read. Maybe that is to say the writer did an extremely skilled job in telling the story (which I think he did), but the length of the book seems like what would have been covered in several pages, not a complete issue, in the 80s or 90s. That’s a grip I have with most books though, and that does include this one. Other than that it is well written and I was fairly engaged with the character.

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The art by Tradd Moore may take some getting use to. The cover art is the art in the book, so if that greatly turns you off then you know you most likely will not enjoy the interior as well. There is a frenetic energy he brings with his style that I think is perfect for Ghost Rider, but his characters have a cartoony or anime feel which pulls away from the darkness I felt I should be feeling towards the end of the book. He is a talented artist, and I could see enjoying his work on Deadpool or even Spider-Man, but I’m not buying his Ghost Rider or the weight and scariness of the character. Instead of a flaming skull striking fear into the hearts of evildoers, it just feels like a guy in a mask and a cool car. The transformation he give Robbie into the Rider does harken back to the 90s cover of issue 25 that I loved so much though. The drag racing is where he really shines and the energy he brings through his style works perfectly. But overall in terms of the darkness and supernatural elements he has a lot of work in the next issue to sell me that he is the correct artist for this title.

ImageThis is a fairly well done introduction to the character and the story is left open to intrigue me to want to the read the next issue. With the quickness of the read and the frivolity of the artwork, if you are sitting on the fence for this title I can’t help but recommend you wait until the trade to check it out.

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Rating 3 out of 5

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Review: Thunderbolts 20.Now

Written by Charles Soule
Art by Carlo Barberi

ImageThis issue marks a jumping on point for the All-New Marvel Now campaign while continuing the storyline set up with issue one of this latest volume. General Ross (aka Rulk) has his ragtag group of antiheroes and has promised them help with their problems as long as they help him with his. I haven’t read this series since Daniel Way handed the series off to Charles Soule, so I am reviewing this as someone who is slightly aware, but as a new reader.

Image Charles Soule does a fantastic job with this script. He shows he is at great ease with a team-book and making sure that each character’s voice and personality shine through correctly and adequately. Obviously any book where Deadpool is written well he can easily steal the show, but Soule does a great job of making sure that each character is given their piece of the spot-light without making it feel forced. Soule also uses the natural progression of the story-arc to add Johnny Blaze to the mix of the team without it feeling forced. All-in-all this is an extremely humorous script and is an enjoyable read. Another writer could have easily made this feel like a throw away issue that was forgettable. Soule is able to quickly make me want to go back and read his run on this series so far and then continue with what he has planned. This series has become my brand new series to pick up each month.

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Carlo Barberi is a talented artist. His work on Daniel Way’s Deadpool series was always some of my favorite, and while I’m not a huge fan of the way he chooses to draw the Punisher, the rest of the group and even the backgrounds are expertly drawn. One nice small touch is the addition of small background pieces that reference old storylines after General Ross mentions something about alien relics. The Mark I and the Beyonder’s jumpsuit are the obvious entries. Barberi continues to show he is a talented artist even if he isn’t one of the bigger names at Marvel.

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I have to recommend this book if you are interested in any of these characters. All aspects of this book bring a humorous and fun addition to each of these characters’ continuity. And as long are you are not a stickler for everything being serious you may find a new series to pick up as well. Basically this is a very fun read.

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Rating: 4 out of 5

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