Writer: Felipe Smith
Artist: Tradd Moore
When I first heard that a new Ghost Rider series was coming out, I was a bit skeptical. When I heard that Tradd Moore was the illustrator, I got a little more hope. Famous for illustrating Legends of the Dark Knight, Moore is known for creating creepy atmospheres through his artwork. His style really shines in this series. Moore has the ability to fully immerse readers in the rough neighborhood where story takes place, while still drawing epic action scenes.
The story focuses on a teenage gear-head named Robbie who spends his time going to school, taking care of his younger disabled brother, and working at an auto body shop. Robbie often “borrows” cars from the shop to drag race for cash so that he and his little brother can move out of their rough neighborhood. After getting caught between a rock and a hard place (almost literally) Robbie is knocking on death’s door until the Spirit of Vengeance himself, Ghost Rider, takes over.
The first and second issue is meant to set the scene for the rest of the series. There really isn’t anything new or interesting about the story. Felipe Smith borrows elements from previous Ghost Rider series. For instance, Robbie’s strong responsibility and relationship with his brother is quite similar to that of Danny Ketch’s relationship with his sister from Ghost Rider vol. 3. However, Smith takes away Ghost Rider’s biggest trademark, his motorcycle. Instead, Ghost Rider now drives a classic 70’s Dodge Charger, which he can summon and merge inside. Although it was sad to see the hell cycle, go the shear badassery of the flaming Dodge Charger makes up for it. Thus far, Ghost Rider does not have his signature chain, but recent advertisements show Ghost Rider holding a chain with a hammer/wedge combo on each end, so hopefully we will see it soon.
The third issue is where the story really takes off. The Ghost Rider spirit (which is not named Zarathos like in the Ghost Rider series of old), Eli, makes a pact with Robbie to take down the crime syndicates, and clean up the neighborhood. This issue also introduces the first villain of the series, Mr. Hyde. Hyde has super strength and a temper that causes him to literally rip through his enemies. I for one cannot wait to see the new Ghost Rider beat the living hell out of him.
All-New Ghost Rider may have a terrible title and an unoriginal story, but the artwork and fast pace more than makes up for it.
Written by: Jacob Yothment