Ghost Rider has always been an extremely fringe series for Marvel. While sometimes it seems the antics of Johnny Blaze were consistently beloved by fans, later iterations of Ghost Rider seemed to find the hell spawn simply showing up in a bad ass manner during huge Marvel events. However, these days, Johnny Blaze is no longer the Ghost Rider, and we have ourselves a new spirit of vengeance to follow on his journey. Robbie Reyes is the current iteration of the Ghost Rider, but, is his story as compelling as Johnny Blaze’s? We’re going to be answering that today.
So, first off, I hate the art. I absolutely hate this art style so much. It’s cartoonish, looks and moves like cardboard, and is much too light for a Ghost Rider series. In the same vein, I also understand that this is a different take on the Ghost Rider. Robbie isn’t as damaged as Johnny was at his worst, however, I just wish that the art style reflected a grittier, more realistic vibe that the Ghost Rider series has always been known for. If you’re looking for art, you’ll probably be displeased.
The story is extremely by the numbers. Robbie’s uncle Eli (who serves as the spirit) is here to be the devil on Robbie’s shoulder. Sating his murderous blood lust is the M.O behind Robbie’s powers, and it doesn’t seem that Robbie has too much control over the spirit. It’s a charming take to see that he’s taking care of his handicapped younger brother, and the admiration and love they show into that character, and some of the more respectful elements is definitely something I have to give Kudos for. However, spending half of the first issue with other characters like the Totally Awesome Hulk and even a page with the All New Wolverine really detracted from Robbie’s story.
In all honesty, it felt like we spent the majority of the first issue doing…nothing. With poor art and a story line that just can’t seem to grab hold of you from the jump, it’s pretty hard to validate a character like Robbie Reyes and explain his need. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this is only the first issue. However, the first issue should serve a a tasting platter for what’s going to come. Look at Old Man Logan, The Amazing Spider Man, The Uncanny Avengers, or any of the other, stronger story lines. Unfortunately, we get an extremely weak addition and a weak sampling of future Ghost Rider tales to come.
If you’re a collector, I recommend picking this one up for the simple fact that cape changing is always a big seller. Beyond that, if you’re not a huge fan of the Ghost Rider, you can easily skip this one. With how many new Marvel properties are being released consistently, you can probably find a much better sampling among their large lineup to quench your thirst. For now, Robbie Reyes’s Ghost Rider definitely qualifies as a skip from me.