By Felipe Smith & Tradd Moore
With the initial announcement of All-New Ghost Rider, it’s hard to deny that excitement was high. Anybody that had seen Tradd Moore’s work in his co-creator owned book, with writer Justin Jordan, Strange Talents of Luthor Strode and The Legend of Luthor Strode knows that he’s one hell of a talent who creates some of the best action scenes in comics today. Even without having a ton of knowledge or background on the character of Ghost Rider or writer Felipe Smith, the prospect of Tradd Moore putting his mark on the Marvel Universe was a hard one to pass up.
Now, writer Felipe Smith has quite literally done an all-new, never before seen version of Ghost Rider. A new character, a new location—a bad part of L.A., to be exact… sure seems like Marvel has a thing for the east coast lately—and a new ride to fill out the “Rider” part of the name. The main character, and new Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes seems like an okay kid. He’s working hard, he has a brother in a wheel chair to support and his motivation is pretty clear. The problem with this first issue comes down to the sudden burst of speed at the end (apologies for the pun, there) which almost comes out of nowhere. It’s understandable that they want to establish the character and the situation right away, especially considering you win or lose people with the first issue, but what happened was so fast and so abrupt it was almost jarring.
Now, without getting into spoiler territory, it almost seems like maybe an extra page of the amazing car race and ending this issue a page or two sooner would have been a better ending. It would have been shocking and one hell of a cliff hanger. As it stands, it’s hard to really be excited for the next issue because everything was kind of there already. Had they ended at the point being hinted at, for those that read it, and then it continues issue two from that point, there’d be more anticipation. It’s like Jaws; not showing the shark is more exciting and builds more anticipation than just jumping right to it. The way it was, it seemed like it was just a rush to get to the new Ghost Rider.
If you didn’t already gather from the first paragraph, Tradd Moore is simply amazing. The characters, the cars and the race in particular, really showcase some of his strange (see what I did there?) talents. For the most part, it’s just masterful work and it’s great to see a very distinct difference in art here, because he’s so unique, than any other Big Two book available today. So props to Marvel for going with Tradd, even if he doesn’t necessarily fit into the “normal” art look.
Look, this issue was good. It was actually surprising how good it was, even if a lot of that praise tends to lean on the visuals because they were absolutely show-stealing fantastic. Smith did a good job with the build up, but just got too excited at the end. There’s still plenty of hope for this series, but it’ll be up to issue two to really sell it.