Title: Ghost Rider #1
Writer: Felipe Smith
Art: Danilo Beyruth and Tradd Moore
Cover: Marco Checchetto
ROBBIE REYES IS BACK! It's hell on wheels as the Spirit of Vengeance makes his roaring return! A mysterious object from space crash-lands in southern California, drawing some of the brightest minds in the Marvel Universe to Ghost Rider's backyard – including Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk! What mayhem will be unleashed as the High-octane Hothead comes face-to-face with the Jade Genius? And with Robbie still possessed by the ghost of his evil uncle Eli…who's really in the driver's seat? Then, meet the newest speed trap in Ghost Rider's life as his original creators Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore reunite for a special backup story and the debut of an all-new villain. Strap in and start your engines, True Believer, this one's gonna be a scorcher!
Release date: November 30, 2016
With Marvel's Agents oF SHIELD Ghost Rider being such a success, I decided to try the new Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider comic; however, I found the comic lacking in terms of overall story, which I felt was quite a mess, actually. The comic read as if it was a one-shot (is it?) or even an anthology book featuring different characters and stories.
Ghost Rider #1 starts off with Robbie talking auto shop with Gabe. The two are having a Q&A about car parts where they seem to be having a fun time, they hug, etc. Then for some odd reason, Robbie says he's sorry and he's almost done, with the story shifting back to the Q&A. The sequence of events didn't fit and the panel where Robbie says he's sorry was unnecessary because Gabe seemed to be enjoying spending his time with his brother. I also thought Gabe was paralyzed, but I see he's sitting on the stool. Would Gabe be able to balance and sit on the stool like that? Was this scene a flashback or something? Honestly, it had me totally lost for a bit. Also the depiction of Gabe made me wonder if he was mentally handicapped. Serious question: Is he?
The comic then shifts to the Amadeus Cho Hulk where, for some reason, he's a part of some kind of investigation into an alien goop. The alien takes over the body of a rat and manages to bite the Amadeus Cho Hulk in the tongue and transforms into an alien goop Hulk rat-thing. Now, I'm not up to speed on the Amadeus Cho Hulk, but I believe the Hulk's tongue is invulnerable as well and wouldn't be able to get pierced by teeth. Maybe Cho's Hulk is different.
Robbie and Gabe go for a cruise and run into a forgettable cliched goon who is blocking the road and threatens the pair. Robbie decides not to do anything with Gabe in the car and drops him off. Robbie goes back to take care of business and takes down the "villain" of the book where it's revealed the bad dude was apparently involved in kidnapping or people smuggling. This came off as nothing but filler just so Ghost Rider could be shown some time in the issue.
Next, we're taken back to the rat-thing where it's escaped the Cho Hulk, and we see X-23 happens to be in the area and apparently catches the scent of the rat-thing-monster. The page says "To be continued" with a big full page pic next to it promoting the next issue.
However, turning the page reveals the story isn't done? We're given an epilogue? A back-up story? I wasn't sure what it was as it had nothing to do with any of the previous pages. Another forgettable villain steals Robbie's ride and manages to escape the Ghost Rider. It was pointless. (Update: Buried in the opening credits it's described as a "bonus story." What was the actual bonus??)
The issue was devoid of everything a first issue should be. It was completing lacking a hook, it was lacking in quality action, lacking in a villain and lacking in flow. I suppose we are to take from the issue that eventually Ghost Rider will meet up with the Cho Hulk and X-23 to do battle in a later issue with the rat-thing-monster? Is that right? I can't help but wonder if the issue would have been better off if the writer and/or editor had used the pages at the end to further the Cho/X-23/Ghost Rider story. The issue was more or less: Here. Here. Here. I felt it didn't make a whole lot of sense, was bland and honestly, lame. Ghost Rider is better off as a horror/supernatural character than being involved with the goofy Cho Hulk. The X-23 battle/team-up has potential.
Ghost Rider #1 definitely isn't a scorcher. It's carburetor is clogged and at $4.99 is highway robbery.