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Super Sonic Phoenix!

A couple years ago a legend was born in the form of a young man named Robbie Reyes, who took the world by storm thanks to the genius writing of Felipe Smith and the face meltingly epic art of Tradd Moore. But sadly after 12 issues in his own series and then a 4 issue run in an epic little series called Ghost Racers, Robbie sadly vanished from our books. But we held onto hope that one day old flame face would return, and thanks to an amazing performance by Gabriel Luna on a little TV show called Agents of Shield, we finally got our wish. Ghost Rider #1 is a brand new series perfect for fans and new readers alike as it continues Robbie’s adventures as the All New Ghost Rider while beginning a new chapter in his life.

If you are already a fan of Robbie like myself, then you already know that I have nothing but positive things to say about this all new, high octane adventure that was ironically released on the same month as my birthday. So a big thanks to the whole team for this present. Joining me for this review is my friend and fellow Ghost Rider fan: jojolion. Put on your jacket and buckle up, cuz you are in for one wild ride.

Story

Ghost Rider #1 by Felipe Smith
Ghost Rider #1 by Felipe Smith

Liam: Ghost Rider #1 picks up shortly after the events of All New Ghost Rider #12 as we check back in with Robbie to see how he is adjusting to life post ANGR. The story of brotherly love continues as Robbie begins teaching Gabe all about cars by day while seeking vengeance as the Ghost Rider by night. While this is going on Amadeus Cho (Totally Awesome Hulk) has arrived in Los Angeles to study a monster that has the ability to adapt off whatever creatures it comes in contact with. But that’s not all because the Wolverine herself, Laura Kinney has also come to make Robbie’s life even more complicated. I can not wait to see where this goes and its clear this is the big team up story that introduces Robbie to the Marvel Universe outside of his own little circle.

The second story here, by Smith and original All New Ghost Rider artist Tradd Moore, introduces us to a brand new supervillan known as Pyston Nitro. We do not know much about her except that she’s a car theif and fitness lover she definitely comes off as a badass character and I bet we will not have to wait too long to see more of Pyston. The plot is very simple but when has that ever been a bad thing? Do you wanna see Ghost Rider race a chick on a nitro skateboard throughout L.A. and look dope while he does it? Then you are in the right place. Overall the story killed it on both fronts and had me wanting more and more by the time it ended.

Jojolion: There are two stories in Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider #1. The first story focuses on Robbie Reyes (main character/Ghost Rider), Gabriel Reyes (Robbie’s brother), The Hulk (Amadeus Cho) and Eli. The story bounces around between the day in the life of Robbie, his brother, Eli and The Hulk (Amadeus Cho) fighting a monster.

The Robbie Reyes and Gabriel side of the first story is like I said “a day in the life of Robbie and his brother” this isn’t bad it was actually quite a nice read, I just wish it was more of it. The Hulk (Amadeus Cho) side of the story is mainly setting up the monster that Robbie will be fighting soon. Overall, the first story is a nice read, it’s obviously setting up Robbie’s foe for the first arc and him meeting other heroes in the Marvel Universe.

The second story we see Robbie go up against [insert name here] a new villain with the ability to slow down time. This story was my favorite of the two because it was fast pace, fun, and the dialogue was enjoyable and funny. I also enjoyed the new villain and glad that it’s hinted we’ll see more of her.

Writing

Ghost Rider #1 by Felipe Smith
Ghost Rider #1 by Felipe Smith

Liam: Continuing the tone and traditions of the last book, Felipe Smith continues to kill it with this book. It reads more like an indie superhero book instead of your more traditional Marvel comic and for that I have nothing but praise. The character moments feel human, the plot threads are intriguing, and the lighter moments are both fun and hilarious when they should be. It can be both a number 1 for new readers and a number 13 for older ones without ever making the classic mistake of explaining too much about what’s come before.

As for the second story, while there is only so much you can do in 8 to 10 pages it definitely had me hooked the whole time and made me realize we do not have nearly enough stand alone stories in comics anymore, so a major thank you is in order for this epic, short adventure. I have said time and time again how awesome the writing was for ANGR and Ghost Racers and that definitely continues here. If you want a well written and fun book with lovable and relatable characters, look no further because this issue has recaptured that magic.

Jojolion: Felipe Smith’s writing is great as always, he is really good at pacing and proves still write Robbie and Gabriel perfectly. In the first story he does a really good job at juggling Robbie and Gabriel’s story along with The Hulk (Amadeus Cho) story. He writes The Hulk (Amadeus Cho) really well, he really captures Amadeus’s fun personality. I find Felipe Smith took a show don’t tell approach for new readers with Robbie and Gabriel.

What I mean by that is that Felipe shows you how the characters act, interact with one another, and what they do, but he doesn’t tell us their origins or anything about their past.This could be bad for new readers. I did give my code for the book to a friend who’s a new reader, she got what was going on instantly. So I recommend if you’re a new reader, who doesn’t understand what was going on I recommend; buying trades of the All-New Ghost Rider run which I will include links to at the end of this of this article to get you caught up and buy issue two. If you did understand Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider issue one I recommend to just go buy issue two when it comes out.

The writing for the second story is just as good, just way faster paced. I enjoyed the second story more than the first because I felt it played more to Felipe Smith’s writing style. Overall, Felipe Smith shows he hasn’t lost his touch with Ghost Rider, and can still write these characters wonderfully.

Art

Ghost Rider #3 by Felipe Smith
Ghost Rider #3 by Felipe Smith

Liam: If there is one thing all the artists who have worked on Robbie have in common its their unique and out there art style. Danillo Beyruth is no exception to this role as he continues the tradition of epic, fast paced visuals that can only be described as mind-bendingly epic. When he wants us to feel like cars are in high speed pursuits, they feel like they are in high speed pursuits. The action scenes are truly amazing and I can not believe I had never seen his work before this book. His art seems like a cross between a classic comic style mixed in with more of manga like style and we all know how much I love manga. He is a great new addition to Robbie’s world and I can not wait to see what he draws next. Maybe a scene of Robbie riding on a Mad Max like Hellcharger through a spiked canyon fighting a six-eyed Cyber Serpent from 2099 with Zero Cochrane?

Co-creator Tradd Moore also makes his triumphant return for the 8 page backup to deliver another radical dose of the style that defined Robbie’s world. My only complaint is that by the end of the story I was craving more of both him and his epic flames. Overall it was great to see both new and old come together to bring us an issue with nothing but page after page of beautiful, face-meltingly intense art.

Jojolion: This is my first time ever seeing Danillo Beyruth’s art and it’s great. Danillo Beyruth’s art is like a cross between comics and manga art, and being fan of both I found it really well done. He can do visuals and character emotions really well. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of his work in comics.

Co-creator of Robbie Reyes, Tradd Moore makes a return in the second story and his art is great as always. He can do action, visuals, character emotions all fantastically well. I hope to see him do more Ghost Rider in the future and more comics in general.

Characters and Designs

Pyston Nitro by Tradd Moore
Pyston Nitro by Tradd Moore

Liam: To sum it up the characters are amazing as always. Robbie’s still Robbie, Gabe is still Gabe, and Eil, like it or not, is still Eli. Their dynamics are still there and the success of Agents has not changed who they are. If you loved these guys before or if you are jumping in because of Agents then you are in for a treat.

Robbie and the main cast of the book do not look like they have changed much in terms of design since the last time we saw them but I do not see how that is a bad thing. Why fix something that is not broken? He still rocks that jacket and jeans look and the mohawk is the best it has ever been. As Ghost Rider, I was so happy to see that they did not change his skull from the iconic metal plated skull to the more traditional bone skull used on Agents of Shield. I always thought the different skull was Robbie’s best feature so props to Marvel for keeping the comic & TV versions separate. He’s still awesome, still driving his Hellcharger, and still kicking ass and taking names.

As for the villains, I absolutely love the look of the evolution monster as he continually gets more powerful. It reminds me of something out of an anime and I can only imagine what he will look like once he meets Robbie and Laura. Pyston Nitro definitely wins the award best new design though, she just stands out so much and does not feel like she is a typical Marvel villain. She’s got leopard hair, an awesome tattoo on her head and your standard extreme skating equipment. If my wishes come true and Robbie does get his own show I would love to see this outfit translated to screen because it seems like it would be an easy and cheap design to use.

Jojolion: The characters are great as always and have been untouched,Robbie is still cool and kind, Gabriel is still adorable, Eli is still crazy. As for the new characters that appear Amadeus Cho (Hulk) is still the lovable dudebro he is in his own title and Champions. The new character, Pyston Nitro, I liked quite a bit and I hope to see more of her.

Robbie’s design remains the same as both Robbie and Ghost Rider. I will talk a little about Robbie’s Ghost Rider form design. Robbie has the most unique design out of all the Ghost Riders and this is because of his skull.

The skull isn’t just a skull it has a helmet/mask like look to it to fit the car theme of Robbie. Robbie’s skull also has ports on the forehead and one port on each side of the mouth to spout out flames, and to go along with the car theme. The skull also gives off the impression that Robbie is different from the other Ghost Riders, which he is as Robbie doesn’t get his power from the spirit of vengeance, instead he gets his powers from the spirit of his murderous uncle Eli. Overall, I say Robbie has the most iconic design out of all the Ghost Riders because of just how unique the design is.

The design for the new villain, Pyston Nitro, has a very cool design, and her powers and designs reminds me of something out of OverWatch which is a bonus. [insert villain name here] wears a Leopard bodysuit, Tattoo on her forehead, dyed Leopard hair that just makes for a really cool design.

Pyston Nitro’s powers:

  • Can slow down time in her general vicinity and maintain her natural momentum independently.

Conclusion

Interiors of Ghost Rider #1 illustrated by Tradd Moore
Interiors of Ghost Rider #1 illustrated by Tradd Moore

Liam: To sum it up, buy this book. I loved everything about this issue and it feels so great to finally have Robbie back in print and kicking gangster ass. Its fast, its fun, and it will have you wanting more and more by the time it is over. Robbie’s adventures are far from finished and he is really beginning to step up in the Marvel universe. As far as where this goes and what Robbie does next only time will tell, but I for one can not wait to start this new journey of high octane thrills. Which is why Ghost Rider #1 gets a well deserved 9/10. I will see you all next time, peace out kids and lets ride!

Jojolion: Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider #1 is a nice read with some cool ideas that have me looking forward to the future of the series. It’s a must read for old Robbie Reyes fans and can catch the interest of new ones. I give Robbie Reyes:Ghost Rider #1 a 7.5/10 definitely go pick this up if you like Robbie Reyes or are looking to jump into it.

Pick up Ghost Rider at your local comic shop or at www.midtowncomics.com

http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=Ghost+Rider+Vol+7+%231+Cove_1575278

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