In case you’ve missed him in Agents of SHIELD, the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider is pretty cool. Sure, he’s no Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch, but he’s making a real impact in the Marvel U. We review Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider #1.
Robbie’s day of fixing cars, picking up some fast food, riding around and grabbing an ice cream with his young brother goes wrong when he comes across a surly truck driver. Meanwhile, across town, Amadeus Cho – the latest incarnation of the Hulk – has to battle a strange shapeshifting purple goo which absorbs the abilities of those it comes into contact with. Oh, and the All-New Wolverine (formerly X-23) shows up too…
In the backup story, Robbie’s day at work is interrupted by a fitness guru who has plans to steal his car, the Hell Charger. It may sound like a simple job for the latest Ghost Rider, especially since the thief – Pyston Nitro – only rides a skateboard, but there’s more to her than meets the eye…
On the surface of it, this is a great start to the new series and manages to successfully juggle all the elements which have made Ghost Rider such an enduring character and fan-favourite over the years. There’s genuine human emotion, action, humour, and even some pretty cool guest stars making cameo appearances. Unfortunately, the first story lacks a little focus and tries to do a little bit too much. While it may set up the next issue pretty well, there’s a nagging feeling that you wish it would be paid off in this first issue in some way. Sadly, it isn’t.
Instead, just when things are getting interesting, they end the main story and put in a backup short story. To be fair, this was probably the biggest flaw with Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider #1. To suddenly start another story before the first has properly concluded felt a little disorienting, especially since the establishing shot of the garage where Robbie works is so similar to what’s happened in the first tale. Pyston Nitro comes across like a weak character with such vague powers and motivation for stealing the Hell Charger that it’s hard to take her seriously. And then there’s the art on it.
I know, each artist has their style, but Pyston Nitro’s establishing shot makes her look like Rob Liefeld’s Captain America. I get that she’s supposed to be all about fitness, but this character had thighs like Schwarzenegger back in his Mister Olympia days. That isn’t pumping iron, that’s pumping unbelievability.