Advance Review: GHOST RACERS #1


Written by Felipe Smith
Art by Juan Gedeon
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 10, 2015

Spirits of Vengeance, start up your engines…the Killiseum is ready for you to race.

Have you ever wondered which Spirit of Vengeance is really the best Ghost Rider? Is it Johnny, Danny or Alejandra? Maybe the new kid, Robbie? Maybe the old timer, Carter Slade? Well, Felipe Smith, Juan Gedeon and Secret Wars are giving you what you’ve been looking for – the Mario Kart race of the damned!

I say Mario Kart because this isn’t just a straightforward race – it’s everything you’d expect if you pitted a bunch of Ghost Riders against each other. It’s some wild, fiery visuals with a whole lotta speed. For the most part, that’s about all we get from this story, as Felipe Smith spends a lot of time focusing on the race in this issue, with some ominous mumblings about the future of one of the Riders. Smith gives the issue a great sense of being the wildest street race you’ve ever seen, with announcers talking about the Riders like this is as common an event as Nascar, but with Hellfire. The banter he has flying between the racers/combatants is entertaining, and his script is good enough for me to try a second issue even if I wasn’t astounded. I’ve always been partial to the Ghost Rider concept, so this many Riders in one place is enough to draw me in and Smith definitely didn’t push me away.

Juan Gedeon’s artwork is all over the place, I’m sad to report, with some pieces looking unfinished and some dreaded instances of not-really-finished faces making their way into the issue. His best work is when the Riders are all blazing and in crazy amounts of motion, and that’s when he does his best attempt at channeling Tradd Moore (and Felipe Smith). There are some awesome, heart pounding moments in the race where his artwork is on fire (pun fully intended) and others where things fizzle, and I fear this series will be made or broken by how much sizzle and how much fizzle is found in subsequent issues. Ghost Rider has always been a character that artists can go wild with, and with 5 Riders in his book, I expected more punch from Gedeon’s work.

Ghost Racers #1 is a fun thrill ride that, despite some inconsistent artwork, is a must read for fans of the Riders, especially Robbie Reyes. Smith put enough fun and thrill in here to keep me in for another issue, and hopefully Gedeon’s artwork keeps pace. Fast, furious, and hellfire everywhere, Ghost Racers #1 may not be the strongest Secret Wars issue yet, but there is an interesting framework to build from, for sure.

The Verdict: 6.5/10


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