ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER #1
Written by Felipe Smith
Art by Tradd Moore
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 26, 2014
The energy of Fast & Furious storms into Marvel Universe as Felipe Smith, Tradd Moore, Nelson Daniel & Val Staples bring Hellfire to L.A. in All-New Ghost Rider #1.
The “All-New” in the title is quite fitting for this book as it is a completely blank slate for Smith & Moore to work with. Robbie Reyes is a brand new character with, seemingly, no ties to anyone in the Marvel U, and East L.A. is a relatively unexplored territory in Marvel Comics. The creative team uses this to their advantage, creating a story that is extremely easy to jump into, no matter your knowledge of Marvel continuity. Smith & Moore let actions speak louder than words in this first issue, building Robbie’s situation by showing us his day to day life. The kid doesn’t have it easy, and you can’t help but immediately root for this underdog. Smith’s dialogue is strong, not artificially slipping in exposition for the sake of building the world, but rather having characters sound like human beings in a given situation. He does a good job of letting readers connect the dots, and the world is more organic and immersive for it. He writes strong twists to keep readers on their toes, and it is very apparent that not everything is what it seems. There are mysteries to be revealed and Smith deftly drops the right crumbs at the right time to keep readers hooked. Smith also does an excellent job of letting his electric creative teammates tell a lot of the story. We don’t have cumbersome voice overs and thought boxes all over the place in the peak action sequences, we just get to feel the speed and intensity. There is some excellent action in this comic and Smith does not impede it in any way by hitting readers with information overkill.
Speed and intensity are the name of the game for artist Tradd Moore and colourists Nelson Daniel & Val Staples. Moore’s stylized art is strong throughout, but this issue really breaks loose when speed becomes a factor. In the second half of the issue Moore’s dynamic pencils soar and take this from being an origin issue for a new character into a straight up thrill ride of a comic. The energy is palpable on these pages and Moore may have one of the most visually dynamic characters in the Marvel Universe with this new Rider. His work is stylish and raw, crackling with electricity and feeling like it is going to burst from the page. If Moore’s work doesn’t have you fired up by the last page I don’t know what will, and fans of the Ghost Rider mythos will be grinning from ear to ear as the book rounds out. Daniel and Staples elevate Moore’s pencils and do an excellent job conveying the speed and intensity of the last half of the issue. This comic reads like an action film and their work takes it from a decent popcorn flick to a blockbuster, forcing you to go back for a re-read just to experience it again. This is dynamic artwork from a trio that have a strong vision for this book, and their work is worth the price of admission alone.
This comic reads like a muscle car about to start a street race. The first half of the issue is idling, rumbling, brimming with tension and when Smith and Moore cut it loose in the second half there is nothing but tires screeching and roaring power. All-New Ghost Rider is looking to be a high octane book with a ton of potential and a relatable lead character with some absolutely jaw dropping art. The first issue is a thrill ride, and you’re going to want to give this series a try before the first printing is sold out.
The Verdict: 8.5/10