Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider #1

by Aaron Reese on December 07, 2016

ghost rider 1

Hey guys, before we begin the review, I need to talk to Marvel for a second. Do you mind hanging back?


Marvel. Honey. We need to talk. Your infatuation with knock-off characters is getting out of hand and you need to dial it back. I’m not saying that some of them aren’t real nice characters. I like most of them. I do. I’m just saying that you’re teetering on the edge of an unhealthy obsession.


I mean, at first the characters made sense. You just wondered, “what if Hulk was a girl?” or “what if Spider-Man was a girl?” and you had some memorable characters. Before you knew it, you were churning out more knock-offs than you could put in stories. Now you have Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Silk, the occasionally dead Scarlet Spider and Spider-Girl (Should I count Spider-Ham?). How many Wolverines are there now? Wolverine, Daken, X-23, Old Man Logan.


At least characters that used to parallel our heroes had some basic differences. Sabertooth was more savage than Wolverine. Cyber was sleeker. Abomination had scales and couldn’t switch back and forth between his human form like Bruce Banner.


Now it’s like you don’t even care.


You have Hulk, Red Hulk, Totally Awesome Hulk, Skarr, and, (seriously?) Red She-Hulk. C’mon. I bring this up because Totally Awesome Hulk (Hulk knock-off) and X-23 (Wolverine knock-off)  make an appearance in Robbie Reyes: Ghost Rider #1 (Ghost Rider Knock-off). You’re dangerously close to the tipping point and I think you know it’s time to cut yourself off. Don’t make any more knock-offs. You can do it. I have faith in you.


Ok, back to the review. Sorry you all had to see that.

Writer: Filipe Smith
Artists: Daniel Beyruth & Tradd Moore
Publisher: Marvel Comics


Back in 2014, Marvel felt like it needed a younger Ghost Rider. High schooler Robbie Reyes was killed in a gang war and brought back to life by the satan-worshipping serial-killing spirit of his uncle, Eli Morrow. Bad things ensued, but Robbie managed to defeat Mr. Hyde, the Russian mob, and a local gang suped up on designer drugs. After all was said and done, Robbie came to an understanding with his uncle. If Eli would find Robbie the worst people to roam the Earth, Robbie would kill them to satiate Eli’s bloodlust.


As we begin this issue, Robbie is happy helping his mentally and physically handicapped brother, Gabe, and working on cars at a local garage. That is pretty much how the series started in 2014 too. It also appears that Gabe's physical disabilities have reverted. He was learning to walk with crutches by the end of the original series. Now it appears he is back in the wheelchair. And he's a mechanic savant...because reasons. Beforehand, he had a simplistic vocabulary and limited understanding of the world.


The deal that Robbie struck with Eli seems to be ignored. Robbie is not only attacking low-level gangbangers instead of the "worst of the worst," he also isn't killing anyone. A tasteful groan was added to a dialogue bubble above a body left in Robbie's wake. It is like the last series never wrapped up and we are seeing the same things that have already been resolved anew. We learn nothing new about Robbie or Eli.


Amadeus Cho (Totally Awesome Hulk) shows up in a completely untethered storyline as he chases a purple monster... Really, that is all that happens.


I am not sure if I should review this as a comic book. It is more like a preview of an upcoming series or the prologue of a novel that makes no sense until you finish half the book. It reminds us who Robbie Reyes is; it reminds us who Amadeus Cho is; X-23 pops her claws at the end. None of them interact.


The dialogue is fine, even if it is spread out. The art is consistently good. However, as a story, issue #1 is incoherent. We don't learn anything new about anyone. We don't know why these characters are in the same comic book. It ignores some settled issues about the title character. If this story is leading somewhere interesting, we have no way of knowing it. You'd think that something more would have happened in 24 pages.

Our Score:


A Look Inside