All New Ghost Rider’s first few issues have been an interesting ride. The character has been hit or miss as far as finding its footing in the contemporary Marvel Universe but Felipe Smith is delivering a fresh enough take that it stands a chance of contributing to the larger continuity than it has previously. And Tradd Moore’s visual concepts have definitely made it a vastly underrated standout effort. But will an artistic changing of the guard help or harm future efforts?
This issue is sort of lax on action, mainly devoted to establishing the state of the neighborhood in the aftermath of Robbie Reyes’ throwdown with Mr. Hyde. The citizens seem pretty excited about having their very own protector. I’m sorry but I would be a little concerned that there’s a guy with his head on fire, but mainly because I’d be hoping it wasn’t Nicolas Cage. Robbie seems to be settling into life again, getting used to being a more confident guy in school as well as taking better care of his brother. But his mysterious demon half, Eli Morrow, seems to have other ideas in mind. It’s a pretty entertaining transitional issue that develops Robbie’s character a little further and also sets up another looming threat. Because with everything looking up for him, you just KNOW this shit is all about to go south faster than the Dallas Cowboys in the second half.
Meanwhile, Damion Scott proves to be a fantastic choice to take Tradd Moore place on pencil duty. He seems to maintain the aesthetic standard for exaggerated expressions and a sense of fast pacing while still adding his own flavor to the book. It actually has us looking forward to seeing Robbie summon the Rider since we didn’t see a lot of him in this issue. But we’re given plenty to look forward to so, in that regard, the book does its job this week.
Bottom Line: A great way to start off a brand new story arc. Not much action but it’s no less effective in giving us plenty to be excited about as the plot progresses. 8 out of 10.