After the events of last issue, Felipe Smith continues to not only entertain, but also set this apart from past Ghost Rider incarnations. Robbie Reyes and the circumstances that make him the new Ghost Rider offer a much needed fresh take on the character, giving him a more modern feel. Not only that, but we get more Rider action in this issue as Smith starts to flesh out the first arc. Things do slow down during a scene at Robbie’s school, which was a bit too cliché for my tastes, and the only part of the story that brought happiness when it was over.
Smith also introduces a villain that we haven’t seen in a while, and he does it in a big way thanks to the artwork! As things play out we also discover more about the contraband in the trunk of the car Robbie “borrowed” from work and what it can do. Not only is it wanted by the big bad guy, but the local gang also wants it after seeing the effects it has. Also because the car Robbie took belonged to the head of the crew that runs things in his neighborhood, and these guys aren’t in the lending business.
One thing that really kicks you in the face here is Tradd Moore’s pencils and the colors by Val Staples in this series. Everything looks like it’s in motion, which works perfectly for the car chase scenes. There’s actually a few panels that just let the art speak for itself, as you can practically “hear” the shifting of gears and the clutch while the visual storytelling does its thing. More panels without captions to get in the way wouldn’t be a bad thing since Smith is giving Moore so much cool stuff to draw. The pacing of this issue isn’t all fire and action, but just know that Moore puts just as much effort into making the quieter moments look just as good as the action packed sequences in the book.
This All-New Ghost Rider is off to a good start, and with the cliffhanger we’re left with it seems as if Smith doesn’t plan on giving us the same old history. For now it definitely is worth taking a chance on even if you’re an old school fan that rolled their eyes at the thought of Ghost Rider driving a car instead of a motorcycle!