In continuing coverage of Marvel Comics’ successful re-branding intiative Marvel NOW, we now turn our attention to Ghost Rider. Some of you may remember our coverage of New York Comic Con where I gave my initial impression of the upcoming title, but with new details about the new series by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore, and a little time and perspective on my part I’ve found a lot more to say.
First the new details, in addition to the regular cover by series artist Tradd Moore, Smith, who is also a talented Mangaka (artist of Japanese manga) will be doing a variant cover for issue #1.
Tradd Moore’s cover Felipe Smith’s variant cover
Speaking to CBR in October about the new series, Smith had this to say about the new Rider we will see in the relaunch:
“Our All-New Ghost Rider, as the title suggests, is an absolutely new character: Robbie Reyes. Robbie’s an East Los Angeles high school senior with a short fuse and a passion for electronic music and absolutely anything powered by an engine. In comparison to previous Ghost Riders, he’s young and inexperienced in life; but his harsh inner city upbringing, overall distrust for most people, and serious contempt for his violent surroundings make him the perfect host for a Spirit of Vengeance.”
First hitting the pages in 1972, the original Ghost Rider was inspired by American counterculture and a sense of rebellion. The motorcycle and biker culture was seen as an expression of danger and excitement, but also freedom. It tapped into what it meant to be a rebel in in the Vietnam era. For the kids of today however, that vibe just doesn’t have the same resonance, which is perhaps why character has had problems finding an audience in recent years. For OG Ghost Rider the movie was Easy Rider, for New School Ghost Rider the influence seems pull heavily from The Fast And The Furious and its sequels. It is no mistake that this version of Ghost Rider is driving a black muscle car á la Vin Diesel’s character Dom. This new iteration is taking the trappings of today to try and connect to the same rebel spirit of the original.
So have I changed my mind about this new series? Well, I’ve made no bones about being a classic Ghost Rider fan, in fact, if I ever did manage to break into mainstream comics, doing a Ghost Rider series (Johnny Blaze version, of course) would be something I would be actively pursuing. I wish these new people and their new direction the best, but it still doesn’t interest me much. I applaud what they are trying to do, but this doesn’t feel like a ride I’m going to be interested in taking.
If I’ve managed to pique your interest in Ghost Rider, and you would like to read some of his stories, the classic series has been collected in Marvel Essential and the collections can be picked up for a song.
To anybody looking for some more modern bad-ass Rider stories, I suggest these gems:
So, are you folks hyped about the new Ghost Rider series? Speak your minds in the comments below!