All-New Ghost Rider 5 Review

Posted August 1, 2014 by Henry Varona in Comic Books

Written by: Felipe Smith

Art by: Tradd Moore

Publisher: Marvel Comics

All-New Ghost Rider is one of the edgier books that Marvel has pushed as a part of Marvel NOW! Stripping the character of everything fans have ever known, it should be a massive failure. After all, who would want to read a Ghost Rider book without Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch? Who could fathom it taking away the demons and focusing on family? How could this possibly be a book about urban youth culture? Somehow, Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore have made this concept work in a way nobody would have thought possible. As somebody who never cared about Ghost Rider before, who never once expected to look forward to it this much, I can say that this is one of the best books Marvel is currently publishing.

Our book begins with our “hero” driving through East L.A. with his brother in his smokin’ ride. As fighting ensues in the streets, Robbie tries to provide for his younger sibling by going to pick up an extra shift at work. Meanwhile, Grumpy, the drug dealer peddling crazy muscle pills, is tearing apart the army of Dr. Zabo, better known as Mister Hyde. As he transforms into his monstrous form, Grumpy and him face off for control. In the streets the next day, a gang war causes chaos when the forces of Grumpy and Zabo meet. With his brother caught in the crossfire, Robbie faces the tough task of saving his brother and deciding whether or not his ghetto of a neighborhood is beyond salvation…

The most powerful part of this book is the character of Robbie Reyes. He isn’t necessarily the most unique creation or the greatest, but he has the perfect balance of struggle and heart. He constantly wants to provide a better life for his brother and will do whatever it takes. His brother reigns him in and makes him remember what he’s fighting for, even when the demonic source of his power would corrupt him. What makes this so much better is that the characters are all forced to step up and be better people. Mister Hyde is such a monstrous villain that even the jerk gang-bangers clean up their act to help. It’s very cool to see bad people do good.

On art, Tradd Moore has made his mark on Ghost Rider. No other artist has ever interpreted the character in this way. There is so much style and energy in his art, but it never does too much. Moore puts in layers of details of that surpass most other monthly books. Granted, I don’t necessarily always like this for some of his muscular characters, who grow a bit gargantuan for my taste. But in the moments where we see Ghost Rider power up, or Mister Hyde overdose on muscle stimulants, his work is in a class of it’s own. I’ll be sad to see Moore leave this book because he has defined Ghost Rider for me.

Overall, All-New Ghost Rider has a clean ending to it’s opening arc. With a strong finish, capable lead, and great art, it’s worth your money. Even if you haven’t been reading it so far, it’s an easy enough story to understand that you can jump right in. I’m looking forward to where this book goes in the future, as it has the potential to be something special.

About the Author

Henry Varona

Lover of comics, Legos, and movies, Henry Varona is supremely awesome in every way. He spends his days designing his own comics, and his nights dreaming about Chris Hemsworth and Captain Cold.