Ghost Racers #1 Review

Posted June 9, 2015 by Henry Varona in Comic Books

Written by: Felipe Smith

Art by: Juan Gedeon

Publisher: Marvel Comics

This book is everything I wanted it to be and more. Last year, Marvel took a big risk by boldly re-imagining Ghost Rider, taking the fundamental concept of skull faced racer and applying it to Robbie Reyes, a teenaged mechanic in California. Under the talents of Felipe Smith, All-New Ghost Rider immediately became one of my favorite titles, and my friends and I would frequently bond about how energetic the series was and how youthful it felt. When we saw that the tragically short run would be followed by Ghost Racers, a Secret Wars tie-in that would feature all of the different incarnations of Ghost Rider, we were immediately hooked. After months of anticipation, I am happy to say that the final product does not disappoint. Ghost Racers is easily my favorite Secret Wars tie-in so far, and some of the most fun I’ve had in months.

Every world you have ever known has been lost. Doctor Doom has won the day, combining every universe into one, isolating each to it’s own sector. But in all this chaos, the people must still be entertained. And so, the Ghost Races were born. Carter Slade. Johnny Blaze. Danny Ketch. Alejandra Blaze. Robbie Reyes. Get ready for high octane action, because as the saying goes: Live Fast. Die Hard. Race forever!

Felipe Smith won me over by page two. As our story opens, we see the races, we see the fans, and we see Robbie Reyes dedicating himself to his brother Gabe. Remember that in a moment. As the story progresses, Smith gives us a lot of very clever narration cleverly handled through commentators during the race. We find out a lot about our competitors and get a great grasp on how the Ghost Races have existed until this point. For people unfamiliar with the characters, this is a slightly formal way to meet them, but it does the job well. Robbie is our clear lead, and his connection to his brother Gabe is once again a big emotional motivator for him. In All-New Ghost Rider, Smith was able to establish a very immersive relationship between the two, and I was really happy to see that carry over here. It’s because of that relationship that the threats matter, and that we have a reason to indulge in this story.

I have never been acquainted with the art of Juan Gedeon before, but he really makes this book worthwhile. His style is clean and detailed, somewhere between Sean Murphy and Chris Samnee. There is a true intensity to his work, and every explosion, emotion, and story beat benefits from it. I particularly love that at the end of the issue we get to find out more about his design process for Carter Slade, which is easily one of the coolest designs I’ve seen in years. He’s a zombie-cowboy-mecha-centaur. How could you not love him? Beyond that, Gedeon is originally an inker, which you can see in the way that he handles the weight of his lines. The images are crisp and clear, which is crucial because there is so much going on at all times. You can tell that this is a comic that Gedeon really thought about while he worked on it, because every panel tells the story so effectively. Gedeon is still new to the world of comics, and I can only hope that this leads to bigger and better things for him.

If you enjoyed All-New Ghost Rider, you’ll love Ghost Racers. If you enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road, you’ll love Ghost Racers. If you enjoyed Twisted Metal, you’ll love Ghost Racers. Anybody who is seeking high octane action with an emotional core and a gripping cast of characters is sure to find themselves giddy over this series. Easily my most anticipated book in months, Ghost Racers does not disappoint. I can only hope in my heart of hearts that it leads to more from Felipe Smith on Ghost Rider in the future. But if not, if this is the end, Smith and Gedeon give us an adventure like nothing else that you’ll find on the stands. It’s one Hell of a ride!

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.