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Saturday, April 5, 2014

All-New Ghost Rider: Engines of Vengeance!

04.05.2014 – Ghost Rider, the antihero with a flaming skull and hell blazing motorcycle has been around debuting on Marvel Spotlight in September 1973. It featured Johnny Blaze as the original host for the supernatural ‘Spirit of Vengeance.’

The same character was portrayed by actor Nicolas Cage in the two live action films, that was produced by New Line Cinema and the rights have been reverted back to Marvel.

For those who haven’t read any of the Ghost Rider comics this is your chance to catch up.

All-New Ghost Rider is the latest series under the ‘Marvel NOW’ initiative and stars an entirely new hero in Robbie Reyes. The question you might be asking who’s this Robbie Reyes, and all along you only knew about Johnny Blaze in the films. Actually Robbie Reyes is not the second Ghost Rider you thin AFTER Johnny.

For those intrigued about ‘Ghost Rider’ there where actually FOUR not counting the horse riding ‘Night Rider’ subsequently becoming the ‘Phantom Rider’ based on a character with the same flaming skull set in the Western era. This also not including the Ghost Rider 2099, this featured the artwork of Chris Bachalo in the first three issues.

The most recent Ghost Rider was actually a Nicaraguan woman named Alejandra, who Blaze trained during her run as the hell blazing hero. But Blaze relinquished those powers back to him. The second Ghost Rider was the most successful host in Danny Ketch when Marvel revived Ghost Rider in the 1990s. It was revealed also that Dan Ketch is Johnny Blaze’s brother during the course of the series and had a spinoff title in ‘Spirits of Vengeance’ during the height of the ‘Midnight Sons’ story arc that also featured the vampire hunter known as Blade.

Several ‘Ghost Rider’ series later Marvel launches a new one, which features a new host in Robbie Reyes and a brand new concept ditching out the iconic flaming motorcycle for a flaming muscle car.

You can say the times are changing and its time to infuse new concepts for a popular character in the Marvel Universe. Johnny Blaze IS still the ‘Ghost Rider’, who recently joined the Thunderbolts. But Robbie Reyes has a new story to tell with his version of the ‘Ghost Rider’ which features a different kind of artwork by Tradd Moore and an interesting story Felipe Smith.

This new Ghost Rider has a mystery on its own that won’t be revealed until the next issue, and the second one is coming out sometime this week. Robbie Reyes has a long ways to go in believing what he will become in the succeeding issues, but Felipe Smith has laid a ground work on how this happen and the wheels has just started turning.

The concept is obvious that this new creative team wants this ‘Ghost Rider’ to be different, but keeps its identity intact for those long time readers to still acknowledge that there’s a new one and shares a different twist.

Breaking a tradition of the ‘riders’ theme, which referred to motorcycles trading it with a four wheel muscle car that appears to be Vin Diesel’s taste in Fast & Furious films. The creative team acknowledges that theme, which is inspired as part of the new series concepts. Though it’s early to judge how the series would keep readers from following this new ‘Ghost Rider’ depends on how they think of Robbie Reyes.

Robbie Reyes has his own baggage to deal with both personal and professional, which adds weight to the story. It might not be like what Johnny Blaze had to deal with, but it had similarities that remind everyone that heroes go through a tough life too.

For now everyone is left wondering how this will fit in the Marvel Universe now that you have two Ghost Riders running around, but it’s too early to hope for that.

Right now Robbie Reyes is in the spotlight, and IF Marvel plans to resurrect Ghost Rider after regaining back the film rights to be part of the cinematic universe its going to be different. The All-New Ghost Rider is not your guy with a flaming motorcycle. It’s Robbie Reyes driving a muscle car that’s ready to take down gangs in the streets Faster and very Furious now known as the ‘Engines of Vengeance.’

Overall All-New Ghost Rider is inspired by the Fast & Furious films imbued with supernatural concepts with a fresh story by Felipe Smith. The artwork is more contemporary that certainly pop out from Tradd Moore than traditional ‘comics’ art, which separates this new series from the get go. But it leaves everyone in the dark at the end of the page how this ‘Ghost Rider’ came to be that you need to pick the second issue to find out.

All-New Ghost Rider #1 is out now! Check your local comic shops in your area for availability. Second issue will be released sometime next week!

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