Tag Archives: Ghost Racers

Freeze Frame 8/15/2015

From Star Wars Lando #2 by Alex Maleev & Paul Mounts
From Star Wars Lando #2 by Alex Maleev & Paul Mounts

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Freeze Frame 7/10/2015

From Shutter #13 By Leila Del Duca
From Shutter #13 By Leila Del Duca

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Freeze Frame 6/12/2015

From Descender #4 by Dustin Nyguen
From Descender #4 by Dustin Nguyen

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Secret Wars: Ghost Racers #2 Review

Ghost Riders 2 Juan Gedeon

by  Felipe Smith, Juan Gedeon

The mini-series slows down in this issue, in order to set up the “new” origin of Robbie Reyes powers and how he became a Ghost Racer.

As his younger brother asks him what will happen if he ever loses and if the losing Racers are tortured, Robbie thinks back to his time before he became famous. What’s revealed is that Robbie had no choice in becoming a Racer, due to having an innate “Ignition Spirit” and he’s fully aware of whats happening to his fellow competitors. With that in mind, he races that much harder to avoid losing. Arcade and Zadkiel are planning to make that happen and throw everything they have at Robbie to ruin his chance of winning again. His Spirit sensing this, Robbie is teleported out of the arena, forcing Zadkiel to bring out all the stops to capture him.

The art in this issue doesn’t carry the same punch as the previous one. The action scenes appear either stiff or overly cluttered and hard to follow. I usually enjoy the broken panel pages of comics, but it’s important that readers can still make sense of them without a clear grid to separate them. Fortunately, this issue mainly focuses on the dialogue between Robbie and his brother instead of fast race scenes of cars battling each other.

The story though has nothing to fall back on. The first issue was a fun, non-stop race between Ghost Riders and while I took points away for a lack of explanation I could still enjoy the issue for its action. This issue swings too far in the other direction, trying to explain the crazy circumstances and weighing down the plot as a result. Robbie being “born with” a Spirit of Vengeance doesn’t make a lot of sense, but its fine if attention isn’t drawn to it.  Instead of explaining the circumstances, this issue only raises more questions.

Despite the slow-moving plot, it’s always fun seeing the Thor Police (and FROG THOR!). The scenes with Robbie and his brother work  a little better this time at establishing an emotional connection, now that we see both are aware of Robbie’s precarious position as the reining champ. Hopefully in future issues, Smith doesn’t worry too much about making sense of this part of Battleworld and focuses on making Robbie’s fight against Arcade and Zadkiel engrossing on its own.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

Battleworld: Ghost Racers #1 Review

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by Felipe Smith, Juan Gedeon

One part Death Race, two parts high-octane action, and one part human heart, Ghost Racers #1 was nearly The Week’s Finest.

Me, I’m a long-time Ghost Rider fan. The 2006-2011 series was what kept me coming back into comic shops on a monthly basis when I started out. I haven’t been wowed yet by the current Marvel NOW! series starring Robbie Reyes, but after immensely enjoying Battleworld:Master of Kung-Fu I was tempted to venture out in search of another favorite character reinterpreted on Battleworld.

As I said, the premise is not unlike Death Race, where racers face opponents’ weapons and other obstacles for the prize of winning. Here, the winner is the reigning champ Robbie Reyes who is beloved by all, except his fellow racers who are tortured nightly while Reyes enjoys being a celebrity.

The book smartly includes the previous holders of the Ghost Rider title including Carter Slade (the OG who was rechristened “Phantom Rider”), Johnny Blaze (the 1970s/modern era Rider), Danny Ketch (the 80-90s Rider), and Alejandra (who was the previous attempt to replace Blaze but failed to catch on). In addition, the book is full of other winks and nods to Ghost Rider history which may go over the heads of those who only know Robbie Reyes, but its still appreciated.

The art by Juan Gedeon gives the feeling of a frenetic, sugar rush Saturday morning cartoon (the kind that didn’t involve porkchops or realistic flying animals sprouting rainbows) and makes the story feel gruesome and visceral. There is also a residual vibe from the main Ghost Rider book that should feel comfortably familiar to its fans.

The book did have some flaws that distracted me. For instance, when an announcer jokes that Johhny Blaze and Danny Ketch fight like siblings (which they are), he refers to Alejandra a few times as “Alejandra BLAZE” which confused me since in actuality they shared no connection besides being hosts for the Rider’s curse. There’s no reason Alejandra and Johnny could be siblings instead of him and Danny, but I would’ve liked the clarification of that. The other thing that took me out of the story were the scenes with Robbie’s brother, his main reason to win the races and what he stands to lose. Reyes’ is said several times to be the people’s favorite, and the most skilled racer on the track but nothing is shown to really highlight this. He has a kid brother, and he’s the best. It would’ve been nice if Reyes’ showed more concern for his perilous position, or something else to humanize him and make me root for him. Otherwise, I’m left sort of hoping the other racers get revenge on him as well as the orchestrator of the Ghost Races, Arcade (who was also a nice touch to the story).

Aside from all that, I had fun with the issue and was glad to be enjoying a Ghost Rider book again. I’m invested enough to buy the next issue to see what happens next and what’s under Carter Slade’s blindfold…

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent