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All New Ghost Rider #1

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All New Ghost Rider #1

Rating:
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This is the most exciting new comic experience I’ve had in ages. I’ve essentially bailed on the New 52 — just can’t get into it, or the restyled characters. I even dropped Batman, which started strong, but spiraled downward, notably with the Joker arc.

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As for Marvel Now!, while I’m not down with the countless, concurrent, endless “event” books featuring the Avengers and X-Men, there are still a number of really bright spots, with Daredevil at the forefront.

And fortunately, things are looking brighter, with a string of recent, and very entertaining relauched/renumbered/revamped series.

Like this one. Ghost Rider #1 seems to have avoided all the past mistakes of tweaking this character, and seemingly started from scratch. New lead characters, new base of operations (LA), and startlingly, a new ride. Four wheels new. And not just any four wheels, but four of the greatest in automotive history — the legendary ’69 Dodge Charger.

And did I spy a Triumph Bonneville in the garage, and even a Land Rover Defender? As a bit of a car nut, I appreciated the accuracy in the depiction of the Charger, though I was more vague on the cars in the street race — they seemed to be tuners, although I think one was a Porsche 959. I also dug the Chargers’ specs on the uppermost corner of the first page.

I digress.
The story, by Felipe Smith, is solidly structured, dialogued, and paced, setting up the characters and their motivations in only a few pages. The setting of East LA gives this comic a wholly new perspective, and it feels accurate, even “street”, thanks in no large part to Tradd Moore’s art, and the vibrant colors of Nelson Daniel and Val Staples.

Seeing the promotional poster of Moore’s Ghost Rider is what got me to pull this comic, and it exceeded my expectations. He brings a very contemporary, urban, graffiti style to his pencils. They’re confident, fluid and just plain fun to look at. I’m reminded of Humberto Ramos, Damion Scott, and Keef Cross, among others.

Buy this book. It just feels “right.” The right Ghost Rider for the times.
Kudos for Marvel for exploring vibrant new styles, and approaches. And this — this comic, rather than endlessly convoluted, multi-crossover events, is how you keep comics fresh, and fans engaged.

Note to Marvel films: If you ever want to explore another Ghost Rider movie, this comic is where you start.

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