A few years ago Marvel rebooted Ghost Rider into a kind of “The fast and the flaming head” series about street racing with a Latinx hero. The book was by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore and it had a very unique look. It was one of the first examples of Marvel rebooting their characters in a more adventurous and diverse way. The book only lasted 8 issues but it was a good 8 issues, and Marvel is bringing back the Robbie Reyes GHost Rider in a new book this November, with Smith writing again, and Danilo Beyruth on art. Tradd Moore will provide back-up stories. While GHost Rider’s impending re-appearince on Agents of SHIELD probably fast tracked this book, it’s good to see it back:
Those going into either the show or the comic expecting Nicolas Cage’s flamboyant (flame-boyant?) take on the character should check their expectations at the door. Reyes is younger, and he’s not a spirit of vengeance. Morrow was a serial killer in life, and functions as the Hulk to Reyes’ Bruce Banner.
“Prior Ghost Riders were compelled to do good,” Smith told TVGuide.com. “Robbie makes the choice to do good things, because it’s the spirit who compels him to kill.”
To be clear: the prior Ghost Riders did have some demonic/satanic overtones; the current one decidedly does not, and is just your run-of-the-mill evil spirit. And where the previous holders of the name Ghost Rider have had their lives ruined by the spirit of vengeance, the current one already had a pretty rough life, living in a poor neighborhood, balancing taking care of a developmentally disabled brother with a job and school, etc. Instead of a curse, Smith said that Reyes looks at being Ghost Rider as, “something that empowers him.”
Beyond the background, Reyes’ vehicle of choice is a flaming Dodge Charger, instead of a motorcycle — which led always fickle comic book fans to point out that Reyes was driving, not riding. “We had Knight Rider,” Smith joked with mock anger, “who was also a black car who talked to him.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.