If you've read a Ghost Rider book in the past, you'll notice one giant, glaring difference about this series: it's unlike every other Ghost Rider series you've ever read. This isn't Danny Ketch or Johnny Blaze. This is a brand new Ghost Rider for a new generation of readers.
Writer Felipe Smith is doing quite a great job at really establishing the new rider, Robbie Reyes and the world he lives in, here in this issue. We see much more of Robbie than the rider, which is fine, since readers are really going to want to feel this character out right away.
Why is the rider inside of him? At this point, who cares? Smith's pacing makes you want to know the answers to this mystery while guiding you through Robbie's world. I'm fine with learning a bit more and more every issue rather than having the mystery just having everything spelled out for the reader, right away. This book keeps the reader invested.
The art by Tredd Moore and colors by Val Staples are what I really gravitate towards in this series. Moore's art style is very different and just a blast to look at. The expressions Tradd gets out of these characters is awesome, and his more cartoonish style is a great counter to some of the more depressing moments within this issue. Staples colors are bright and pop right off the the page. Her work really shines when the rider comes out, the oranges and yellows look great, and Moore's line work from the rider is a super cool effect as well.
Everyone in this book, aside from Robbie, is a horrible person. Understandably, he comes from a rough area where there may be some less than outstanding citizens, but aside from Robbie's brother and the teacher, every single person in this issue walks the fine line between scumbag and dirtball. Also, the level of how horrible these people are is also pretty disturbing to the suspension of disbelief is completely dropped. The reader can accept the fact the story is building slowly. They can accept the fact Tradd Moore's art is a step away from house style, but it's hard to accept the fact people are this awful, all the time.
Yes, everyone in Robbie's life is the worst person imaginable. They're thugs, murderers, potential rapists, and folks you don't want to deal with. However, that's the only part of the issue that was problematic. We're still learning about Robbie and why he is now the Ghost Rider. This issue, while a bit depressing, is still a ton of fun. Moore's and Staples' art really shines here and this is quickly becoming one of my top Marvel series, which is saying a lot since they're putting out quite a few great books. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.