Laura McCarthy reviews All-New Ghost Rider #5…
‘ENGINES OF VENGEANCE’ It’s the fight you’ve been waiting for: GHOST RIDER VS. a modified MR. HYDE. ROBBIE REYES’ violent neighborhood has become a full-blown urban battlefield. Can he save it? Will he want to? All-out action and a twist that will hit you at a 100mph!
Um…well that kind of just fizzled out?
I really don’t know what I expected when I imagined the fight between Robbie and Mr. Hyde, but this definitely felt a lot less action packed than I thought it would be. Robbie doesn’t really do much in the long run to defeat Mr. Hyde – the fight starts between Guero, two gang members, and the military, Gabe’s school bus gets dragged into the fight (is it normal for schools to have their own buses, I went to private school and my district gave us a yellow bus from a random company), and Robbie shows up to save his brother. Sure, he manages to kick some ass with the military guys, but when Mr. Hyde shows up up and starts beating the ever loving crap out of our hero…it just kind of stops. Mr. Hyde winds up getting defeated by his own selfish actions and Robbie just kind of drives off. At least he gets Gabe’s wheelchair back on the last two pages, but even then it’s super vague about just what he does to Guero and his crew. They’re not dead, but it’s hard to tell just how much damage he did to them.
Even with Grumpy, we don’t get much of a resolution. Mr. Hyde just kind of rips him in half and that’s it. So…no rouges gallery for this Ghost Rider so far?
The only real highlight to this issue is that we get a closer look into Robbie’s morality and just how much of a fight he’s going to have to put up with the much darker, far more sinister Eli and how his surroundings are going to affect that morality. It’s great fodder for future storylines, and gives us a hint about just what’s coming next…but man, I really wanted to see an epic fight. At least we’re getting a bit more of an expansion on just how Mr. Wakeford is going to play into all of this. Hopefully. That’s still two pages in the last issue dedicated to only two panels here. Please don’t be evil, Mr. Wakeford.
For the most part, “Engines of Vengeance” has been a decent start to All-New Ghost Rider, but it has all the same problems I’ve had with the first story in Ms. Marvel – the pacing. At times it feels like we’re just meandering through the story, and everything is taking its sweet time instead of just getting on with it. If you’re not reading the story in one go, it feels like it takes forever. I get that trade paperbacks are probably the way most comic book companies make money now days, but as someone that reads and collects single issues it’s just nerve wracking.
Unfortunately, this is also Tradd Moore’s last issue on the book, as he is planning on focusing on his creator owned work. This is incredibly disappointing since the artwork is what drew me into this series in the first place (well, okay, it’s because I saw on Oh No They Didn’t that they wanted Robbie to look like Zayn Malik and I though that was hilarious – but the art is totally the second reason). I can only hope that the next artist on this book brings as much energy and fluidity to these characters as Moore has.
On another note, since Kamla Kahn met Wolverine in the last issue of Ms. Marvel, I’m anxious to see which hero Robbie is going to run into first. I hope it’s somebody I recognize, but it probably won’t be unless the Young Avengers or Doctor Strange wander into SoCal.