This purchase was, for the most part, inspired by Robbie Reyes’ recent (Well, recent to me, I’m a bit behind on the show) appearance on Agents of Shield. On the show, he comes across as an intriguing character and I was interested in what his character was like on paper.
The issue opens with Robbie and his brother Gabe talking about car stuff. Meanwhile, the Totally Awesome Hulk is helping some scientists uncover the mysteries of a new chemical element. Robbie has to suppress the demon within when threatened by a thug. The Chemical element appears to be alive, taking control of a lab rat and putting up a fair fight against the Hulk. Back to Robbie, he drops Gabe off at home and then goes off to teach the thug a lesson. Coaxed by the evil spirit of his dead uncle, Robbie attacks their lorry, freeing a family in the process. The mutated rat is proving to be no pushover, adapting as quickly as the Hulk appears to tackle it. The issue ends with the brothers sharing some tacos. But wait! X-23 and Gabby are a few tables away and, after the Reyes’ depart, X-23 smells something fishy and pops her claws.
In addition to the main story we have a smaller side story: Ghost Rider runs into a spot of bother when Pyston Nitro, Weightlifting celebrity/ time-stopping skateboarder, attempts to steal the Hellcharger. They tussle for a short while until Pyston Nitro gives in upon discovering how tough a cookie Ghost rider actually is.
If I’m honest, I was bit disappointed with this issue. I appreciate that Marvel are trying to integrate Robbie Reyes into the Marvel Universe more with some high-ranking cameos but I found it a little bit annoying. The bits focused on Robbie Reyes were great, the exchange between him and his uncle’s evil spirit in particular providing a really interesting plot point. I would have been very happy with an entire comic focused on that side of Ghost rider (and equally his life at home, looking after Gabe) instead of including other, more recognised heroes.
The second smaller story was actually better than the main one which is because it simply had more Ghost Rider. His character is compelling both on the screen and on paper and it provided good story on its own.
Negativity aside, the art by Danilo S.Beyruth and writing by Felipo Smith (Both of whom were new to me) did make the issue enjoyable. The panels involving Robbie Reyes all fired up were my favourite, as mentioned, with the dialogue adding a great depth to what could have just been hot-headed violence. As this isn’t explored so much on Agents of Shield it was very rewarding to see it here and added a fair bit of appeal to the issue and title as a whole.
I can’t deny feeling a teensy bit interested in where this series has gone but simply not enough to actually follow through. If you enjoy a good team up book this title might be worth a look, especially those who like the Totally Awesome Hulk (Whom I like, to be fair) or X-23 (Who I also like, actually), because I do believe that when the 3 eventually get together it could actually make for quite an interesting story. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments. Thank you.