One of the downsides of reading so many comic books is that eventually, you get to a stage where there are fewer new characters you could be introduced to. On the DC side, there are few main characters that I don’t know. But Marvel has more potential so when I saw this series I was surprised that I hadn’t encountered this character before. I’m talking about Ghost Rider, who has an extremely interesting backstory!
‘Four On The Floor’ introduces us to Robbie Reyes, the new Ghost Rider. He’s a young man who works as a mechanic and looks after his disabled brother. Robbie’s backstory is that he attempted to use an old muscle car to win some money in a street race. However, the car is haunted and Robbie dies in the race. He’s bought back to life by the spirit of his evil uncle Eli who in exchange for bringing him back, wants Robbie to purge the souls of the guilty as the Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider. In the novel, Robbie begins to find that his powers are starting to become unstable and causing him to feel unwell. Meanwhile in Hillrock Heights, Amadeus Cho, aka, the New Hulk, is investigating a new organism of some sort that is able to adapt to anything that it bites. Unfortunately, it manages to get its teeth into Cho and the next thing you know, it’s got indestructible skin and grown massive. Luckily, it seems that Hulk isn’t the only hero that is travelling through California. Laura Kinney, aka, the new Wolverine is also around, and when she runs into the creature, she’s more than willing to put it down. However, when the creature absorbs her blood too, she and Hulk realise that this is going to require more than just them to take this monster down. Whilst this is going on, an ex-prisoner has been hired at the garage where Robbie works. The spirit of Eli attempts to convince him to eliminate this ex-con so that he can purge the bloodlust that the Ghost Rider has. Will Robbie find a way to deal with this new problem? And just how does he fit into Hulk’s plan to destroy the monster terrorising his neighbourhood?
So I’ve never come upon Robbie Reyes before. I knew of Johnny Blaze and I’m sure at some point I will read some of those comics too. For me, the plot of this novel, as with many Marvel novels was quite basic. It does a good job of introducing us to the main characters and gives us a bit of character development. Apart from that, there isn’t much substance to it. Now I understand that a lot of this may be due to the fact that I’m reading Marvel comics from the ‘All New, All Different’ Era, but a lot of these legacy characters seem a little boring. I think that’s why they struggled with this series because this was the only novel in this volume.
The artwork was interesting in that it seemed quite childish and that really goes against the character of Ghost Rider. Perhaps it was an intentional choice, but for me, I wasn’t a fan. The covers on the other hand were quite good and I did struggle to pick a favourite. Overall, this was an okay book. I didn’t like it, and I didn’t hate it. Marvel can do better!
It’s odd seeing a ‘good’ character turn into a raging beast and melting monsters, but you know, welcome to the comic book world!
This Ghost Rider is badass, even if he doesn’t have the awesome bike!
Story Arc: 10/20
Character Development: 13.5/20