This March, Marvel’s getting an all-new Ghost Rider – and this time, he’s not limited just to motorcycles.
Teased earlier this month in a teaser labeled “Overdrive,” indie creators Felipe Smith (MBQ, Freelancers) and Tradd Moore (Luther Strode) will be taking on Marvel’s Spirit of Vengeance and living up to the phrase “all-new.” Firing up this March, All-New Ghost Rider will be the birth of a new Ghost Rider named Robbie Reyes who has a thing for muscle cars. Newsarama spoke with All-New Ghost Rider’s editor Mark Paniccia about this bold new era for the Spirit of Vengeance, discussing his first foes, his first rides, and how different this series will be.
Newsarama: Mark, how would you describe this new All-New Ghost Rider series you’re overseeing?
Mark Paniccia: Different. Really different. This isn't like any Ghost Rider book we've ever done. It's a very modern version and we're not just looking at motorcycles. This one like cars. Fast cars!
Nrama: There's been a litany of Ghost Riders crisscrossing Marvel continuity; who's the Ghost Rider in this series?
Paniccia: This is an all-new character named Roberto (Robbie) Reyes. He's a young guy, a mechanic who lives in a bad neighborhood and just wants out. He'd get up and go if it weren't for his little brother, Gabriel who is disabled. He loves his brother more than anything and is will to do just about anything to find a better place for them.
Nrama: Ghost Rider has a great rogue's gallery. Who will he be facing here - someone he's met before or someone new?
Paniccia: This time it's going to be Mr. Hyde who has made a power play in the criminal world. With his brute strength and intellect, he's practically running a small army, a cartel dealing with all kinds of contraband.
Nrama: And what brings Ghost Rider's attention to Mr. Hyde?
Paniccia: It's the other way around. Robbie makes a bad choice and there are consequences. One of those consequences is getting on Hyde's radar. And the result is...pretty fatal.
Nrama: I'm told that this Ghost Rider won't just be limited to motorcycles. What does this Ghost Rider ride here?
Paniccia: Tradd, Felipe and I all have similar taste in cars so you're going to see a lot of 60s and 70s muscle cars, very angular stuff like GTOs and early Chargers. I'd love for there to be some Corvette love but there's going to be a lot of rough driving and I couldn't bare to see a 'Vette get damaged, even if it's make believe (yeah, I had nightmares after that first Star Trek film. You know what I'm talking about). There's going to be more modern cars too. Stuff the kids like these days.
Nrama: Ghost Rider has always blazed a trail in superhero comics that makes him stand out from other superheroes. How do you think Ghost Rider fits in with superhero comics, or does he - or even should he?
Paniccia: This Ghost Rider is a loner like his predecessors but he' a Marvel hero through and through. He's flawed yet noble like many of our heroes. But yeah, he'll stand out and apart from the majority of the Marvel U. They may even look at him as a villain or a threat. Let's put it this way, he won't be joining the Avengers anytime soon, but he may rub elbows with other characters cut from the same cloth. I can see a run-in with Hulk down the road.
Nrama: Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore are new names within the walls of the House of Ideas. How were they chosen for this, and what do they bring to the table that you were looking for?
Paniccia: Ghost Rider is a character that's always intrigued me but I knew if I edited it I'd have to do something different. No pun intended, but I wouldn't be able to hold a candle to what Axel Alonso did with the character in regards to the supernatural approach. One weekend I put together what I thought was going to be a longshot proposal that updated the character with a very specific tone and aesthetic and focused more on cars. Axel and Tom Brevoort dug it and gave me their blessing to move forward. And since I wanted a very specific vibe, finding the right creators was crucial
I knew I could get the tone from Felipe Smith. I've known him for a while and he's an insanely gifted storyteller. If you've ever read anything by him you'll see he's crazy fun but knows how to get to your heartstrings. He used those skills to create a new character I think people will understand and bond with. His first script blew Axel and Tom away.
And Tradd Moore is someone I've been watching for a while who has the kind of velocity a book like this needs. There's going to be lots of racing and chasing and let me tell you this guy can draw action. Even when a character is standing still there's a certain dynamic to it. He checked out Felipe's stuff and was impressed. He liked the ideas and characters we were developing and he came back with a resounding yes.
It's very exciting to see these guys work together to bring a fresh, new Ghost Rider with all the stuff you like about the character and more.