Like many back in the day I was a huge Ghost Rider fan. I grew up with the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, but also read a lot of Johnny Blaze and the original incarnation from the 1970’s. I lost touch with Danny and Johnny at some point after the Midnight Sons days. I did pick up some of the “recent” mini-series written by Devin Grayson and Garth Ennis that saw Blaze return as Ghost Rider. But that’s still like 10 years ago. The look of the All-New All-Different Ghost Rider never grabbed me so I haven’t read any of the adventures of Robbie Reyes. Which puts me at kind of a disadvantage as he is the main character of this book.
But in all honesty, all you really need to know is that all the Ghost Riders from across time and the multiverse have been brought to Doom’s Killiseum to entertain the masses in a kind of twisted, demonic chariot races.
After the cut I’ll look at Ghost Racers #1, Ghost Racers #2, Ghost Racers #3 and Ghost Racers #4.
Secret Wars Power Rankings
Tom’s Road To Secret Wars: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7.
Other parts of this series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
Ghost Racers #1
Robbie Reyes is the current king of the Ghost Races. He wins race after race and has a huge fanship that dominates the Killiseum stands. The bulk of this issue revolves around Robbie and the current race (that he wins of course). The popularity and accolades that come with being at the top, and how he and his brother Gabe deal with it all in Robbie’s downtime.
But while Robbie lives the highlife, the Killiseum has a darker secret. All the Spirits of Vengence that lose the race are mercilessly tortured until the next race occurs.
Another problem with being at the top is that there is always someone waiting for you to fall. Or setting things in motion to instigate that fall. In this case, that person would be the ruler of the Killiseum, Arcade.
Ghost Racers #2
Issue two means flashback time…I’m not sure what that means, but the bulk of this issue is a Robbie Reyes origin story of sorts. How he was discovered as a Spirit of Ignition and his first race. Also…his first (and last) torture session following losing that race.
(There is also an easy to miss cameo by Steve “Planet Hulk” Rogers when Robbie is first brought to the Killiseum.)
Back in the present, Arcade continues his plan to make a fortune by betting against Reyes and doing everything in his power to rig the race so that Reyes cannot win. Obstacle one, turning Reyes’ three best friends into some kind of tri-headed monster. Robbie avoids it and refuses to kill it, but it is killed none the less.
When Arcade deploys a rider called the Venus Compiler aka The Racetrack Reaper whose sole purpose is to take Robbie down, Robbie and his spirit Eli somehow invoke a flaming portal and transport away from the arena. Arcade is livid and sends all the other Ghost Racers after him.
Ghost Racers #3
Robbie Reyes has escaped the Killiseum and is on the run in downtown Doomstadt. The other Ghost Racers not far behind. Most of the book reads like a Fast And The Furious sequel if Vin Diesel and his crew had flaming skulls for heads.
Eventually Robbie “gives up” and pleads with the Ghost Racers that he is not their enemy. Arcade’s henchmen Zadkiel, who tortures the Ghost Racers is. The Racers agree, and let Robbie go…but then they all return to the Killiseum and are tortured for their failure to capture him. I hope they have a better plan than that up their flaming sleeves.
Speaking of plans, Arcade has put his into high gear…though with Robbie gone, does the bet on him to lose plan even make sense anymore? When Robbie gets home he sees on the TV that Arcade has a new contestant to take Robbie’s place in the races…Robbie’s terrified kid brother Gabe!
Ghost Racers #4
Robbie Reyes has no choice but to cut his newfound freedom short and return to the Killiseum to rescue his terrified brother. It’s Robbie and Gabe against everyone, as the Racers that let Robbie escape last issue have all been re-brainwashed. But it’s not long before Robbie snaps them out of it and they once again stand together.
The Killiseum crowd is not impressed and neither is Zadkiel who captures Gabe. That is until Robbie transports himself into Gabe’s place, and Gabe to safety. Robbie then sucks out Zadkiel’s soul or something and the day is won!
The Ghost Racers are free, but there is one last loose end: Arcade. As the Racers ride off into Battleworld and their freedom, they return the favor of all the years in the Killiseum and torture and kill Arcade.