Friday, 18 March 2016

Battleworld: Ghost Racers Review (Felipe Smith, Juan Gedeon)


On the outskirts of Doomstadt, the capital city of Battleworld, the public enjoys death races featuring the Ghost Riders in the Killiseum! That’s all! Who’s gonna win? Who cares? 

Ghost Racers is the kind of miniseries that would work best not as a miniseries but as a side note in a larger story. If I saw it mentioned in Secret Wars over a couple pages I’d think it was a cool detail but I wouldn’t need to know more about them. You know why? Because these guys just race. Race and fight each other. But they can’t die. No tension, no interest. But you instantly get the concept and, yes, it’s as shallow as it seems. 

Writer Felipe Smith half-heartedly comes up with something about Arcade treating the losing Ghost Riders poorly but it’s so boring to read and utterly pointless, it’s impossible to give a damn. Juan Gedeon’s art is very, very weak. I kinda liked the design of Carter Slade whose Spirit of Vengeance turns him into a flaming centaur with miniguns strapped to his side (and how does that work exactly – can Ghost Riders merge with their steeds?!) but that’s about it.

I laughed when I read Gedeon’s artist’s notes at the back of the book. He’s very frank with the reader: he doesn’t like superheroes very much and knows nothing at all about any of the Ghost Riders - in fact he thought there was only one! You sure can pick ‘em, Marvel. 

Also included was a short story from Secret Love #1 starring Robbie Reyes and Ms Marvel herself, Kamala Khan, that was kinda cute. Ghost Rider #35 from 1973 is also included so readers can experience Jim Starlin’s classic version of the characters - that lunatic should’ve really been scripting Ghost Racers, then we’d see some real carnage on the page! 

Ghost Racers: flaming unnecessary.

Battleworld: Ghost Racers

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