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*Minor note: This was supposed to go up yesterday afternoon, but as I mentioned on Twitter, we had a random power outage here*

One has to ask, what exactly do the citizens of Battleworld do for entertainment?  In the Ghost Racers mini-series, we learn about one of the planet’s most popular pastimes.  Let’s take a look!

In Ghost Racers #1, writer Felipe Smith and artist Juan Gedeon tell the story of the many different Ghost Riders across the Marvel Multiverse, but on Battleworld, they act as different kinds of heroes.  Here, they are equivalent to sports superstars in Arcade’s Killiseum, where they hold periodic races to determine which of them will revel in the glory of victory, and leave the losers to suffer in defeat.  It’s not surprising that the newest Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes (created by Smith last year in his 12 issue run of All-New Ghost Rider) is seemingly the most popular racer on the circuit, but when he’s racing against classic riders like Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Carter Slade, and Alejandra Blaze, anything can happen.

The pacing in this issue is frantic, as the action starts more or less from the first page, and doesn’t let up until the last few pages.  Smith’s racers are ruthless, and willing to do absolutely anything to get the win.  He seems to have a pretty solid grasp on the different personalities of each Ghost Rider, as well as the relationship each individual has with their preferred ride.  The competition and hatred between the racers is visceral, and we find out why later in the issue, as we learn exactly what they are racing to avoid.  There’s nothing really ground breaking about this story, but it was pretty entertaining and very fun to read.  It also performs the function of a tie-in perfectly, in that it adds depth to the world of the main Secret Wars story.

Gedeon’s artwork perfectly matches the pace of the script.  During the race, the artwork is exciting and gives off a fantastic sense of speed and motion.  The danger the racers are in seems quite real, and the obstacles they face seem appropriately deadly.  That being said, while everything bouncing around makes for an exciting read, some of the panels were also a little confusing as far as determining position and location for characters in relation to others.  Another aspect of the art that I really enjoyed was the different way he drew each of the Ghost Riders, injecting a little bit of personality into their appearance alone.  Little touches like that add another dimension to an already solid story.

As far as the tie-ins for Secret Wars go, this was certainly one of the more entertaining reads.  There’s nothing absolutely amazing here, but it was definitely a lot of fun to read.  If you’re in the mood for lots of action and plenty of flaming skulls, go ahead and take this one for a spin.

The Verdict for Ghost Racers #1:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Secret Wars: Journal #2
Old Man Logan #2 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Thors #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
East of West, Volume 4: Who Wants War TPB
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition

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