This Monday night, the world of comics lost one of its finest: Herb Trimpe, the legendary artist best-known for his work on innumerable Marvel titles of the '70s and '80s. He was the first person to draw Wolverine for publication, he launched Marvel's iconic G.I. Joe title, he pencilled long runs on offbeat titles like Godzilla and Shogun Warriors, and he defined the look of The Incredible Hulk for a generation of readers.
Some gloriously wacky ideas have come out of Marvel's plans for Secret Wars, from an Arkon series set in a fantasy world to a dinosaur vs biplanes story, but one of the ideas we're most excited about --- especially since we saw the preview pages --- is Ghost Racers, Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon's tale of various Ghost Riders competing on a hellish racetrack for a chance to save their souls.
To add to our excitement, Marvel has given us an exclusive look at Gedeon's designs for the riders and their rides, including Carter Slade's centaur mode, Johnny Blaze's stuntman costume, and an electrified Zero Cochrane, aka Ghost Rider 2099. The sketches also include a new version of Zadkiel, the archangel charged with overseeing the Spirits of Vengeance that power the Ghost Riders.
Costume design is one of the great strengths of the superhero genre, a way to establish distinctive visual shorthand for a character and reveal key details about concept, purpose, and personality. But which is the best superhero costume of all time? This month, we're asking you to decide, by voting up your favorites and voting down the rest. When we have your votes, we'll compile a list of the greatest super-costumes of all time.
This week we're looking at some quintessential costume designs decade-by-decade. Today it's five costumes from the 1970s. While Jack Kirby was creating his own unique and peculiar gods for distant worlds, other artists created street-level heroes inspired by contemporary culture. But were any of these costumes designed in ways that still look great today?
As more and more of Marvel's Secret Wars titles are announced, the method behind the madness is slowly becoming clear; Marvel is throwing all kinds of crazy ideas at the wall to see what sticks, and it's doing it in a market where some of its blockbuster titles like Jonathan Hickman's Avengers and Brian Michael Bendis's X-Men aren't around to divert all the attention. Without these juggernauts in play, Marvel has a clearer view of the concepts and creators that can grab audience attention and stand a chance of building buzz. Here's one of the wild bets that shows particular promise; Ghost Racers, by Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon.
Set on an infernal racetrack where bound souls compete in a no-rules dash for the finish line --- and a chance to leave the arena --- Ghost Racers brings together extreme versions of all the big name Ghost Riders, including Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Alejandra, and current title-holder Robbie Reyes. Judging from this unlettered preview, the contestants also include the original cowboy Ghost Rider, aka Phantom Rider, who is now a centaur with side-mounted cannons. It's going to be that kind of book. The amazing kind of book.
Every time I think that our friends at Mondo might be taking a break from putting out art that I want to cover my walls with so that I can never not be looking at something awesome, they go and prove me wrong. This time, they're following up their series of amazing Batman-related art by heading back across the street to the House of Ideas for two new Marvel posters, featuring Ghost Rider and Storm.
If there's one thing we've learned from our years on the Internet, it's that there's no aspect of comics that can't be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there's no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we're taking it upon ourselves to compile lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, we're taking a look at the House of Ideas and the people who dedicate their superheroic careers to battling against the supernatural as we bring you Marvel's Top Five Horror Heroes!
Felipe Smith lived the dream of a thousand starry-eyed DeviantArtists when, in 2008, his nerd-skewering masterpiece Peepo Choo debuted at Kodansha-owned manga magazine Morning 2. When asked about what went into accomplishing this feat — becoming fluent in Japanese, keeping pace with the manga industry’s rigorous schedule, being an American noticed by the manga industry at all — Smith is all shrugs and smiles. His work spans the globe, he’s completely reinvigorated Marvel’s Ghost Rider, and, as friends pop by his booth, he slides smoothly in and out of the three languages he speaks, but you know, no biggie. Smith takes it all in his stride.
Peepo Choo, a gleefully lurid tale of cultural fetishization, yakuza, teenage boys, and gravure idols, lies far afield from Ghost Rider in terms of content. But Smith’s zingy, earnest voice unites the two works, and it is this voice that makes Smith such an exciting creator with such a tantalizingly unpredictable future. ComicsAlliance sat down with him at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss living and working in Japan, nerd culture around the world, and what Robbie Reyes brings to the superhero table.
I love Ghost Rider. Or at least, I love Ghost Rider in theory. Everything about the character, the very idea of a flaming skeleton in a cursed leather jacket riding around on a motorcycle made of hellfire, bringing vengeance to increasingly bizarre and demonic villains, all while pulling off stunts that you could only do on the comics page? That is exactly my jam. In practice, however, Ghost Rider has always been a really hit-or-miss character for me. As good as it can be, and there are issues of Ghost Rider that are among my absolute favorite comics, it's often bogged down by being overcomplicated and, worst of all when you're dealing with a book about demonic motorcycle stunts, boring.
That being the case, you can probably understand why I approached Felipe Smith and Trad Moore's all-new Ghost Rider comic, appropriately called All-New Ghost Rider, with a little bit of caution. On paper, it's exactly what I want out of comics, but in practice, there are a dozen things that could go wrong. Fortunately, the first issue is off to a strong start.
Mosey past the cut for Monday's links.
At this year's New York Comic Con, Marvel rolled out plans for several new titles to launch in 2014, and one of the more intriguing projects was a new Ghost Rider series from Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore. Smith and Marvel shared that a new character would take on the Spirit of Vengeance -- and that the series' first antagonist would be Mr. Hyde -- but otherwise not much information was given.
This week, a bit more was revealed about the latest Ghost Rider, including his brand new ride: Ghost Rider is ditching his motorcycle for a Dodge Charger. And to assuage any immediate fears: yes, the wheels are still on fire.