Robbie Reyes rides again in a new series from Felipe Smith and Danilo Beyruth!
Since the announcement that Robbie Reyes will appear this fall on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on ABC, many fans have wondered when the character will return to comics. Wonder no more—GHOST RIDER rides again this November, as writer Felipe Smith returns for a new volume of stories starring Robbie Reyes.
Artist Danilo Beyruth joins the title, and Tradd Moore, who co-created Robbie Reyes with Smith, will draw a back-up story in the first issue, colored by Val Staples.
We spoke with both Smith and Beyruth on what to expect from GHOST RIDER!
Marvel.com: Felipe, we haven’t seen or heard from Robbie Reyes in a while. What’s he been up to since we last saw him? And how does it feel returning to the character after a bit of a break?
Felipe Smith: It feels great to bring Robbie Reyes back to an ongoing series!
I think readers have been really hoping for his quick return to comics—thanks for all the tweets, guys—but no one’s more excited to see it happen than myself!
Since we last saw him in issue #12 of ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER, Robbie has adjusted to his new life as the Legend of Hillrock Heights, and more importantly, to his eternal bond with the spirit of Eli Morrow, his serial killer/Satanist uncle.
Though not a conventional deal-with-the-Devil-making Spirit of Vengeance—and in reality, only an honorary Ghost Rider thanks to the guidance of predecessor Johnny Blaze—Robbie has still made a pact with an evil force that clearly does not have his well-being in its best interest.
It’ll be interesting to see how Robbie makes the best out of this hellish situation.
Marvel.com: What can we expect, story wise, from the new volume?
Felipe Smith: Without giving away any specific story points, I’d say that we can expect: more high-octane racing, pedal to the metal action, [and] some high caliber guest appearances that’ll broaden the scope of Robbie’s storyline as well as his outlook on life.
As always, his relationship with his little brother Gabe and his role as a “big bro” and legal guardian will hold an important place in the development of this new volume.
Marvel.com: You’ve worked with several artists on Ghost Rider thus far, and even drew a couple issues yourself. What does Danilo Beyruth bring to the title? And can you talk about the back-up story you’re working on with Tradd Moore?
Felipe Smith: As a first time collaborating writer on ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER, having only written and drawn my own comics before Marvel, I must say I’ve been very fortunate to work with some extremely talented artists.
Danilo Beyruth is yet another outstanding addition to this list of amazing collaborators!
His attention to detail, dynamic layouts, and strong visual depiction of physical space within a panel are some of his strong suits when illustrating this new chapter in Robbie’s adventures. When editor Mark Paniccia showed me some samples of his action pages, I thought, “Hell yeah!” but when I saw his characterization in dialogue scenes, I knew we could definitely tell a good story!
For our debut issue we’ll also have a short story written by me, drawn by action [artist] extraordinaire Tradd Moore and colored by palette madman Val Staples! It’s our original ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER debut team and we’re pumped to buckle in and give this baby another blazing run!
Marvel.com: One of the things I personally loved about the previous two series was the Robbie/Gabe relationship. What are things like between the two brothers in the new series? Is Gabe suffering any repercussions from being possessed by Eli at the end of the last series?
Felipe Smith: Things are well in the Reyes household right now. Without the antagonistic intervention of the spirit of Eli—who is now locked up inside Robbie—the two brothers are doing quite well.
Robbie has also realized something that makes him both extremely happy and very proud: Gabe is showing great interest and considerable aptitude in the field of auto mechanics!
His lil’ bro might be a gear head, too!
Marvel.com: At the end of the previous series we saw Robbie and Eli coming to terms with their current situation, as Robbie agreed to stop fighting Eli as long as they hunted “the worst scum on the planet.” How are things between the two as the new series begins?
Felipe Smith: Robbie is known for his rock-solid, unwavering moral compass, and he’s partnered up with the worst example of the kind of scum he’s promised to hunt down.
It’s not quite a partnership made in heaven, but rather…you know. Somewhere else way hotter.
Things seem to be working out pretty well as our series begins…
Marvel.com: Secret Wars allowed you to bring together two characters from different coasts and, really, different worlds: Robbie and Kamala Khan, which seemed to be a really popular team-up with fans. Can you talk a little bit about how that particular pairing came together, and if there are any plans to feature Kamala in the new book?
Felipe Smith: This “Crossover Besties 4 Lyfe, Bro!!!” team-up between Kamala and Robbie seemed evidently a necessity to me the minute I saw all the fan art featuring both characters on Tumblr.
It began immediately after ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER had debuted, and prompted me to want to read Ms. Marvel and see what Kamala’s story was. Like many others, I very quickly became fond of the young Jersey City native, and realized that both she and Robbie had many things in common as well as differences that easily made them very complementary characters. Editors Mark Paniccia and Emily Shaw saw a chance for this during Secret Wars and gave me the green light to write and draw my Kamala-Robbie “Fan of a Fan” short story, which Val Staples colored beautifully! And so it happened!
I would absolutely love to write a canon Kamala and Robbie team up in a new book, and I’d like to draw this one myself!
Marvel.com: We learned recently that the Robbie Reyes incarnation Ghost Rider will appear on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on ABC. How did you feel when you heard the announcement? And what are you hoping to see from Robbie on the show?
Felipe Smith: I felt pretty pumped when I heard the announcement and was actually signing at another publisher’s booth when Marvel made the announcement at their SDCC display, unveiling Robbie’s Hell Charger. They invited me up onstage and introduced me to producers Jeffrey Bell, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, and Jeph Loeb—who gave me a shout-out in a TV interview; thanks!—and I also got to sit inside that beautiful black souped-up1969 Dodge Charger. The “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” crew really nailed it, getting all the specs just right! I didn’t get a chance to meet Gabriel Luna, who will be playing Robbie on the show, but I know he’s been reading our trades, studying up! I’m really looking forward to his performance!
I hope they stay true to the source in their TV adaptation and keep the spirit of Robbie Reyes true to ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER.
Marvel.com: How did you end up working on this title, Danilo?
Danilo Beyruth: I’m a fan of the classic Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider, so I have a few pieces of him in my portfolio that convinced Marvel talent manager Rickey Purdin and editor Mark Paniccia to pick me up for the title. That’s something I’ve learned from my days working in illustration for advertisements: show the work you really like to do, and [you’ll end up] doing projects tailored for it.
Marvel.com: What was the appeal of working on the Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider? Were you familiar with the character before working on the title?
Danilo Beyruth: Very familiar. I’m a fan of Tradd Moore to the point that it’s a little intimidating to work on a character that he helped define, but I hope people will like my take on Robbie/Eli. The GHOST RACERS series drawn by Juan Gedeon is also a showcase for how dynamic this series should be, so I’m following very big footsteps.
Marvel.com: What’s it been like working with Felipe Smith on the title?
Danilo Beyruth: Also intimidating. The guy not only can write, but also draws a lot! I don’t know where he’s taking Robbie Reyes, but it’s clear from reading the series that he has a well-defined plan for the character.
Marvel.com: The Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider has a distinct setting and tone, one that’s visually very different than a lot of other Marvel comics. Have you been doing any particular research for the comic, be it around Los Angeles or the cars in the book?
Danilo Beyruth: Right now I’m still concentrating on the look of the characters, doing model sheets for all of them, collecting references for L.A. and referencing the kinetic storytelling used both on the regular series and on the GHOST RACERS [series]. Luckily for me, I’ve finished rereading for the hundredth time the “Battle Angel Alita” manga series, from which I intend to take massive inspiration.
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