Minorities in cartoons: Ghost Rider (Roberto Reyes)

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Roberto “Robbie” Reyes, the newest person to assume the role of Ghost Rider. Roberto first appeared in “All-New Ghost Rider” #1 (May 2014). He was created by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore.

Background

Roberto’s backstory states he lives in a crime-ridden East Los Angeles neighborhood, where his interests include caring for his brother and street racing. Seeking a way to get himself and his brother out of poverty/their surroundings, Roberto enters a  street race with a $50,000 prize, borrowing a classic Dodge Charger from his job to drive.  Unknown to Roberto, the car’s trunk contained mysterious pink pills owned by the villainous Mr. Hyde (an older Marvel character, with a shtick similar to the classic horror story character). Hyde sends his minions to get the car back. Roberto, thinking he’s being chased by the police, pulls over and steps out of his car. Hyde’s minions kill Roberto and torch the scene.

Unknown to anyone, however, Roberto’s car is possessed by a demonic spirit named “Eli.” The spirit joins with Roberto and revives him, transforming him into the newest Ghost Rider. Roberto at first disbelieves this (thinking it was all a nightmare), but soon accepts the truth. He uses his powers to confront and defeat the aforementioned criminals. This ends up making Roberto popular in his East LA neighborhood. He also eventually attracts the attention of the original Ghost Rider.

Roberto’s powers seem to be similar to the original Ghost Rider’s. Basically, he possesses a broad variety of flame- and demonic/supernatural-themed powers. Unlike the original, Roberto has a Dodge Charger instead of the traditional motorcycle.

(Updated 11/22/16)

2 comments

  1. That seems like a perfect fit for a new Ghost Rider, and a good way of adding some diversity to the Marvel mix. And while motorbikes were the vehicle of choice for the edgy criminal type back in the sixties and seventies, souped up racing cars seem a better fit for the modern age. I haven’t read much Ghostrider, but this has me more intrigued than the traditional stuff.

    1. “Ghost Rider” first appeared in 1972, and his creation was probably inspired by the era’s biker films (“Easy Rider”, etc.) plus the likes of then-popular stuntman Evel Knievel. Yes, these days, street racing/its cars are probably more popular (see: the “Fast and the Furious” films)…

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