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The Ride: Burning Desire | A Review

The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5)
The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5) Cover A from Image Comics by Adam Hughes

The Ride: Burning Desire #1 of 5
Story: Doug Wagner
Art: Daniel Hillyard and Adam Hughes
Colors: Laura Martin and Adam Hughes
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 12, 2019

In honour of The Ride’s 15th anniversary, Samantha Vega returns in The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5).

Original writer Doug Wagner combines forces with Daniel Hillyard, Adam Hughes, Laura Martin, and Ed Dukeshire to present two interesting and contrasting stories.

To start, we meet Vega in a bar when she now works as a bouncer, hired by the sister of a fellow prisoner in Whitworth—where Vega spent the last 15 years.

Previous Readers will Salivate, New Readers Say, “What?”

Wagner does a good job establishing her reputation as a hard-nosed former detective with good instincts and a straight-forward approach to her job as a bouncer at an exotic dance club.

The story itself is a little simple and for those who are familiar with The Ride’s previous incarnation that’s just fine. This is just enough to whet their appetite for more, especially when the ’68 Camaro makes its appearance.

On the other hand, if you’re a reader who’s never been exposed to Wagner’s earlier work, there’s a good chance you miss the significance of some of the details that are obvious to previous readers.

The backup story, however, is a completely different, um, tale, if you will; it’s got everything you need in a one-shot.

That is to say, quick character introductions with a swift primer on their relations to one another; an unforgettable setting; an intense plot; and conflict so believable that readers will have no problem using their imagination determining what came before and after the story.

The Art—A Tale of Two Artists

For me, the art the two stories within The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5) were a study in contrasts.

Daniel Hillyard’s art in the main issue seemed flat and simple, especially the scenes in the bar. That’s not to say, it’s not well done; you get the feeling that something’s missing, yet you can’t put your finger on it.

That flatness and simplicity seems even more so when you compare it Adam Hughes work in the backup story, a highly stylized and dynamic piece of work that is sure to become etched into your brain for some time after your first viewing.

Final Thoughts – The Ride Burning Desire #1

For a five-part miniseries, Wagner did not establish enough in the debut issue to make new readers want to pick up the subsequent issues.

Of course, old readers will lap this up. In that sense, this is a good start.

My recommendation to new readers is to read previous incarnations of The Ride. Either way, you won’t regret it.

My actually final thought is that the second story piqued my interest more than the first. I would like to see more of that, especially, the work of Adam Hughes.


The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5) will be available at your local comic book store June 12, 2019.

Pulp Nation received a free copy of this comic from Image Comics for review.

The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5) Cover B from Image Comics by Daniel Hillyard
The Ride: Burning Desire #1 (of 5) Cover B from Image Comics by Daniel Hillyard

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