Character » Phantom Rider appears in 186 issues .
An identity used by a number of western and modern crime fighter. One of the Phantom Riders, Lincoln Slade, besmirred the name as he was responsible for drugging and raping Mockingbird when the Avengers became stuck in the past.
Summary short summary describing this character..
West Coast Avengers
The Original Ghost Rider
Phantom Rider last edited by KillerZ on 09/17/23 12:09PM View full history
The Phantom Rider is the name of several fictional Old West heroic gunfighters in the Marvel Comics universe. The character name was originally the Ghost Rider, and was changed following the introduction of Marvel's motorcycle-riding supernatural character of the same name.
Marvel's first Ghost Rider look was based on the television series Lone Ranger and the Magazine Enterprises character Ghost Rider , created by writer Ray Krank and artist Dick Ayers for editor Vincent Sullivan in Tim Holt #11 (1949). The character appeared in horror-themed Western stories through the run of Tim Holt, Red Mask, and A-1 Comics up until the institution of the Comics Code. After the trademark to the character's name and motif lapsed, Marvel Comics debuted its own near-identical, horror-free version of the character in Ghost Rider Vol. 1, #1 (Feb. 1967), by writers Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich and original Ghost Rider artist Ayers. After this series ended with issue #7 (Nov. 1967), the character went on to appear in new stories in the omnibus title Western Gunfighters (1970 series) and in new backup stories in the otherwise reprint title The Original Ghost Rider Rides Again.
With the introduction of Marvel's supernatural Ghost Rider in the 1970s, Marvel renamed its Western Ghost Rider — first, to the unfortunate Night Rider (a term previously used in the Southern United States to refer to members of the Ku Klux Klan) in a 1974-1975 reprint series, and then to Phantom Rider. At least five men have been the Phantom Rider, one of whom is active in the modern day.
The Magazine Enterprises library of characters, including its version of Ghost Rider, was acquired by AC Comics in the 1980s. The company renamed the Ghost Rider as the Haunted Horseman, due to Marvel having maintained the Ghost Rider trademark.
Different Phantom Riders in Chronological Order
Caleb as the phantom/ghost rider - trail of tears.
Some years before the original Phantom Rider started out, there had been a demon that looked a lot like the Ghost Rider. A man named Caleb was a former slave that had bought himself and his family freedom. During the Civil War, he met Travis Parham , whom was a Confederate Army sergeant. Travis had been left for dead. That is until he was found by Caleb. Caleb aided him and cleaned his wounds, taking him to his own house and family. There Caleb and his family nurtured Travis to health. Travis then worked with Caleb for two years on his family farm. Once during his work on the farm, Travis entered a cave and found 3 glowing skulls and had a hellish hallucination but Caleb dragged him out just in time and explained that the skulls belonged to his father, grandfather and great-grandfather. It was a sort of ritual for their God of Vengeance in Africa and warned him to never go in the cave again. After the war ended Travis left Caleb and his family to make his own living but when he returned two years later, the family farm was occupied by two evil mercenaries. He had to kill one of them, but interrogated the other by pushing him in the doomed cave only to hear him tell that the night Travis left a gang of seven people burned Caleb's house and they forced Caleb to watch his family being tortured and killed.
It however turned out that Caleb did not die just yet. He went to the burial cave that housed the skulls of his ancestors and gave his soul so that he could avenge his family. Caleb was brought back to full life as the Ghost Rider, the Spirit of Vengeance and seemed to look a lot like the Phantom Rider. This was however unknown to Travis whom had embarked on his own quest to avenge Caleb. Travis was following the killers of Caleb and his family throughout the land. When he finally found them he blew one of the murderers hands of with a buffalo shotgun. It was however then that Caleb, as the Ghost Rider, joined the fight dismembering many of the killers. The leader of the band of murders however killed himself, witch left the Ghost Rider complaining. Travis, while scared, understood that the being had to do with Caleb's god of vengeance and saw something of his friend inside there.
At Pike's reach suddenly appeared a red mist from where five riders came out and mowed down everyone. Travis went there and found a head of a man talking and describing the riders and what they had done. The description indicated that Reagan and his men had returned, so he shoots the head to end it's suffering and moves on to unsuccessfully warn a nearby town. Due to rejection he goes in an inn and has sex with a prostitute who wants to flee to California but they're interrupted by the riders. One of them tears Parham's right-hand off and the Ghost Rider steps in the scene revealing he's actually Caleb himself.
The whole town is reduced to ashes including the five riders. Travis confronts and insults Caleb for what he had done. Caleb replies that it was necessary and he wasn't the first and won't be the last to do these things. This event became a legend among the cowboys and Travis is seen listening to it drinking, arguing, old and with one arm.
The First Phantom Rider, Carter Slade
Carter Slade, the first man to wear the mask, debuted in Ghost Rider #1 (Feb. 1967). He battled evil while dressed in a phosphorescent white costume, complete with a full-face mask, cape, and the requisite white hat. Slade received his outfit and his white horse from Flaming Star, a Native American medicine man. He recruited a young sidekick named Jamie Jacobs whom helped him during his missions. Eventually, Carter was killed in a gunfight. Jamie Jacobs vowed to follow in the foodsteps of his friend and mentor.
He was never called the Phantom Rider in these original appearances. In Marvel continuity, it was not until after Slade's death that the name Phantom Rider was given to the character, and reprints now retroactively use that name for Slade.
The Second Phantom rider
After Carter Slade's death in Western Gunfighters #7 (Jan. 1972), his sidekick Jamie Jacobs became the second Phantom Rider. He however would not remain the Phantom Rider for long, as he was promptly killed in action. After this, Carter Slade's brother, U.S. Marshall Lincoln Slade, became the third Phantom Rider. Seemingly honoring his brother and his brother's sidekick.
The Third Phantom Rider, Lincoln Slade
When Jamie Jacobs, the second Phantom Rider, was killed in action, Carter Slade's brother, a U.S. Marshall named Lincoln Slade, became the third Phantom Rider. Lincoln would team-up with other heroes of his time and along with a small band of Avengers to defeat Kang , the Conquer. Lincoln Slade was driven mad from the spirits for not being chosen to wear the costume, this brought him to a breaking point that he used a potion to control and rape the time traveling Avenger Mockingbird . Once the potion wore off, she fought and defeated him, but in the course of the battle he fell to his death from a cliff.
In the Mockinbird series Lincoln would return as a spirit stalking again Mockingbird. He would be banished again, after Mockinbird admited than the relationship was consensual.
Blaze of Glory Reno Jones as the Phantom Rider
In the miniseries Blaze of Glory, the African American gunslinger Reno Jones used the Ghost Rider identity briefly in a battle with the Klan-affiliated mercenaries called the Nightriders. Jones had been half of the team called the Gunhawks, along with his former friend, Kid Cassidy, whom Jones had believed dead. Cassidy was revealed to be alive and the leader of the Nightriders; he was killed, and Jones retired.
In present-day continuity, Lincoln Slade's distant descendant Hamilton Slade was an archaeologist who found the burial site of his legendary ancestor, in issue #56 of the supernatural-motorcyclist series Ghost Rider. As he explored the site, he found a large burial place and from it appeared the ghostly garb of his ancestors Carter and Lincoln Slade. Possessed by the spirits of his ancestors, he became the new version of the Phantom Rider. After being possessed by his ancestors, Hamilton would help Ghost Rider / Johnny Blaze against the villain Moondark .
Hamilton can become intangible, while in this state he can appear to fly, levitate, or walk on air. He can call upon Banshee, which was Carter Slade's horse. Hamilton is an average shot, but wears six-shooters that never run out of ammo and can become intangible to pass through objects.
Forming the Rangers
Hamilton would answer a distress signal and would join Red Wolf , Texas Twister , Firebird , and Shooting Star to battle the Hulk . The Distress signal was from Rick Jones, and the Hulk was under control of the Corruptor . Afterwards they would form the Rangers . During the Civil war and Skrull Invasion the rangers would be the Texas superhero team. Hamilton, Hawkeye , and Mockingbird helped free Jamie his daughter from Lincoln Slade's possession.
Jamie is the daughter of Hamilton Slade, who met Hawkeye and Mockingbird when they stopped criminals that worked for Crossfire , and almost destroyed a car filled with her items. Those items were for a Americans Southwest exposition. One of those held the essence of the Phantom Rider and went into her. He gave her a vision of him and Mockingbird and his death. She then went after a witness from the crime from earlier to find Crossfire . When she did she had already killed the witness and wore a costume similar to the earlier Phantom Riders.
In the 2007 film Ghost Rider, actor Sam Elliott plays Carter Slade, a.k.a. Caretaker, though they are not the same characters in the comic book series. In the movie version of the story, Slade is Johnny's predecessor, who 150 years ago did not deliver a contract of hellbound souls to Mephistopheles . In the modern day, Slade awaits the arrival of the next Ghost Rider so he can be freed of his curse. Instead of the traditional Phantom Rider outfit, he looks more like the Johnny Blaze / Daniel Ketch Ghost Rider form, but in western attire and he rides a fire-breathing skeleton horse. This Ghost Rider closely resembles the spirit of vengeance from the new Garth Ennis/Clayton Crain series that was the slave Caleb whose family was slaughtered while his friend Travis Parham who tried to help may have become a part of the legend. (Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears).
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
The video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance has a Phantom Rider costume (labeled "Western") as one of the alternate outfits for the Ghost Rider character. While wearing this alternate costume, Ghost Rider retains his original move set, but when paired with other such characters in specific alternate costumes (e.g. Iron Man wearing the War Machine costume), the team is referred to as "Alternate Identities".
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Who Is the 19th Century Ghost Rider? The Frontier Era Explained
Ghost Rider is among the most popular and most powerful characters in history . This is why it doesn’t surprise us that there are numerous versions that have existed over the long history of characters’ existence. We know about Cosmic Ghost Rider or Prehistoric Ghost Rider that rode fiery mammoth in his pursuit of vengeance, but what about Frontier Era Ghost Rider? This version is what we’re going to focus on today, so let’s see who is 19th Century Ghost Rider and how powerful he is.
19th Century Ghost Rider is a version of Ghost Rider that was active during the American Frontier, and he targeted bounty hunters that killed and scalped Native Americans. Frontier Era Ghost Rider had all the same powers and abilities as other Ghost Riders, with the addition of riding a Hellfire Horse and having a Hellfire tipped flaming arrows as a part of his standard equipment.
Now that we’ve given you a basic understanding of who Frontier Era Ghost Rider is, it’s time to analyze him in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Frontier Era Ghost Rider is just one of many versions that appeared to Caretaker Sara
The story of Frontier Era Ghost Rider is a short one and doesn’t have much significance in the overall stories of Ghost Riders, but it was important for Caretaker Sara.
This version of Ghost Rider first appeared in ‘Ghost Rider’ #33 during the ‘Heavens on Fire’ Story Arc in which Zadkiel Usurped Heaven in order to claim its throne. Caretaker Sara was down on hope, feeling lost and without purpose, especially since her grandfather, who is also a Caretaker like her, got killed in the ensuing conflict.
‘Caretakers’ is a special term that includes mortals who aligned themselves with the Spirits of Vengeance over the course of history in order to carry out God’s Will of God on Earth. Sara came from a long line of Caretakers and took part in some of the most important missions.
17 Marvel & DC Characters That Can Beat Ghost Rider in a Fight
Her grandfather’s death affected her dearly because he was a source of wisdom, as he was the one who singlehandedly guarded two families that possessed pieces of Medallion of Power within them.
Sara, now facing the dead body of her grandfather, starts recounting the history of the Ghost Riders. Ghost Riders were created following the Great Flood because human capacity for evil did not decrease after the lesson was learned. Quite the contrary, it remained unchanged. Spirits of Vengeance were created in order to exact God’s punishment on the wicked while sparing the innocents.
Spirits of Vengeance were supposed to eliminate especially wicked parts of humanity, and this was a highly controversial way to approach things, so God had to make sure that his name pretty much remained unconnected to the whole affair. This is why he placed Archangel Zadkiel to oversee and manipulate the Riders in order to avoid Spirits of Vengeance being traced back to him. But Zadkiel eventually rebelled, and Ghost Riders were almost destroyed.
But, as Sara says, it wasn’t always like this. She started recounting all the various Spirits of Vengeance that existed almost from the start of humanity. We could see the Viking Era unnamed Ghost Rider that protected the shores of America.
In the 17th century, there was Noble Kale, a Ghost Rider that was especially famous for dealing justice to both witches and witch hunters that targeted people unfairly.
Then, during the days of the Civil War, there was an ex-slave Ghost Rider under the name of Caleb who sold his soul to the Spirit of Vengeance in order to avenge his family, and finally, we arrive at the frontier era.
Frontier Era Ghost Rider hunted bounty hunters
Frontier Era was active during the 19th century, immediately post-Civil War. In one scene, we can see a group of 4 bounty hunters who scalped Native Americans and brag about how they are going to earn $600 from the bounties.
25 Best Ghost Rider Quotes from Comics, Movies & TV Series
Frontier Era Ghost Rider seemingly targeted those types of people among others, as with every war there was a lot of evil to root out across the land until the spirits could rest. Judging by his attire Frontier Era Ghost Rider was most likely Native American as he can be seen wearing a Native American ceremonial headdress or war bonnet.
How strong was Frontier Era Ghost Rider?
We didn’t witness much of his abilities, as he appears in one short scene. However, we can assume that he had the same powerset as all other versions of Ghost Rider. He could most likely utilize Penance Stare and Hellfire manipulation.
Judging by his flaming skull, he was likewise transformed into an immortal burning form that could withstand severe punishment. Like all past versions of Ghost Riders, Frontier Era Ghost Rider also had additional weapons and modes of transportation associated with him common for his era. It would be absurd to expect 19th-century Ghost Rider to appear on a Hellcycle or in a car like Robbie Reyes does nowadays, so this version of Ghost Rider rode a Hellfire Horse. We can only assume its speed and that it was magically fast to provide Ghost Rider with superhuman speed.
Frontier Era Ghost Rider can also be seen with Hellfire-tipped arrows instead of mystic chains. This version of Ghost Rider most likely isn’t among the strongest ones , but he was highly effective in what he did.
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Valentina Kraljik is a writer and editor at Comic Basics with a passion for all things related to comics and their respective cinematic universes. Armed with a degree in Information Sciences, she brings a unique and informed perspective to her work. Valentina is renowned for her writing on a wide range of comic book heroes and their respective universes. She has a talent for uncovering obscure information related to even the most elusive superheroes. Her love for the genre was first sparked by "X-Men" and "Blade," the latter of which remains her all-time favorite superhero. While her expertise primarily lies within the realm of Marvel, she occasionally ventures into DC territory as well. Valentina's commitment to objectivity and insightful analysis shines through in her writing. She strives to bring fresh perspectives to even the most familiar subjects, and her blend of academic rigor and creative flair sets her apart in the world of media writing.
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The Best Ghost Rider Storylines To Get To Know The Characters Who Took On The Role
Ever since Johnny Blaze agreed to give his soul to Mephisto to save his mentor's life, the Marvel Universe has had a motorcycle-riding Spirit of Vengeance cruising around, serving vengeance to the wicked. There have been five people in the Marvel Universe, who have taken on the mantle of the Ghost Rider , including Punisher, and each of them has had some incredible adventures and amazing stories over the years.
Over the 48+ years he's been driving villains insane with his Pennance Stare, there have been tons of comic books, great stories, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, story arcs, storylines, and one-shot books about Ghost Rider, making it hard to determine which is the best of Ghost Rider's greatest adventures. This list attempts the impossible by narrowing the best down to the top 20. You can also use this list as a Ghost Rider reading guide.
Check out the stories listed below, and if you see your favorites, vote them up. Then check back to see which of these comics is the best Ghost Rider story ever told!
Story Found In: Marvel Spotlight #5
Details: You can't have a list of the greatest Ghost Rider stories ever told, and leave off the one that introduced the character to the Marvel Universe. This book introduced Johnny Blaze as the Ghost Rider, and while he wasn't technically the first character to carry that name, he's the one most fans associate with the Spirit of Vengeance.
The issue is an origin story, so it lays out how Johnny Blaze made a deal with the Devil (later retconned to be Mephisto) to save his mentor and father figure, Craig Simpson. The pact he made with the demon led him down a dark path of supernatural horror that saw his flesh burn away to reveal the Spirit of Vengeance lying underneath.
The Curse Of Johnny Blaze
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #68
Details: "The Curse of Johnny Blaze" offers a reintroduction to the character by retelling his origin story, which was previously featured in his introduction in Marvel Spotlight #5 . The story offers up new details, which weren't present in the original story, so it works as a bit of a retcon as well as an origin retelling.
The story is told in the form of a confession, which Johnny Blaze is giving while at church. The biggest change was to "clarify" that the devil Blaze made a deal with was none other than Mephisto, one of the biggest bads in the Marvel Universe. Other than that, it's a great refresher of the character's origin, as written by Roger Stern, who is arguably one of the best writers of the Bronze Age of Comics.
Trail Of Tears
Story Found In: Ghost Rider: Trail Of Tears #1-6
Details: Garth Ennis' "Road to Damnation" was just the start of the revitalization of Ghost Rider for the Marvel Universe. The brilliant writer returned along side artist Clayton Crain in a follow-up tale called "Trail of Tears," and the two creative masterminds delivered an epic story for the Spirit of Vengeance.
Of course, this time, the Spirit of Vengeance is a Confederate Soldier named Travis Parham. After he's saved by a former slave named Caleb, Parham is transformed to the Ghost Rider following a visit to a cave of skulls. The story spans generations of vengeance and offers up an interesting take on the character, who does exactly what you would expect him to do, only in the setting of the 19th century.
Spirits Of Vengeance: Rise Of The Midnight Sons
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #28, 31, Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #1-6, Morbius: the Living Vampire #1, Darkhold: Pages From the Book of Sins #1, Nightstalkers #1, Web of Spider-Man #95-96, and Midnight Sons Unlimited #1
Details: When it comes to identifying the greatest Ghost Rider story ever told, odds are "Rise of the Midnight Sons" will come up sooner or later. It's a story that stands as iconic to the character, but also the brand Marvel was trying to sell at the time it was printed, which was a grittier setting aligned to the supernatural flair of the series.
"Rise of the Midnight Sons" was the beginning of the Midnight Sons imprint, and while not all of the stories were great, the first is one of the best. They are set around the resurrection of Lilith, the mother of all Demons, and the only ones who have a hope in Hell of stopping her are Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, and the other, darker heroes of the Marvel Universe, including Hannibal King, Morbius the Living Vampire, and Blade.
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #1
Details: The original Spirit of Vengeance, Johnny Blaze, didn't remain the Ghost Rider forever. He was replaced in the 1990s for a younger, flashier version in Danny Ketch. Interestingly, Ketch didn't come to the role of the damned in the same manner as his predecessor, as it was a complete accident.
Ketch didn't make a deal with the devil like Blaze did; he touched a motorcycle he probably should have left well enough alone. Ketch became the new Ghost Rider, and while Blaze would later return to the role. Unlike Blaze, Ketch's Ghost Rider didn't have the Penance Stare, but he did introduce a slew of villains iconic to his rogues' gallery, including Deathwatch, Madcap, Blackout, Lilith, and many more.
Ghost Rider: Road To Damnation
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #1-6
Details: Garth Ennis made a career out of remaking characters like Ghost Rider. He did it for the Punisher, and with the first six books of Ghost Rider's "Road to Damnation," he did the same for Johnny Blaze and the Ghost Rider.
The story revolves around the demon Kazaan's attempt to literally bring Hell to Earth. Johnny Blaze has been trapped in damnation for two years, but when he makes a deal with the angel Malachi, he's back as the Spirit of Vengeance, and will ride to stop the demon from destroying life as we know it!
The story is everything you've come to expect from Ennis and stands as one of the greatest Ghost Rider stories of the past few decades
The End Of Ghost Rider
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #81
Details: Every story has an ending, and for Marvel Comics' Ghost Rider, that ending came in its 81st issue. J.M. DeMatteis hopped on board to close out the series with a truly great Ghost Rider story, which was aptly named, "The End of Ghost Rider."
In the book, Centurious, a former servant of Mephisto traps both Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider inside a soul crystal. The battle for Blaze's body ends up breaking the jewel, which frees Blaze of Zarathos. This effectively separated Blaze from the contract, which transformed him into Ghost Rider years before, but it won't be the last time Johnny Blaze hops on his bike for some vengeance, though it will be many years before that happens.
Heaven’s On Fire
Story Found In: Ghost Rider: Heaven's On Fire #1-6
Details: When a renegade angel named Zadkiel takes it upon himself to hold off the apocalypse by killing a baby boy bred by Satanists to rule the world, it's up to Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch to set their heads aflame, and ride into action!
Will the combined might of more than one Ghost Rider be enough to stop an angel intent on killing the Anti-Christ, or will a Biblical prophecy come to pass? This incredible story tests the very nature of what it is to carry the name of Ghost Rider, as heaven is set ablaze, and the fate of the world is on the line.
Hell Bent And Heaven Bound
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #20-25
Details: "Hell Bent and Heaven Bound" is the introductory story for Jason Aaron's take on the character during his 2008-2009 run, and it features a take that speaks to the very nature of who and what Ghost Rider is to the Marvel Universe. While Heaven is in the midst of holy conflict, Johnny Blaze sets out to find the angel Zadkiel.
This take on Ghost Rider offers a return to form for Johnny Blaze, as it's an over-the-top tale featuring some seriously supernatural action.
Expect massive battles, motorcycle stunts that could only be pulled off by a man whose head is normally engulfed in flame, and intense action. This is a great Ghost Rider story to break new fans into the character, and it's also an excellent take on Johnny Blaze, who had taken a break from his role as Ghost Rider for several years.
A Woman Possessed!
Details: Originally, Ghost Rider was limited to Marvel Spotlight , but it was inevitable that such a popular character would get his own solo series. Technically, this book is the second solo series to bear the name "Ghost Rider," but the original Marvel version was a literal ghost rider in a western setting published in 1967.
For the modern Ghost Rider of the Bronze Age of Comics, it was all about Johnny Blaze, and in this initial solo series issue, he rides straight out of Hell to inflict his particular brand of vengeance upon an unsuspecting population of criminals and evildoers.
Wish For Pain
Story Found In: Ghost Rider Annual #2
Details: One of the most important aspects of the second Annual from the Ghost Rider solo series is that it features Warren Ellis' first American comic book story. The story follows Ghost Rider in an epic confrontation with the Scarecrow (Marvel has one just like DC, but he's a bit different).
The story is as chilling and enticing as any of Ellis' work, and the primary focus is laid out as a character study of both the Scarecrow and the Spirit of Vengeance. The art by Javier Saltares is horrifically beautiful, making this annual one of the best to come out of the House of Ideas in the 1990s.
Engines Of Vengeance
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #1-5
Details: Robbie Reyes became the latest hero to bear the name Ghost Rider in All-New Ghost Rider. This version of the Spirit of Vengeance manifested somewhat differently than his predecessors, as he took to his roots as a mechanic, and saw his muscle car transform into his fiery-hot steed, replacing the iconic motorcycle of previous Ghost Riders.
The introduction of the character sees Reyes murdered, but soon after he is killed, his body is possessed by Eli Morrow in an effort to stop a gang war from breaking out. From there, Reyes stood as the newest character to wield the Spirit of Vengeance. If your familiarity with Reyes stems solely from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. , you should take the time to read his origin story in "Engines of Vengeance," as it delves deeper into the character than what was depicted on the television show.
Hearts Of Darkness
Story Found In: Ghost Rider : Hearts of Darkness
Details: In "Hearts of Darkness," writer Howard Mackie and artists John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson throw three of the deadliest characters in the Marvel Universe together for an incredible graphic novel. Wolverine, the Punisher, and Ghost Rider find themselves up against the evil demon known as Blackheart.
The demon's plan is to get the three killers to help him take out Mephisto so that he can take his place as the ruler of the Marvel Universe's damned. The story unfolds into what you might expect, as the Punisher, Wolverine, and the Spirit of Vengeance find themselves in the battle to end all battles. The book was followed by a sequel titled "Dark Design," but the first stands as the better tale of the two, and is a must-read for fans of any of these characters.
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #6
Details: Though it lacks a title of its own, this one-shot story from the 2011 solo run of Ghost Rider written by Rob Williams with art by Dalibor Talajic is an excellent addition to the series. This version of Ghost Rider is Alejandra Jones, the first female version to headline a series.
The tale told within the pages revolves around redemption and, ultimately, forgiveness set around a prison visualized by Talajic is a manner befitting the more horror-themed stories told about the character in the 1970s. This 10-issue maxi-series was somewhat hit or miss, but this single issue stands as the best, so fans should include it in their collection even if they've avoided the run as a whole.
Cosmic Ghost Rider: Baby Thanos Must Die
Story Found In: Cosmic Ghost Rider #1-5 & Thanos Legacy #1
Details: The newest character to take on the mantle of the Ghost Rider is none other than Frank Castle, otherwise known as the Punisher. Of course, he isn't simply the Spirit of Vengeance dealing out justice to the wicked on Earth; he's the Cosmic Ghost Rider, and he's on the hunt for the infant Thanos.
Castle came across the Spirit of Vengeance in the usual way, by making a deal with the devil, but it was Galactus who made him cosmic. In his first adventure, he's out to kill Thanos, but his plan is to deal vengeance to the Mad Titan before he has a chance to kill trillions: take him out while he's still a baby, but it's not going to be as easy as he thinks...
Carnival Of Death
Story Found In: Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance # 9-10
Details: The story, "Carnival of Death," intertwines the previous plots in the Spirits of Vengeance books revolving around Quentin Carnival. The climax reveals Centurious as the villain behind the previous year of Ghost Rider comics, making this story a climactic payoff culminating from dozens of issues.
Everything in "Carnival of Death" is significantly magnified in terms of violence, vengeance, and intensity, as Steel Wind and her army of Stygian Demons head to full-blown war with Carnival. The addition of Vengeance only serves to up the ante in this incredible story by Howard Mackie and Adam Kubert.
Story Found In: Ghost Racers #1-4
Details: What counts as entertainment on Battleworld might seem like a terrifying hellish spectacle to outsiders, as Ghost Rider and many others find themselves on the scorching-hot racetrack! The cursed and the damned must take part in the Ghost Races, and everything is on the line.
For any damned soul lucky enough to win first prize in the Ghost Races, they will enjoy a temporary reprieve from the Arena, but what happens to the ones who come in second to last? It's not pretty in this all-out, high-speed race to end all races!
Ghost Rider And Blaze: Road To Vengeance
Story Found In: Ghost Rider & Blaze #16
Details: “Road to Vengeance: The Missing Link” is a crossover story starring the Danny Ketch version of the Ghost Rider and "Spirits of Vengeance." The story is focused primarily on the past of Vengeance, a character who shares a great deal fo similarity to Ghost Rider.
The main antagonists in this book are none other than Lilith and Zarathos; the very demon Mephisto bonded to Johnny Blaze, which transformed him into the Ghost Rider years before. The book contains a lot of references to previous stories of Ghost Rider and manages to throw some new stuff at the reader, making this Midnight Sons imprint a truly enjoyable book.
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #0.1, 1-5
Details: Johnny Blaze has been tormented by his choice to take on the Spirit of Vengeance ever since the first time his head erupted in flames, and he's been damned as a result. When the "Fear Itself" event threw the Marvel Universe into utter chaos, it came time for a new Spirit of Vengeance to be born.
When Blaze is presented with the option to relieve himself of the burden, once and for all, he doesn't hesitate to take it. But when a new host is chosen as the Spirit of Vengeance, the repercussions his decision has on the world may be just what Johnny needs to make him realize his value as the Ghost Rider.
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #69
Details: One issue after the origin of both the Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze was retold, writer Roger Stern and artist Bob Budiansky explored the very nature of the character. Is Ghost Rider a combination of Blaze and the demon who possesses him, or is he Blaze empowered by the damned?
Ghost Rider has displayed his raw power in previous issues, and his wrath is often violent and destructive. As he continues to evolve, his violence and level of outright malevolence toward the wicked paints him as less of a superhero and more of a villain ready to take vengeance wherever he can, no matter the consequences.
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Meet the ghost riders.
Celebrating 50 years of Ghost Rider! Revisit the legacy of the Spirit of Vengeance with the humans, heroes, and demonic beings who have worn its mantle! Hop on your preferred Hell-Vehicle of choice for this hair-raising ride down the highway of history.
A HISTORY OF VENGEANCE
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1,000,000 B.C. Ghost Rider
In avengers (2018) #7.
An intelligent caveman named “Ghost” from 1,000,000 B.C. was the lone survivor of a Wendigo attack. It was during this confrontation that Ghost was approached by a snake and was given a Spirit of Vengeance, making him the 1,000,000 B. C. Ghost Rider. Although he lost the battle (and his Hell Mammoth) to the Wendigo, B.C. Ghost Rider joined the Stone Age Avengers to battle the Fallen in MARVEL LEGACY (2017) #1.
in Ghost Rider (2006) #33
The next Ghost Rider (that we know of) was a Sioux chieftain during the 11th century. Going by the name Hellhawk, he was part of the 1,000 A. D. Avengers, and, according to some dialogue in AVENGERS (2018) #24, had a rivalry with the Puritan Avenger/Ghost Rider Noble Kale. Hellhawk was killed by Necrosis, on orders by Belasco, to keep all Spirits of Vengeance out of Limbo. The message was definitely received.
Kushala: The Spirit Rider
In spirits of vengeance: spirit rider (2021) #1.
An Apache woman from the 19th century, Kushala’s parents and tribe were killed by the United States Army. She prayed for help from the Creator but instead received an answer from Leviathan, a Spirit of Vengeance. During that time, she was known as the Demon Rider and was even the Sorcerer Supreme. She was transported to the modern era with other Sorcerers Supreme in DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME (2016).
In marvel spotlight (1971) #5.
Johnny Blaze was the first Spirit of Vengeance in Marvel history but the second character to use the Ghost Rider name: Phantom Rider Carter Slade has the honor of using it first. Blaze was a motorcycle stuntman who bonded with Spirit of Vengeance Zarathos to save his surrogate father. Since this choice, Blaze has been on teams like the Legion of Monsters and the Midnight Sons. Oh, and he was also the King of Hell!
In ghost rider (1990) #1.
Blaze hasn’t been the only Ghost Rider in the present era! When he gave up his powers in 1983, a new person stepped in to fill the hellish void. Danny Ketch is Blaze’s long-lost, younger brother, and unlike his predecessor, would get along well with his Spirit of Vengeance. Adding to an ever-growing resume, Ketch was also one-fourth of the NEW FANTASTIC FOUR, along with Joe Fixit, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
In ghost rider (2011) #1.
After FEAR ITSELF, Alejandra Jones was introduced as a new Ghost Rider. One key difference was that Jones trained for the role; when the time came, her mentor performed a ritual to turn her into the demonic being. Jones was later trained by Blaze, but after some wild occurrences, he took back most of his power. Furious, Jones used her remaining abilities to protect her village, up until her death in ABSOLUTE CARNAGE.
In all-new ghost rider (2014) #1.
Robbie Reyes is a young man from Los Angeles and a successful mechanic. Reyes wanted to move his younger brother into a safer neighborhood, but didn’t have the funds. So, he entered a street race to win $50,000. All did NOT go to plan. Robbie was shot—and then revived—by the spirit of his estranged uncle Eli Morrow. While fending off his uncle’s urges to kill, Reyes became an Avenger and was freed of Eli’s influence.
In doctor strange: damnation (2018) #2.
During Mephisto’s takeover of Las Vegas, Doctor Strange became a Ghost Rider! Strange’s consciousness was tricked by letting him believe that “Loki,” “Scarlet Witch, and “Clea” were helping him escape from his cell, when in reality, he was attacking his rescuers while his soul was in Hell. Fortunately, with help from some Avengers, Bats the Basset Hound, and even Dormammu, Strange was returned to his “normal” state.
Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane
In ghost rider 2099 (2019) #1.
AKA Ghost Rider 2099! Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane was an anarchist hacker in a gang called the Hotwire Martyrs. Shot by a rival gang and on the brink of death, he transferred his consciousness to cyberspace, where he was discovered by an A.I. collective named Ghostworks. When asked to become their avatar of change, Cochrane obviously said yes and was downloaded into a Cybertek 101 warbot.
Cosmic Ghost Rider
In cosmic ghost rider (2018) #1.
What happens when you combine the Punisher, Ghost Rider, and awesome cosmic might? You get Frank Castle as the Cosmic Ghost Rider! This version of Castle was from an alternate universe in which Thanos conquered everything. After making a deal with Mephisto to become the Ghost Rider (and receiving an upgrade from the Power Cosmic), Castle would end up as a servant of Thanos after spending centuries trying to kill him.
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Carter Slade was a Texas Ranger who became a Ghost Rider . He is the first of the Ghost Riders to ever turn against Mephistopheles .
- 1.1 Ghost Rider
- 2.1.1 Former powers
- 2.2 Abilities
- 2.3 Weaknesses
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Appearances/Actors
- 6.1 Ghost Rider
Biography [ ]
Ghost rider [ ].
Carter was the Ghost Rider before Johnny Blaze . Carter was once a Texas Ranger, but he became greedy. Carter was sentenced to death, but a certain stranger came to him offer a deal that would free him. The deal turned Carter into a Ghost Rider. Mephistopheles then sent Carter to the town of San Venganza, where he collected a contract that was worth 1,000 souls. Knowing that these evil souls would cause hell on earth, Carter did what no Ghost Rider had done before; he was going to outrun the Devil. For the next 150 years, Carter hid the contract.
Carter became known as the caretaker at a chapel's cemetery. Carter made a fake grave for himself to throw Mephistopheles off his trail. When the new Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, passed out at the cemetary after his first transformation, Carter tended to his wounds. Carter also explained to Johnny the penance stare. The next day, Carter told Johnny of the grave belonging to him.
Carter tells Johnny that the grave holds the contract of San Venganza and that it must not fall into the hands of Blackheart nor Mephistopheles. Later that night, Johnny comes back to dig up the grave. Carter then reveals to him that the contract was in his shovel. Although Carter cautions Johnny to think about this, Johnny convinces Carter to let him go. Carter accepts this because Johnny isn't doing it for greed, but for love which puts God on his side. Carter decides to go with Johnny and transforms, revealing his identity.
Carter rides with Johnny, guiding him to San Venganza 500 miles away. When they reach the outskirts of San Venganza, Carter gives Johnny his shotgun and tells him to stick to the shadows. Carter then rides away, telling Johnny that he only had enough power to change one more time. Carter hopes that God might give him a second chance. Johnny thanks Carter and he fades in the distance.
Powers and Abilities [ ]
- Superhuman Durability : Carter is far more durable than normal humans and most other supernatural entities. He is completely immune to all types of physical harm.
- Accelerated Healing Factor : Carter is able to heal much faster, more extensively and efficiently than than normal humans and most other supernatural entities. He can completely heal from physical injuries in a matter of seconds.
- Immortality : Carter is immortal; as he cannot be killed by natural means or most other supernatural means.
- Superhuman Longevity : Carter ages much slower than normal humans. Despite being at least over 150 years old, he still maintains the physical appearance of a man in his 60s.
- Pyrogenesis : Carter can generate, create and project bright amber fire from both of his hands or his entire body.
Former powers [ ]
- Transformation : Carter was capable of transforming into a fiery skeletal entity at will. After Johnny Blaze become the new host of Zarathos; Carter only had enough supernatural energy left; to transform into his fiery skeletal form one last time.
- Penance Stare : Carter was able to burn the souls of the guilty via direct eye contact; inflicting on them the equivalent pain or suffering they have inflicted on their victims.
Abilities [ ]
- Expert Tactician: Carter is a highly skilled tactician. He was not only able fake his death; in order to throw Mephistopheles off his trail, but he was also able to keep the Contract of San Venganza hidden for 150 years.
- Expert Marksman: Due to Carter's training from the Texas Rangers , he is a highly skilled marksman.
Weaknesses [ ]
- Limitations: Carter's connection to Hell has greatly diminished his physical and supernatural attributes.
Relationships [ ]
- Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider - Successor and ally.
- Mephistopheles - Enemy and former master.
- Zarathos - Ally and former angel possessor.
- Blackheart - Enemy; deceased.
- Banshee - Steed.
Appearances/Actors [ ]
- Ghost Rider (First appearance) - Sam Elliott
- Ghost Rider - Fred Tatasciore
- In the comics, Caretaker is a member of the Blood.
- Carter Slade is a separate character in the comics.
- Carter is also known as the "Phantom Rider". As he is seen with a cowboy hat and rides a horse instead of a bike.
- When the Caretaker was created in comics, he was based off the actor Sam Elliott.
- Sam Elliott previously portrayed Thaddeus Ross in Hulk .
- The design of Carter Slade as Ghost Rider may have been influenced or inspired by Caleb from the comics.
Gallery [ ]
See Also [ ]
- Ghost Rider
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Comic Book / Ghost Rider
An old cowboy went riding out One dark and windy day Upon a ridge he rested As he went along his way When all at once a mighty herd Of red eyed cows he saw Plowin' through the ragged skies And up the cloudy draw
Ghost Rider is one of the earlier thriller heroes of the Marvel Universe , as in, heroes that deal with underworld baddies like demons and the likes of Mephisto . The premise is basically: Badass Biker with a Flaming Skull for a Head .
Marvel first used the Ghost Rider name for a Western hero named Carter Slade . This character rode around on a white horse in an all-white getup. He was retroactively dubbed the Night Rider, and then the Phantom Rider.
The Ghost Rider name was then re-used for a modern character, Johnathon "Johnny" Blaze , who first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #5 (August, 1972). Blaze was the first version of the character to use the now-iconic motorbike and flaming skull. A stunt motorcyclist who trained under his dead father's friend Craig "Crash" Simpson. He also became the fiancee of Crash's daughter Roxanne. His mother was alive, as well, but she abandoned him, taking away his brother Daniel and sister Barbara. Due to the abandonment, Johnny tended to suppress the memory about them, so it would seem life would be good for him...
Until one event where Johnny slipped off on his motorcycle stunt training, costing the life of Crash's wife, a mother figure to Johnny. This caused Johnny to swear off motorcycling, and deteriorated his relationship with Crash as Johnny refused to take public stunts, preferring to train in the shadows. Then, Crash revealed that he had cancer, but even then Johnny still refused. Trying to find a way out of his impasse, Johnny turned to the occult and eventually learned of a spell that could summon Satan . That spell summoned Mephisto (though it has recently been retconned to be Lucifer who made the deal with Johnny), whom Johnny asked to cure Crash's cancer. Mephisto upheld his bargain and cured Crash... only to have him die in an accident during the very next stunt he performed .
Obviously, Mephisto demanded Johnny hold to his bargain and agree to become his slave... except Roxanne did a Big Damn Heroes and expelled Mephisto with The Power of Love . Unfortunately, Mephisto already bonded Johnny with the spirit of Zarathos, a vengeful demon (angel after the retcon) that he defeated in the past, turning him into the Ghost Rider. Both souls defied Mephisto, but eventually came to clash in who was to have control of the body. After much struggling, Johnny managed to seal the spirit of Zarathos and live in peace. For a short while, at least, until the next Ghost Rider appeared...
The second Ghost Rider is Daniel "Danny" Ketch , actually the brother of Johnny Blaze. He first appeared in Ghost Rider vol. 2 #1 (May, 1990). When attacked by thugs to protect his sister Barbara, a touch to a mysterious medallion doubling as a gas cap on what appeared to be a junked motorcycle suddenly bonded him with a spirit Kale, turning him into the new Ghost Rider. Johnny took note of this and eventually became Danny's Big Brother Mentor of sorts in his adventures.
It's eventually revealed that the Ghost Rider has quite another origin from what Johnny and Danny were told: the Spirits of Vengeance are black-ops agents for Heaven , and there have been multiple Spirits across the cultures of the world since Biblical times. Thanks to Zadkiel, though, there are now only two - Johnny and Danny.
In the 2011 series, Blaze gave up the mantle of the Ghost Rider, letting Alejandra Jones become the new host of the Spirit of Vengeance. He would go on to try to mentor Alejandra but, at the end of that series would retake the mantle of Ghost Rider back with Alejandra only retaining a portion of its power.
In March 2014, the All-New Ghost Rider series debuted. Featuring a new character, Robbie Reyes , taking on the eponymous mantle, Robbie uses a car instead of a motorcycle and lives in East Los Angeles. As opposed to mystical and demonic threats, Robbie's series largely focused on youth gang culture and living in the ghetto, though there were some mystical elements. Johnny Blaze eventually showed up in the series, inducting Robbie into the Ghost Rider family.
As part of the 2017 Marvel Legacy initiative, there was a Spirits of Vengeance miniseries, featuring a team of demonic heroes consisting of Johnny, Blade , Daimon Hellstrom and Satana.
For the 2018 Marvel: A Fresh Start initiative, Robbie was announced as a member of The Avengers .
In 2022, to mark the character’s 50th anniversary , a new ongoing series launched, with Johnny Blaze once again the lead character.
- The Ghost Rider (1967) - a Western with a historical setting, starting the Carter Slade character.
- Marvel Spotlight on... Ghost Rider (1972) - stories in the Rotating Protagonist Marvel Spotlight title, which introduced Johnny Blaze and the supernatural biker Ghost Rider.
- Ghost Rider (1973) - a solo series for the Johnny Blaze version of the character
- Ghost Rider (1990) - starring the Danny Ketch version of the character
- Ghost Rider / Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance (1992)
- Blaze: Legacy of Blood (1993)
- Blaze (1994)
- Ghost Rider (2001)
- Ghost Rider (2005)
- Ghost Rider (2006)
- Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears (2007)
- Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch (2008)
- Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire (2009)
- Ghost Rider (2011) - the debut of the Alejandra Jones version of the character, who becomes the Ghost Rider after the curse is transferred from Johnny Blaze.
- All-New Ghost Rider (2014) - starring the Robbie Reyes version of the character.
- Ghost Rider (2017)
- Spirits of Vengeance (2017)
- Ghost Rider (2019)
- Ghost Rider: Kushala (2021)
- Ghost Rider (2022), starring the Johnny Blaze version.
- Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance (2023) - A crossover between Wolverine (2020) and Ghost Rider (2022) , starting and ending in its own one-shot specials.
- Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance (2024), a direct sequel to the 2022 run, but with a twist. Johnny Blaze is Brought Down to Badass after his Spirit of Vengeance gets taken by a supervillain (The Hood), forcing him to go on an epic journey to regain his powers and become Ghost Rider again.
- Ghost Rider 2099 was one of the heroes of the futuristic Marvel 2099 line. When hacker Zero Cochrane is killed, his mind is uploaded into a cybernetic body. This version of the Ghost Rider isn't supernatural, and the flames surrounding his skeletal form are holographic.
- The Ultimate Marvel Ghost Rider is a different version of Johnny Blaze. In this continuity, Johnny and his wife are innocents sacrificed to Satan by a biker gang. Johnny then barters his soul to resurrect his wife - and becomes the Ghost Rider, returned to Earth to kill evildoers and empower Satan's army.
- Ghost Racers is a limited series spinning out of the 2015 Secret Wars event, which temporarily combined Marvel's alternate worlds into a single universe. It features versions of Johnny, Danny, Alejandra, Robbie and Carter Slade participating in a death race.
- Cosmic Ghost Rider is a spin-off of the 2018 Thanos series. A future version of The Punisher becomes the Ghost Rider, and also goes mad. After deciding to go back in time to kill Thanos as a baby, he realizes that the child isn't evil yet, so decides to raise him to become a better adult.
- In 2007, a film featuring Johnny Blaze was released with a composite version of the character played by Nicolas Cage . It received a sequel called Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance .
- After Marvel Studios regained the rights to the character, Robbie Reyes was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016, played by Gabriel Luna in Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. . Robbie's origin flashback in the series also features an unnamed biker Ghost Rider who's implied to be Johnny Blaze.
Ghost Rider provides the examples of:
- Affably Evil : Hoss, a redneck demon who hunts down other demons and wayward souls is pretty polite, even to the souls of victims he killed. He also tries to make Ghost Rider's stay in hell more pleasant.
- All Bikers are Hells Angels : Subverted; the Ghost Rider looks the part but very few of the people who become the Ghost Rider fit the description.
- Amazon Brigade : The Furies, H.E.A.R.T., The Gun Nuns
- Ancient Artifact : Two of the spirits of vengeance were bound to two shards of a medallion at one point. Danny Ketch met the caretaker because it was his job to keep an eye on the thing. It no longer drives any plots, having served its purpose but Caretaker stuck around. Also, Centurious had an item called the crystal of souls.
- And I Must Scream : Ghost Rider attempts to put Scarecrow in this state by breaking all his bones and twisting his limbs in a way that would have insured he never healed properly and would remain practically a quadriplegic.
- The Antichrist : Anton Satan ( Pronounced Shu-tan ), Aka Kid Blackheart, claims to be the antichrist. He has human parents but claims his father is the devil. Daimon Hellstrom is the son of a demon lord who intended for him to be the antichrist but he has no desire to be one. Anton and Daimon don't like each other.
- Anti-Hero : So far we have not had a protagonist who was not. Johnny Blaze was at first the classical antihero who despite doing heroic things did not have a very desirable life. Zarathos is a Nominal Hero . Danny Ketch started as a Pay Evil unto Evil type but softened to I Did What I Had to Do as he decided the penance stare was a horrific thing to put people through and he really did not like killing people either. Noble Kale is another classical antihero and Alejandra is another pay evil onto evil type.
- Anti-Hero Substitute : In the 90s there was a short time when they tried to replace Ghost Rider with his Darker and Edgier counterpart and ex-enemy, Vengeance. Obviously, it didn't work, because you can't make somebody so dark much darker without coming out as ridiculous.
- Artifact Domination : Danny Ketch became the second Ghost Rider when he found his by-then dead biological mother Naomi Blaze's old motorcycle and touched the gas cap, becoming possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance.
- Artifact Name \ Artifact Title : Only in Brazil, due to Dub Name Change : It was translated as Motoqueiro Fantasma (Ghost Biker ). As Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch versions ride motorcycles, it fits them well. Then came the Robbie Reyes version, riding a muscle car , but the translator kept the "Ghost Biker" name - although in a few media it's fixed by referring to Robbie as Motorista Fantasma (Ghost Driver).
- Badass Biker : Ghost Rider. Obviously.
- Badass Longcoat : Danny Ketch dons one as Ghost Rider once he gets out from under Zadkiel's thumb.
- Badass Normal : Johnny Blaze after he gets rid of the spirit of Zarathos. He later becomes an Empowered Badass Normal due to some Cyborging .
- Badass Preacher : Sister Sara.
- Bat Family Crossover : Back in the 90s, there were four series that were launched by an arc called Rise of the Midnight Sons (not surprisingly, Ghost Rider got two of the issues in that arc). The names of these series were Spirits of Vengeance, Morbius , Nightstalkers and Darkhold . There was also a comic that came out called Midnight Sons Unlimited , which came out once every four months. The two crossovers that happened between all of these series were Midnight Massacre and Siege of Darkness . Siege of Darkness is an interesting case since it also had two issues of Doctor Strange and four issues of Marvel Comics Presents in it. It ended in the fourth issue of Midnight Sons Unlimited , which led into Vengeance becoming the new Ghost Rider for four issues . Whew.
- Blessed with Suck : Snowblind, a drug dealer granted super powers, which among super human strength, generating blinding light and resistance to psychic powers, allowed him to see. Unfortunately, to use some of his powers he had to use them all, and being able to see made him prey to Ghost Rider's Penance stare. Something he'd never have to worry about if he stayed blind and no, "psychic power resistance" did not help. Being a drug dealer is bad enough but he's worked for both Deathwatch and Blackheart, pretty much ensuring he will run into a Ghost Rider.
- Body Horror : Skinbender's specialty, since she can twist forms of others to her will.
- Bounty Hunter : Ghost Riders are sometimes forced to work as these for hell, including Blaze once. Hoss serves as one for Hell full time and Ruth does for heaven. The three have worked together when they surprisingly found they had the same targets like Kazann.
- Breeding Cult : Project Blackheart collected and paired up the most evil human beings it could find in hopes they would produce an antichrist after enough generations. Anton Satan is supposedly the closest they got to their goal before Zadkiel destroyed it.
- That said, Ghost Rider is capable of controlling the intensity of the Stare; during an issue of Spider-Man/Fantastic Four , Ketch's Ghost Rider was able to break Wolverine out of mind control by using the Penance Stare to make Wolverine experience the pain he caused others on a single day of the First World War.
- Morbius was also comparatively immune to the Stare's effects as he is aware that he has done wrong when feeding on the innocent, with Ghost Rider accepting Morbius's vow to focus on criminals when feeling in the future.
- The Cameo : In the final issue of Heaven's on Fire , when every Ghost Rider in existence fight the legions of hell, Carter Slade, the Phantom Rider formerly known as Ghost Rider, appears for a panel kicking ass with the others.
- Casting a Shadow : Blackout, so named because his power involves suppressing sources of light and creating darkness. Some things are too much for him to handle though, like Ghost Rider's hellfire body.
- Celestial Paragons and Archangels : Uri-El, a pretty good guy, was the first of these we were introduced to. Others like Malachi and Zadkiel turned evil. Ruth is completely detached from the people she's supposed to be defending but hasn't gone far enough out of line to be demoted yet. The black hosts are mostly good and even save the Ghost Rider once when he was in trouble but some of them remain loyal to their superiors, even after they have Fallen .
- Chain Pain : In the 1990s comics, a magical flaming chain manifests when Danny Ketch transformed into Ghost Rider. Johnny and Zarathos later inherited a form that echoes that of the Dan Ketch/Noble Kale gestalt, and is able to do similar feats to them
- Cheated Death, Died Anyway : This is part of Ghost Rider's origin. Johnny Blaze sold his soul to Mephisto in exchange for a cure for his adopted father's cancer. Mephisto agreed, and thus Crash Simpson was miraculously cured of cancer, but he then died in a stunt gone wrong.
- Chekhov's Gun : The 2006 series has a Ghost Rider from the future asking if the Earth's been invaded by Skrulls yet.
- Chekhov's Gunman : One of Deathwatch's ninja mooks in the third issue of 90s Ghost Rider.
- Chess with Death : At one point, Ghost Rider encountered the Grim Reaper, who forced him to race for his life. Ghost Rider eventually won by cheating, causing the Reaper's bike to crash over a cliff.
- The Chosen Many : After the Heaven retcon. It makes sense when you think about it.
- Church Militant : Zadkiel's underling Deacon ignored the Penance Stare because in his heart he was only out to save sinners. The gun nuns too, they were a little more inline with mainstream morality.
- Civvie Spandex : The spirits of vengeance in general do not have costumes or uniforms but the Ghost Riders are known for their leather jackets.
- Color-Coded Characters : There was a decent enough reason in the story for Danny Ketch to end up bonded to a different spirit of vengeance but the real reason was so that the readers would have an easier time telling him and Blaze apart during the heaven arc.
- A witch helped Blaze create his ( in an attempt to lure him to Mephisto ) while Danny's changed with him.
- Crapsack World : The neighborhood where Robbie Reyes and his younger brother Gabe Reyes live in is so bad that Robbie tells Gabe to never go outside when he hears " firecrackers " note aka gunshots ... and his fateful step onto the road to becoming the new Ghost Rider is when he decides in desperation to get rich quick by winning a street race in the hopes that they can move out.
- Creator Provincialism : Played mostly straight until the recent series where the new caretaker tells Johnny that every country has its own version of Ghost Rider. That is, until Danny went and took them all.
- He was also in Hearts of Darkness , a crossover with Wolverine and Punisher .
- Plenty of those in the 90s issues, which includes Johnny Blaze, who had cybernetic casing installed on him so the Hellfire within wouldn't leak out and consume him.
- In Marvel 2099 timeline, this includes a cybernetic version of the Ghost Rider itself !
- Damsel in Distress : Roxanne Simpson's role in the earlier issues.
- Dark Is Not Evil : The dark force dimension is not an evil place, but Blackheart is and outside of Mephisto's realm it is where he is most powerful. For that matter, Mephisto's realm was not an evil place when Mephisto was removed from it (which is a difficult task, considering his very existence is tied to it but the angels eventually worked it out). And of course the titular hero himself.
- Deadline News : Invoked by Blackout and later Skadi, perhaps taking a page from his book since he was with her.
- Deadpan Snarker : Depending on who the current host is at the time, GR can be this.
- Deal with the Devil : Many, most are done with Mephisto but there are no shortage of evil people and things trying to manipulate whoever they can contact.
- Death Seeker : Suicide and Death Ninja.
- Demon Lords And Arch Devils : Many of the villains belong in this category, Ba'al, Lucifer, Mephisto, Blackheart and Lilith being some of the more notable ones. Nightmare may or may not be one of these but apparently has raped one and is an enemy of the Ghost Riders.
- Demon of Human Origin : Occasionally this has happened to a Ghost Rider, though not usually by their own will in the main series, such as with Johnny Blaze and Zarathos. In the Ultimate Universe though, being the Devil's bounty hunter is the Ghost Rider's default.
- Demonic Possession : All manners of it. John Blaze and Zarathos were a case where the "demon" wanted out of the human as much as the human wanted it out while Mephisto sat back and laughed.
- Depending on the Writer : Whether it's Johnny or Zarathos calling the shots when Blaze transforms into Ghost Rider. Some stories have a clear split, with Johnny being just Johnny, and Zarathos being in full control of the Ghost Rider. Others have Johnny being in complete control in both forms, while still others have the two personalities fighting for control. The version that's most widely used is a sort of "unwilling partnership" detailed in The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body below.
- The Drifter : Naomi, Blaze and Danny have all become one when the burden of being a Ghost Rider got a little depressing.
- Driving Up a Wall : Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch) had his mystically transformed motorcycle riding up a wall to escape police pursuit.
- Doomed Fellow Prisoner : Inverted. Anyone who winds up in a cell with him tends to wind up under his Penance Stare.
- Early-Installment Weirdness : The character was much more a traditional superhero when he first debuted, fighting human criminals like Water Wizard, The Orb and The Enforcer, characters more at home in the early Spider-Man comics than here. This also resulted in Blaze becoming part of the Champions (widely regarded as one of the weirdest superhero teams around, lineup-wise).
- Enfant Terrible : One villain Johnny Blaze encountered during his time Walking the Earth in the Mojave was a reality-warping mutant child. Trapped in a protective sphere because his body can't survive outside, the boy (actually well over 100 years old but hasn't aged since childhood) uses his powers to torture anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across the area.
- Everybody Hates Hades : Pluto is a villain in Marvel and part of the shared universe Ghost Rider lives in. It was only a matter of time before they clashed. Noble Kale also fought the Furies a couple times, but in that case they weren't portrayed as malicious villains so much as being really bad at their jobs.
- Evil Tastes Good : Deathwatch was a crime lord, who instead of eating food, fed upon other people's misery. His favorite was the pain of death.
- Expy : Ultimate Ghost Rider — a murdered human who makes a pact with one of his 'verse's Demon Lords And Arch Devils for the love of his wife and who returns as a ghastly undead monster, charged with gathering souls to swell Hell's army... doesn't this remind you of anyone?
- Fad Super : Early on Ghost Rider was heavily associated with motorcycle stunt riding, popular back in 1972 when he was created, and also an early forerunner of the horror comics fad Marvel was into at the time.
- Fiery Redhead : Sister Sara.
- Flaming Skulls : Spirits of vengeance in general and many angels like Zarathos after he was retconned into one.
- For Science! : The crime lord Anton Hellgate tried to experiment on Ghost Rider and Vengeance for this reason. In the end it got him killed by Vengeance, twice .
- Gadgeteer Genius : Eli and his son Quinn.
- God Is Good : Ultimately, as well as loving and patient.
- Good Is Not Nice : The spirits of vengeance who star obviously, especially Zarathos. Also applies to Ruth.
- Hell Has New Management : Nobel Kale takes over Hell after slaying Mephisto and Blackheart, then sends Danny Ketch back to Earth, releasing him from his duties as Ghost Rider.
- Hellfire : Ghost Rider exacts his vengeance on evil with the flames of hell.
- Henshin Hero : All the Ghost Riders have a normal human form and can only access their powers when transformed into a Spirit of Vengeance.
- Heroic Dolphin : Ghost Rider was once saved from a killer shark by dolphins.
- Hero with Bad Publicity : Possibly every Ghost Rider, but Danny Ketch had the worst publicity considering he was one of the nicer Ghost Riders.
- Hollywood Satanism : The comic does at least does mention that not all satanists fit the Hollywood stereotype, but you'll hardly ever see the harmless variety and if you do, they will be quickly killed off by or converted into the Hollywood type. Satan is a contested title in Marvel world anyway, though there have been brief periods where a good person held the title.
- Horrifying Hero : He IS a terrifying burning skeleton dressed like a thug riding a burning motorcycle. Most of the civilians in Marvel are understandably terrified of him, and even his old allies the Champions found him unsettling.
- Immune to Fire : The Ghost Rider is immune to fire by dint of being the host of a Spirit of Vengeance and a wielder of Hellfire .
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain : Water Wizard's powers were worthless against Ghost Rider, who didn't even pay him attention in most encounters. It took an ill fated deal with the Evil Sorcerer Moondark before he finally realized his time and resources were better spent doing something besides bothering Ghost Rider. Too bad his more practical activities got Ghost Rider's attention and motivated the spirit of vengeance to punish him for real.
- Infernal Fugitives : A demon called Kazann wants to escape from Hell and invade Earth. An archangel and another demon are sent to capture him, but there is an angel who does not want them to catch Kazann and frees Johnny Blaze from Hell to do the job... which means the demons now want him back too.
- Noble Kale, the Ghost Rider whom was bonded to Danny Ketch, was originally a human and transformed against his will by his own father at the behest of Mephisto to battle the Furies. He did the job with terrifying effectiveness. However he refused to take a human life, which caused Uriel to step in and prevent him from being fully claimed by Mephisto. As a result, he became a Spirit of Vengeance, destined to serve both Heaven and Hell for eternity. He was further altered after the fact by Uriel, who made him the Angel of Death, as part of a plan to kill Mephisto once and for all.
- Kill the Lights : Blackout suppresses all light sources in his presence.
- Knight Errant : Spirits of vengeance by their nature, but Danny Ketch at least aimed for this from the beginning.
- Magic Feather : Danny Ketch initially believes he transforms into Ghost Rider by touching his mystical motorcycle . In Hearts of Darkness (a Crossover with Punisher and Wolverine ), Blackheart steals Danny's bike. Believing himself unable to transform, he decides to steal an ordinary bike to reach the villain's location, only to discover that he can transform on his own, also changing the ordinary bike into a mystical one.
- Make Them Rot : Blackout decays everything he touches almost instantly. In Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance , he finds it rather surprising that the only food that doesn't mold up and rot away are Twinkies .
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body : Zarathos and Noble Kale are limited by their human hosts, who have to consciously give in to them to operate as at full power. For Zarathos this was an annoyance until it was retconned to John Blaze's willing bond making him stronger but he still not allowed to really cut loose by Blaze more often than not. Noble Kale does not mind as much as he cannot control his power at all if he is on Earth without a host.
- Morality-Guided Attack : Ghost Rider's Penance Stare makes the target feel all the pain and suffering they've caused innocents over the course of their life.
- Muscles Are Meaningless : Ghost Rider is mostly hellfire, clothing and bones yet has great strength and toughness. His strength is magically based and comes from his demon side.
- My Horse Is a Motorbike : See the below entry on Phantom Rider, who was originally Ghost Rider and rode a horse.
- Nigh-Invulnerability : Ghost Rider fairly early on was portrayed as extremely difficult to kill, though it took Johnny Blaze at least some time to realize this. Bullets harmlessly pass through his skeletal form, superhuman punches just end up smashing against his unbreakable bones, and he has no organs, blood, or skin to make bruise and bleed, giving him effectively limitless combat stamina, so while he CAN be tossed around and beaten up, it just doesn't really do any long-term damage. However mystically-based attacks can and do hurt him. Unfortunately most of his enemies are as mystically oriented as himself.
- Ninja : Deathwatch employs them to get his lost chemical weapons back but the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider makes short work of them. The Kingpin and Lady Bullseye use magic to summon the John Blaze Ghost Rider and send him to Japan hoping he will hinder the Hand Ninjas for them. Unfortunately they send him into a binding spell.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot : A leather-clad skeleton on fire who rode a motorcycle made of flames . And that was just the first incarnation of the character.
- Not a Mask : Occasionally has to patiently explain this to various superheroes and other people he meets. They usually take it well.
- Not The Illness That Killed Them : After Johnny Blaze realised that his father, a stuntman, suffers from lung cancer, he made a Deal with the Devil (Mephistopheles or Mephisto): his soul for his father's health. The father was completely healed the next day but died anyway later by failing his trick. When Johnny tries to blame Mephistopheles for his father's death, the latter replies that he has nothing to do with it : Johnny's father's death is a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome and, because he kept his promise, Johnny's soul is his property anyway.
- One-Steve Limit Blackheart the demon, the Blackheart project started by the evil monks, or the kid who calls himself Blackheart? Anton Satan or Anton Hellgate? Daniel the host of Noble Kale or Daniel the angel?
- The Order : The Blood, ancient defenders of the Earth who at one point fought alongside the spirits of vengeance. One of their modern descendants is the Caretaker.
- Our Spirits Are Different : All the Ghost Riders except for John Blaze/Zarathos are vengeance spirits with human hosts. Zarathos manipulated the spirits of vengeance into helping him against his rival, Mephisto. Mephisto forced Zarathos to live like a Ghost Rider when the spirits wised up and deserted him. He eventually comes to like it though .
- Our Vampires Are Different : Night Terror had the ability to see a person's memories by drinking their blood.
- Painful Transformation : Complete with Transformation Trauma .
- Phlebotinum Rebel : The original pitch was John Blaze eventually learning to use the devil's power for good. This was retconned to Mephisto not getting everything he wanted out of the deal but still upsetting Naomi Kale and Zarathos, so the Ghost Rider thing mostly succeeded in its intended purpose.
- Playing with Fire : Hellfire, though Noble Kale/Danny Ketch later discovered how to produce natural flames as well.
- Polly Wants a Microphone : Mister Eleven, a talking crow. There have been talking crows in real life but it was still suspicious, as it was trying to take advantage of Danny Ketch's depression. It ended up leading him to Zadkiel.
- Post-Modern Magik : Ghost Riders have triumphed over things such as enchanted drills designed to penetrate spirit barriers, demonic truck driving human traffickers and Well Intentioned Extremists trying to rid the Earth of sin by blasting it with hellfire from a space station. In some cases, anything the Ghost Rider utilizes is warped by his essence into something befitting his power. This extends from what he rides to what he weaponizes.
- Pronouncing My Name for You : Anton Satan will insist his name is not to be pronounced how an given English speaker would read it. In case you were wondering, it's supposed to be pronounced Shu-tan.
- Prophetic Name : Johnny Blaze.
- Pulling Themselves Together : The Ghost Rider, though rarely since his individual parts are nigh unbreakable and held together with unnatural fire, will do this eventually if his body is separated in any way. Skinbender can do this too.
- Retcon : A pretty bad case. First Blaze gets a whole new bunch of relatives he didn't know he had, then even the origin of the Ghost Riders is completely changed. And let's not get even started on whether it was Satan, Mephisto, or Lucifer, or all of them, who was behind everything.
- Rogues' Gallery Transplant : Scarecrow was originally a Silver Age villain for Iron Man , then fought Captain America and The Falcon for a while; when he tried murdering people to attract Cap's attention, he ended up attracting Ghost Rider instead, and the two have since clashed multiple times; more recently he's just been a random villain all over the MU, showing up in several different books.
- Scissors Cuts Rock : The Ghost Rider manages to defeat water-based powers with his fiery abilities since he can both make fire hot enough to evaporate water and hell fire, which doesn't need air. Some opponents have used some unnatural water sources to counter him though. Such as when Water Wizard got his powers enhanced by an evil sorcerer.
- Secret Legacy : It was kept secret from John Blaze and Danny Ketch specifically because their mother didn't want any of her kids taking up the mantel, which happened anyway, despite her efforts.
- Serial Killer : Icebox Bob, an undead serial killer.
- Shotguns Are Just Better : Blaze has a hellfire shotgun.
- Shovel Strike : Specialty of the Caretaker.
- Skull for a Head : One that's on fire, no less.
- Spikes of Villainy : Vengeance and Buttview.
- Spin-Off : During the 90s run of the comic, two other books were introduced: Spirits of Vengeance , which showed further adventures of Danny Ketch, Johnny Blaze and Vengeance; and Blaze , which followed Johnny Blaze's quest to find his kids.
- Later they attempted to justify this by making it so that Ghost Rider could be as powerful as necessary to get the job done. During the World War Hulk crossover event, Dr. Strange flat out calls the Ghost Rider the most powerful being on Earth. He then stated that it's the host of the spirit of vengeance that limits the entity simply by "being human".
- Strong as They Need to Be : Originally, the idea for the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider was to become more powerful than the Blaze version he replaced. This happened and all was good. Then Blaze Rider came back and was for some reason just as strong as the powered up Danny. Since it wasn't explained it makes some of Blaze's earlier comics seem silly when he struggles with much less demanding problems.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills : He can't drown and water can't put out hellfire.
- The Syndicate : Like many gang related villains, Deathwatch wanted to be the Kingpin of Crime. Ghost Rider kept getting in his way of course.
- Talking Is a Free Action : Yes, Ghost Rider can hold a conversation with people while speeding around them on his motorcycle, somehow, noise of the engines be damned!
- Tank Goodness : Subverted. Ghost Rider's motorcycle splits it in half without even slowing down.
- Terror Hero : Type 4 and 5.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill : The Danny Ketch version only.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee : Basically applies to Ghost Rider's victory over Lucifer during the storyline where Lucifer had manifested on Earth in multiple bodies that would become stronger as each of them was killed. One prior comic was focused on Johnny killing various Lucifer fragments while reflecting on a good idea he'd just had, but it wasn't until the final confrontation that the reader learned what this 'good idea' was; Johnny would leave one Lucifer fragment in a paralysed, brain-dead state so that he could trick Lucifer into facing him at half strength and kill the two weakened Lucifers simultaneously.
- Variable-Length Chain : Danny Ketch's weapon of choice as a Ghost Rider.
- Vengeful Ghost : Invoked, being more known as "The Spirit of Vengeance" in any of his incarnations (excepting the first Western version, later known as "Phantom Rider", a vigilante that takes the "ghost" as his alter-ego instead being really dead).
- Weaksauce Weakness : Because the Penance Stare's ability to cause pain is so powerful, it has several of these. If the victim has more than two eyes, or are blind, Ghost Rider can't use it on them. It won't hurt people who do not have souls and if they can't actually feel pain it is worthless. It also will not work on lords of hell. And if the target has a penance stare too, he'll get it right back. It also backfires or is completely ineffective against the insane and those who are bonded with a symbiote. It's also ineffective against those who are incapable of remorse or just don't care about the suffering they've caused. Ghost Rider's strong enough to beat most targets regardless but these at least make him do more than look at an opponent disapprovingly to beat him.
- Wolverine Publicity : Ghost Rider was Marvel's first really popular Anti-Hero, and throughout The '70s (and later again in the 90s) he would pop up in some other Marvel property at least on the cover about once a month.
Ghost Rider's "Hellmouth" ability allows him to create a "drop" in the form of a portal to Hell, into which hapless enemies can be shoved.
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Other individuals include Johnny's half-brother Danny Ketch , who was imbued with a Spirit of Vengeance by the medallion on his motorcycle's gas cap; Alejandra Jones , who was chosen to become Zarathos' next host after Blaze gave up his demonic powers; and Robbie Reyes , who was indwelled by a Spirit of Vengeance after being mortally wounded and possessed by the demonic ghost of his uncle Eli Morrow.
- 2 Ghost Rider Related
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When Calls Galactus
- Episode aired Nov 18, 1995
Galactus' new slave and herald, double-crossing Terrax, asks Fantastic Four for help. However, Johnny's Inhuman girlfriend Frankie supports Galactus. Thor arrives to help the Fantastic Four ... Read all Galactus' new slave and herald, double-crossing Terrax, asks Fantastic Four for help. However, Johnny's Inhuman girlfriend Frankie supports Galactus. Thor arrives to help the Fantastic Four and even mythical Ghost Rider intervenes. Galactus' new slave and herald, double-crossing Terrax, asks Fantastic Four for help. However, Johnny's Inhuman girlfriend Frankie supports Galactus. Thor arrives to help the Fantastic Four and even mythical Ghost Rider intervenes.
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- Quinton Flynn
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- Mr. Fantastic
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- Terrax the Terrible
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- (as Leeza Miller)
- (as John Rhys-Davis)
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Did you know
- Trivia A Ghost Rider animated series was in development but the series' imagery and use of demonic elements made the show difficult to adapt for children.
Thor : [to Galactus] Stay thy hand, villain! I command thee, halt!
- Connections Referenced in Brick Madness (2017)
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- November 18, 1995 (United States)
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- Runtime 22 minutes
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13 Ghost Rider Stories You Have to Read
13 Ghost Rider stories to fire up your apetite for the Spiirit of Vengeange.
SPOILER WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for various Ghost Rider comic book stories. Proceed at the risk of incurring the wrath of Zarathos.
With "Agents of SHIELD" adding Ghost Rider to its roster Season Four, new comic book readers and established ones alike might want to peruse some of the various Spirit of Vengeance adventures at Marvel Comics over the years. As one of the most powerful and visually badass characters in the history of the company, it's no surprise that Ghost Rider has cultivated such a passionate following. Luckily, he's not just a pretty (flaming) face.
RELATED: 12 More Unexpected Marvel Characters We Want to See on "Agents of SHIELD"
Regardless of who stars as the titular hero, Ghost Rider's street level-meets-supernatural adventures have been just as fun and compelling as his iconic look. His stories have captivated readers throughout his countless appearances, either as cameos in other books or in his own solo series. But what are some of the stories you absolutely, positively have to read while getting fired up for his starring role on TV? Allow CBR to help, with the following list of top Ghost Rider tales!
13 All-New Ghost Rider: Engines of Vengeance
Roughly two years before his appearance in the new episodes of Agents of SHIELD, East L.A. mechanic Robbie Reyes became a muscle car-driving Spirit of Vengeance in the first arc of the "All-New Ghost Rider" title. In "Engines of Vengeance," written by Felipe Smith with kinetic art from Tradd Moore, you'll get to know how Reyes is depicted in comics while watching him on the tube. Issues #1-5 see Robbie murdered and later possessed by Eli Morrow to stop drug lords, gang wars and Mister Hyde , all while caring for his disabled brother Gabe. Thanks to his appearance in Agents of SHIELD, Robbie Reyes will be returning to the comic book page in another series that will surely see him wreaking fiery havoc on evil doers.
12 Fear Itself: Ghost Rider
Vengeance isn't confined to just one gender as Marvel's 2011 company wide crossover "Fear Itself" showed readers. In it, a woman named Alejandra Jones becomes Ghost Rider after a being named Adam removes the curse from Johnny Blaze. Blaze's freedom comes with a price as he must ally himself with Mephisto to save humanity. Blaze frees Alejandra from Adam, but she chooses to not let the former Ghost Rider train her as she goes out to find sinners and clean up the world, all while using powers previous Ghost Riders had never exhibited. Not only was this an interesting way to introduce a new concept to the Ghost Rider lore, with Alejandra being the first female Rider, it was also a decent character piece that showed the difference between Jones and Blaze's approach to vengeance: a staple in the Ghost Rider tradition.
11 Marvel Spotlight #5
This is the one that started it all, introducing Marvel readers to the character who was literally hell on wheels. While he was neither the first Ghost Rider (that distinction belongs to the 1967 western character at Marvel), nor the last, Johnny Blaze is perhaps the best known of the bunch and remains as the name most readily associated with his gruesome counterpart. Creators Roy Thomas , Gary Frederich and Mike Ploog brought Blaze to the comic book pages in 1972's "Marvel Spotlight" #5, igniting a legacy that has tripped through hundreds of comics and two (admittedly dicey) films. In his debut issue, Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the devil to save his mentor and father figure, Craig "Crash" Simpson. The result of his Faustian pact was Blaze becoming a motorcycle-riding vigilante with supernatural powers and a flaming skull. This classic Bronze Age entertainment mixes eerie horror and superhero action that has so far lasted the test of time. For new Ghost Rider fans and old hat completists, it is not to be missed.
10 Hearts Of Darkness
Danny Ketch, later revealed to be Johnny Blaze's brother, was the Ghost Rider of the 1990s. In fact, to many fans, he remains the image most often conjured when the character is mentioned. Teaming Ketch's Rider with other popular anti-heroes Wolverine and the Punisher , made perfect sense from a sales point of view -- it was a dream match-up for the grim, gritty storytelling so popular at the time. "Hearts of Darkness" by writer Howard Mackie and artists John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson sees the lethal trio pitted against the nefarious demon known as Blackheart, who plans to tempt them into helping him kill and usurp the ultimate big-bad in the Marvel universe, Mephisto. That goes as well as you might expect, leading to a fiery conflict with the Lord of Hell, himself! As huge as its final battle is, "Hearts of Darkness" is also one hell of a ride along the way. While his Ketch resembles Peter Parker at times, John Romita JR's art is at its level best, particularly when it comes to his Blackheart. A sequel titled “Dark Design” was published in 1994, but the original is, without question, the king of all Marvel anti-hero team-ups, and a great place to start for new Ghost Rider fans craving a deeper dive into his dark mythos.
9 Ghost Rider: Hell Bent And Heaven Bound
"Hell Bent and Heaven Bound" marks Jason Aaron's beginning on "Ghost Rider." This arc, consisting of issues #20-25 of his 2008-2009 run, sees Johnny Blaze searching for the angel Zadkiel while Heaven is in the middle of a war. It also marks the return of fan favorite Danny Ketch. Its deliciously over-the-top plot, mixed with motorcycle-based supernatural action, makes this arc feel like the best drive-in Grindhouse movie to ever come to comics. Hell, this should have been the Nic Cage movies! Even if you don't normally read comics, this is the perfect Ghost Rider story to check out. With its marriage of horror and action, along with Aaron's unique storytelling style and grasp of character, this doesn't feel like your typical superhero comic book and can thus be enjoyed by fans who are either unfamiliar or disenfranchised by the capes-and-spandex spectrum of the medium. It's a fantastic entry point into the Ghost Rider character, which is even further expanded upon by Jason Aaron throughout his critically-acclaimed run. Check it out! We promise you won't be sorry.
8 Ghost Rider v1 #49-50
If you're into that drive-in movie vibe in your comics, you will also have to check out Michael Fleisher and Don Perlin's 1980 tale of Johnny Blaze in "Ghost Rider" #49-50. Johnny Blaze travels back in time to the old west and meets the original Ghost Rider, who is called Night Rider in the book (and later renamed Phantom Rider). This one's got something for everyone: cowboys and Native Americans, gigantic birds with lightning vision, frontier voodoo, and of course, a team-up that makes Kirk and Picard's in Star Trek: Generations look like senseless mush (which it kind of was, but we digress...) This is bodacious Bronze Age fun from the same year that gave us John Carpenter's "The Fog" and David Bowie's “Ashes to Ashes.” There's magic, time travel and adventure for western, horror and superhero fans alike. With its focus on the tradition of the Ghost Rider legend (at least in name), no true fan should skip this story. In many ways, this was the first Rider story to tease the character's legacy, which now continues with the appearance of Robbie Reyes in "Agents of SHIELD."
7 Ghost Rider v1 #68
Roger Stern wrote some of the best comic books of the Bronze (or any other) Age, and his take on the Ghost Rider character is no exception. “The Curse of Johnny Blaze” offers up the origin of the titular Spirit of Vengeance with some extra little details, delivered to the reader in the form of a confession by Johnny Blaze at church. The story has a plot twist worthy of "The Twilight Zone" or "Frailty," and an ending which shows that Ghost Rider is truly a Spirit of Vengeance. Stern has worked his magic on trippy tales like Doctor Strange and more light-hearted fare in his Spider-Man stories, but this issue of "Ghost Rider" will send chills up and down your spine. It will also make you wish he did more creepy ghost stories like this one. As enjoyable as "Marvel Spotlight" #5 and "Ghost Rider" #49-50, Stern's story here should not be missed by old school fans, those new to the Ghost Rider bandwagon or really just anyone looking for a good old fashioned ghost story.
6 Ghost Rider Annual Volume 3 #2, Wish for Pain (1994)
Warren Ellis' first American comics story, which is the main feature in this annual, is positively chilling. The framework of the story is basically a battle between Ghost Rider and Marvel's Scarecrow (not to be confused with DC's Jonathan Crane), while at the same time offering a terrifying and nuanced origin story for the villain. From the insight into the Scarecrow's past to Ghost Rider's methods of stopping (and punishing) him, page after page of this epic drawn by Javier Saltares is filled with what would these days be called "WTF" moments, but resonate with timeless terror. It's also a fantastic character piece, exploring the differences and similarities within the battling nemeses. This, of course, will surprise no one who is a fan of Warren Ellis. Damn creepy, and perfect for those Ghost Rider fans looking to have the crap scared out of them, this story is guaranteed to make you sleep with the lights on. What happens to Scarecrow at the vengeful hands of Ghost Rider will be burned in your mind for years to come. Pun definitely intended. Pick this annual up... if you dare!
5 Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation
In the year 2000, "Preacher" creator Garth Ennis revitalized the Punisher to well-deserved acclaim. He did the same thing with Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider five or so years later with "Road to Damnation" featuring art by Clayton Crain. As the demon Kazaan literally tries to bring about Hell on Earth, Johnny Blaze, who has been trapped in hell for two years, makes a deal with the angel Malachi: if he and his flame-headed alter ego Ghost Rider help stop Kazaan, they will be freed. Ghost Rider must race against the archangel Ruth and the demon Hoss, with the winner of the three having to face Kazaan and hold the fate of humanity in their hands. This has all the great elements that Garth Ennis' stories usually do: darkness, humor and a characteristic atmosphere that isn't typical of most other writers' styles. Like the character of Ghost Rider, who quite literally rode the line between superhero and horror movie antagonist, Ennis blended genres in a way nobody previously believed possible. If this isn't in your Ghost Rider collection, it should be. It's damn good reading.
4 Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears
After the success of "Road to Damnation," Garth Ennis and artist Clayton Crain returned for "Trail of Tears." This time, the Spirit of Vengeance is Confederate soldier Travis Parham. He is saved by former slave Caleb, who then becomes the Ghost Rider of the book thanks, in part, to a cave full of skulls. Upon leaving Caleb to seek his own fortune, Parham learns what hell truly can be in this masterfully crafted saga that shows readers that vendettas can span generations. This creative team raised the bar on not only Ghost Rider stories, but on how comics should be in general. With his perfect blending of genres and more of the great storytelling that made Garth Ennis a household name, "Trail of Tears" is an incredible reading experience from start to finish. It pulls no punches and doesn't sugarcoat the issues of its two prevailing themes: vengeance and racism. It's like some of the best of Serling, Roddenberry or even Mantlo. For this reason, "Trail of Tears" should be on your Ghost Rider shelf, or in your longbox if you read single issues.
3 Ghost Rider and Blaze: Road to Vengeance
Before Marvel Knights , and even before Marvel Edge, there was the unfortunately short-lived imprint known as Midnight Sons. Capitalizing on the craze for bloodier, grittier comics at the time, Midnight Sons was populated by the darker supernatural heroes in the Marvel Universe. Crossovers were a regular treat in the shadowed pages of these comics, teaming up characters that were often background noise in other Marvel events. “Road to Vengeance: Missing Link” was one such saga, with the "Ghost Rider" book (starring the Danny Ketch version) and "Spirits of Vengeance" acting as chapters feeding into the overall arc. Most of the story focuses on the past of Ghost Rider-esque character, Vengeance, who learns of his past. It also features the devilish machinations of regular series baddie Lilith and Zarathos, the demon that Mephisto bonded with Johnny Blaze during his tenure on the fiery motorcycle. Despite what you might think, the nostalgia around the Midnight Sons period should take nothing away from the enjoyment (or impact) of those stories. The work of Howard Mackie and Ron Garney truly stands the test of time in this demon-drenched saga, which remains a firm "must" for any and all Ghost Rider fans!
2 The End of Ghost Rider
Like Roger Stern, J.M. DeMatteis has written some of the best comic books in the Bronze Age. Perhaps best known for his Spider-Man and Justice League stories, he also wrote ten issues of the first Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider book (#67, #71 and #74-81). He ended his all-too short run and the entire series with “The End of Ghost Rider” arc. A former servant of Mephisto Centurious, traps Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze in a soul crystal. The resulting battle for control of Blaze's body breaks the jewel, freeing Blaze from Zarathos. Of course, that isn't the last of the demon, who returns many times to make Johnny Blaze's life hell through the years. In "The End of Ghost Rider," J.M. DeMatteis has crafted a truly dark comic. It may even rival the more well-known books in his library of creations over the years, like "Kraven's Last Hunt" and his run on Justice League Dark. Beyond anything else it achieves, however, is that fact that DeMatteis gives Johnny Blaze a satisfying conclusion to his first series of adventures behind the flaming bike. Fans of DeMatteis and Ghost Rider alike should not miss this one at all; required reading for every Ghost Rider fan.
1 Rise of the Midnight Sons
This was the official start of Marvel's Midnight Sons imprint. Like all comics, there were some good and bad stories published under its masthead at the time, but “Rise of the Midnight Sons” definitely falls into the former category. Lilith, the Mother of all Demons, has been resurrected, and it's up to Danny Ketch, Johnny Blaze and others from the dark mystical corners of the Marvel Universe to stop her. Like "Road to Vengeance," while this may be a book that could be mired in too much nostalgia, for us, it still holds up today. At the same time, not only is it a great showcase of some of the more under-utilized characters at the time (and now, for that matter), it's also an interesting look back into some of the prevailing themes of the time. With appearances from characters like Blade , Hannibal King, Morbius the Living Vampire and of course, our flaming chum, the Ghost Rider, "Rise of the Midnight Sons" contained an unholy host of disquieting demonic action and literally wicked cameos! Like the rest of the comic books on this list, this now-legendary crossover will fire up your appetite for Ghost Rider and set your flaming wheels spinning for more!
Which unmissable Ghost Rider did we miss? Set your Penance Stare to full-blast and drop your unholy knowledge in the comments section!
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Ghost Rider" airs on Tuesday at 10 p.m. on ABC.
New ghost rider will replace the original in 2024, marvel announces.
2024 begins a new era for the Spirit of Vengeance, as Ghost Rider #1 empowers a new hero with Marvel's ultimate demonic force.
- A new Ghost Rider is coming to Marvel Comics, marking the beginning of a fresh era for the Spirit of Vengeance.
- Talia Warroad, a former SHIELD agent and ally of Johnny Blaze, is the likely candidate to become the next Spirit of Vengeance.
- Ghost Rider #1 is coming March 2024, from Benjamin Percy and Danny Kim.
A new Ghost Rider is coming to Marvel Comics, as the publisher teases a fresh era for the Spirit of Vengeance. Ever since the mammoth-riding caveman hero of 1,000,000 BC, there has been a Ghost Rider in Marvel lore, and now a new hero will take up the mantle.
In a new press release, Marvel has revealed that March 2024 will see the beginning of a new Ghost Rider series from Benjamin Percy and Danny Kim. So far, very little is known, but Marvel has shared Juan Ferreyra's cover, along with the phrase "Who is the new Spirit of Vengeance?"
Currently, the Ghost Rider title is held by its most iconic and original bearer, the former stunt driver Johnny Blaze. However, as Blaze tangles with the Cult of Mephisto, things are about to change. Marvel says:
Rev your engines for a new era of GHOST RIDER from writer Benjamin Percy and artist Danny Kim coming in March 2024. Learn more in the coming weeks.
X-Men's Most Underrated Hero Killed Ghost Rider in One Hit
A new ghost rider takes the mantle, johnny blaze's fight against the cult of mephisto will have consequences.
The Spirit of Vengeance is an ancient spirit that embodies the cosmic need to punish evil deeds, and has almost limitless power to visit suffering on the deserving. However, the Spirit is so powerful and so ruthless, it requires a human host to balance its thirst for revenge with morality and compassion - otherwise, it would avenge every minor moment of misbehavior with hellfire. As Marvel's most potent demonic force, Mephisto has repeatedly meddled with the Spirit of Vengeance's path, and now it seems the Cult of Mephisto will carry on this grand tradition, with the summary for the upcoming Ghost Rider #21 speculating what stopping the cult means for the future of the Ghost Rider, and asking "Could this be the end of an era?" Jan Bazaldua's cover art shows Johnny Blaze's flaming head going out in a plume of smoke.
Talia Warroad Is the Obvious Candidate for New Ghost Rider
Johnny blaze's ally may be destined for the role.
The most obvious candidate to become the next Spirit of Vengeance is Talia Warroad . A former SHIELD agent and paranormal investigator, Talia has been working with Ghost Rider to bring down major supernatural threats, having been drawn to Blaze through a series of supernatural visions. It would make sense for these visions to have been telling Talia more than she realized, and actually predicting her future as the next host of the Spirit of Vengeance.
Strangely, if Talia does become Ghost Rider, she will be the second former SHIELD agent to replace a lethal Marvel hero in months - assassin Joe Garrison just became Marvel's new Punisher , following Frank Castle's exile to Weirdworld. Ghost Rider and Punisher have a long history of working together, and it would be cool to see Talia and Joe team-up as the deadly 'new kids' in the Marvel Universe.
Punisher and Ghost Rider have the same cosmic origin. Defenders Beyond revealed the existence of 'Of-Vengeance' - an archetypal god from an earlier version of the universe. Of-Vengeance is the mystical forerunner to Ghost Rider and Punisher, and the design of each hero comes from the skull-headed god .
Who is the new Ghost Rider, will they be a hero, and what vehicle will they choose for this new era of adventure? Marvel promises more news in the weeks to come, as a new Ghost Rider takes their place in Marvel lore.
Ghost Rider #1 is coming March 2024.
Marvel Reveals the Identity of Its New, Villainous Ghost Rider
Posted: January 12, 2024 | Last updated: January 12, 2024
Marvel Comics has revealed the supervillain who will take on the Ghost Rider mantle in Benjamin Percy and Danny Kim’s Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance .
For months, Marvel has teased that Final Vengeance would see a villainous new Ghost Rider appropriate the Spirit of Vengeance for their own nefarious purposes, forcing Johnny Blaze on a quest to reclaim his title. The publisher has now announced that the new Ghost Rider is none other than Parker Robbins, better known as the Hood . Marvel has also revealed artist Juan Ferreyra’s cover art for Final Vengeance #2 (on sale Wednesday, April 18), showcasing the Hood’s fiery new form.
Check out Juan Ferreyra’s cover art for Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance #2 below:
“Some villains you know all too well. Doctor Doom. Thanos. Mephisto. But I find it especially fun to bring the lesser known baddies out of the shadows and give them a shot at a starring role. That’s what I did with Omega Red during X LIVES OF WOLVERINE/X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE — and that’s what I’m doing now with Ghost Rider,” Percy said.
“The Hood wants a taste of the big-time. And he’s made a deal with the devil to help him on his way,” the writer continued. “This is what happens when the Spirit of Vengeance is stripped from Johnny Blaze and grafted on to a character who has no moral compass. An epic crime saga — flavored with horror — awaits readers in GHOST RIDER: FINAL VENGEANCE.”
Who is Marvel’s Parker Robbins, aka the Hood?
Created by Brian K. Vaughan and Kyle Hotz, Parker Robbins first appeared in 2002’s Hood #1. Parker was merely a petty criminal before besting a Nisanti demon (later revealed to be Dormammu in disguise). He claimed the demon’s cloak and boots, which granted him powers like invisibility and levitation. With these abilities at his disposal, the Hood became a significant player in New York’s criminal underworld.
The Hood is more often than not depicted as a power-hungry villain, (though he has flirted with becoming an anti-hero on occasion). The character will soon make his way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts star Anthony Ramos is attached to portray Parker Robbins in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart. Originally slated for a late-2023 debut, the show currently lacks an official premiere date.
In the meantime, Ghost Rider: Final Vengeance #1 goes on sale Wednesday, March 13 from Marvel Comics.
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