Ghost Rider is the name of several fictional supernatural antiheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The first supernatural Ghost Rider is stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who, in order to save the life of his father, agreed to give his soul to “Satan” (later revealed to be an arch-demon named Mephisto). At night and when around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull. He rides a fiery motorcycle and wields blasts of hellfire from his body, usually from his skeletal hands. He eventually learns he has been bonded with the demon Zarathos.
Danny Ketch as a new Ghost Rider. After his sister was injured by ninja gangsters, Ketch came in contact with a motorcycle that had somehow been mystically enchanted to contain the essence of a Spirit of Vengeance.Danny and his sister were Johnny Blaze’s long lost siblings
Powers and abilities
The Ghost Rider is a human who can transform into a skeletal superhuman wreathed in ethereal flame and given supernatural powers. The motorcycles he rides can travel faster than any conventional vehicle and can perform such seemingly impossible feats as riding up a vertical surface, across water surfaces and leaping across great distances that normal motorcycles cannot. The Ghost Riders are virtually indestructible and notoriously hard to injure by any conventional means, as bullets and knives usually pass through them without causing pain (knives are seen to melt while in their body).It is possible that they are genuinely immortal, as it is said that God created them and only God can destroy them. Despite being composed of bone and hellfire, the Ghost Riders possess formidable superhuman strength, enough to easily pick up a truck and hurl it across a road. It has been stated that Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider can press around 25 tons (50,000 lbs) (or more as seen in World War Hulk).
Each Ghost Rider entity also had abilities specific to him or her.
Originally when Blaze transformed into Ghost Rider, his body changed but not the clothes he was wearing. In his new incarnation, this is different and his clothes take on a different appearance with a spiked leather jacket and chains. As Ghost Rider, he can cause his motorcycle to transform and surround itself with hellfire or he can create a new cycle from pure hellfire. He is also capable of projecting hellfire as a weapon. Hellfire “burns the soul” without leaving physical injuries on the victim and its effects have been seen as similar to the “Penance Stare.” During this series Dr. Strange states that Ghost Rider protects only the innocent, which none of the Illuminati are. In recent comics Blaze’s Ghost Rider has been given the “Penance Stare” and mystical chain, both of which were specific to the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider. Blaze also uses a shotgun and discovered that he can discharge hellfire from the weapon when he first encountered Ketch. He also now has new abilities including hellfire breath and the ability to produce chains from either his throat or chest. He is also now able to travel between the incorporeal realms.
When Ketch transformed into Ghost Rider, his clothes changed with him, taking on the appearance of a spiked leather jacket with chains, gray leather pants and spiked gloves and boots. Likewise, his motorcycle underwent a radical transformation, changing from a conventional into a high-tech motorcycle (this transformation was not strictly limited to the motorcycle he found in the cemetery as he was once seen to be able to transform another cycle in “Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness”). Along with flaming wheels that allow the bike to nearly fly across surfaces, the bike included a shield-like battering ram on the front. As the Ghost Rider, Ketch used a mystical chain which responded to his mental commands. It could grow in length, alter direction while in the air, stiffen into a staff or spear, and separate into several links which can strike like shrapnel and then return to their original form. Daniel’s most famous power was the Penance Stare. By locking eyes with a target and mentally focusing, the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider was able to make the target experience all the pain they had ever inflicted on anyone else. Some beings have shown resistance to this ability, such as Venom and Carnage as their alien symbiote “costumes” do not technically have eyes; and Madcap who is so masochistic he claims to enjoy the experience. In the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series, this ability was shown to be powerful enough to bring down the mighty Galactus, as Ghost Rider forced Galactus to feel the pain of all those who had died as a result of his feeding on their planets
The ghost of Eli Morrow that inhabits Robbie’s body is not, according to Johnny Blaze, a true Spirit of Vengeance. Regardless, he gives Robbie several abilities similar to that of other Ghost Riders, including the power to manifest and control chains ending in thin knives or sickles.The black muscle car that Morrow’s ghost initially inhabits is linked to the Ghost Rider, allowing Robbie in his Ghost Rider form to instantly teleport to and/or merge with the car. The car can also be driven remotely, and Robbie’s Ghost Rider form can pass harmlessly through it, allowing it to drive into foes. The car’s trunk, when opened, acts as a portal, allowing the Ghost Rider to transport anything, including people, to any location. It is unknown if Robbie’s Ghost Rider form possesses the more “Biblical” abilities of other Ghost Riders such as the Penance Stare. Eli is able to take full control of Robbie’s body when the teen gives in to his negative emotions, signified by a pallid skin tone and both of his eyes turning orange.
GHOST RIDER’S THIRST FOR VENGEANCE WILL DESTROY THE TEAM, ON ABC’S ‘MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.’
“Lockup” – As Robbie Reyes struggles to control The Ghost Rider, S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrates a high-security prison to unravel the secrets that haunt them all, on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network.
Other Spirits of Vengeance
Michael Badilino, an ex-member of the New York City Police Department, is one third of an “Organic Medallion of Power”; the other two are Ketch and Blaze (the Medallion itself was never explained in any true detail). He possesses powers more in line with those of the Zarathos version of Ghost Rider, although he also possesses the Penance Stare and his motorcycle seemed to share characteristics with the Noble Kale version. His appearance is distinguished by a deep purple skull, large fangs protruding from his upper jaw, and back swept curved horns on the top of his skull. Badilino was called Vengeance, and originally attempted to kill the Ghost Rider, believing him to be Zarathos. Vengeance later became the ally of Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze. Vengeance would also take on the role of the Ghost Rider and even semi-seriously referred to himself by that name when confronted by Spider-Man shortly after the apparent death of Ghost Rider in battle with Zarathos and acolytes The Fallen.
The Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance
Seven riders show their flaming heads for the first time in this story arc by writer Jason Aaron and artist Tan Eng Huat. Daniel Ketch returns with a new mission: to collect the powers of all the Ghost Riders for the angel Zadkiel to prevent the corruption of the powers with their human hosts. Zadkiel has other motives he keeps to himself, of which he needs the powers of the riders to tear down the walls of New Jerusalem and wage war on the heavens.
Trail of Tears
. Set during the American Civil War, it finds Confederate officer Travis Parham avenging the murders of his friend, an ex-slave named Caleb and Caleb’s family. Parham meets a horse-riding Ghost Rider who seeks the same men. Eventually, Parham learns about the deaths instrumental in helping set forth the Spirit of Vengeance.
Ghost Rider Enemies
A former soldier who gained the power to control water and was hired to kill Ghost Rider. He would become a frequent opponent to the hero afterwards.
Johnny Blaze’s wife, who was revived as a servant for Blackheart and later married Ghost Rider Noble Kale.
Mephisto’s son, Blackheart, created a group of Spirits of Vengeance to battle Ghost Rider in hopes of conquering Hell. Instead, Ghost Rider Noble Kale defeats him and takes over his portion of Hell.
A Lilin who worked under Deathwatch that frequently crossed swords with Ghost Rider. After the hero burned him to disfigurement, Blackout learned his secret identity and began killing his loved ones and acquaintances. Blackout appears as a henchman of Mephisto
A servant of Mephisto who sought to battle Zarathos, Centurious was the head of the Firm and targeted Ghost Rider for his association with the demon.
An agent of Zadkiel given power in order to destroy Ghost Rider.
Daniel Ketch’s mortal enemy. A Translord from an unknown demonic dimension posing as a crime boss in New York in an attempt to murder its residents. He would later die at the hands of Ghost Rider then be resurrected as a servant for Centurious.
Francisco Fuentes was an acquaintance of Danny Ketch who was murdered while walking his dog Chupi. He was resurrected by Blackheart, merged with Chupi, and became his servant.
An agent of Centurious who infiltrated Deathwatch’s ranks who frequently battled Ghost Rider.
An Faltine from another dimension who battle Ghost Rider
Hag and Troll
Demons under Deathwatch, they were his most loyal servants.
A demon. Occasionally an ally of the Ghost Rider, and known for driving a red car.
The Antichrist who hoped to enter Heaven and destroy it.
An ancient immortal sorceress from Atlantis, Lilith giave birth to the Lilin over the centuries and was imprisoned until recently. Upon her freedom, she discovered many of her kind had been murdered by the Spirits of Vengeance and sought their demise. Her four most loyal children are Pilgrim, Nakota, Meatmarket, and Blackout.
Lucifer, like the other Hell-lords, sought to remove the human component from the Ghost Rider in hopes it became a mindless killing machine to eliminate humanity. However, Ghost Rider proved too strong and Lucifer was exiled to Perdition. Later, Lucifer would be the demon charged with torturing Zadkiel for all of eternity.
A lunatic cursed with immortality and enhanced healing capabilities, Madcap has fought several of New York’s heroes with Ghost Rider one of his most frequent opponents.
Johnny Blaze’s arch-enemy. A demon who posed as the Devil himself to claim Johnny Blaze’s soul. Mephisto is the one responsible for bringing Ghost Rider into Johnny’s life. Ghost Rider, however, is able to resist the evil that overcame him long ago, and is now able to use his powers for good no matter what. Angered, Mephisto sought revenge against Ghost Rider, and now constantly tries to win his creation back. Mephisto appears under the name Mephistopheles in the 2007 Ghost Rider film.
Crash Simpson’s (mentor to Johnny Blaze) partner in his traveling motorcycle stunt show, Drake Shannon lost most of his face in a challenge against Crash for the business. Given an eyeball-like helmet by They Who Wield Power able to hypnotize others, he would return to try and reclaim the stunt show but was foiled by Ghost Rider. He would return as one of Ghost Rider’s most frequent enemies.
A contortionist, Ebenezer Laughton decided to use his gifts as a thief. In time, he would turn to murder and brought into conflict with Ghost Rider and nearly killed from the encounter. The Firm turned him into an undead creature, bearing superhuman abilities and able to induce fear in others (whose fear could heal his wounds), setting him upon the Spirit of Vengeance again (becoming a frequent foe).
Steel Wind’s sister, Sadae Tsumura gave her soul to Centurious to save her sister after an encounter with Ghost Rider left her comatose. Sadae was turned into Steel Vengeance, a cyborg bent on killing Ghost Rider.
Following a freak explosion, Ruriko Tsumura was remade as a cyborg by Freakmaster and challenged Johnny Blaze at the Quentin Carnival in cycling, defeating him and earning a place amongst them. However, she ran the business into the ground and battled Ghost Rider, leaving her comatose. She was rehabilitated by Centurious and used as his agent. In time, she would instead become Ghost Rider’s ally.
A Spirit of Vengeance, Lt. Michael Badilino sold his soul to Mephisto to gain the power to destroy Ghost Rider (whom he blamed for the death of his family). When he learned it was instead Zarathos, he became Ghost Rider’s ally.
An archangel who sought to usurp Heaven due to his hatred for God’s admiration of humanity. Using Ghost Rider to kill other Spirits of Vengeance in order to empower himself, Zadkiel took the throne and cast out Ghost Rider. The hero would return with the dead Spirits of Vengeance to defeat Zadkiel and imprison him in Hell.
A demon bound to Johnny Blaze by Mephisto to become the Ghost Rider. He would, however, come to exert control over the entity, but ultimately would be separated from Blaze in the conflict against Centurious. He would later renew his alliance with Lilith.
Zadkiel – Archangel of Vengeance
Ghost Rider villains is their link to evil. Most of his nemeses are, in some way, connected to the lower levels of the underworld and hell. (Reviewing the earlier parts of the list show us characters who were, at least, granted their powers by other denizens of evil.)
Vengeance – The “Other” Spirit of…Vengeance
Unbeknownst to many purveyors of the Ghost Rider’s Saga, he is not the only Spirit of Vengeance. In actuality, there encompasses a whole army, designed by Heaven, to be used as weapons on those who commit acts of sinful transgression. And in that horrible militia, we learned that one of them received a soul-bond similar to Johnny Blaze and Daniel Ketch. Filled with terrible wrath and a nature towards physical punishment, this creature, called Vengeance, met the too many times in conflict.