Quote1 I am Ghost Rider, the Spirit of Vengeance! Quote2
-- Ghost Rider src

Early Years

Daniel "Danny" Ketch and his sister Barbara were born to Barton Blaze and Naomi Kale, but were given away to a widowed woman named Francis Ketch when they were very young. The two grew up only knowing Mrs. Ketch as their mother, but their biological mom, Naomi Kale, continued to keep tabs on the kids until her death ten years later.[4]

When on a fifth grade field trip to Manhattan, he was interviewed on television after seeing Spider-Man and the Human Torch driving the Spider-Mobile up walls.[5] Working as a paperboy, the "nice, normal, ordinary" Danny had his photo taken with Phil and Doris Sheldon to mark Phil's decision to retire from photographing superheroes.[6]

Ghost Rider

On Halloween night when they were teenagers, Danny took his sister Barbara to a graveyard to give her the opportunity to take pictures of the grave of Harry Houdini. During this excursion, the siblings stumbled upon a confrontation between two gangs, one led by Deathwatch and the other made up of cronies belonging to the Kingpin. The two gangs began fighting each other, and Barbara cried out, causing Deathwatch to become aware of her presence. Barbara was shot through the chest with an arrow by one of Deathwatch's henchmen, so Danny grabbed his sister's body and ran away to a nearby junkyard. Distressed and covered in his sister's blood, he hid there with his sister's unconscious body from Deathwatch's henchmen until he noticed a pristine motorbike with a glowing gas cap.[2] Inspecting the glowing gas cap, Danny touched it with his blood-stained hand and instantly transformed into Ghost Rider, a Spirit of Vengeance whose mission was to take revenge on those who shed innocent blood. As Ghost Rider, both Daniel's mind and Ghost Rider's mind were in control, resulting in Danny being only somewhat influential in his own actions.

Ghost Rider confronted and began to torture the henchmen of Deathwatch, but was interrupted by the arrival of the police. Leaving Barbara's body behind, Ghost Rider escaped the police on his flaming motorbike, which had also been transformed when Danny touched the glowing gas cap. Eventually, Ghost Rider drove into a secluded alleyway where he turned back into Daniel Ketch.[2] Barbara's unconscious body was taken to a hospital by the cops, but not much time later she was killed by Blackout, who had learned Daniel's secret identity and sought revenge on Ghost Rider for burning his face (an injury Blackout actually had himself to blame for).[7] Dan's good friend Jack D'Auria was also eventually caught up in the conflict against Deathwatch's men, where he helped Ghost Rider fight them.[8]

Early Career

After the Fantastic Four mysteriously disappeared, Ketch, Wolverine, Hulk and Spider-Man joined forces to replace them until the four were rescued and a Skrull plot was exposed.[9] Ketch also briefly teamed with Wolverine and Punisher while investigating one of Blackheart's schemes. [10]

Johnny Blaze traveled from the West Coast to confront this new Ghost Rider thinking the evil spirit Zarathos had returned.[11] Blaze hunted down Ghost Rider and tried to kill him multiple times while Ghost Rider kept attempting to escape Blaze and bring Blackout, who was killing multiple people, to justice. Finally, when Blaze watched Ghost Rider save a child in Central Park that Blackout was about to kill, he became less suspicious of Ghost Rider and stopped trying to kill him. He instead decided to observe Daniel to make sure that he wasn't Zarathos, and he taught Daniel how to fight and protect himself when he wasn't transformed into Ghost Rider.[12]

It was later revealed for certain that this incarnation of Ghost Rider was not Zarathos, and that Blaze and Ketch were brothers. The family had been separated by the Blood to limit the chances of the Spirits of Vengeance forming, but Mephisto's manipulations forced them to use the powers.[13]

The two worked together to fight Zarathos and Lilith as part of the Midnight Sons. Danny Ketch seemed to die by the hands of Blackout,[14] but the Spirit of Vengeance to which he had been bound through the bike's talisman lived on. During this time Dan's only existence remained stuck in a void and would only be able to communicate with the Ghost Rider Spirit via the spirit world. [15]

Dan also had problems with his girlfriend, Stacy, who joined a task force that was designed to confront superhuman criminals and vigilantes. As the Ghost Rider, he was briefly captured, but escaped before SHIELD could examine the nature of his powers.[16]

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Noble Kale

After an attack by a mad Vengeance revealed some dark memories, Ketch consulted with Doctor Strange. It was revealed that the Ghost Rider form was actually an ancestor, Noble Kale, who had become a Spirit of Vengeance with the help of the angel Uriel. Their use of motorcycles was due to Naomi placing her medallion on her own motorcycle. This also meant Ketch and Blaze were distantly related to sorceress Jennifer Kale. This knowledge seemed to increase the power of the Ghost Rider, although he also became more distant and angry. The revelations also awakened the Furies, who had been dispatched to destroy Kale and his descendants. Jennifer sent out a mystic distress signal, which was answered by Valkyrie. Together they managed to hold off the Furies until Jennifer was able to call the spirit of Naomi to force the Furies to abandon their attack. [17]

Having recently deposed his father Mephisto, Blackheart began to attack the Ghost Rider with his own created Spirits of Vengeance. He also mocked Blaze by placing Roxanne's spirit into the Blackrose. Kale was killed by Pao Fu and taken to Blackheart's Hell. While there, Daniel Ketch apparently sacrificed himself to unlock Noble Kale's full power.[18] Kale defeated Blackheart and briefly controlled the realm until Mephisto's return. While he ruled Hell, he resurrected Dan Ketch and returned him to Earth.[19] Sometime later when Mephisto reclaimed his realm, Noble Kale returned to Earth and was forced to re-bond to Dan Ketch.[20]

Danny slipped into a coma in the mortal plane and was later revived by his dead and brother and went on to live a seemingly normal life. However, this was not to last; his longtime girlfriend Stacy found out she was pregnant with Danny's child and ran away.[21]


Sometime later, however, Dan had a change of heart and had Noble Kale exercised from his body by the technomancer Mary LeBow. No longer having the Ghost Rider's power causes Danny to fall into a deep depression, becoming a drunk who fights bar thugs for kicks. He is approached by Mister Eleven, a talking crow that continues to encounter Ketch over and over, giving him 'doses' of the Ghost Rider power, luring him in with longer amounts each time.[22]

Eleven explains to Ketch the true history of the Spirits of Vengeance and how some past Ghost Rider incarnations were unable to cope with such a magnitude of power, going insane and burning out their souls. He also explains that Verminus Rex, from Blackheart's old Spirits of Vengeance, is hunting other Ghost Riders in order to feed his own growing addiction.[23] After absorbing the spirit from another Ghost Rider that knew of Rex's location, Danny finds out where he is hiding and finishes him off, absorbing the other spirits Rex had taken in the past. Taking on such an amount of power pushes Danny over the edge, causing him to go insane. Zadkiel intervenes, offering to take away Danny's pain from the overdose and in return, Danny must gather other Spirits of Vengeance and absorb their essence in order to "save the host's soul". Desperate and with no other option, Ketch agrees, becoming a knight in Zadkiel's service.[24]

Danny is next seen in the shadows speaking on the phone with the head nurse hunting Johnny Blaze, the sign of Zadkiel on his hand. Ketch then encounters Lucas, the young boy Blaze is trying to save, and seemingly convinces the boy to kill himself.[25]

The Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance

Daniel Ketch set off on his new mission: To collect the powers of all the Ghost Riders for the angel Zadkiel to prevent the corruption of the powers within their human hosts. Zadkiel has other motives he keeps to himself--that he needs the powers of the Riders to tear down the walls of New Jerusalem and wage war on the Heaven.

Danny's first task is to destroy any evidence of his own history by attacking Caretaker and destroying his archives. Johnny Blaze and Caretaker's granddaughter, Sister Sara arrive to speak with Caretaker before he dies, but are too late to catch Danny.[15]

Ghost Rider Vol 6 29 Textless

In Tibet with Chinese soldiers harassing a village, a peasant enters on a donkey. After a few exchange of words and an order to kill given by the General, the peasant changes and kills the General's men while his back is turned. When the General turns back he sees the Ghost Rider and gets a penance stare for his trouble. After the attack the Rider goes back to his sanctuary where he is visited by Danny Ketch. A short while later Sara and Johnny Blaze arrive at the sanctuary to find out how to get back at Zadkiel. After entering, they find the peasant and donkey burnt to husks from Ketch leeching the Ghost Rider power.[26]

That night, the two are visited by Ketch and begin a battle with a show of power. When Blaze does the penance stare to his brother, he sees exactly what has transpired. Ketch has murdered the hosts of numerous riders for their powers. During a show of pity for the fallen, Ketch is able to return the stare on Blaze, and sends Blaze into temporary insanity. Before Ketch is able to take the power of Zarathos, he is stopped by the new caretaker, Sister Sara. She rescues Blaze and they go to a safehouse where they are visited by two more Ghost Riders, the Arabic Molek and the Chinese Bai Gu Jing, who are aware of Zadkiel and Ketch's plan.[27]

When Blaze's team arrives in Japan, they learn Ketch has already taken the power of the Rider, Yoshio Kannabe. After the conquest, Ketch has another talk with Zadkiel via a communications link. During the conversation, Zadkiel massacres the squad of the Asura who guard the gates of Heaven. Zadkiel tells Ketch to wait to attack the Riders until the last ones are together. After leaving Japan, Blaze's team journeys to the City of the Skulls in the Congo where the last stand would be made. There they meet the Lords of the Congo, the Ghost Riders, Baron Skullfire and Marinette Bwa Chech, and their Phantom Riders.[28]

As the Ghost Riders and their forces get ready for battle, Blaze has his eyes opened back up by kids going to fight. He quickly snaps out of his depression and joins the others for the final battle. During the course of the battle Baron Skullfire dies and the spirit is transferred to one of the Phantom Riders, after which Ketch creates hellfire avatars of himself to take all the powers. A wager is then made by Blaze and Ketch on a race between the brothers around the world for the fates of the powers. As he is about to win, Blaze is injured by Kowalski using a Hellfire Shotgun who Zadkiel had lying in wait. Danny Ketch is now able to take the Rider from Johnny and take them to Zadkiel. The sound of the gates falling is enough to be felt by Spider-Man's senses, and loud enough to be heard by people everywhere including Hell and Asgard. When an injured Blaze returns to the City of the Skulls, Ketch falls from the sky and reveals that Zadkiel had used him as a weapon, and that the battle for Heaven has already been decided.[29]

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Trials and Tribulations

After the battle with Zadkiel and his Black Host, Ketch parts ways with Blaze and Sara, taking to the open road on his motorcycle and reminiscing about being Zadkiel's puppet. Now, he simply waits for the end of the world to soon come. He comes across a blown-up gas station, destroyed by the demonically-possessed Highwayman. He attempts to pass by it but his bike refuses to budge however, and Ketch is forcibly turned into the Ghost Rider. Danny finds the Highwayman further up the road, having finished slaughtering a bus full of UFO watchers and hippies to feed the demons in his semi. Ghost Rider faces off with the Highwayman, eventually tearing his head off in a high-speed chase. His decapitated head attempts to crawl away, sprouting arachnid legs and cursing the Ghost Rider. Ketch picks it up and sets it ablaze with a spew of hellfire. He transforms back into Danny Ketch and rides off, reflecting on how close he was to being rid of this life as the Ghost Rider.

Following Danny's encounter with the Highwayman he teamed up with Blaze for a final assault on Zadkiel. The two brothers working together with the new Caretaker, Daimon Hellstrom and Jaine Cutter discover a portal into Heaven. Once there they take the fight to Zadkiel only to be initially beaten by the mad angel. On the verge of giving up Blaze realizes how to call upon the spirits of the previously fallen Spirits of Vengeance for aid. Ketch and Blaze, together with all of the Spirits of Vengeance from human history, defeat Zadkiel and restore balance to earth. Ketch's whereabouts following the defeat of Zadkiel are unknown.[30]

Absolute Carnage

After Daniel was about to drink again, Johnny, now the new King of Hell, convinced Daniel to go help another fellow Spirit of Vengeance, Alejandra Jones. In his Ghost Rider form, he arrived at Alejandra's village where he found her battling Dark Carnage. He tried to help her, but Carnage eventually killed her, after ripping and devouring her spine. Ketch tried to get revenge, but Carnage got empowered by Jones' Spirit of Vengeance, and battled Ketch. Thankfully, Alejandra, possessing the body of a village girl, Imara, and the other villagers, helped Ketch in fight, while Carnage's cult got their leader. Afterwards, Ketch apologized to Alejandra, but she thanked him for protecting her village before returning to hell. Ketch them promised to the village to come to protect them in need before leaving.[31]

Spirit of Corruption

As Johnny Blaze began capturing demons roaming the Earth, he tried to recruit the help of his brother, but Ketch refused and tried to convince Johnny that his position as the King of Hell was corrupting his soul.[32] However, Blaze stripped Ketch of his Spirit of Vengeance and threw him off the Manhattan Bridge.[33] Luckily, he got saved from drowning by Caretaker Sara. He at first refused to help Blaze to come to his senses, but after being convinced by the spirit of his mother to go help his brother, he accepted to go to Limbo, and take Belasco's Necrosis. After the battle between Ketch and the Necrosis, Belasco turned Ketch into his Spirit of Corruption.[34] After returning to his dimension, he instantly regretted this decision and tried to walk away. However, Lilith sent Jack O'Lantern to attack Danny, the supervillain-turned-demon informing him of an upcoming war and causing Ketch to realize that he needed to save Johnny.[35] He then visited his mother's grave and had another argument with Sara over the situation, correctly accusing her of having planned for him to become the Spirit of Corruption. Before preparing to go after Johnny, he was attacked by Punisher and Wolverine, who still believed him to be a Ghost Rider, but he easily stopped them.[36]

Power Grid [42]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
* Heightened speed on motorcycle


After failing against Necrosis, Belasco fused it's blood to Danny transforming him into the Spirit of Corruption.

Spirit of Corruption Transformation: Danny currently possesses the supernatural ability to transform into the Spirit of Corruption - an armored being powerful enough to go against a Spirit of Vengeance. Danny describes the transformation of being taken over by a rotten carapace. A green supernatural substance oozing and surging out from his body. He also carries a giant sword known as the Blight Blade from his innards. While consumed by the Spirit, Danny still retains some humanity in him. During this form, he's granted with powers at his disposal.

  • Superhuman Strength
  • Superhuman Durability: Ketch is invulnerable to any conventional attacks being able to withstand bullets and Wolverines' adamantium claws.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Ketch possesses a mystical energy that grants him to rapidly heal any damage and/or harm faster, greater and better than any ordinary human being. This substance seems to be equivalent to sludge, tar and rot, and can warp itself back together after getting attacked.
  • Burning Touch: His hands are capable of burning skin when placed on a human.
  • Blight Blade Projection: Ketch wields a supernatural sword called the Blight Blade. It is made out of the same substances from him since it's a part of his physiology. Anybody stabbed by the sword will be consumed by every corrupt thing they've committed in their life from the inside out reducing themselves into a pile of sludge. However, is a person hasn't done anything corrupted, they are left incapacitated slowly recovering while tar and rot comes out of their body as described by Frank Castle.[37]


Skilled Motorcyclist: Ketch himself was a skilled motorcyclist.

Formidable Hand-to-Hand Combatant: As Ghost Rider, was a formidable combatant as a result of his powers, though he had no formal training.

Heightened Senses: After being imbued with the Spirit of Corruption, Danny was able to operate while his helmet covered his eyes.

Strength level

Class 10


Penance Stare Limitations: The Penance Stare can't affect victims if they are blind, on drugs, have no soul, or are bonded to symbiotes. Using the Penance Stare on anyone who is blind, on drugs, has no soul, or is bonded to a symbiote will incapacitate him, at times rendering him unconscious or in a death-like state. The same thing happens if he uses the Penance Stare on someone or something with more than two eyes. The Penance Stare also seems to have little effect on those who are mentally unstable, such as Madcap and Carnage.

Alcoholism: Danny began drinking a lot of alcohol due to the events that had happened to him.[40]


Motorcycle: While Danny was Ghost Rider, his motorcycle transformed with hellfire wheels and could travel across water or up walls, and can be commanded remotely.


Blight Blade: As the Spirit of Corruption, Danny wields a mystical blade able to make people be consumed by every corrupting thing they've done.[37]

  • The American band Suicide wrote a song in tribute to the Ghost Rider character. It has since been covered by several bands.[1] Vocalist Alan Vega has also gone on to say that the name Suicide was inspired by the Ghost Rider comic book titled Satan Suicide, a favorite of his.

Discover and Discuss


  1. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ghost Rider Vol 3 #1
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #10
  4. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #-1
  5. Spider-Man Human Torch #3
  6. Marvels #4
  7. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #7
  8. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #4
  9. Fantastic Four #347-349
  10. Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness #1
  11. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #13-15
  12. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #16
  13. Road To Vengeance: Missing Link crossover.
  14. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #25
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ghost Rider Vol 3 #26-27
  16. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #62-65
  17. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #75-79
  18. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #93
  19. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #94
  20. Spider-Man #93
  21. Ghost Rider Finale
  22. Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #1
  23. Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #3
  24. Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #5
  25. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #23
  26. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #28
  27. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #29
  28. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #30-31
  29. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #32
  30. Ghost Riders: Heaven's on Fire #1-6
  31. Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1
  32. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #1
  33. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #2
  34. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #3-4
  35. Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons #1
  36. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #5
  37. 37.0 37.1 Ghost Rider Vol 9 #6
  38. Doctor Strange: Damnation #4
  39. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #3
  40. Avengers Vol 8 #22
  41. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #10
  42. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 6

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