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Quote1 Sadists, psychos and killers. Don't matter what planet they're from. All deserve to be punished. Quote2
The Rider[src]


This Frank Castle's earlier life seemingly mirrors that of the Frank Castle of the Prime Marvel Universe.[3][6]

Thanos Wins[]

During the heroes of Earth's last stand against Thanos, the Punisher was hit in the head by the debris of a building the Hulk was thrown into and died, his soul being subsequently sent to Hell. Willing to give anything in order to punish Thanos for slaughtering his planet, the Punisher signed a demonic deal with Mephisto and became the latest Ghost Rider. When he returned to Earth, however, Thanos was already gone and everything on the planet was dead. The Ghost Rider spent the next countless years alone, roaming endlessly and undying with no one to kill or love. After even Mephisto fell silent to his calls, he began to lose his mind.[3]

Thanos Vol 2 16 Textless

When a badly injured Galactus arrived on Earth seeking help against Thanos, unaware that the population of Earth had already been killed by him, the Ghost Rider offered the dead planet to him in exchange for the chance of punishing the Mad Titan as his herald; an offer that the Great Devourer accepted. Together they roamed the cosmos on a quest to halt Thanos' systematic annihilation of every living being in existence, which led them to become legends. Their story lasted centuries, but came to an end once they finally confronted Thanos, who beheaded Galactus as he approached to battle. The undying Rider was offered by Thanos the chance to see more evil than he could punish in a thousand lifetimes, and thus became his servant.[3]

At the behest of King Thanos, the Rider used the Time Stone to drag a younger Thanos to the future[4] so he could help his older self in winning the love of Death by killing the Fallen One, the one being who managed to elude him.[7] Unbeknownst to the Rider, King Thanos didn't need his younger self to kill the Fallen One; he needed him to kill himself in order to finally be by Death's side.[8] After the Fallen One used Mjolnir to smash the Rider to bits,[9] the time-displaced Thanos realized his older self's true motivations and went on to prevent this future from ever happening.[8]

Baby Thanos Must Die[]

Frank was retrieved from his dead timeline by a Odin of an alternate reality[6] and rewarded with Valhalla,[10] but he didn't fit in with the rest of its inhabitants. Seeing that Frank didn't want to be there, Odin returned his powers to him and offered to send him to any time and place he wanted. Frank chose to be sent back in the time to the day Thanos was born so he could kill him before he grew up to become a monster. Upon using his Penance Stare on baby Thanos, Frank realized he wasn't evil yet and decided to take him under his wing instead as to change his future.[6]

Cosmic Ghost Rider Vol 1 5 Textless

Knowing Galactus was to devour Markus-Centauri at that point in time, Frank traveled to the planet to try and convince the Devourer of Worlds into helping him, but he refused to do so after accessing Frank's memories. With the Watcher bearing witness, an angry Frank vowed to raise Thanos on his own, consequently creating a timeline where Thanos grew up to become something worse. The Guardians of the Galaxy of said timeline tried to change their future to the best by killing Thanos, but Frank (and, later on, baby Thanos) killed them all. They were subsequently greeted by Thanos' future self, who sported the same clothes Frank used as the Punisher.[11]

The future Thanos showed Frank the authoritarian world he had built on his example, including a past version of himself living with his wife Maria. Realizing the consequences of his intervention in his life, Frank killed the future Thanos and returned his baby self to the past, erasing the alternate timeline. Death appeared before Frank to confirm that his actions had nonetheless instilled the baby Thanos with the bloodlust that would make him her agent.[12]

Destroying History[]

By his own admission, Frank spent the following years on Earth interfering with the lives of its heroes until he tried to save his own family from their deaths. Uatu intervened, putting history on the right track and using the Infinity Gauntlet to make everyone - including Frank himself - forget his actions. He spent years imprisoned in the Raft until he pieced his memories together and was freed through Uatu's indirect intervention. Frank also claimed that he later killed the Watcher during his fateful encounter with Nick Fury following the robbery of his citadel and one of his eyes.[13]

The Final Gauntlet[]

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 5 3 Textless

Some time afterwards, Frank sensed Thanos' death at the hands of his daughter Gamora. Soon after discovering his beheaded corpse, he was approached by Eros, who had come to collect it and his brother's will.[14] He was present at the gathering held by Eros to show Thanos' will, which revealed that he had placed his consciousness into another living being before dying. As those gathered discussed what to do with this new information, they were attacked by the Black Order and sucked into a black hole. Frank was rescued thanks to Beta Ray Bill and recruited into the Guardians of the Galaxy by Peter Quill.[15]

After clashing with Groot and Bill, he left the group and joined the Dark Guardians in their quest to hunt down Gamora as the most likely host for Thanos's resurrection.[16] They tracked her down using her former lover Nova and clashed with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take her.[17] When they were ready to execute her, however, they were attacked by the Asgardian goddess Hela and the Black Order. Hela easily took down Frank using her power over dead beings, leaving him a flaming skeleton. Hela then revealed that Starfox had been Thanos' chosen vessel all along. Thanos' consciousness asserted itself in Starfox, and he left with Hela and the Order.[18]

Frank was also forced to come with Hela. During the Guardians and Dark Guardians' assault on Knowhere to stop Thanos' resurrection, Hela was knocked off a platform, causing her control over Frank to weaken. Star-Lord attacked Frank, but Frank was in no shape to fight and told Star-Lord that without Hela's power, he could no longer hold himself together and eventually collapsed into a pile of bones. Frank was then transported into Hell, where he was greeted by its ruler Johnny Blaze.[19]

Challenge of the Ghost Riders[]

Blaze later forced Frank to possess Avengers Mountain and attack the Avengers when they tried to exorcise Robbie Reyes.[20]

Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider[]

Leaving the Earth behind, Frank traveled the cosmos to punish villains for their sins. This got him in trouble with the Shi'ar Empire and he ended up subdued by the Imperial Guard. Due to his crimes, Frank was sent to an alien prison located in an asteroid which was ran by the Shi'ar. When some of the other prisoners began beating him up, he transformed into the Cosmic Ghost Rider and started to kill them. This, however, freed a mysterious creature imprisoned there that drained the Rider of his power, leaving him nothing but a skull. Due to the danger the creature posed, one of the guards activated the prison's self-destruct program, destroying the prison and seemingly the creature as well.

Months later, some space pirates arrived and salvaged what remained of the prison and its prisoners, including the Rider's skull. Frank then awakened and killed every member of the crew in order to rebuild his own body, until only Camille Benally was left. After destroying the entire ship, he used his Penance Stare on the girl, but found out she was actually innocent.[21] The duo fought various criminals throughout the universe, eventually coming into conflict with the Cosmic King, who threw Cammi into a wormhole.[22] Enraged, the Cosmic Ghost Rider tried to destroy the Cosmic King to no avail, as he proved to be too powerful. Once the Rider was able to get the upper hand, the Cosmic King offered Frank's long lost soul, which the King had stolen from Mephisto, back to him. Frank accepted the offer,[23] then killed the Cosmic King.

When Cammi arrived, having briefly traveled through time because of the wormhole, she revealed the Cosmic King was actually possessed by an "ancient space demon parasite," which originally wanted Frank as its next host, it being the same creature Frank accidentally freed from the Shi'ar prison. The Mephisto from Frank's home reality arrived soon afterward, wanting to retrieve the soul he rightfully owned. Since Frank had already reclaimed his soul, he claimed Cammi's instead.[24] Fighting his way through Hell, Frank eventually returned to the Hotel Inferno and confronted the Mephisto of the Prime Marvel Universe. Mephisto refused to give Cammi's soul back, but offered a deal exchanging it for Frank's soul. He accepted, became the Cosmic Ghost Rider once more, this time in service to the Mephisto of the Prime Marvel Universe, and revived Cammi. Sadly, the "ancient space demon parasite" that had possessed the Cosmic King immediately seized Cammi and turned her into its next host. The demon then drained Frank's powers yet again, forcing him to drain the lifeforce of various Brood to rebuild himself months later so that he could begin his quest to free Cammi once more.[25]

Frank eventually found himself chasing some thieves into a black hole. As he fought them, they all ended up inside the black hole, causing him to be fractured into two Cosmic Ghost Riders. The newly created Cosmic Ghost Rider went on his separate way, while Frank had no recollection of what had happened.[26]

In the ensuing month, Frank decided to leave the life of Cosmic Ghost Rider behind and opted to work in tavern on an alien planet owned by Marlow and his daughter Axelle. Unfortunately, he was attacked by bounty hunter Kral Dravitt who was after him. During the fight, Marlow was killed,[27] causing Frank to take out the bounty hunter and rescue Axelle. While they were preparing to get away, Monark Starstalker, another bounty hunter hired by the Shi'ar to hunt Frank, ambushed them which forced Frank to resume his identity of Cosmic Ghost Rider.[28] He and Axelle were able to escape but felt that he needed to go to Fueling Station X987. There he met with Valkyrie who revealed to him the existence of a second Cosmic Ghost Rider, someone Frank had seen in his dreams and was probably the cause of his powers draining.[29]

Realizing that the second Rider was a part of him and if separated for too long it would lead to their inevitable death, Frank confronted him. As the second Rider embodied his malevolence, the two halves fought each in space but were both knocked out. Monark decided to grab the second one, while Frank was sucked by another black hole where other Cosmic Ghost Riders were formed.[26]



Spirit of Vengeance: As the Ghost Rider, Castle has the following powers:

  • Hellfire Manipulation: Like all Ghost Riders, Castle is able to manipulate and project hellfire as well as to infuse objects and vehicles with it.[4] He has demonstrated the ability to unleash omnidirectional hellfire blasts that incinerate almost everything around him.[3]
  • Superhuman Strength[30]
  • Superhuman Durability[4]
  • Penance Stare: Castle possesses the supernatural ability to cause any individual who stares into his eyes to see and feel every bit of pain they have ever inflicted on anyone in their entire lifetime for all eternity.[7]
  • Immortality: Being a Spirit of Vengeance makes the Rider immortal. He has lived for millions of years and has not aged in the slightest.[4] The only way for him to die is to inflict a sufficiently powerful injury.[9]
  • Meta Possession: As the Cosmic Ghost Rider, Frank possesses the ability to stretch the natural capacity of the ethereal entities to unprecedented limits. Having possessed the whole of Avengers Mountain and assuming control over it's numerous facilities.[20]
    • Remote Possession: While he was overshadowing the Bull Celestial carcass the cosmically charged Ghost Rider could possess other things through his ghostly proclivities. Such as the various Iron Man armor's in it's armory.[20]
  • Mystical Chain Projection: Castle can manifest a mystical chain that is capable of growing in length, cutting through almost anything, and engulfing enemies in flames through contact.[6]

Power Cosmic: Like all the other Heralds of Galactus before him, the Rider wields the Power Cosmic. Presumably, all of his physical capabilities have been enhanced; to what extent, though, hasn't been revealed. So far, the additional powers he has demonstrated thus far are:

  • Interstellar Travel: The Rider has ability to travel interstellar distances via his Hell Cycle.[4][3]
  • Energy Projection: The Rider can fire devastating blasts of cosmic energy from his hands.[30]
  • Cosmic Penance Stare: By infusing his Penance Stare with the Power Cosmic, the Rider can incinerate any sinner he uses it against, regardless of whether or not said sinner feels any remorse. It is known only as Penance.[30]
  • Telekinesis: Castle demonstrated potent telekinesis by near-instantaneously dismantling an entire space-ship.[21]


  • Weapon Fabrication: Castle still had the capacity to recreate weaponry out of any mundane bits of technology, such as fabricating a gun made from pieces of Tony's armor.[31]


  • Mental Illness: The countless years the Rider had spent on Earth alone had caused him serious mental issues.[3]
  • Necromancy: As the Rider is technically dead, any entity with command over the dead, such as a deity of death, can control him as well.[32]



Punisher's Suit[6]


Ghost Rider's Chain: Chains forged from the bones of Cyttorak that are practically indestructible as not even someone as strong as Thanos could break them.[4] The chains can also be used a whip. When combined with the Rider's super strength, they are capable of ripping through opponents.[33]

A pair of firearms.[4]



  • Cosmic Ghost Rider is based off DC Comics Lobo.[34] Ironically, Lobo himself was inspired by the Punisher.[35]
  • In the last issue of Cosmic Ghost Rider (Vol. 1) when Frank asks Death if Thanos becoming her agent is inevitable, she confirms this and then implies through her comment, "And I choose... many children, Francis Castle", that Frank is also one of them.[30]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #1
  2. Cosmic Ghost Rider (Vol. 2) #5
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Thanos (Vol. 2) #16
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Thanos (Vol. 2) #13
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #3
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Cosmic Ghost Rider #1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Thanos (Vol. 2) #15
  8. 8.0 8.1 Thanos (Vol. 2) #18
  9. 9.0 9.1 Thanos (Vol. 2) #17
  10. Thanos Annual (Vol. 2) #1
  11. Cosmic Ghost Rider #23
  12. Cosmic Ghost Rider #45
  13. Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #16
  14. Thanos Legacy #1
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #1
  16. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #2
  17. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #4
  18. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #5
  19. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #6
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Avengers (Vol. 8) #23
  21. 21.0 21.1 Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider #1
  22. Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider #2
  23. Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider #3
  24. Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider #4
  25. Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider #5
  26. 26.0 26.1 Cosmic Ghost Rider (Vol. 2) #4
  27. Cosmic Ghost Rider (Vol. 2) #1
  28. Cosmic Ghost Rider (Vol. 2) #2
  29. Cosmic Ghost Rider (Vol. 2) #3
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Cosmic Ghost Rider #5
  31. Avengers (Vol. 8) #24
  32. Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #56
  33. Cosmic Ghost Rider #3
  34. Cates, Donny (24 July 2019) DONNY CATES on Twitter: "Just do what I did when I wanted to write Lobo and create Cosmic Ghost Rider for Marvel and then write that." Twitter. Retrieved on 24 July 2019.
  35. Giffen, Keith Comic Book Biography Newsarama.