The Penance Stare is a supernatural ability that incapacitate victims and is only performed by the Spirits of Vengeance or Ghost Rider. When in close combat, the Ghost Rider locks eyes with his opponent and induces self-mortification by imposing him or her every negative actions, behavior and sensation, from sins to the pain of others, that that individual has ever committed in their lifetime. Its effects are similar to the soul searing effect of hellfire. It can, however, backfire with certain individuals.
While normally used on the "innocent", Ghost Rider seeks to punish those for their sins through this ability. The host will seek to punish those they deem guilty, however the spirit may choose to use the stare on anyone they judge guilty of sin, whether they be hero or villain. [Uncanny Avengers Annual]
Recently, this ability can paralyze multiple individuals without locking into their eyes but still causing great sorrow.
- When used on Mr. Hyde, it triggers his transformation back into Calvin Zabo, though Mr. Hyde flees before it can take full effect.
- When used on The Punisher it failed as Deadpool used an angel feather on the Punisher before his encounter with the Rider, as Ghost Rider's abilities fail on those who have divine protection on their soul.
- When used on both the original Venom and Agent Venom, the Penance Stare backfired due to the symbiote.
- When used on Deadpool, it showed him a "highlight reel" of the events that lead him to him becoming what he was and turned the Ghost Rider back into Johnny Blaze. Which shows that Deadpool's greatest victim is himself.
- When The Rider, a version of Frank Castle with the combined powers of Ghost Rider and a Herald of Galactus, tried to use it on a baby version of Thanos after being sent back in time by Odin, it didn't work because Thanos wasn't evil at that point in time.
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