Quote1.png Prepare to suffer the sting of Ghost Rider's power! Prepare to know the true meaning of hell! Quote2.png
-- Ghost Rider



Long ago, the demon Zarathos began building a tremendous power base for himself. His penchant for human souls led him into conflicts with foes such as the Blood cult and the vile Mephisto, who saw Zarathos as a rival. Mephisto ultimately tricked and enslaved Zarathos, rendering the demon amnesiac and trapping him in various mortal forms over many years. This torture eventually dovetailed with another pastime of Mephisto's - the search for the Medallion of Power, a mystical artifact crafted by the Blood that housed the essence of the original Spirits of Vengeance.[citation needed]

The Medallion had been broken into shards and embedded into the spiritual bloodline of two families. One of these bloodlines, the Kales, attracted Mephisto's attention in the 18th century when Noble Kale's shard of the Medallion transformed him into a Spirit of Vengeance, the Ghost Rider. Mephisto failed to corrupt Noble at this time, but he kept track of the Kale clan from then on, watching as Noble manifested in the firstborn of every generation.[citation needed]

Earlier appearance

Early Life

John Blaze was born into a world of motorcycle grease and cheering crowds. The son of Barton Blaze and Naomi Kale, Johnny spent his early years in the Quentin Carnival, where his parents starred in a stunt show with Craig "Crash" Simpson. His idyllic home life ended abruptly, however, when Naomi abandoned John, taking his younger siblings - Barbara and Daniel - with her. Naomi's decision to leave had been difficult, but she felt it was necessary because of the family curse. She feared that her own firstborn would suffer in the same way that she had, so she left him behind and placed her other children in the care of a woman named Francis Ketch.[8]

The pain of losing his mother caused John to repress many of his memories of Naomi and his siblings. When Barton died in a stunt shortly thereafter, John was adopted by Crash and Mona Simpson, who helped fabricate a past for Johnny, one that they hoped would be less painful than the truth. Believing that his real mother - "Clara Blaze" - had passed away, Johnny became an enthusiastic member of the Simpson clan, growing close to their daughter, Roxanne. The two became inseparable and, as they grew older, their love for one another moved beyond familial.[9]

Naomi Kale returned to spy on John; while glad to see him grow into a happy young man, she still feared he might eventually succumb to the family curse. Naomi bargained with Mephisto to spare John, hoping this might end the curse. Unfortunately, Mephisto betrayed her in the final moments of her life, swearing that even though Johnny would not become the true Ghost Rider, he still could become "a" Ghost Rider.[8]

Stunt Performer

Unaware of the mystical forces swirling around him, John followed the Simpsons into their own traveling stunt show - the Crash Simpson Stunt Cycle Extravaganza. Crash had become a true father figure to Johnny by this time, teaching him how to ride in the hopes that the younger man might eventually succeed him as the star of the show. This dream came to a fiery end when Johnny was fifteen. While practicing a dangerous stunt, Johnny was nearly killed and Mona Simpson was mortally wounded. When Mona asked John on her deathbed to quit riding, he swore to her that he would.[citation needed]

Over the next five years, Johnny's relationship with Crash deteriorated as John refused to take part in the show. Not understanding John's motivations, Crash grew increasingly frustrated, even accusing his adopted son of cowardice; however, John continued to practice at night, honing his skills until he surpassed his mentor. He had another secret, too: he and Roxanne had become lovers. When Crash revealed he was dying of cancer, he asked Johnny once more to take over the show, but Johnny refused despite Roxanne's disappointment. Distraught, John turned to the occult in search of answers. His studies ultimately led to a spell that supposedly could summon Satan himself. John didn't realize it, but the entity he summoned was actually the same Mephisto who had cheated Naomi Kale years before.[citation needed]

Mephisto then cured Crash of his cancer in return for Johnny's promise of servitude. Crash died almost immediately afterwards, however, in a failed attempt to set a world's record by jumping over 22 cars. Despairing over the loss of his adopted father, Johnny attempted - and made - the jump himself, seeking to honor Crash's memory. Johnny was still at Mephisto's mercy, though, and would have lost his soul outright if not for the heroic intervention of Roxanne, who proclaimed her love for Johnny and drove the demon away with the purity of her emotion (though Mephisto would return).[citation needed]

Becoming the Ghost Rider

One night after Crash's death, Johnny found himself transformed into a skeletal being with a flaming skull. Fearing at first that this demonic form was a manifestation of his own evil side, he soon realized that he had bonded with some wholly separate entity. This merger of Johnny Blaze and a demonic force became known as the Ghost Rider, which amused Mephisto greatly. Transforming nightly into the Ghost Rider, John became involved with a local motorcycle gang, Satan's Servants. Their leader, Curly Samuels, had gained the Ghost Rider's trust, until a shocked John discovered that the soul of Crash Simpson lurked within Curly's form. Mephisto had offered Crash a new life in exchange for betraying his adopted son, and Crash had eagerly accepted. The Ghost Rider's spirit was cast into Hell, where he managed to reawaken Crash's sense of honor and love. The older man sacrificed himself to help Johnny escape, making Ghost Rider promise to protect Roxanne.[citation needed]

John and Roxanne then journeyed into the American Southwest, where Ghost Rider battled the Satanist known as Witch Woman, Linda Littletrees. Remaining for a time near Copperhead Canyon, Ghost Rider also fought Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. This began a long period of roaming the West, as John sought to avoid Mephisto and protect Roxanne. While in San Francisco, Roxanne was tricked into renouncing her love for John, and Mephisto nearly claimed John's soul in full; however, a long-haired stranger saved the day, driving Mephisto away at the last minute. This bearded mystery man identified himself only as "a friend," and Blaze came to view him as a heavenly figure, offering hope and salvation. This stranger would appear several more times before finally being revealed as another falsehood of Mephisto. Discouraged over the revelations about the "friend" and fearing his growing lack of control over the Ghost Rider, John left Roxanne and spent years wandering on his own.[citation needed]

Champions of L.A.

He teamed up with the Black Widow, Angel, Iceman and Hercules to foil one of Pluto's plots to invade Olympus, and the five heroes founded the Champions.[10] Though billed as "super heroes for the ordinary man," the Champions were beset by internal tensions and never truly gelled as a team. After a few months, Ghost Rider realized that he was too much of a loner to remain with the group and he bid them farewell when the Champions disbanded.[11] During the same time, he unwillingly became a member of the Legion of Monsters who fought and killed Starseed.[7]

Ghost Rider on his cycle

Leaving Stunt Riding

By this time, the demonic half of the Ghost Rider was exerting more and more control over his actions and personality. John found it increasingly difficult to continue his stunt rider career, surrendering the title of World Champion Stunt Rider after losing a series of grueling challenges to Flagg Fargo. A demoralized John found a sense of peace by joining the Quentin Carnival, a place he did not remember from his childhood, but which nevertheless felt like home. Blaze forged a friendly rivalry with fellow rider Red Fowler and engaged in harmless flirtation with Cynthia Randolph, a journalist for Woman Magazine assigned to follow the Carnival. While traveling with the Carnival, John also ran afoul of the mad Centurious, who fed off imprisoned souls using an ancient artifact called the Crystal of Souls; this encounter stirred dark memories in the Ghost Rider. Shortly thereafter, the demonic Nightmare captured John and revealed the name of the demon within Blaze: Zarathos.[citation needed]

Blaze and Zarathos continued to struggle with each other for dominance until Roxanne Simpson returned, seeking aid for a town overrun by Centurious and his agent, the Sin-Eater (Ethan Domblue). Ghost Rider clashed once more with Centurious, learning that he and Zarathos had a feud going back centuries. In the end, Zarathos and Centurious were bound within the Crystal of Souls and John Blaze was free at last. With a gracious donation from his old friend the Angel, John was able to purchase the Carnival and marry Roxanne, with whom he had two children, Craig and Emma.[citation needed]

Meeting Dan Ketch

Years later, John heard about a new Ghost Rider in New York. Fearing Zarathos was free, Blaze captured the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider, but soon realized the entity within Dan was not Zarathos. During their clash, a burst of Ghost Rider's Hellfire was conducted through Blaze's shotgun into John himself, who discovered he could now discharge Hellfire from the weapon. Armed with this shotgun and a mystical motorcycle, John became a mentor of sorts to the new Ghost Rider, trying to guard Dan against evil forces.[citation needed]

Against his wife's wishes, John was immersed in the supernatural again. When he allied himself with the Midnight Sons against Lilith, Mother of Demons, the Carnival became a target for John's enemies. It was attacked by Vengeance, who blamed John for having ruined his father's career. John and the Midnight Sons later thwarted an alliance between Centurious and Lilith, though their schemes led to the return of Zarathos. When Centurious' agent Carver tried to remove a Medallion of Power fragment from Blaze by slashing him, Blaze's wounds burnt with Hellfire, and he was encased in a cybernetic shell to save his life. Shortly thereafter, the Blood known as Caretaker revealed that John and Dan were brothers, strengthening their bond further. Together, they helped destroy Zarathos' physical form, though Dan was temporarily lost.[citation needed]

While one side of John's family grew closer, the other began coming apart. When Emma and Craig were kidnapped by rogue Blood member Regent, John rescued them, but was shocked to learn that Roxanne had bargained the children away years earlier in hopes that Regent could remove the Kale curse. John and Roxanne were just moving past this painful revelation when she was killed by Anton Hellgate, one of Ketch's foes, and their children were kidnapped again. After slaying Centurious, Blaze swore on Roxanne's grave that he would rebuild the Carnival and find their children. After shedding his cybernetic shell, Blaze confronted undead serial killer Icebox Bob, who revealed that the kids were being held by the Mesopotamian god-turned-demon Ba'al. In a dimension-spanning adventure involving the mystic Wendigo spirit and the angelic Uri-El, Blaze was reunited with his children; but within months, the children went missing yet again.[citation needed]

Johnny Blaze's human form

While helping Dan Ketch learn the full origins of his Ghost Rider spirit, John discovered that the sorceress Jennifer Kale was their cousin. She helped Blaze seek his missing children, but they were ultimately forced to admit defeat, calling off the search. During this time, Roxanne was revived as a demonic servant of Blackheart's, bearing the name Black Rose. Though she had no memory of her past self initially, Noble Kale restored her memories during his time as Ruler of Hell. Apparently feeling that John had moved on, Roxanne decided to let John continue believing that she was dead.[citation needed]

Starting over, John found a new job as an accountant and a new girlfriend, Chloe; but he was still linked to Zarathos, and the demon began to reconstitute within him. Regularly transforming into Ghost Rider again, John quit his job and hit the road. However, the reborn Ghost Rider's personality was different than before, less talkative and more indifferent to the welfare of innocent bystanders. Desperate to escape this renewed curse, John hired mercenary Gunmetal Gray to kill Ghost Rider, whom Gray pursued with malicious glee. Finally cornered at the Sturgis biker convention, John Blaze and Zarathos seemed to make peace with one another and merged in a new way, defeating Gray.[12]

Blaze once again became bonded to the Ghost Rider, and ended up in Hell. Due to the machinations of Lucifer, he was set free, and began hunting down fragments of Lucifer's soul. This also led to a confrontation with Doctor Strange.[13]

Civil War

During the superhero Civil War, Johnny ended up in Sleepy Hollow, Illinois where a serial killer was decapitating local children and soon learned his identity: the supervillain known as Jack O'Lantern. Killed by the Punisher, Stevie Levins' body was occupied by one of the several aspects of Lucifer. The local sheriff thought Blaze was to blame but soon realized the truth. Ghost Rider and the sheriff confronted Jack O'Lantern/Lucifer at the door of a preacher's house, and after a short fight Ghost Rider tore out Lucifer's heart and smashed his head.[14]

Blaze angered the Ghost Rider when he tried to save several people and allowed the Lucifer fragment they were currently fighting to escape. Later after watching a broadcast on TV, Blaze decides to go to New York and fight the Hulk, against the Ghost Rider's will. After attempting to urge the Hulk to stop, Ghost Rider engages the Hulk. Their battle is monitored by Doctor Strange and Mister Fantastic. Dr. Strange believes that the entity that supplies Ghost Rider's mystic power is possibly capable of defeating the Hulk, stating that his powers are limitless, and only inhibited by the human side of the Ghost Rider, even going as far as to call his powers "godlike". However, as it is Johnny Blaze, not the fully powered demon Zarathos who is engaging the Hulk, the Hulk easily defeats Ghost Rider. After Johnny is knocked out, Zarathos himself emerges and rides off because, as Dr. Strange says in the end of the issue, Ghost Rider protects only the innocent, which none of the Illuminati are.[15]

Johnny Blaze had devised a plan to destroy Lucifer while engaging the help of his current girlfriend, Dixie. He left her guarding a hotel room while he leaves and Ghost Rider engages Lucifer in the guise of a sports team owner. While Lucifer is secretly planning to blow up a packed stadium, he distracts Johnny by telling him that one of his other avatars has possessed a Little League coach and is holding his entire team hostage. Ghost Rider arrives and attacks Lucifer, inhabiting his coach's avatar, but in his zeal, fails to realize that the barn holding the children has been set ablaze. Luckily, the children had been saved by would-be allies, Emmael and his brother Vraniel, two angels that had been cast out of the highest levels of heaven and who were recently reborn on Earth in an attempt to stop the machinations of Zadkiel as a means to atone for their past mistakes.[citation needed]

Ghost Rider and the two angels returned to the stadium to prevent Lucifer from detonating his explosions and when the Ghost Rider learned that the angels harbor a secret, he used his penance stare on Emmael, destroying him. He then learned that the Ghost Rider was actually an entity of Heaven that was bonded to him by the fallen angel, Zadkiel, in answer to Roxanne's prayers to save Johnny's soul. He also realized that Lucifer actually helped orchestrate Johnny's escape from Hell so that he could be also be freed. Lucifer then tried to form an alliance with Ghost Rider since he, too, hates Zadkiel who had turned on him during his war against Heaven. Ghost Rider responds to his offer by blowing up the building with both of them in it.[16]

Ghost Rider next fought the final avatar of Lucifer. He was able to destroy it because it was not as powerful as Lucifer thought. Two weeks earlier, Ghost Rider had kept a brain-dead avatar alive, thus draining half of Lucifer's power. When the brain-dead avatar gained full power in the hotel room with Dixie, it was shot dead by some gun-happy cops, but Dixie is killed by a stray bullet. Lucifer has been defeated and returned to Hell and as Johnny laments all the things he's cared about, including Dixie, being taken from him, he decides to turn his Spirit of Vengeance on Zadkiel.[17]


Later, 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, what he needs the powers of the Riders for: to tear down the walls of New Jerusalem and wage war on Heaven. The story begins in Tibet with Chinese soldiers harassing a village, questioning them about weapons that killed two of his garrison patrols. During the harassment a peasant enters on a donkey. After an 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 Sister 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.[18]

That night the two are visited by Ketch and begins 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. At the safehouse, during Blaze's episode of self pity and Sara's trying to pick him back up, they are visited by two more Ghost Riders, the Arabic Molek and the Chinese Bai Gu Jing, whom they follow to Japan.[19]

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 til the last ones are together. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, former cop Kowalski follows a contact to get a hellfire shotgun for his revenge on Blaze.[20]

After acquiring the item he is then driven to the middle of a desert to sit and wait for his chance. 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 Bwachech, and their Phantom Riders. During the day Sara tells Molek about her new experience becoming a Caretaker, and her wonders about religion, with which she is given secret information that Molek knows about both. As the Ghost Riders and their forces ready for battle, Blaze has his eyes opened back up by two children who go to participate in the fight. He quickly snaps out of his depression and joins the others for the final battle.[21]

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 duplicates of himself to take the on the warriors. A wager is then made by Blaze and Ketch on a race between the brothers around the world for the fates of the powers. During the race, Blaze is critically injured by Kowalski's shotgun and Ketch takes the rider from him as his duplicates overpower the others. Moments later, Ketch relinquishes the power of the Spirits of Vengeance to Heaven, with Zadkiel now able to storm it. The sound of the gates falling is enough to be felt by Spider-Man's senses, and loud enough to be heard even in Hell and Asgard. When an injured Blaze returns to the City of the Skulls, Ketch falls from the sky, revealing that the battle for Heaven has already been decided. As more energies fall from the heavens, one strikes Kowalski and changes him into a new rider that looks a lot like Vengeance.[22]

After the battle with Zadkiel and his Black Host, Johnny Blaze parts ways with Ketch and Sara. He eventually wanders to a Japanese village, living in the nearby temple. The villagers are suddenly invaded by demons and their flesh is transformed into heinous forms by a creature called the Skin-Bender. Blaze's attempt to fight back result in her trying to morph his flesh, but finds his skin burns to the touch due to his power, prompting her to demand he transform into Ghost Rider. When he does, she breaks down crying, claiming he is the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and begged for him to speak. He simply responded with "Burn," leading a storm of fire to rain onto the village, incinerating the demons and restoring the villagers to their normal states. At the same time, Sara arrives in the village to reunite with Blaze to continue their quest against Zadkiel. She finds him in the process of grinding up the Skin-Bender, before tossing her into the sea. Sara then consoles Blaze, asking him to think of his family and asks where they are. He replies, saying that they are in heaven. They then depart from the village to continue their journey.[23]

The Antichrist, Kid Blackheart, after being hunted down by Zadkiel's agents on Earth, is saved by occult terrorist Jaine Cutter, despite Daimon Hellstorm's efforts to slay him. Eventually, the three encounter Johnny, Danny and Sara, and are forced to join forces in a desperate attempt to defeat Zadkiel in Paradise. Eventually, after reaching Heaven with Danny, he and Danny both attack Zadkiel, but are quickly overwhelmed; however, the spirits of Blaze's deceased wife and children encourage him to rise and continue to fight Zadkiel, rallying the combined forces of the Spirits of Vengeance (whom Ketch had been tricked into returning to Heaven by Zadkiel) against the renegade Archangel. After Zadkiel realizes that he was not, and never would be, the one true God, as Blaze tells him, "Only God can make a Ghost Rider, Zadkiel. You should know that. And only God can destroy one. You may have been able to shift that power around, to even leech it from its hosts. But you were never really able to control it. And you certainly couldn't kill it. You're not God, Zadkiel. You're just another power-mad wannabe who desperately needs his ass kicked. And that's exactly what the Ghost Riders are for", he is defeated and banished to Hell, with God, revealed to have never perished at all, reclaiming Heaven and thanking Blaze for all he did for Paradise and its billions of souls.[12]

During the Shadowland, Kingpin and Lady Bullseye perform a ritual which brings back Ghost Rider in a plot to attack the Hand. After Ghost Rider returns to Kingpin, he is forced to travel to Japan to confront the ancient ninja clan the Hand, and, unable to directly combat them due to the Hand magic binding him, provokes them into killing him. Blaze's soul emerges in an white void, and God, after telling him he is needed still, sends him back to the mortal realm, and, in gratitude for his role in defeating Zadkiel, aiding him by reinforcing him with a battalion force of Black Host warrior angels who are able to quickly slaughter the Hand ninjas with ease. Freed from the curse, Blaze rides off into the distance on his motorcycle.[24]

Fear Itself

During the Fear Itself event, Johnny Blaze becomes more agitated about his curse and is then approached by a mysterious figure known as Adam who claims he can help Blaze be rid of the Ghost Rider once and for all. Blaze was ambiguous about the man's gesture thinking there was a catch to his offer, but Sam simply put as that the curse will be passed to someone he never met. Blaze accepts the offer and was told to drive the Rider out of his soul. Blaze was finally rid of the Rider for good from then on while Adam went about his way to find a new host for the Ghost Rider.[25]

In Dayton, Ohio when Sin (in the form of Skadi) attacks the city and fights a new female Ghost Rider. After the female Ghost Rider was defeated, Johnny Blaze learned from Mephisto that the new Ghost Rider is cursed with Adam, whose ultimate goal is to wipe all sin from humanity, effectively turning humanity into mindless, emotionless beings. Blaze, feeling guilty for selfishly giving up the curse, agreed to help him separate the Ghost Rider from Adam.[26]

Shortly after Alejandra and Adam returned to the temple, he ordered her to extinguish the sin from her fellow students. When she refused, Adam enslaved her.[27] When Blaze arrived, he and the Seeker, who disagreed with Adam's plans, joined sides to stop him. Adam turned Alejandra into a bomb of sorts that, after exploding, wiped the sin out of everyone in Nicaragua, save for Blaze and the Seeker, who grabbed Blaze and used his ability to nullify the Ghost Rider's power to protect him from the blast.[28]

Adam then took the Ghost Rider to Cape Canaveral to board a space shuttle and fly to a space station.[28] Onboard, Adams told her that he wants her to focus all her power and magnify it through the space station's camera lens so that it reaches across the Earth.[29]

Johnny Blaze, having made a deal with Mephisto for a bike he could fly into space, took the Seeker up with him to the space station. But, realizing he was going to use her as a weapon, jettisoned him from the bike, sending him back to Earth.[29]

Blaze was too late to stop Adam from forcing Alejandra to release all of her power but tried to get her to take control of it. His words touched her and she was able to overcome Adam's influence and blew up the space station. Alejandra saved Blaze, and they returned to Earth. Seeking to give the Nicaraguans back their souls, Alejandra drove off without Blaze, not wanting another person telling her what to do.[29]

After working solo for a while, Alejandra asked the Seeker for help in finding a way to restore the Nicaraguan souls. He told her that their sin can be found in Hell and that Blaze could help her since he is in contact with Mephisto.[30]

But Adam had survived the space station explosion and called on Steel Wind and her dead sister Steel Vengeance for help in bringing the Ghost Rider to him.[30]

While tracking Blaze down, Alejandra found that he was being hunted by Hawkeye, who thought that Blaze was to blame for the situation in Nicaragua. Alejandra came to his aid but they were both transported to Japan via a portal. Steel Wind and Steel Vengeance came after them but instead of grabbing the Ghost Rider, they made off with Blaze, wanting vengeance. As Alejandra prepared to chase after them, Hawkeye struck her in the chest with an arrow with an amulet attached to it that neutralizes magic.[30] Hawkeye went after the sisters to help Blaze but only ended up getting captured by them as well. Alejandra was able to pull the arrow out of her chest and defeated them both.[31]

Blaze decided to join Alejandra and teach her how to handle being the Ghost Rider, taking the amulet that paralyzed her with him just in case.[31]

Circle of Four

After Alejandra was betrayed by Blackheart, when he offered her to restore the souls of the innocents Alejandra destroyed in exchange of helping her to spread Hell in Earth, she hit the road once again with a new quest: to drag those souls out of Hell by any means necessary.[citation needed]

Blaze followed a powered-up Alejandra to Hell, where she was about to annihilate it by destroying Mephisto's heart. Using his contract with Mephisto turned into a bullet, Blaze stopped Alejandra, but made her fall over an edge. Johnny managed to hold her hand, but after realizing she used the Spirit for selfish purposes, she allowed herself to fall into the lava, thus returning the Spirit of Vengeance back to Blaze. Johnny, now as the Ghost Rider, saved a burning Alejandra, who survived by having still a part of the Spirit in her. After going to Nicaragua and showing what she had achieved, Alejandra stated that she was still angry at him for everything he put her through, declaring that his actions deserved vengeance. They both rode off in separate directions.[32]

Damnation Johnny Blaze - Ghost Rider Vol 1 1 Textless.jpg


After a failed attempt to become an actor, Johnny Blaze retook his career as a stunt rider. He then joined the Thunderbolts providing his services to help them bring down their former teammate Mercy.[33]

During the mission, the Leader incites a spell that momentarily removes the Ghost Rider from Johnny Blaze. In that brief moment with his powers gone, Blaze is suddenly ripped apart and killed by a swamp demon.[34] However, at the end of the mission, time was reset by a new god and Blaze was alive again with the rest of the Thunderbolts.[35]

Following several other missions, the Punisher quit the Thunderbolts, only to find that his safehouse had been boobytrapped. Setting out for revenge on the Thunderbolts, Punisher manages to remove the Spirit of Vengeance from Johnny using Mephisto's sword. Johnny, grateful, leaves to go live his life. After the Thunderbolts and Avengers captured the Leader, Punisher used the Rider's skull to put Sterns under permanent Penance Stare. Mephisto appeared to bring Sterns to Hell, as well as returned the Ghost Rider back to Johnny.[36]

King of Hell

King of Hell

When Doctor Strange used magic to restore Las Vegas after its devastation, he accidentally opened a magical doorway which Mephisto used to invade Earth.[37] Wong devised a plan to help him, and to this end assembled the Midnight Sons, among which was Ghost Rider.[38] As part of Wong's plan to defeat Mephisto, Ghost Rider confronting him head-on. Just as they expected, Mephisto lifted Zarathos' curse from Johnny and killed him.[39] Johnny's soul was sent to Hell, and he convinced Zarathos to help him in a journey to Mephisto's throne. Since it was vacant due to Mephisto's venture in Las Vegas, Johnny effortlessly usurped it and became the new king of Hell.[40]

Using his new authority, Blaze turned Mephisto's minions against him, and freed the souls that were imprisoned. He additionally empowered Doctor Strange so that he could defeat Mephisto one-on-one. Even though Mephisto managed to escape and returned to Hell, Johnny defeated him with the help of an army of Spirits of Vengeance from across the time. Blaze then sent Mephisto back to Earth, where he was held captive.[39]

Challenge of the Ghost Riders

Wanting to gather more power, Johnny dragged Robbie Reyes down in Hell during his exorcism,[41] and challenged him to a race for his power, while sending Cosmic Ghost Rider to deal with the Avengers. At first Robbie disaggred, but after Johnny threatened him with the life of Robbie's brother, Gabe, the two started racing. However, during the race, Blaze ordered his demons to deter Reyes.[42] As Johnny kept racing, the other Spirits of Vengeance helped Robbie to surpass Blaze, but Johnny eventually summoned Eli Morrow, possessing Callus the Void, along with the souls of Robbie's parents. This allowed Johnny to surpass Robbie, while Eli destroyed Reyes' Hell Charger.[43] Thankfully, Cosmic Ghost Rider betrayed Blaze, and led the Avengers to Hell, and helped Robbie in his race. Following the victory of Robbie and his abdication to the throne, Blaze had enough and left.[44]


Johnny then began capturing the various demons who were still roaming the Earth and tried to recruit his brother Danny to his cause. However, Danny declined and tried to convince Johnny to leave his posision as King of Hell, due to his soul was beging to be corrupted.[45] Johnny, not thinking right, stripped Danny off him his Spirit of Vengeance, and throwed him off the Manhattan Bridge, leaving him to drown.[46] He then went to Hotel Inferno and broke Mephisto out in order to have more control over his demons.[13] While on their way, Mephisto informed Blaze about Lilith intention to unite the underworlds and become its ruler. However, they were then faced by Doctor Strange.[47]

Power Grid [55]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
* Heightened speed on motorcycle


In human form, Johnny has no possession of any super-human powers or supernatural capabilities. But as the Ghost Rider, he's the supernatural combination between human host and experienced motorcyclist Johnny Blaze and Zarathos. As the Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze possesses a variety of supernatural powers at his disposal.

Ghost Rider Transformation: Johnny Blaze possesses the supernatural ability to transform into the Ghost Rider at will. Originally, he would automatically transform at night or in the presence of evil. Recently, however, he has gained control over his transformations and can transform through an act of will or when innocent blood is spilled. It has recently been stated that Johnny Blaze and the Spirit that was supposedly the Ghost Rider are in fact agents of Heaven. The power of the Ghost Rider depends on who is in control of the Ghost Rider (effectively Johnny's body). Johnny and the Spirit inhabit the same body, and while transformed Johnny is in control for the majority of the time, but if he losses focus or control of the power of the Ghost Rider, the Spirit regaining control is likely to occur. While the Ghost Rider is in control, Johnny Blaze only influences its decisions to an extent as he takes the "back seat" to the Spirit. As stated by Doctor Strange, Johnny Blaze is simply a mortal and acts as a built in safety, that severely limits the power of the Ghost Rider. Doctor Strange also stated, that when Zarathos takes possession of the Ghost Rider, the Ghost Rider's powers are, for most intents and purposes, boundless and "God Like."[48] Johnny Blaze is one of the strongest and most powerful beings on the planet, while the Ghost Rider, is for all intents and purposes described as boundless in power to the extent where the Ghost Rider was able to defeat Doctor Strange in battle.[48]

  • Superhuman Capabilities: Similar to any other supernatural being, the Ghost Rider owns several superhuman feats:
    • Superhuman Strength: The Ghost Rider possesses superhuman strength sufficient to lift up to 25 tons under normal circumstances, nevertheless if desired he could, given the divine nature of his powers increase them to incalculable levels.
    • Superhuman Stamina: The mystical energy that empowers Ghost Rider prevents his muscles from producing fatigue toxins during physical activities, granting him limitless superhuman stamina.[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Durability: Johnny Blaze is highly resistant to the point of being basically immune to all types of earthly physical damage, as he has taken blows from beings such as the Hulk, had his entire skull destroyed and regenerated instantly without any discomfort,[citation needed] and while the Ghost Rider is in control only divine weapons (forged in Heaven) can harm the Ghost Rider. The Ghost Rider is capable of withstanding great impact forces, temperature and pressure extremes, powerful energy blasts, and falls from great heights without sustaining injury. As his bodily tissues have been transformed, leaving only a skeleton, most projectiles such as bullets simply pass through him or bounce off his bones. Ghost Rider's body is for all intents immune to physical injury, as he is evidently not able to feel pain and is able to survive with no apparent discomfort no matter how severe the injury (unless a weapon forged from Heaven itself is used against him).[citation needed]
    • Superhuman Agility: His mystically augmented being grants him enhance reflexes, coordination, dexterity and accuracy. This provides heightened movements allowing him to dodge projectiles such as Thor's hammer.[49]
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his invulnerability to conventional forms of injury, objects such as weapons forged in heaven by the arch angel Zadkiel, can actually harm the Ghost Rider to a certain extent. However, if his being is damaged, the magical energies imbuing him allows the Ghost Rider or Johnny Blaze to instantly regenerate any and all damage done, even to the point of fully regenerating lost limbs in moments, and regenerating his skull after it was destroyed in seconds without any discomfort or any evident pain.
  • Empathic Reading: Ghost Rider is able to feel the transgression of an individual he encounters by looking into their heart and soul. He can also decide whether or not a person is innocent or evil and in need of punishment. He is also capable of doing this ability without the process of transformation.
    • Identity Detection: He can also determine the identity of the individual by simply looking into their soul. However, if certain beings do not possess a soul such as a symbiote or demons, he can still identify them.
  • Supernatural Awareness: Ghost Rider possesses an extrasensory ability that allows him to detect any supernatural occurrences around him.
  • Sin Manipulation: Ghost Rider can manipulate the immoral act known as sin. He can purify any soul, whether righteous or degenerate, from sin. However, this effect may cause the victim to be emotionless. He will only backfire the wrongs of the victim causing either an emotional break down or repentance. He can do a number of things with it:
    • Sin Perception: In addition to read the heart and souls of his victims, he also read, feel and sense the sorts of sins the individual has committed in the rest of their life.
    • Sin Eating: Also known as Sin Removal. Ghost Rider can remove/absorb any sort of sin from the individual if so desires.
  • Hellfire Manipulation: Also known as Infernal Pyrokinesis. Ghost Rider possesses the ability to generate, control, and project mystical fire, or "hellfire" at will. Hellfire is an ethereal and supernatural flame that burns the soul of a person and can also be used to burn their physical body. He can utilize this fire in various ways:
    • Hellfire Infusion: His ability to channel hellfire allows him to imbue objects and vehicles by choice with his mystical element.
    • Hellfire Projection: He can spew the fire from his eyes, mouth, hands and chest, including channeling the fire from his body into his weapons such as his shotgun.
    • Hellfire Forgery: He is able to construct various things such as walls, weapons and his motorcycle.
    • Hellfire Telekinesis: He can also control hellfire infused objects through his mind.[50]
    • Hellfire Attacks: In addition to projecting and infusing hellfire, he can perform a number of attacks. He can create hellfire balls, spew out a massive wave and unleash omnidirectional explosions that are incredibly powerful, capable of bringing great pain to the Hulk.
    • Hell Firestorm: He is able to rain down a firestorm of hellfire directly towards the surrounding enemies resulting to devastating destruction.
  • Soul Manipulation: Ghost Rider has the ability to manipulate souls, the incorporeal essence of a living thing. This more evident when he performs the Penance Stare. He can do various things with it:
    • Soul Reading: As stated above, he can read the souls of his victims and judge their innocence and guilt, their sins and identity.
    • Soul Consumption: He can consume souls if the individual is degenerate and heartless to an extent where the victim becomes lifeless.
  • Dimensional Travel: Ghost Rider is able to traverse different dimensions. Though it may have some complications due to Johnny Blaze unfocused behavior, he can open vortexes to escape other realms.
  • Mystical Chain Projection: Ghost Rider wields a mystical chain that is capable of growing in length, cutting through almost anything, and transforming into other weapons. He can also spew and project chains from his mouth or chest at will, and control the movements with his mind.
  • Demon Magic Manipulation: Ghost Rider utilizes demonic forces and satanic spells to his advantage. His knowledge of hellish energies and essence provides him supernatural awareness when he encounters otherworldly figures.[51]

Ghost Rider increases in size while fighting Thor.

  • Penance Stare: Ghost Rider 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. Recently, he is able to incapacitate the inhabitants of Mojoworld without locking into their eyes and still inflicting great suffering.[52]
  • Self-Size Alteration: In the past, Ghost Rider demonstrated his ability to increase his size. After being shrunk, he was able to grow back to his original height through a sheer act of will. Recently, he once again perform this action but only heightening himself against beings such as Thor and Satana Hellstrom.[52]

He was considered as a possible Sorcerer Supreme.[citation needed]


Expert Stunt Rider: Blaze is an expert motorcycle stunt rider.

Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Although he's had no proper training, Blaze is a formidable hand to hand combatant and has become quite adept at using his powers in combat situations.

Occult Knowledge: Ghost Rider possesses knowledge of the occult and supernatural.

Strength level

As the Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze possesses sufficient superhuman strength to lift up to 25 tons. This rate will exceed if the Spirit is controlling the Ghost Rider to incalculable estimates.


All Ghost Riders possessing the Spirit of Vengeance have common disadvantages:

  • Heavenly Weapons: Any weapon crafted from Heaven or blessed can mutilate the Ghost Rider. This is the only way to decapitate a Spirit of Vengeance.
  • Host Separation: Though killing with a Heavenly weapons is one way, another way to defeat the Ghost Rider is to separate the Spirit away from the host. This makes the host return to be mortal but the Spirit will remain in it's current state until it finds a new body to inhabit.


A motorcycle which can be transformed by his hellfire.


Currently a mystic chain. Formerly a shotgun, pistols, and knives.

  • Johnny claims to hate Daredevil because he believes himself more suitable for that particular alias.[53]

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ghost Rider Vol 2 #64
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #10
  3. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #24
  4. Giant-Size Hulk #1
  5. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #9
  6. Ghost Rider Vol 3 #28
  7. 7.0 7.1 Marvel Premiere #28
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ghost Rider Vol 3 #-1
  9. Marvel Spotlight #5
  10. Champions #1-3
  11. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #17
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ghost Rider Vol 4 #1-6 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "6-6" defined multiple times with different content
  13. 13.0 13.1 Ghost Rider Vol 6 #1-4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content
  14. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #8-11
  15. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #12-13
  16. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #18
  17. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #19
  18. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #27-28
  19. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #29
  20. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #30
  21. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #31
  22. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #32
  23. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #35
  24. Shadowland: Ghost Rider #1
  25. Ghost Rider Vol 7 #0.1
  26. Ghost Rider Vol 7 #1
  27. Ghost Rider Vol 7 #2
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ghost Rider Vol 7 #3
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Ghost Rider Vol 7 #4
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Ghost Rider Vol 7 #7
  31. 31.0 31.1 Ghost Rider Vol 7 #8
  32. Ghost Rider Vol 7 #9
  33. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #20.NOW-22
  34. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #25
  35. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #26
  36. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #29
  37. Doctor Strange #389
  38. Doctor Strange: Damnation #1
  39. 39.0 39.1 Doctor Strange: Damnation #3
  40. Damnation: Johnny Blaze - Ghost Rider #1
  41. Avengers Vol 8 #22
  42. Avengers Vol 8 #23
  43. Avengers Vol 8 #24
  44. Avengers Vol 8 #25
  45. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #1
  46. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #2
  47. Ghost Rider Vol 9 #5
  48. 48.0 48.1 Ghost Rider Vol 6 #12
  49. Avengers #214
  50. Ghost Rider Vol 6 #7
  51. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #20.NOW
  52. 52.0 52.1 Uncanny Avengers Annual #1
  53. Thunderbolts Vol 2 #21
  54. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4
  55. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 4

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