Ghost Rider is one of the strangest characters in the Marvel Universe. He is a being from hell who is played as an anti-hero with a host who made a deal with the devil to save his own father, only for that devil to betray him. Interestingly, Johnny Blaze is not the first and he was not the last Ghost Rider.
Through the years, an earlier version of the Ghost Rider, known as the Phantom Rider, sought revenge. After Blaze, the role passed to his half brother Danny Ketch and then to Robbie Reyes, who now plays Ghost Rider. Meanwhile, Johnny became the King of Hell and things got weirder.
10 Trail of tears
Released in 2007, Ghost Rider: Trail of Tears by Garth Ennis (Preacher) and Clayton Crain introduced Caleb, a freed slave who was killed and became a Ghost Rider. This is not Ghost Rider as most people know him, as he rides through the southern Confederacy in a supernatural western that is more about revenge than the normal Ghost Rider revenge stories. The hero here isn’t even Ghost Rider, but a former soldier that Caleb saved before his death.
9 The sky is on fire
Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire by Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi is a 2009 series featuring Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider and wrapping up Aaron’s career with a six-issue story. A man appeared and said he was in heaven and is afraid to return because Zadkiel has conquered him. It’s up to Blaze and Danny Ketch to save the world somehow. It all starts when the two of them set out to save the Antichrist’s life, and things get weirder from there.
8 Road to damnation
Garth Ennis began working on Ghost Rider in 2005 with Clayton Crain, and together they created the story “Road to Damnation.” In this story, the demon Kazaan is literally trying to go from Hell to Earth. When this starts, Johnny Blaze has been trapped in Hell for two years and makes a deal with an angel named Malachi. If he can stop Kazaan, he will be released and allowed to return to Earth. As with all Ennis stories, this one is violent, funny, and very dark.
7 Rise of the Midnight Sons
In the 90s, Marvel changed everything about Ghost Rider. It was time to unite Marvel’s demonic antiheroes and blast them after a force even more evil than all of them put together. This included Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, with Ketch as Ghost Rider.
It also included names like Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds’ character from Trinity blade), Morbius the Living Vampire, Blade, and a new Ghost Rider known as Vengeance. It’s like a monster team in Marvel Comics.
6 Hell bent and heaven bound
This Ghost Rider story was where Jason Aaron began his race to the title. This went from numbers 20-25 of 2008-2009 led by Aaron and Marko Djurdjevic. This was the beginning of the long battle between Ghost Rider and Zadkiel and he was in the middle of the war in heaven. It also brought back Daniel Ketch and could be the most grindhouse-style Ghost Rider story with Johnny Blaze fighting for all of humanity.
Not to be confused with “Road to damnation”, Ghost Rider: Damnation was a 2018 story created by Donny Cates and Nick Spencer, and this one once again featured Johnny Blaze in Hell. This took place after Secret empire where Las Vegas was destroyed.
Doctor Strange brought him back and resurrected the victims, but there was a catch. Mephisto already claimed it and ended up at the Inferno Hotel when it was returned to him. Soon, various Marvel characters ended up hosting Ghost Rider, including Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Falcon, and Jane Foster’s Thor.
4 Poison: circle of four
To understand how crazy Poison: circle of four I mean, this is a team-up series where three of Marvel Comics’ strongest characters teamed up to become a Ghost Rider symbiote to save the day. Created by Rick Remender, Jeff Parker, and Rob Williams in 2012, they all fought to stop Blackheart.
Blackheart, Mephisto’s son, wanted to bring Hell to Earth and Mephisto wanted him to be stopped. Agent Venom, Red-Hulk, X-23, and Ghost Rider fought to stop him, and it all resulted in Venom, Red-Hulk, and Ghost Rider coming together to form a being that had the classic line, “wwe am smashh for revenge.” .
3 Ghost Riders Challenge
As mentioned a few times, Johnny Blaze was the King of Hell for a time, replacing Mephisto. While he did it to get the evil Mephisto out of power, the whole job of running Hell has a way of corrupting a man’s soul, and in “Challenge of the Ghost Riders,” this happened. This was in Avengers Vol. 8 # 22-25 by Jason Aaron, and Stehano Cassell and Robbie Reyes wanted to be exorcised from the Ghost Rider, but Johnny took him to Hell for a deadly race.
two Ghost runners
In 2015, Felipe Smith and Juan Gedeon created a strange Ghost Rider story that brought back several different versions of Ghost Rider, including Robbie Reyes, Alejandra Jones, Carter Slade, Johnny Blaze, and Daniel Ketch. This took place on alternate Earth-15513, known as Battlerealm, and was part of Battleworld history after the Earths raid in Secret Wars. The bad guy was Arcade, which forced all the Ghost Riders into a deadly game.
1 Cosmic ghost rider
Easily the strangest Ghost Rider ever was from Earth-TRN666 and it was a Frank Castle Ghost Rider. First appeared in 2017 Thanos Vol. 2 # 13 by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw. During the final battle with Thanos, the Punisher was killed when he was hit on the head with flying debris and later returned from Hell as the new Ghost Rider. He ended up traveling back in time and doing weird things like trying to kill baby Thanos and almost destroying history.
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