GHOST RIDER: The Spirit of Vengeance
"Prepare to suffer the sting of GHOST RIDER's power! Prepare to know the true meaning of hell!"
Who is GHOST RIDER?
Johnny Blaze is GHOST RIDER, former motorcycle stunt driver who now fights injustice as an undead vigilante with "hellish" powers cursed upon him.
GHOST RIDER made his first appearance in Marvel Spotlight #5, 1972 by Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, and Mike Ploog.
Johnny Blaze is a motorcycle stunt performer in a traveling circus, he sold his soul unknowingly to the demon Mephisto, in order to save his stepfather, "Crash" Simpson, from cancer. Crash later dies in a motorcycle accident and Mephisto attempts to take Blaze's soul, only to be thwarted by Crash's daughter Roxanne Simpson, who had learned of the deal and had prepared a counter-spell based on selfless love. Unable to take Blaze's soul, Mephisto has his revenge by binding Blaze with a demonic force, known as Zarathos.At first Johnny Blaze transforms to GHOST RIDER only at nightfall, as GHOST RIDER he wields strange powers. As time goes on, he is able to call on his demonic abilities whenever he wishes, not just at night.
GHOST RIDER received his own series in 1973. One of the notable story arc in this series is Johnny Blaze becoming a Christian and thereby freed himself of the curse. He retained the GHOST RIDER powers that he has been given but Johnny needs to use them only as his new faith directs him." However, the story was apparently rewritten at the last moment. Read an interesting article about this [here]
Johnny Blaze's career as GHOST RIDER career ended when Zarathos fled his body in order to pursue Centurious, a man without a soul who had a history with Zarathos. Now free of his curse, Blaze went off to live with Roxanne get married and have two children.
The next GHOST RIDER, Daniel Ketch, debuted in GHOST RIDER vol. 3, #1 (May 1990). This GHOST RIDER was nearly identical to the previous, although his costume was now a black leather biker jacket with spiked shoulder-pads, grey leather pants, and a mystic chain that he wore across his chest, which responded to his mental commands and served as his primary melee weapon. His new motorcycle resembled a futuristic machine and the front of it could lower to serve as a battering ram. Like the original GHOST RIDER's bike, the wheels were composed of mystic hellfire. [More on this version of the character soon...]
Johnny Blaze who was freed from the bond with Zarathos, was sucked back into his old life when he heard of the appearance of a new GHOST RIDER. Delving back to his horrid past his family life began to crumble. He lost his family and gind himsled bonded back with Zarathos. Next time we see Blaze he is trapped in hell, riding his hellcycle planning an escape.
GHOST RIDER eventually escaped from hell but unknowingly brought with him Lucifer. When both of them plummetted to earth Lucifer broke up to 666 Shards that powers recently dead individuals.
Doctor Strange teleported GHOST RIDER so that he could tell GHOST RIDER to stop his path of vengeance against Lucifer. GHOST RIDER thinks that it’s Lucifer in disguise and the two begin to fight. Doctor Strange unleashes one of his most powerful spell on GHOST RIDER smilingly killing him. Unknown to everyone, GHOST RIDER had obtained some new powerful abilities. Doctor Strange thought he killed GHOST RIDER but he wasn't aware that GHOST RIDER can’t die. GHOST RIDER rose up out of the crater, with chains coming out of his chest, he caught Doctor Strange with the chains and pulled GHOST RIDER closer. He unleashed his most powerful of all the attack the Penance Stare, which stopped the Sorceror Supreme.
GHOST RIDER made peace with Dr Strange and continued on his quest to find the Lucifer Shards. Johnny later finds himself in Sleepy Hollow tracking a powerful shard of Lucifer. It turned out that the murderer is Jack O'Lantern, a supervillain killed by Punisher and is now possessed by one of the Lucifer Shard. Jack O’Lantern was no match for GHOST RIDER, and GHOST RIDER was able to rip out the essence of Lucifer out of his heart and smash’s his pumpkin head to kill him.
GHOST RIDER fought Hulk who was on a path of revenge against the Illuminati. Johnny Blaze who was in control of GHOST RIDER was able to stand his own against the Green Goliath but he doesn't have the full access to the GHOST RIDER's power, but when Zarathos took over, he dishes out a great deal of pain against the Hulk. He did not finish the Hulk and just rode away. The illuminati member Doctor Strange explained why GHOST RIDER did not finish the Hulk, to his fellow illuminati, Mr Fantastic while they were viewing the fight. He said - “The GHOST RIDER avenges the innocent , which we, all of us are not”.
GHOST RIDER would later finish all of the shards but will discover a shocking truth, that he was not an instrument of Hell but an agent of Heaven, and he was made that way not by demons but a renegade angel, Zadkiel. Johnny Blaze teaming up with other GHOST RIDERs including Danny Ketch who is revealed to be Johnny's brother, went seeking for Zadkiel. Zadkiel was defeated and God Himself condemned the traitor to the pits of Hell to burn for eternity.
Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures released a movie starring Nicolas Cage as GHOST RIDER on February 16, 2007. The character faces Blackheart and his father, Mephistopheles.
Nicolas Cage is set to reprise his role in a sequel, GHOST RIDER: Spirit of Vengeance. In the film, the character will be recruited by a sect to take on the devil. The film has a scheduled release date of February 17, 2012.
POWERS & ABILITIES
Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, the character's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.
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. Recent revelation states that GHOST RIDER is in fact an agent of heaven. The power of the GHOST RIDER depends on who is on control over the GHOST RIDER.
Superhuman Strength: The GHOST RIDER possesses superhuman strength sufficient to lift up to 25 tons.
Superhuman Stamina: The mystical energy that empowers GHOST RIDER prevents his muscles from producing fatigue toxins during physical activities, granting him limitless superhuman stamina.
Superhuman Durability: Johny Blaze is highly resistant to the point of being basically immune to all types of earthly physical damage. 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.
Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his invulnerability to conventional forms of injury, objects such as weapons forged in heaven, 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 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.
Hellfire Manipulation: GHOST RIDER possesses the ability to generate, control, and project mystical fire, or "hellfire" at will. Hellfire is an emphyreal and supernatural flame that burns the soul of a person and can be used to burn their physical body. He can utilize this fire in various ways, including projecting it from his eyes, hands, mouth, or even channel it from his body into his weapons like his shotgun, form walls of hellfire, and even create a motorcycle completely out of hellfire. He can also unleash the hellfire in omni-directional attacks that are incredibly powerful.
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.
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.
AbilitiesBlaze is an expert stunt rider. Although he's had no proper training, he is also a formidable hand to hand combatant and has become quite adept at using his powers in combat situations.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Rider_(comics) : http://marvel.wikia.com/Johnathon_Blaze_(Earth-616) : http://marvel.wikia.com/Category:Johnathon_Blaze_(Earth-616)/Quotes : http://marvel.wikia.com/Johnathon_Blaze_(Earth-616)/Gallery : http://www.comicvine.com/ghost-rider/29-4268/ : http://www.worldfamouscomics.com/tony/back20011214.shtml
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