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Best Ghost Rider Comics

best ghost rider comics

best ghost rider comics

Since his debut in 1972, Ghost Rider has become one of Marvel‘s most iconic antiheroes. When innocent stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the demon Mephisto to save his father, he becomes the host to the Spirit of Vengeance, a fiery skull-headed vigilante who punishes evil with his supernatural hellfire powers.

Ghost Rider has starred in several comic series over the years. Here are some of the best Ghost Rider comics that every fan should read.

Origins: Marvel Spotlight #5-12

Marvel Spotlight #6 (Origin Ghost Rider, 1st SATANS SERVANTS)
  • Gary Friedrich (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Marvel (Publisher)
  • Introduced Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider in 1972
  • Written by Gary Friedrich and Roy Thomas
  • Art by Mike Ploog and Tom Sutton

Johnny Blaze first transformed into Ghost Rider in Marvel Spotlight #5 by Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas, and Mike Ploog. This story introduced the core elements of the Ghost Rider mythos: Johnny‘s motorcycle stunt riding career, his deal with Mephisto, and his transformation into a flaming skull-headed motorcyclist at night.

Ghost Rider next battled the criminal organization Zodiak in Marvel Spotlight #6 and #7. He then defeated the death-obsessed occultist Deathwatch in #8-10, before the iconic team of Friedrich, Thomas, and Ploog closed out his introductory run in #11 and #12 with Ghost Rider confronting the Satanist known as Witch-Woman.

These early stories defined Ghost Rider as a demonic superhero who meted out supernatural vengeance on evildoers.

Solo Series: Ghost Rider Vol. 2 #1-81

Marvel Masterworks Ghost Rider 2
  • Hardcover Book
  • Isabella, Tony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 12/29/2020 (Publication Date) - Marvel Enterprises (Publisher)
  • The longest-running Ghost Rider series
  • Written by Michael Fleisher, Tony Isabella, and others
  • Art by Jim Mooney, Don Perlin, and others

After his stint in Marvel Spotlight, Ghost Rider graduated to his own ongoing solo series in 1973’s Ghost Rider #1 by Gary Friedrich and Jim Mooney. Lasting 81 issues until 1983, this series saw creators like Michael Fleisher, Tony Isabella, and Don Perlin pit Johnny against an array of demons, ghosts, witches, serial killers, and rogue motorcycle gangs.

Classic stories included the “Resurrection of Johnny Blaze” plotline, where Ghost Rider and Johnny were separated into two entities (#28-#33). There was also the first appearance of Johnny’s frequent love interest Roxanne Simpson (#19), and villains like the Orb (#29-30), the Water Wizard (#29), and Lilith the Mother of All Demons (#28 and #68-#71). This was the definitive 1970s-80s Ghost Rider series.

Return: Ghost Rider Vol. 3 #1-93

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MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GHOST RIDER VOL. 3
  • Hardcover Book
  • Mckenzie, Roger (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 312 Pages - 10/26/2021 (Publication Date) - Marvel Universe (Publisher)
  • Revived series ran for 90s/early 2000s
  • Written by Howard Mackie and Devin Grayson
  • Art by Javier Saltares, Mark Texeira, and others

After some guest spots in the 1990s, Marvel revived Ghost Rider with a brand new series in Ghost Rider Vol. 3 #1 (1990) by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares.

This series ran for 93 issues until 1998, cementing Ghost Rider’s status as a top-tier 1990s antihero.In this volume’s most famous storyline, “Rise of the Midnight Sons” (#28-#44), Ghost Rider teamed up with Marvel’s other supernatural heroes like Doctor Strange, Morbius, and the Nightstalkers to battle Lilith and the demonic Blood.

Other memorable arcs featured team-ups with Vengeance and Punisher, the death of Roxanne Simpson, and origins of the first Ghost Rider from the 18th century.

Modern Era: Ghost Rider Vol. 6 #1-35

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GHOST RIDER VOL. 6 (Marvel Masterworks, 6)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Fleisher, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 09/17/2024 (Publication Date) - Marvel Universe (Publisher)
  • Relaunched under the Marvel Knights imprint
  • Written by Garth Ennis, Daniel Way, and Jason Aaron
  • Art by Clayton Crain, Mark Texeira, and Tan Eng Huat

Marvel revived Ghost Rider again under its mature readers Marvel Knights line in 2005, with Ghost Rider Vol. 6 #1 by Garth Ennis and Clayton Crain. This series introduced a new host for the Ghost Rider – eager young stunt rider Johnny Blaze, who made a deal with Mephisto to save his father’s life.Ennis and Crain’s acclaimed run pitted Ghost Rider against a fallen angel named Zadkiel who wanted to usurp Heaven.

Subsequent arcs written by Daniel Way and Jason Aaron featured Johnny‘s ally Danny Ketch as a new Ghost Rider, Johnny fighting a civil war in Hell, and Johnny teaming up with Doctor Strange to uncover the true origins of the Spirits of Vengeance.

Sidekick: Trail of Tears #1-6

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Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation
  • Ehle, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 424 Pages - 02/25/1988 (Publication Date) - Anchor Books Doubleday (Publisher)
  • Miniseries spotlighting Ghost Rider’s ally Red Wolf
  • Written by Valerie D’Orazio
  • Art by Laurence Campbell

In this 2007 miniseries, Ghost Rider crossed paths with Red Wolf – a Native American hero empowered by the spirit of the wolf – on a road trip through the American Southwest.

They battled racist vigilantes persecuting Mexican immigrants in a storyline inspired by real-world politics.While only a guest star here, Ghost Rider’s appearance in Trail of Tears shed light on one of his closest superhero allies during this era of the comics. It also featured the Spirit of Vengeance using his trademark hellfire to take down violent bigots.

Spin-Off: Danny Ketch Ghost Rider #1-81

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch Classic Vol. 1: Danny Ketch Classic - Volume 1 (Ghost Rider (1990-1998))
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Mackie, Howard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 11/04/2009 (Publication Date) - Marvel (Publisher)
  • First solo series for Ghost Rider II Danny Ketch
  • Written by Howard Mackie, Javier Saltares, and others
  • Art by Andrew Wildman, Mark Texeira, and others

Debuting in 1990’s Ghost Rider Vol. 3 #1, Danny Ketch served as Ghost Rider’s new host once Johnny Blaze stepped down. From 1992-1998, Marvel published Danny Ketch Ghost Rider chronicling his own solo adventures.

Danny battled old Ghost Rider villains like Zodiak, Deathwatch, and Blackout using augmented hellfire powers like chain weapons and a flaming motorcycle.Classic Danny Ketch storylines included “Brood Feud” (#1-#6) featuring alien Xenomorphs, “Blood and Judgment” (#14-#16) guest-starring the Punisher, and “Countdown to Destruction” (#77-#81) which closed out the series. Danny remains a fan-favorite Ghost Rider to this day.

Team-Up: Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire #1-6

Ghost Rider: Heaven's On Fire
  • Jason Aaron (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 02/26/2024 (Publication Date) - Marvel Enterprises (Publisher)
  • Miniseries reuniting Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch
  • Written by Jason Aaron
  • Art by Roland Boschi

In 201. This time, it was Danny Ketch who served as Ghost Rider’s new host after Johnny Blaze stepped down.

Marvel then published Danny Ketch Ghost Rider from 1992-1998, giving fans a chance to follow Danny’s solo adventures. In this series, Danny faced off against old Ghost Rider villains such as Zodiak, Deathwatch, and Blackout. But what made him stand out were his augmented hellfire powers, which included chain weapons and a flaming motorcycle.

Some of the most memorable storylines09, Marvel published a reunion between classic Ghost Rider hosts Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch in Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire by Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi. Here, the duo teamed up to take on Zadkiel and stop the rogue angel from overthrowing the Biblical Heaven.

This miniseries showcased the complementary powers and personalities of the two Riders. Where Johnny relies more on hellfire and brute force, Danny utilizes mystic weapons and cunning. Together, they proved to be an formidable team against the forces of Heaven and Hell alike.

Alternate Reality: Ghost Rider 2099 #1-25

Ghost Rider 2099#1 VG ; Marvel comic book | Chris Bachalo
  • Written by Len Kaminski
  • Illustrated by Chris Bachalo
  • Futuristic Ghost Rider in the year 2099
  • Written by Len Kaminski
  • Art by Chris Bachalo, Ashley Wood, and others

Set in the dystopian cyberpunk future of 2099, this series introduced an all-new Ghost Rider for the futuristic Marvel Universe.

Cybernetic hacker Kenshiro “Zero” Cochrane downloaded a techno-organic virus that transformed him into a glowing, artificially intelligent Ghost Rider.Debuting in 1994, Ghost Rider 2099 by Len Kaminski and Chris Bachalo pitted Zero against corrupt corporations ruling Neo-America.

He battled villains like the artificial psychopaths Wirehead and Deadaim before the series concluded in 1996. Zero still makes sporadic appearances as the Ghost Rider of 2099.

Ongoing Revival: Ghost Rider Vol. 8 #1

Ghost Rider (2022-2023) #8
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Percy, Benjamin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 23 Pages - 11/09/2022 (Publication Date) - Marvel (Publisher)
  • Recently revived ongoing series
  • Written by Benjamin Percy
  • Art by Cory Smith

The latest Ghost Rider series debuted in 2019 as simply Ghost Rider Vol. 8, written by Benjamin Percy with art by Cory Smith. Reverting back to Johnny Blaze as the titular Rider, this series sees Johnny bonding with a young gearhead named Reyes to mentor a new generation of Spirits of Vengeance.

Early arcs pitted Ghost Rider against the mafia, a demonic clown car, and a town cursed by hellwater. Though still ongoing, this revival has so far earned praise for its horror atmosphere and focus on Johnny Blaze in the mentor role. It marks another new chapter in the iconic antihero’s 50-year mythos that is still burning strong.

Conclusion

For fifty years, Ghost Rider has delivered his trademark hellfire justice across the Marvel Universe. These comics showcase the definitive origins, high points, and reinventions of an antihero who continues to ride out of the darkness when evil needs punishing.

Whether it’s stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze or his ally Danny Ketch behind the flaming skull, the Spirit of Vengeance thrills fans and strikes fear into the souls of Marvel’s most despicable villains.