Ghost Rider’s 10 Greatest Enemies In The Comics
For avid comic book fans, 2022 is turning out to be the year of the Ghost Rider. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of Spirit of Vengeance, Marvel is celebrating the moment with two all-new series: Ghost Rider #1 (released February) starring Johnny Blaze as the titular hero and created by Benjamin Percy and Cory Smith, and a five-issue series by Peter David and Alan Robinson that will take readers back to the early 90s with the New Fantastic Four (May release), the brief team-up between Wolverine, Spider-man, Hulk and Ghost Rider.
As for his next solo outing, it’s still a mystery which of Ghost Rider’s many adversaries will appear, but with his gallery of superpowered, supernatural rogues – a who’s who of demons, lords of hell, satanists and murderers – readers can rest assured that just revenge will come, one way or another.
Lord of fear and ruler of a dreamlike dimension, endowed with an immortality powered by the psychic energy of dreamy beings, Nightmare is a villain straight out of a Jeunet-Caro film. No matter what first incarnation of Ghost Rider he faced – Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch had the displeasure of getting to know him – Nightmare has been a nightmare over the years. Primarily an antagonist of Dr. Strange, Nightmare would have made an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before that film’s original director, Scott Derrickson, left the project.
A demonic being who tortures and devours souls, Zarathos is both the source of Ghost Rider’s power and the reason for the hero’s eternal guilt – a constant reminder that achieving “good” through hellish means comes at a cost. Less an adversarial relationship than a partnership aimed at getting rid of a powerful common adversary, Mephisto, the Zarathos-Ghost Rider pairing is a quintessential example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Near the end of Johnny Blaze’s run as the Ghost Rider, Zarathos is finally able to separate himself from Blaze, but has been significantly weakened without bonding to a mortal body. Using the last of his strength, he is able to free Johnny Blaze’s soul – from enemies until the end.
Ebenezer Laughton was a contortionist, escape artist, and backyard variety murderer. After battling Ghost Rider and impaling himself on his own pitchfork, the Scarecrow was reincarnated by the wizard Stern. Now undead and blessed with superhuman strength, speed, and the ability to induce fear in humans and animals alike, Scarecrow has become a far more formidable opponent to Ghost Rider than when they first clashed.
He would die again at the hands of Ghost Rider only to be resurrected once more, this time by the demon Blackheart.
Dormammu’s powers and abilities read like a Task Rabbit profile for omnipotent, interdimensional beings bent on destroying the world. Another villain usually associated with Dr. Strange, Dormammu also had his run-ins with Ghost Rider, at one point prompting the Sorcerer Supreme to battle Ghost Rider in an attempt to kill the two. Ghost Rider isn’t usually about battling street-level heroes, and Dormammu’s position as a Chaos Lord and master of the Dark Dimension is a prime example of that.
6 Centurious the soulless man
A man who sold his soul to Mephisto to fight Zarathos – long before the demon was linked to Johnny Blaze—Centurious is a mirror image of Ghost Rider himself, both powerful earthly representatives of demonic forces waging war for their masters. In past encounters, Centurious has proven himself to be a formidable adversary, once using the Crystal of Souls to imprison Johnny Blaze’s soul. He would continue his fight against Danny Ketch, often through surrogates like Reverend Styge and Steel Wind. Given his immortality, Centurious won’t be giving up the fight anytime soon.
Madcap is like Deadpool, but with a faster healing factor. Virtually immortal and completely unhinged, he feels no physical or emotional pain, a perfect symbol of the societal worthlessness and indifference he represents. After Madcap caused mass violence in Grand Central Station, causing a massacre of people to begin, Ghost Rider intervened, subjecting him to Penance Stare (the ability to make his enemies feel the pain of their victims). For once, Madcap felt pain – and he liked it, making him one of Ghost Rider’s scariest villains.
4 Black Heart
Created by Mephisto from the accumulated evil energy of a murderous New York City, Blackheart possesses all the necessary powers from a daemon of his station: telekinesis, interdimensional teleportation, literal hell, etc. Although he is an enemy of Ghost Rider, Blackheart’s enmity for his own father, Mephisto, has at times placed him, if not on the same side, in a like-minded position. like the spirit of revenge. In the graphic novel hearts of darkness, Blackheart even tried to recruit Ghost Rider, along with the Punisher and Wolverine, into his war against his father, but when they refused he brainwashed an entire town and kidnapped a young girl out of spite.
A renegade archangel become envious of God’s love for mankind. Not to be confused with the biblical Lucifer or the Marvel Lucifer, who is just another lord of hell, Zadkiel’s origin story contains all the epic pomp and religious undertones of Lost paradise. Once responsible for overseeing the Spirits of Vengeance, Zadkiel manipulated Danny Ketch into leading his army, the Black Host, in their war against God, Johnny Blaze, and the other Spirits of Vengeance. With Danny’s help, Zadkiel was victorious, and although his reign was short-lived, any being who can conquer and rule the sky is truly powerful.
2 Lilith, mother of all demons
Lilith, Mother of all demons, known in Judaic mythology as the first wife of Adam and the primordial demoness, possessing the ability to spawn demons at will. Many of his children, or Lilin, have fallen victim to various incarnations of Ghost Rider over the years, only to be resurrected by their mother. She once allied with Centurious in order to acquire the Medallion of Power, but she and her children would inevitably betray Centurious and prove allied with Zarathos.
Besides Ghost Rider, Lilith’s list of enemies includes Dr. Strange, the Midnight Sons, Nightstalkers, and Morbius. She would be at the top of this list if it was purely power-based.
Mephisto is Ghost Rider’s nemesis and greatest enemy. Based on Mephistopheles of Faustian legend, Mephisto has a substantial bag of hell lord stuff, but what makes Mephisto so special isn’t his desire to acquire souls, but his requirement to do so: Mephisto has need the victim’s permission. It is an extremely dangerous monster that can persuade a person to give up their soul, thereby exposing the monster within all living beings. He has handled several Spirits of Vengeance since his debut in The Silver Surfer #3 in 1968. Tangling with Ghost Rider – who at times literally has his Hellfire chain tangled around Mephisto’s neck – as recently as 2021 King in Black: Ghost Riderwhen it comes to archvillainy, Mephisto is Ghost Rider’s past, present, and future.
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