Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch)

Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch)


caption="Ghost Rider" vol. 2, #1 (May 1990).
Art by Javier Saltares.
character_name=Ghost Rider
real_name=Daniel "Dan" Ketch
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Ghost Rider" vol. 2, #1 (May 1990)
creators=Howard Mackie
Javier Saltares
aliases=The Spirit of Vengeance
alliances=Midnight Sons Secret Defenders "New" Fantastic Four
powers= Superhuman strength and durability
Ability to project regular and ethereal flame
Ability to travel between interdimensional realms and along any surface
Wields magical chain
Rides flaming motorcycle
"Penance stare"|

Daniel Ketch, also known as Ghost Rider, is a fictional, supernatural superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. He is the third Marvel character to use the name Ghost Rider, following the Western hero later known as the Phantom Rider, and Johnny Blaze, the first supernatural Ghost Rider.

Publication history

The third Ghost Rider debuted in "Ghost Rider" vol. 2, #1 (May 1990). The series ended with a cliffhanger in vol. 2, #93 (Feb. 1998). Marvel finally published the long-completed final issue nine years later as "Ghost Rider Finale" (Jan. 2007), which reprints vol. 2, #93 and the previously unpublished #94. Note: While the cover reads "Ghost Rider" #94, the comic's postal indicium lists the official title as "Ghost Rider Finale".

Fictional character biography

Daniel Ketch was born in Brooklyn, New York. Daniel and his sister Barbara, attacked by gangsters, fled and hid in a junkyard where Daniel found a motorcycle bearing a mystical sigil. Upon touching the sigil, he was transformed into the Ghost Rider. This Ghost Rider was nearly identical to the previous, though his costume and bike had undergone a modernized tailoring. He thrashed the gangsters, but was unable to save Barbara, who had been critically wounded by Deathwatch and slipped into a coma. ["Ghost Rider" vol. 2, #1] Barbara was eventually killed by Blackout, ["Ghost Rider" vol. 2 #7] whom Ketch had acquired as a mortal enemy. Ketch later learned the origin of Zarathos from the mystical dream lord Nightmare. ["Ghost Rider" vol. 2, #11] who believed the entity to which Ketch was bound was Zarathos reborn yet again and freed from the Soul Crystal. Ghost Rider denied this, though others, including Mephisto, believed otherwise. ["Cloak and Dagger" #18]

When Ghost Rider became a part of the team the Midnight Sons, he died twice in the process. The first person who killed Ghost Rider was the vampire hunter Blade, who was at the time possessed by the mystical book the Darkhold. He was soon revived by the Darkhold Redeemers, along with everyone else killed by Blade. The second time the Daniel Ketch Ghost Rider died was when fighting Zarathos, but as previously, was resurrected.

Ketch and Johnny Blaze later learned they were long-lost brothers and that their family was the inheritor of a mystical curse related to the Spirits of Vengeance. Ketch eventually seemed to die, but the Spirit of Vengeance to which he had been bound through the bike's talisman lived on, and Ketch himself was resurrected via a bonding with Noble Kale Ghost Rider. ["Peter Parker: Spider-Man" #93 (July 1998)]

This Ketch/Kale hybrid version of Ghost Rider eventually became the King of Hell in brokered arrangement with then-ruler Blackheart. In return for Ghost Rider coming to Hell and marrying two hand-picked demon brides, Pao Fu and the Black Rose, Blackheart would free the Ketch line from the curse. Kale accepted. On the night after the dual wedding, Black Rose betrayed Kale and tried to kill him. When she failed, Blackheart revealed that the entire arrangement had been a plan to kill Kale and destroy his soul. Black Rose was revealed to be Roxanne Simpson, the supposedly dead wife of Johnny Blaze. In response, Kale killed Blackheart, became King of Hell, and learned he was in fact the Angel of Death.

Danny is seen in the shadows speaking on the phone with the head nurse, and it appears he had the sign of Zadkiel on his hand in this sequence. ["Ghost Rider" #22 (2008)] He was fully revealed as an agent of Zadkiel and encounters the young boy Blaze is trying to save and seemingly convinces him to kill himself. ["Ghost Rider" #23 (2008)]

Powers and abilities

The Ghost Rider is empowered as a result of the magical properties of a mysterious emblem affixed to a large and powerful motorcycle possessed by Daniel Ketch. This gives him the ability to transform into a mystic being which appears as a flaming skeleton dressed as a motorcyclist, and provides him with superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability. As the Ghost Rider, Ketch can use his "Penance Stare" — the ability to cause others to experience a level of emotional pain equivalent to that which they have caused others as a result of illegal or immoral activities. When in close combat, he locks eyes with his victim and makes them feel all the pain that person has ever inflicted on anyone in their lifetime. This, of course, has several weaknesses. If high on drugs like cocaine, or if the person is blind, or if he cannot make eye contact due to the victim having more than two eyes, Ghost Rider's Penance Stare cannot function. An attempt to use the Penance Stare on the symbiotic being, Venom, resulted in Ghost Rider being knocked unconscious. It also cannot work on souless beings such as Centurious.issue

As the Ghost Rider, Ketch uses a length of heavy chain approximately 3 feet long which possesses magical properties. For instance, when it is thrown it is able to separate into individual links which behave like shuriken, later reintegrating and returning to the Ghost Rider's hand. The chain can grow in length, is supernaturally strong, and can transform into other weapons such as a spear. He can also spin it fast to be used as a drill.

The common theme of the Ghost Rider is a human host who transforms into a flaming-headed motorcyclist with supernatural powers. When riding their bikes, the vehicles can travel faster than conventional motorcycles and can maneuver impossible feats such as riding straight up a vertical surface or across water. In a one-shot comic featuring Doctor Strange and the Daniel Ketch/Noble Kale version of Ghost Rider, it was shown to be capable of riding on nothing but air. This was repeated shortly after Kale started to regain his memories, causing him to alter his suit by sheer force of will, and created an entirely new bike.

When empowered, Ketch's motorcycle undergoes a more radical transformation. It changes from a conventional looking motorcycle to one that appears both powerful and high-tech. Along with flaming wheels, the bike includes a shield-like battering ram on the front. Like the Blaze/Zarathos version, this Ghost Rider's bike was capable of incredible stunts, such as driving up sheer walls, across water, and in at least two known instances, through the very air itself. Ghost Rider also created two other bikes that he could utilize in the same manner as the one he normally rode, one out of necessity when Blackheart stole the original in a crossover graphic novel that brought together Ghost Rider, Wolverine, and the Punisher, and again in the regular series as a spare in case something made him unable to get to his regular cycle. The latter would wind up in the hands of Johnny Blaze.

He has displayed some other powers briefly, like the ability to summon a wall of flame. In the beginning, Ketch could only transform "when innocent blood was spilled" and had to touch the gas cap of his motorcycle. Later it was revealed that this was only a psychological limitation he himself caused, and which Daniel later overcame.

Unlike Blaze, the Ketch Ghost Rider possessed a "Penance Stare" which made the target experience all the pain and suffering they've caused others. He possessed Hellfire powers similar to the Zarathos/Blaze version, but he also had the ability to destroy the undead, and was supposedly Marvel's incarnation of the Angel of Death/Judgment, which detailed the supposed origins of the Noble Kale version of the Ghost Rider. [as revealed in "Ghost Rider" #93]

In addition, Ketch and Noble Kale actually worked together to an extent, unlike Blaze and Zarathos, who battled for dominance and control over their shared body. Kale had a compassionate side and while there were times that he seemed tempted to simply take over completely, he refused to do so, though he felt anger at condemning Daniel to only being able to live his life out half the time, while he dominated the other half. Kale and Ketch, like Blaze and Zarathos, could sometimes communicate through dreams, and in at least one issue communicated via messages written on a mirror in lipstick.

Other versions

Marvel Zombies

In the alternate-dimension Marvel Zombies universe, the Daniel Ketch version of Ghost Rider is seen in his living form in the "Marvel Zombies" prequel "Dead Days". He is part of the resistance organized by Nick Fury to take down the Marvel Zombies but is later seen being overwhelmed in a battle with the infected. In the "Marvel Zombies" miniseries, a zombified version of Ghost Rider appears as one of the infected superheroes trying to attack and devour the Silver Surfer and part of the zombified superhero attack on Dr. Doom's fortress. His fate is unknown, but it is suggested that he did not survive the attack of the Silver Surfer as he no longer appears with the survivors in the aftermath.


Danny Ketch appears on the last page of the Marvels series. He is shown as a newspaper delivery boy . The main character of Marvels, Phil Sheldon, refers to him as "A nice, normal, ordinary boy".

pider-Man/Human Torch

A younger version of Ketch can be seen during the third issue of the Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries written by Dan Slott. He is interviewed about Spider-Man and Human Torch, and is approximately the same age as his appearance in Marvels.

Other media


The Johnny Blaze version had all the powers and a use of chain of Daniel Ketch in the Incredible Hulk (1996 animated TV series) and the Fantastic Four (1994 TV series).

Ghost Rider appeared briefly as a memory in Gambit's mind during the 1990s Fox Broadcasting Company "X-Men" animated series; he did not speak on that occasion.
John Semper, a producer and story editor of the 1994 Spider-Man animated series, said in an undated interview that one episode outline involved the antagonists Mysterio and Dormammu, and that the producers "wanted to introduce Ghost Rider, but Fox was afraid Marvel was going to use him in a UPN show and didn't want to give him the exposure. So that was cut". [ [ "Interview with John Semper"] ]


* While it was Johnny Blaze who was the host of the Ghost Rider that appeared in the film, elements of Daniel Ketch like in The Incredible Hulk (1996 animated TV series) and the Fantastic Four (1994 TV series), such as the spikes on the outfit and the use of a chain as a weapon and the Penance Stare, were incorporated. Blaze has taken the costume and abilities in the comics since.

Video games

* The Daniel version of Ghost Rider also appears in "", the sequel to the videogame adaptation of "Maximum Carnage".
* Daniel Ketch appears in the Playstation/Nintendo 64 "Spider-Man" videogame during the 'Race to the Bugle' stage.


External links

* [ Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch)] at
* [ Ghost Rider] at Marvel Directory
* [ International Hero: Magazine Enterprises' Ghost Rider]
* [ The Ultimate Ghost Rider Resource]
* [ Giant Sized Ghost Rider Reference]

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