Ghost Rider is the term given to humans that are cursed to serve the powerful demonic entity known as Mephisto. At night and in the presence of evil, they transform into skeletons writhed in Hellfire, and gain a swath of supernatural abilities, but are bound by the contracts they sign with Mephisto. In addition to their other abilities, Ghost Riders operate transformed vehicles, also covered in Hellfire.
Mephisto, the ruler of an alternate dimension often mistaken as 'Hell', sought the souls of mortal man to vastly increase his power so he could rule the universe. However, given that he did not yet have the strength to claim them himself, Mephisto required a vessel to channel these souls to his realm. Inspired by the Angelic creatures which drew souls to the realm often called 'Heaven', Mephisto directed an assault using his demons, successfully capturing one of these Angels that directed souls. Torturing him to insanity within his realm, Mephisto changed this creature of Justice into the first Spirit of Vengeance.
Though Mephisto ultimately failed in controlling the Spirit due to its insanity, he managed to twist its purpose from protecting the innocent to punishing the guilty. With this Spirit as the basis, Mephisto copied it and created several other Spirits of Vengeance to serve his will. Despite this, neither Mephisto nor the Spirits could directly control the flow of souls themselves; to do so, they required living, mortal humans to affect the physical plane.
In the 18th Century in America, a man named Pastor Kale discovered his son, Noble, had married and fathered a son with a black woman named Magdelena. Deeming this impure and heretical, he arranged for his son to be drugged, tortured, and beaten in his church's cellar; as for the woman, he accused her of witchcraft to further spite her name and burned her at the stake.
Unbeknownst to anyone, Magdelena sent a curse of her own shortly after her death. She sent the Furies to take revenge on the pastor and his town. After many of the townsfolk died at the hands of the Furies, Pastor Kale struck a deal with Mephisto: Mephisto would turn Noble into a demon and claim Noble's soul. The deal was made and Noble was bound with a Spirit of Vengeance, becoming the first Ghost Rider. When Ghost Rider had destroyed the Furies, the pastor offered him human flesh, Noble's son. Unwilling to eat his own child, Noble killed himself.
The soul of Noble Kale was claimed by Mephisto, and the Spirit of Vengeance recycled to the next human that made a deal with Mephisto. Thus, the legend, and the curse, of the Ghost Rider began.
Known Ghost Riders Edit
- Noble Kale: The first human bound by a Hellfire entity via contract with Mephisto, and therefore the first Ghost Rider.
- Carter Slade: Also known as "Phantom Rider." Initially, he was a mere man using a ghostly alter ego to bring justice. He was later made an actual Ghost Rider, and was the first to openly defy Mephisto.
- Johnny Blaze: Believed to be the most powerful Ghost Rider and the greatest mistake of Mephisto.
- Danny Ketch: The current 'Prime' Ghost Rider.
- Alejandra Jones: A newer Ghost Rider seeking the restoration of her people, though finds herself in opposition to some of her fellow Riders.
- Robbie Reyes: A young man who, despite not being an actual Rider, possesses similar abilities to one due to his spirit being bound by an evil soul left behind from a man that worshipped Satan. Therefore, he is often mistaken as a Ghost Rider.
- Zero Cochrane: Through a vision into the future, a cybernetic Ghost Rider once known as Zero Cochrane was spotted; his powers were not supernatural, but instead digital.
Ghost Riders are humans who can transform into skeletons covered in ethereal flame and given supernatural powers. The basis of this transformation results from a human soul being bound with a powerful demonic entity composed of Hellfire. The Ghost Riders are virtually indestructible and notoriously hard to injure by any conventional means, as bullets and knives usually pass through them without causing pain (knives are seen to melt while in their body). It is possible that they are genuinely immortal, as it is said that God created them and only God can destroy them. Despite being composed of bone and Hellfire, the Ghost Riders possess formidable superhuman strength, enough to easily pick up a truck and hurl it across a road. Their resilience has proven to endure the effects of an Infinity Stone, as was seen when Danny Ketch shared the energies of the Power Stone with Peter Quill.
Hellfire, the basis of a Ghost Rider's power, is an ethereal flame that does not obey the physics of the mortal plane. It burns the soul, leaving no physical damage or effects to anything that isn't mythical; clothing, items, and even flesh are not burned by this fire. Hellfire cannot be put out by the typical ways of putting out fire, such as smothering, covering with water, taking away fuel or even air, as Hellfire is not actual physical fire and does not work through the ways normal fire of the mortal realm works. It can, however, be disrupted or dissipated by spells or holy weapons and artifacts, and can be put out if one uses enchanted elements such as holy water.
Though they do not require a weapon for their missions, Ghost Riders often come with one. These weapons only show their mythical powers when the Rider is transformed, being entirely normal objects when the wielder is in human form.
The vehicles operated by transformed Ghost Riders can travel faster than any conventional ones and can perform such seemingly impossible feats as riding up a vertical surface, across water surfaces and leaping across great distances that normal transports cannot.
In addition to these base abilities, every Ghost Rider demonstrates some unique power that others do not possess; however, any Ghost Rider can acquire these powers through special enhancing rituals conducted with another Rider whose power they want to claim.
Though Ghost Riders are virtually harmless and essentially immortal, their powers do know limits. Being bound by contract to Mephisto's service, they are unable to escape their curses until their objectives are complete, where their souls are usually claimed at the end; there are very few exceptions to this, with the exceptions protected against Mephisto's power somehow.
Ghost Riders can be stopped with enchantments; the effects of holy-powered water can put out Hellfire, and other mythical/Heavenly weapons can harm them.
Being the fusion of man and demon spirit, a Ghost Rider's will is not their own. As such, in most cases the mind of the mortal man battles over control of the Spirit of Vengeance that is bound to them. Most Riders fail due to the sheer power of their Spirits, though some exceptions exist of strong-willed humans. Despite this, a Rider can prove to be unaffected by this hindrance if both spirits cooperate with each other.
Should a Ghost Rider remain bound to their Spirit of Vengeance for an extended duration, usually up to a year or longer, over time the demonic spirit will corrupt their soul, with effects to their personality and appearance in skeletal form. They become less and less human as their astral spirit is drained to fuel the power of the Spirit. If this is not alleviated, the Spirit of Vengeance will completely consume what's left of the mortal's soul and be released into the physical plane.