When you think about anti-heroes, the first guy that comes to mind is the Punisher. In many ways, the Punisher was the first mainstream anti-hero of the comic book universe. His methods of killing, his blood spilling tactics and hi violent approach to justice doesn’t sit well with almost everyone, Even the ones that do agree with his ways sometimes feel like he is going way over the line. The Punisher likes to kill more than he likes to breathe. That is a fact. Now, what if we said that the Punisher was getting an upgrade? Not just a better firearm or a sharper knife but a full on super-powered beast!!! What if the Punisher became the Ghost Rider!!!!
The Ghost Rider or simply called the Rider in the circles of hell and beyond is one of the strongest and meanest superheroes ever. The Rider has gone against the Hulk and almost fought him to a standstill. And not just any Hulk but the World War Hulk!! Forged of the angel Zarathos, the Ghost Rider used to be an angel sent to earth to cleanse it but later became tainted by it and was then given physical form when chained to the body of Johny Blaze. The Ghost Rider’s powers are mystical and everlasting. His strength and durability are perhaps only second to the Sentry, widely considered to be Marvel’s Superman. Ghost Rider has defeated and vanquished several world killing threats and has made quite a name for him.
The Punisher is known for his ruthlessness and viciousness. The Ghost Rider is famous for his penchant for violence and his twisted form of inflicting revenge. What if the Punisher, champion of bloodbaths and a freaking one man army by himself was possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance!! Now that’s something evil will stay the hell away from. That is exactly what has happened in Marvel Comics now.
But fans are still confused as to how Frank Castle became the Ghost Rider in the first place. The Cosmic Ghost Rider used to be a spirit of Vengeance himself but later started to serve Thanos as his herald after Thanos became the absolute ruler of the Universe in the future timeline. The Cosmic Ghost Rider was originally seen as a supporting character and the herald of Galactus once upon a time in the Thanos run by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw.
The first question that came up in everyone’s mind is that ‘who is the fucking guy with the flaming skull?!?!?’ The answer was given in the later pages when the Rider was revealed, to be Frank Castle. The castle became the Ghost Rider and wielded the Power Cosmic while he hailed as a herald of the planet-eating Galactus. But how did the Cosmic Force Ghost Rider end up serving the Mad Titan Thanos?!?!?!?!
A small part of the full story was already revealed much earlier. When Thanos killed Galactus, Frank Castle who was already under the latter’s servitude somehow decided to serve the guy who killed his previous master instead.
In Thanos #16, it is revealed that Thanos waged a war against planet Earth. The war cost the lives of the entire superhero population. The Punisher was one of the last heroes standing. When the planet was brought to its knees by the Mad Titan, the Punisher ended up with a loaded gun in his hand and thought “I would give anything to punish that purple son of a bitch!!” Enter Mephisto.
Mephisto hears Castle’s call. The scene cuts off there but it is quite evident what happens next. Frank makes a deal with the Devil. Frank will gain the power of the Ghost Rider so that he could kill Thanos one day in exchange for Mephisto claiming Frank’s soul.
The preview also claims that Frank Castle doesn’t make one but three deals with three different devils. He becomes the Ghost Rider and a spirit of Vengeance after selling his soul to Mephisto. He then later gains the Power Cosmic after deciding to become the Herald of Galactus. After Galactus is killed, the Cosmic Powered Ghost Rider then agrees to serve Thanos as his new master.
Thanos #16 goes on sale on February 28th. Grab yours before it’s too late!!!!
The Frank Castle version of the Ghost Rider is already about to star in his own solo series. There have been many that have wilded the power of Zarathos to become a spirit of Vengeance. Johny Blaze was the first who became a flaming skull and leather jacket freak in Marvel’s spotlight #2 in 1972. He certainly isn’t the last. Marvel has turned Frank Castle into the new host of Zarathos in their Thanos Run but he will be starring in his own personal adventures across the cosmos soon. There are two versions of Ghost Rider currently – the live action version is Robbie Reyes who stars in Agents of Shield TV Series. And not long ago, the comic book version made a grand entrance into the Marvel Universe.
While Reyes will be part of the Ancient Avengers, a group of superheroes from a million years ago, during the prehistoric era, Frank Castle will be the Ghost Rider of the future, serving Thanos after he has won the battle against the universe and is sitting on the throne of creation. The solo Frank Castle Ghost Rider version will be a part of the new direction Marvel is trying to approach ever since its Legacy issues are sniffing dust at the bookshelves and the digital stores.
Created by Donny Cates and given life to by artist Mike Deodato, the Cosmic Ghost Rider first came into the spotlight during Thanos #13. The entry of the cosmic-powered Ghost Rider into the Marvel Universe is not a matter of chance or coincidence. Fans have been longing for a Ghost Rider and Punisher crossover ever since the two characters exist. They will be getting one soon when the solo series arrives. There is no more Punisher and Ghost Rider. Punisher IS the Ghost Rider. The reveal comes at a time when there exists both the Punisher and the Ghost Rider within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the comic books could give the fans what they want, the TV Shows could follow the same. A Punisher/ Ghost Rider Netflix show could very well be what the Marvel TV Universe desperately needs right now after the fledgling ratings of ‘The Defenders’.
As of now, the Cosmic powered, Frank Castle Ghost Rider is not the only thing to drool over. The Punisher may have attained both the power of spirit of Vengeance and the Power Cosmic but he is far from being the only superhero to stay away from in Space Town. Wakanda, in the same Marvel Comic Continuity, has moved to space. That’s right folks!! T’Challa is the king of an intergalactic empire now. How will it affect the equation of Thanos and the Ghost Rider is a guess for another day. Will the Black Panther meet the Ghost Rider in Space?? Will they (fight)???
With Thanos the supreme king and the Ghost Rider perhaps the only thing strong enough to stop him, there is no telling how the story will unfold. The Punisher became the Ghost Rider to punish Thanos for his sins. The Spirit of Vengeance also likes to punish people. Frank Castle and Zarathos make a perfect combination. Throw some Power Cosmic in and we have a powerhouse. But why is she serving the very guy he wants to kill?? It doesn’t make sense now. We hope it will in the future.
Are you excited about the Punisher Ghost Rider Solo series?? Yeah so are we!!!!