The pages of the Cosmic Ghost Rider are getting even weirder as we speak. With Thanos becoming the Punisher and the Ghost Rider in one go, fans started to think that this is the most Marvel Comics could get into the topsy-turvy town. But looks like we have been wrong! Our best baddie Thanos has recently had a gear upgrade. He is no more just the Mad Titan. He is something else. Presenting – Marvel Comics Update – Cosmic Ghost Rider reveals darkest, the meanest avatar of Thanos!!!
SPOILER ALERT – MAJOR Spoilers for Cosmic Ghost Rider #3 by Donny Cates, Antonio Fabela and Dylan Burnett! If you still have not read it yet, we suggest you look away…
Let us help you catch up to speed. In Cosmic Ghost Rider, the story arc goes something like this – Frank Castle and a contingent of heroes are the last stands against Thanos and his army, who in an alternate reality, has won the whole universe. Frank is defeated and the rest of the heroes are killed. In a moment of desperation, Frank Castle makes a deal with the Devil…literally.
He becomes the next Ghost Rider and later obtains the Power Cosmic only to become a servant of Thanos, who is the sole ruler of the Universe by then. So how does Frank decide to reform Thanos? He decides to travel back to the past and kidnap an infant Thanos, aiming to train him both physically and mentally and mold him into a being that will never ever think about invading planets and killing civilizations in the first place.
The Punisher, a killer and a believer in violent justice, trying to go back to stop a child from turning to murderous ways was a bad plan from the very beginning. Frank Castle may be the good guy and Thanos may be the bad one, but at the end, both believe in murder and violence being the answer. And even if Castle could teach Thanos how to differentiate between right and wrong and not harm the innocents, there is no guarantee that Thanos will stay the same in due course of time.
After all, right and wrong are relative for every guy. What we might think is unethical could not be the same for some other person. The plan was flawed but the story is damn interesting and it takes a turn for the interesting.
Both Thanos and Castle have a conviction that is quite similar and at the same time, dissimilar. Castle kills because of the death of his near and dear ones has punched a gaping hole in his chest which could only be fulfilled by waging a one-man war against all things evil. Thanos kills because he is literally obsessed with Death.
He kills because he wants to appease the living embodiment of death. In one issue though, the Punisher too made a deal with the Grim Reaper. In the limited series Born, the Punisher literally becomes the agent of death and gains massive powers in return for the death of his family members.
So when, Castle decides to go back to the past and change things for the better or worse, he is opposed by scores of Guardians of the Galaxy members led by the one and only Cable. Cable is of the opinion that if Frank goes into the past to teach the ways of honor, Thanos will end up becoming a more terrifying version of the present self that everyone knows and sees. Castle who has the powers of the Cosmic Ghost Rider kills swathes of enemies and is about to kill a wounded Cable as well. And this is when the twist happens.
The last page of Cosmic Ghost Rider #3 shows Cable being shot dead not by Castle but another time-traveling stranger. It is Thanos, in full white gloves and Punisher garb and holding a rifle in his hand. Is this the same tyrant Thanos everyone hates or is he someone that actually possesses the conscience of a good man as Frank wanted him to? Or is he someone else who the whole Marvel universe should fear, even more than Emperor Thanos? Only time will give us the answer.