WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers #24 by Jason Aaron, Stefano Caselli, Luciano Vecchio, Jason Keith and VC's Cory Petit, on sale now.
Since he was introduced in Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw's Thanos, Cosmic Ghost Rider has proven to be one of the most powerful figures within the Marvel Universe. Given the pedigree of the various powers he combines, he's definitely one of the most dangerous figures any of Marvel's heroes could run into.
However, it turns out that the character has one major weakness. While fighting the titular team in Avengers #24, Blade the vampire hunter is able to use the demon-killing Breathing Gun to wound the future version of Frank Castle, proving that anti-magical artifacts might be the best (and only) way to really stop him.
While Robbie Reyes is caught up in a race with Johnny Blaze for the throne to Hell itself, the rest of the Avengers are busy to contain the possessed Avengers Mountain. Although they manage to briefly calm things down, the arrival of the Cosmic Ghost Rider takes things for a serious turn. As he often is, Cosmic Ghost Rider is somewhat confused when he arrives, and initially assumes the Avengers are working with Blaze. The future version of Frank Castle proves strong enough to withstand almost everything the team throws at him: he survives a Gamma empowered blast of lightning, walks off a Celestial powered punch from Captain America and even a barrage from Captain Marvel.
But when Cosmic Ghost Rider hurts Boy-Thing, Blade decides to get involved. The vampire hunter pulls out the Breathing Gun, an ancient-looking weapon, and with one shot destroys the front of Frank's cosmically empowered motorcycle. Cosmic Ghost Rider is genuinely shocked by this, and even more so when another shot manages to blast through his armor and crack his body. But this has the added benefit of forcing Frank to slow down long enough to catch his bearings and realize that the Avengers aren't working with Blaze.
The Breathing Gun
The Breathing Gun was introduced by Warren Ellis and Leonardo Manco during their run on Hellstorm. Only two of the gun of the distinctively carved firearm were ever created. They've been described by Damion Hellstorm as one of the arch weapons of hell. The gun is made of enchanted wood and bullets, and Stephen Loss used one of them in 1923, and it eventually ended up in the hands of Jaine Cutter, an occult terrorist and recurring ally of Damion's. The guns are the only man-made artifacts in the Marvel Universe capable of killing a demon outright with even just a single well-placed shot.
Blade has a large armory of anti-magical weapons. But almost all of that may have been usurped by the sheer power of the Breathing Gun. At the beginning of the attempted exorcism of Robbie Reyes' hell-charger, Damion Hellstorm entrusts Blade with the gun just in case something goes wrong with the ritual, telling him to open fire on Ghost Rider, the hell-charger and Hellstorm himself if things take a turn for the worse. When the Cosmic Ghost Rider walks off everything the heroes throw at him, Blade proves that the Breathing Gun is more than powerful enough to subdue and potentially even kill Cosmic Ghost Rider.
While many of his more overt powers draw on his cosmic abilities, the future version of Frank Castle is still powered at his core by the Ghost Ruder curse. This gives him a host of strengths but one glaring weakness in the form of the Breathing Gun.
Considering that the Cosmic Ghost Rider has wiped out entire teams of superheroes on his own with ease, it's useful that the Avengers at least now have a plan for how to deal with him if they absolutely need to. If Cosmic Ghost Rider ever truly goes off the rails, then Blade might get the chance to add "Ghost Rider Slayer" to his title.
Avengers #25 goes on sale Oct. 23.