WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers #5 by Jason Aaron, Paco Medina, Ed McGuinness, Juan Vlasco, Mark Morales, Karl Story, David Curiel and Cory Petit, in stores now.
The relaunched Avengers title has certainly embraced the notion of "Go big or go home," as Earth's Mightiest Heroes aim to fend off extinction at the hands of a bunch of galactic overlords. Jason Aaron, Ed Mcguinness and Paco Medina's storyline has been high-octane to say the least, reshaping the origins of superhumans as the byproduct of the Progenitor's (Earth's first Celestial) death while pitting its heartbroken lover, Zgreb, as leader of the Dark Celestials currently purging the planet.
With all hands needed on deck, the Avengers have had to power up, with Thor and She-Hulk getting mystical boosts courtesy of the Frost Giants, and Iron Man donning a Celestial-inspired Godkiller armor. However, the biggest change comes in the form of Robbie Reyes' Ghost Rider.
In what can best be described as the youngster's first major rodeo, he levels up like never before, piloting not some every day Earth-created vehicle, but a Ghost Celestial's empty armor.
As the Dark Celestials scour the globe, finding fallen Celestials who are infected by the cosmic locusts known as the Horde, they're turning them evil. This growing collective is known as the Final Host, which Loki wants to raze Earth as he believes it's time to cleanse the planet of humans and superhumans alike and start anew.
However, he finds resistance in Robbie who tracked him and Captain America to the Progenitor's body where Loki revealed the history of the Celestials. After discovering humanity was basically an accident, born from the remains of the Progenitor, Robbie attacks Loki and yanks Cap away.
They throw Loki in the trunk of his car and rendezvous with the others -- which include Doctor Strange, Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) and Black Panther as pest control against the Horde -- because the Dark Celestials are converting more and more of their infected and dying brethren on the planet.
When everyone meets up in Russia and Tony Stark (empowered with the Uni-Mind by the Eternals) starts the power-up movement, Robbie is in doubt as to his role. He feels out of his depth, but Cap reminds him he's a hero and more so, by standing with them, he's an Avenger. The leader urges him not just to focus on cars and the tractor he just used to save innocents, but to think bigger. And so, Robbie jumps into an infected Celestial and incinerates the Horde from the inside out, all before conversion can occur.
That's right, he's now rocking a flaming Celestial as his current ride, and discovering that his supernatural abilities haven't been fully tapped into as yet. With all this potential at his fingertips, Robbie begins to believe he could well be the mightiest of all these experienced heroes he's surrounded by. And with great belief, comes great power; something he's embracing at last.
The Ghost Rider's true potential is a point Aaron already teased us with when we saw the primitive Ghost Rider (who commandeered a woolly mammoth) alongside Odin and Co. fighting off the First Host who came looking for the Celestial lovers who crashed on Earth eons ago.
Well, we now see Robbie following in his predecessor's footsteps, lining up alongside the big guns and prepared to save the planet. The Ghost Celestial is as large and confident as ever, and ready to exact vengeance on any being who wants to destroy mankind.