In the future of 2099, America has become a fortified police state ruled by a tyrannical corporation known as Alchemax. A brilliant scientist at Alchemax, Miguel O'Hara will create a device designed to replicate the powers of Spider-Man. The seedy corporate hands of Alchemax reaches deep within the police force it now owns. After handing over his badge, Jake Gallows decides to keep his gun and continue the legacy of Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. Though the heroes of yesterday are gone, the Asgardian God of Thunder is worshipped in the Church of Thor.
The supernatural motorcyclist with a burning skull known as the Ghost Rider took on another frightening form in the futuristic dystopian of 2099. After a past catastrophe wiped out all heroes of the past, a new Ghost Rider rose from the ashes to fight the injustices in this crime-ridden world. With the cyberpunk genre as its source of sci-fi inspiration, the Ghost Rider fit in perfectly with the low-lives of society and updated his leather jacket for high tech cybernetics. Since the apocalypse cannot even keep Marvel Comics' spirit of vengeance down for so long, here are 10 things readers should absolutely know about the anti-hero Ghost Rider 2099.
Created by Len Kaminski, Mark Buckingham, and Chris Bachalo, Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane is an information hacker thief on the run. Zero has stumbled upon a secret file that the evil corporation, D/Monix, desperately wants to stay hidden. With the stolen secret file, Zero suddenly finds himself being chased by a notorious street gang known as Artificial Kidz.
After being followed around in Transverse City, Zero suffers from a fatal gunshot wound, which causes him to lose a large amount of blood. Just before he is about to die, Zero uploads his consciousness into cyberspace.
9 No Zarathos!
Ghost Rider 2099 delved more into science fiction and technology, removing itself from the horror genre. This wasn't about recreating Johnny Blaze's deal with Mephisto to save a loved one.
In his origin story, Kenshiro Cochrane doesn't sell his soul, but he does upload his consciousness into the hidden sectors of cyberspace known as The Ghostworks. Wanting revenge for his own murder, Cochrane asks the Ghostworks to bring him back to life. Promising to honor his deal to work as their agent, the Ghostworks then upload Cochrane into a new body.
8 The Ghostworks!
Deep within the realm of cyberspace, the Ghostworks happen to be a group of Artificial Intelligence machines who have gone rogue from their human masters. The Ghostworks believe society needs to be rescued because humanity is about to fall apart and face extinction.
Because they depend on humans to keep cyberspace running, the Ghostworks need to become involved in the real world in order to save them. With a new body ready for Zero, the Ghostworks ask in return that he serve as their agent of change against the evil corporations.
Once their deal was agreed upon, the Ghostworks hacked into the mainframe of an abandoned military factory and controlled the machinery to build Zero's new robot body. With his old body dead, Zero just had his digital soul to work with.Zero's digital soul was then dowloaded into the neuro-net of the Cybertek 101 warbot.
Built with advanced nanotech weaponry, the Cybertek 101 warbot would be able to self-repair itself from damage. In place of the Penance Stare, this Ghost Rider popped out a chainsaw from his wrist when speeding into battle.
6 The Bike!
Just like Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch before him, Zero rode around the streets in his speeding motorcycle. After receiving his new robot body, Zero then used the nanotechnology to upgrade his beaten-up Ford Velociraptor 900. The reason the vehicle burst into flames was because his enhanced bike now had thrusters and anti-gravity propulsions.
His skull-like head now lit up with artificial flames, thanks to his newfound holographic capabilities. The newspapers started calling him Ghost Rider, a name Zero had never heard before, because of his uncanny resemblance to the past vigilante.
Using his holographic capabilities, Zero would be able to look like his old self and become the new Ghost Rider. Zero even fooled his girlfriend, Kylie Gagarin, who believed what she saw with her own eyes. Zero appeared to be unharmed from the Artificial Kidz's attack. Because he switched back and forth between bodies, Zero started using up energy in his power cells.
With a drained battery, Zero had to recharge himself before he completely exhausted himself. His power supply was also spent up whenever the Ghost Rider used his super-strength and cranked up chainsaw.
4 Vengeance 2099!
Though the main antagonist of the series was Zero's father, Harrison Cochrane, there was another opponent very similar to Danny Ketch's. Much like Lt. Michael Badilino, Colt Wagner was an officer of law and despised vigilantes because they were criminals.
After being killed by Ghost Rider, Colt's brain was removed and stored away for safe-keeping. The Kabal, a member of the undernet, believed that in order to defeat Ghost Rider, he needed to create something very similar to him. Wagner was resurrected from the dead and manufactured into Vengeance 2099.
3 Manifest Destiny!
Though issue #25 is the very last installment of the Ghost Rider 2099 series, Zero played an important role in the one-shot special 2099: Manifest Destiny. The last story in the 2099 Universe, Miguel O'Hara is racing against the clock, trying to save humanity from extinction.
After reviving the one and only Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, Miguel gathers Ghost Rider and the other superheroes to become the new Avengers. In the time jump to 3099, their dystopian society actually changes for the better and becomes a beautiful utopia for everyone.
2 Ghost Racers!
Every incarnation of Ghost Rider ends up in the race of a lifetime in the Secret Wars: Battleworld crossover event, Ghost Racers. In Battleworld, Arcade, the former host of Murderworld, has a new amusement park for audiences with Killisieum.
In the Arena, the Ghost Riders have to race against each other in order to win the ultimate prize. Zero, Robbie Reyes, and more compete for a chance at freedom and escape the Arena from its deathtraps. Because none of the Ghost Riders have any loyalty to each other, there can only one winner at the finish line.
1 He's Back!
Zero Cochrane, Doctor Doom, and Miguel O'Hara will be returning for one more story to tell in December. Writer Ed Brisson and artist Damian Couceiro will be revisiting the dystopian future in Ghost Rider 2099 #1. We have no clue if the story takes place or even retcons continuity in 2099: Word of Tomorrow.
Due to the polar ice caps melting, Transverse City has been become completely flooded with water. No one knows the exact whereabouts of Ghost Rider or if he has even left the underwater city. We will have to wait and see!