WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers #25 by Jason Aaron, Stefano Caselli, Jason Keith, Erick Arciniega and VC's Cory Petit, on sale Wednesday, Oct. 23.
"Challenge of the Ghost Riders" is about to come to a fiery end. Avengers #25 is the conclusion of the Ghost Rider-centric arc that finds the current King of Hell, Johnny Blaze, challenging Robbie Reyes to see who is the fastest Spirit of Vengeance on flaming wheels. Though Johnny claims he needs Robbie's powers for a good cause, the method he's going about it leaves a lot to be desired.
Nevertheless, the race must go on, even if Robbie would rather be rid of the Ghost Rider curse altogether. What started as an exorcism of Robbie's hellcharger turned into Avengers Mountain being possessed by something powerful enough to take control of a Celestial. The mystery demon turned out to be the Cosmic Ghost Rider, manipulated by Johnny Blaze to distract the Avengers. After clearing up the miscommunication, Cosmic Ghost Rider volunteered to take the Avengers to Hell in order to rescue Robbie.
The young Ghost Rider almost had the race won, but the appearance of his deceased parents and psychotic uncle Eli in the body of a Celestial was enough to stall Robbie's progress. This is where we pick things up in a preview of Avengers #25. With his Hellcharger gone, Eli attempts to squash Robbie in front of his parents while reminding Robbie that he's a terrible Ghost Rider. By now Robbie's heard this from a few different people, and he's had enough of being talked down to.
Robbie muscles up to lift the Celestial fist off of him and denounces everything Ghost Rider-related. "To Hell with being a Spirit of Vengeance," Robbie says. "I'm an Avenger. And I'll be damned if I'm losing this race." The only problem is he's without a car. Luckily, his Avengers teammates brought a mode of transportation with them to Hell.
Piloting this superhero ark is Captain Marvel, with Captain America, Black Panther, She-Hulk and Blade aboard. Flying overhead are Cosmic Ghost Rider on his supercharged motorcycle and the newly-minted King of Asgard, Thor. Earth's Mightiest Heroes are poised to help Robbie win the Challenge of the Ghost Riders, but he will definitely be a reluctant winner.
Plus, Johnny Blaze will surely have more tricks up his sleeve to come out on top. There is also the matter of the winner seemingly becoming all-powerful. We know Johnny Blaze is still the ruler of Hell as of the launch of Ghost Rider #1, so the finale of "Challenge of the Ghost Riders" must throw another curveball into the equation. We only have a few more days until the release of Avengers #25 to find out how the epic storyline ends.