WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ghost Rider #1 by Ed Brisson, Aaron Kuder, Jason Keith, and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
At the end of the crossover event Damnation, Johnny Blaze has been crowned the King of Hell, deposing Mephisto who remains imprisoned under the vigilant supervision of Doctor Strange's longtime friend and ally Wong. Sporadically appearing throughout the Marvel Universe under his new position overseeing Mephisto's hellish underworld and the souls being punished within it, Johnny takes the center stage in the Ghost Rider ongoing series relaunch by Ed Brisson and Aaron Kuder.
When he isn't challenging other Ghost Riders, Johnny discovers that demons and escaped souls have secretly been escaping to Earth, unleashing Hell on New York City forcing him to leave his kingdom to track them down before they can cause further damage. As per Johnny's usual reputation as a loner, Blaze's request for his long-lost brother and fellow Ghost Rider Danny Ketch to help him with his new mission are summarily rebuffed.
As Danny sinks into an alcoholic haze, he contemplates all of the things his role as a Spirit of Vengeance have personally cost him over the years. However, in trying to distance himself from Johnny and the Ghost Rider legacy, Danny discovers a disturbing revelation about his brother's new status quo.
Ashamed and guilty he had to leave his mother's funeral early due to his commitments as a Ghost Rider, a drunken Danny visits her grave after telling off Johnny. Barbara, who had walked out on Johnny and his father Barton Blaze decades ago with Danny, rises from the grave as a ghost, shocking her inebriated son. The spectral reunion proves to be more ominous than sentimental, however, when Barbara warns Danny that his brother is being fiendishly corrupted by his position of power in Hell and become a danger to himself and the rest of the Marvel Universe as, miles away, a captive Mephisto revels in the chaos on Earth. And the threats to Johnny and his new status quo are not limited to escapees from Hell.
Back in Hell, one of Johnny's most trusted, demonic lieutenants is brutally killed by the figure revealed to be the evil Lilith. Imprisoned for millennia while her demonic children roamed the Earth -- including Blackout, the villain that killed Danny and Johnny's little sister -- Lilith discovered that many of her offspring had been destroyed by the Ghost Riders, making her mortal enemies of both the Blaze siblings. An occasional ally of Dracula, Lilith was condemned to Hell after numerous battles against the Ghost Riders, Doctor Strange and the supernatural super-team the Midnight Sons.
With Johnny Blaze preoccupied with hunting down runaway souls and demons alone on Earth, his hellish kingdom has quickly fallen in disarray in his absence as Lilith makes her own play for the throne as part of her ongoing revenge against Ghost Rider. And with Mephisto still very much alive and waiting in the wings, the Marvel Universe's most iconic devil himself could make his return to Hell as his imprisonment is looking increasingly temporary.
Johnny Blaze's longtime curse has placed him on the throne of Hell and given him a new status quo and mission to track down anyone who would dare escape his fiery domain. However, while Johnny may be charge, his new position seems to have an insidiously corrupting influence on the superhero. It's turning the classic Ghost Rider into a future threat as demons roam free on Earth, poised to plunge the world into chaos and hellfire, with Johnny as a surprise harbinger of the apocalypse for all of creation.