While many of the iconic superhero mantles in the Marvel Universe have been held by multiple individuals at different points in time, few superhero identities have gone through more hands than Ghost Rider., the title that goes to those possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance. Each character holding the hellish superhero mantle has brought their own respective flair to the role, visually distinct in their own way.
With Johnny Blaze receiving a new look after taking the Throne of Hell, here are the most radical redesigns Ghost Rider has seen over the years since the original days of Carter Slade saving the day as a spectral cowboy armed with two six-shooters on his similarly ghostly horse.
The original Ghost Rider, created by Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas and Dick Ayers' in 1967's Ghost Rider #1, had been a pitch-white cowboy on a horse. The subsequent modernized character, created by Friedrich, Thomas and Mike Ploog in 1972's Marvel Spotlight #5, rode an iron horse -- a motorcycle -- instead as a former stuntman turned supernatural superhero.
Johnny Blaze's original costume reflected his professional background since he wore his old motorcycle stunt wear, matching gloves and tall leather boots. The now-familiar flaming skull replaced Phantom Rider's plain, white visage while his motorcycle burned with a similar hellish aura. Instead of two wild west revolvers, Johnny would eventually start using a chain like his brother Danny though has also armed himself with a hellfire shotgun on occasion.
Many of the more modern visual elements to the Ghost Rider mythos actually come from the 90s incarnation of the character Danny Ketch. Created by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares in 1990's Ghost Rider #1, Johnny's long-lost younger brother wore leather and spikes and was the first Ghost Rider seen wielding an enchanted chain to face the forces of Hell. Late in his series' run, Ghost Rider replaced his with a relatively bright red-and-yellow suit briefly in the mid-'90s.
Years later, Danny would have the Spirit of Vengeance exorcised from his body, driving him into a deep depression from the sudden absence. Danny was approached by Mister Eleven to become an agent of Zadkiel, the Angel of Vengeance, with the resulting transformation making Danny's usual fiery aura and skull an ethereal blue for a time.
Created by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore in 2014's All-New Ghost Rider #1, the latest Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes isn't bonded to a Spirit of Vengeance at all but rather the soul of his evil, demon-worshiping uncle Eli Morrow. This results in a noticeably different appearance and power set than his predecessors as he fights evil in his Hellcharger, a demonically transformed 1969 Dodge Charger.
Robbie's outfit hearkens back to Johnny's classic stuntman costume though black instead of dark blue with the rectangle on the torso a more visible bright white. However, when transformed as Ghost Rider, Robbie's skull is significantly more different than any other Rider, with the hellfire appearing largely contained within, bursting out of the various orifices rather than engulfing his entire visage.
Ghost Rider 2099
The dystopian alternate future of the Marvel Universe in 2099 featured cyberpunk reimaginings of many of the iconic characters, including Ghost Rider. Created by Len Kaminski and an art team including Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Ashley Wood and Kyle Hotz, Ghost Rider 2099 was hacker Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane. Mortally wounded for stealing confidential information from the D/Monix Corporation, Zero uploaded his consciousness into cyberspace before dying, with his digital persona being selected as an avatar for a hidden artificial intelligence referring to itself as Ghostworks.
Ghostworks uploads Zero's consciousness into a robotic skeleton body, giving him the opportunity to deliver vengeance on evil, including D/Monix, with the general public referring to him as Ghost Rider due to his physical similarities to the classic superhero in his new body. Zero's right hand can transform into a killer chainsaw and fire energy blasts while his left hand can transform into a nasty metal hook.
Additionally, Zero possesses an internal stealth system that rendered him invisible while an active camouflage program allowed him to take on different visual appearances, including his former self or making his head appear as if it is in flames. To navigate the futuristic Transverse City, Zero upgraded his old motorcycle with all sorts of new accessories and gadgets.