Ghost Rider's flaming skull makes him one of Marvel Comics' most recognizable and visually iconic characters. Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes were spotlighted in a series of Ghost Rider films and the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, respectively, and both are the factoring into Marvel's current Avengers series.
There is another fan-favorite Ghost Rider, though. One who hasn't gotten to spend a lot of time in the spotlight recent years -- but that's all about to change.
The Ghost Rider in question is Danny Ketch, Blaze's brother, who debuted in the '90s and was the definitive Ghost Rider for many comic readers of that era. Books like issue #6 of the recent relaunch of Marvel Comics Presents, and the current arcs of Punisher and Avengers are paving the way for Danny's return in a big way. That return happens this October when writer Ed Brisson and artist Aaron Kuder kick off a brand new volume of Ghost Rider, previously announced by Marvel as Beware the Ghost Rider.
CBR spoke with Brisson about the series, which aspects of Danny Ketch he wants to explore, the role Johnny Blaze plays in the book, and which familiar Ghost Rider characters will return in the series' initial issues.
CBR: For a long time, Danny Ketch was the Ghost Rider. What is it about Danny that you find so interesting, and how much of his past informs what you're doing in Ghost Rider?
Ed Brisson: The thing that I like about Danny -- and while this was also true of Johnny, you saw it more in Danny -- is how much he absolutely hates being the Ghost Rider. He's tried everything to rid himself of the curse and nothing worked. Well almost nothing. He has managed to rid himself of the curse, yet always finds himself craving it again.
Danny has an addictive personality, coupled with some anger issues, and that's something that we'll be exploring pretty heavily in the series. We're trying to evolve who Danny is and what he's all about.
The solicits for Ghost Rider also mention Danny's brother and fellow Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze, who is very busy these days as the King of Hell. How big a role will Johnny play in your story?
This book is about both of them. I know some folks got the impression that it's a book about Danny because he was on the cover that first dropped, but rest assured that this is equally a Johnny Blaze book.
Johnny has his own journey ahead of him. He's recently seized control of Hell and is doing his best to keep the place under control -- but he's new to management and like every new manager, no one likes him. Demons are conspiring against him while Mephisto laughs from his jail cell in Las Vegas.
And Mephisto! Just because he's not in Hell anymore doesn't mean he's out of the picture. He's still there, behind the scenes, pulling strings.
What do you want to explore about the brothers' relationship?
The relationship between the brothers is going to be the centerpiece to the book. Even when they've worked together, they've always been at each other's throats.
Johnny is trying to contain Hell breaking open and vomiting demons on earth, Danny just wants to leave it all behind and focus on running his bar, The Fadeaway.
Johnny and Danny have a history together, but I don't believe Danny has met the Avengers' Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes. Is Danny aware of Robbie's existence? Do you have plans for Robbie in Ghost Rider?
Robbie's adventures are taking place in Avengers for now, but their eventual meeting is going to a big deal for the larger Ghost Rider mythos.
Ghost Rider involves Danny becoming the Spirit of Vengeance again, full time, while his brother remains king of Hell. Is this a book that plays with both horror and the Marvel Universe like Immortal Hulk does, or is something different?
First off, Danny and Johnny's roles may not be as clear cut as you think they are. There are some pretty big status quo changes coming your way. Both of these characters are going to be pushed to their absolute limits and I'm not sure that both will survive.
As to the book being horror, we're certainly leaning into the horror of it all. Immortal Hulk is a great slow burn horror, but this book is going to start fast and hard. There's a lot of terrifying stuff happening straight out of the gate.
Underneath the horror, there's a fun bit of crime happening -- on a much larger scale than a bank robbery. Lots of double and triple crosses coming at you.
Will we see classic villains like Blackout in Ghost Rider, or should we expect you and artist Aaron Kuder to focus on introducing and building up new adversaries? Beyond Danny and Johnny, who else will the book focus on? Do you have plans for characters from the Ghost Riders' past like Caretaker or Vengeance?
The Caretaker will be here from the jump. Mephisto will play a role, for sure. Some other baddies from Ghost Rider's past -- one in specific -- will be around, making Johnny's life a literal living hell.
We're pushing Ghost Rider lore in a new and exciting direction, but certainly tying it into existing Ghost Rider history. So, you're going to see quite a few familiar faces, along with a whole lot of new ones.
Finally, One of the more interesting elements of Ghost Rider we've learned about in recent years is that the character has been part of the Marvel Universe since prehistoric times. Will your series reveal more about the history of the Ghost Rider? Will we meet or be reintroduced to Spirits of Vengeance from previous time periods?
This is a tricky question. Yes, we'll see some Ghost Rider history, but maybe not in the way that you're thinking. There's some Spirit of Vengeance related history that we're going to dive into. Some stuff that we've never seen before and it's going to change one of the Ghost Rider's lives forever.