Although he is one of Marvel's most popular heroes, there is a lot of mystery surrounding the Ghost Rider. The most prominent of these mysteries being the nature of his powers.
How strong is Ghost Rider? Where do his abilities come from? The somewhat nebulous nature of the character has allowed such questions to arise. Fear no more, here are your answers. Here are the top ten questions you had about Ghost Rider's powers, answered. For this list we will be focusing on the traditional Johnny Blaze version of the character.
10 How strong is he?
When imbued with the powers of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze has the strength to lift around five tons. With this strength also comes invulnerability to most physical attacks.
Although this is his standard strength level, it has been revealed in his more recent history that Ghost Rider can become much stronger. In fact, the upper limits of his super strength are near-infinite. That is if Zarathos takes full control.
9 Who is Zarathos?
The entity that possesses Johnny Blaze is called Zarathos. Zarathos is the source of his Ghost Rider powers. A powerful demon known for making deals for human souls, Zarathos was tricked and trapped by the demon Mephisto.
Mephisto enslaved Zarathos and eventually made a deal with Johnny Blaze, bonding the two entities. Zarathos is one of the most powerful entities in the universe. His bond to the hero Johnny Blaze has made for quite the terrifying duo.
8 Who's in control?
Johnny Blaze has full control over the spirit, and uses its abilities to fight evil. However, Zarathos has been known to take control on a few rare occasions. Surprisingly enough, Blaze's willpower is strong enough that most times he is able to win back control from the demon.
What keeps the two together is Zarathos' need for a host. Since Zarathos is a demon, he cannot survive on Earth without a human host. Blaze takes the responsibility upon himself, using the demons hell powers to enact terrible justice at night.
7 What are Ghost Rider's upper limits?
The upper limits of Ghost Rider's powers are near infinite. They are tempered by the host's limitations. During the World War Hulk storyline, Hulk had become strong enough to defeat every hero with relative ease. When Zarathos takes control of Blaze's body however, he is able to easily level the Hulk.
Dr. Strange notes in this issue that Ghost Rider's powers put him on a god-like status. If not for the limitations of its host, Zarathos could be one of the most powerful deities amongst the cosmos.
6 What is hellfire?
The majority of Ghost Rider's powers revolve around his use of hellfire. Although visually no different from a typical flame, hellfire is unique in that it burns the soul. Ghost Rider can project hellfire from his hands or even spit it out of his mouth.
Hellfire can also be used to create solid physical objects. Blaze uses this power to create his trademark weapon, his chains. He can also create a hell-like motorcycle out of hellfire, but most often imbues a normal bike with the flame, giving it mystical abilities.
5 What objects can he imbue with hellfire?
Traditionally, Ghost Rider imbues his trademark motorcycle with hellfire. Other iterations of the character have done the same with various other vehicles. Ghost Rider's body is covered in hellfire as well, and he can imbue other living creatures with it such as horses, or in the case of Ghost Rider 1,000,000 B.C., a mammoth.
In addition to vehicles, the Rider does this same trick to various weapons. Johnny Blaze was separated from Zarathos for a time and used a shotgun imbued with hellfire as his weapon of choice.
4 What can his vehicles do?
Ghost Rider's vehicles are given mystical abilities, allowing them to break the laws of physics. They can be driven at incredibly high speeds, go up walls and move across large bodies of water. The wheels are always covered in hellfire, leaving a trail of flame wherever he goes.
Blaze is also able to summon his bike at will. While his original bike was created by Mephisto using hellfire, other bikes are simply found in the world and transformed using Ghost Rider's demonic magic.
3 What's with the chains?
Originally a weapon exclusive to the Danny Ketch version of the character, in more recent years Ghost Rider has adopted the chain as his weapon of choice. Made of pure hellfire, Blaze can manipulate this chain in a variety of ways. He can use it to travel far distances to hit enemies that are out of reach, or quickly wrap around and trap them.
Since they are created by the Rider, he has complete control over the chain's movements with his mind. This makes the movement of the chains much faster and more exact then most enemies might expect.
2 How deadly is the penance stare?
The penance stare may be Ghost Rider's most powerful ability. Looking into someone's eyes, he can immobilize and permanently scar a person's psyche, making them feel all the pain and suffering they have ever inflicted onto others.
On a few occasions, some individuals have been able to resist/ recover from the stare. Doctor Strange recovered, but only because he had the help of an angel. Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, was able to fully resist the stare. The Punisher never regretted any of the pain he had caused on others, leaving no emotional burden for his actions. He is one of the few, if not the only person, who could possibly resist it.
1 Can he be killed?
Zarathos is an immortal entity that cannot be destroyed. At times he has been defeated momentarily. Even when he is destroyed, the demon has the ability to reconstitute himself.
Johnny Blaze could certainly die, given that he is simply a human host. However, odds are that Zarathos would simply use his vast powers to resurrect Blaze. There is no escape for him. And there is no stopping the spirit of vengeance.