One of the most iconic and recognizable characters in the Marvel Universe is the Ghost Rider. The original Ghost Rider appeared in 1972 with Johnny Blaze selling his soul to Mephisto and ending up cursed to ride the land as the Spirit of Vengeance. While the sole purpose of the demon was to enact vengeance on the sinners and evil beings in the universe, Johnny's inherent goodness also made the character a being who protected the innocents from supernatural forces. Johnny Blaze was the primary Ghost Rider of the mainstream Marvel Universe, but he wasn't the only man -- or woman -- to hold that role.
Johnny's brother Danny Ketch, a young man from Los Angeles named Robbie Reyes and a woman named Alejandra Jones, the daughter of a human trafficker, all took on the role as Ghost Rider for periods in the Marvel Universe as well. They also were just a small percentage of the Ghost Riders that have existed throughout history, and each of these characters possess some of the most awe-inspiring powers in the universe and have strange bodies that not only keep them alive no matter what happens to them, but also make them superior to almost every hero and villain that walks the Earth and beyond. From a body that keeps them practically immortal to eyes, nose and hands that are able to seek out the worst in anyone, Ghost Rider has one of the strangest, yet most unique bodies in the entire Marvel Universe.
20 THE POWER OF HELLFIRE
When a host turns into the Ghost Rider, they have a very specific power that gives them control over a very deadly infernal fire. While they are agents of Heaven -- and not Hell, as originally believed -- the main power at their disposal is the use of Hellfire. This is what surrounds the head/body of Ghost Rider as well as his motorcycle.
On top of that, Ghost Rider can also create just about any weapon out of the Hellfire, with his chain as the one most used. Unlike regular fire, the Hellfire is Infernal Pyrokinesis and can both burn the soul of a person it touches as well as physically burn them as well. He can also throw Hellfire itself at an enemy and has the ability to control it with his mind.
19 JOHNNY BLAZE IS A FAIL-SAFE
When Johnny Blaze first became Ghost Rider, he turned into the Spirit of Vengeance when the sun went down and reverted back when the sun came up. However, that changed over the years and Johnny gained control of the transformation and actually controlled the spirit after he transformed.
In Ghost Rider Vol. 6 #13, Ghost Rider showed up to try to stop The Hulk during the World War Hulk storyline. During this fight, Johnny lost control and Ghost Rider refused to fight Hulk because he believed that The Illuminati were the guilty ones and not The Hulk. According to Doctor Strange at this moment, Johnny is the "fail-safe" for Ghost Rider to keep the spirit from growing out of control. If Johnny completely loses control, the Ghost Rider might become uncontrollable and unstoppable.
18 GHOST RIDER IS GOD-LIKE
In the World War Hulk storyline, Doctor Strange had faith that, if anyone on Earth had a chance to stop The Hulk, it was The Ghost Rider in Ghost Rider Vol. 6 #13. While the fight was great, it ended up as a stalemate because the Spirit gained control over Johnny Blaze and decided that Hulk was not the guilty one in this fight and left, realizing that there was no use for him in this battle.
Doctor Strange seemed very scared at that point because he admitted to Reed Richards that when the Spirit gains control he is actually one of the most powerful beings on Earth. Strange called his powers "boundless" and "godlike." As long as Johnny is in control, the Ghost Rider's powers are in check, but once he lets go, there is no limit to what he can do.
17 IMMEASURABLE STRENGTH
While Ghost Rider is not a huge superhero, he possesses immeasurable strength and is one of the most powerful characters in Marvel Comics. In the battle with The Hulk in World War Hulk, he wrapped his chain around a building and brought it down on Hulk. According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Ghost Rider can lift up to 25 tons on normal circumstances.
However, Ghost Rider's strength and power increase when the Spirit takes control. At this time, there is no limit to how strong Ghost Rider can become when pushed to the extreme. His skin is also highly durable and is resistant to almost all physical damage from weapons, intense cold and powerful energy. He has fought Hulk to a standstill, so that should reveal just how strong he really is.
16 GHOST RIDER DOESN'T GET TIRED
Ghost Rider never gets tired. This is because his body does not produce any fatigue toxins when taking part in physical activities, which means he has superhuman stamina and can fight as long as needed to win a battle or outlast an equally powerful foe. While Ghost Rider does not get tired, Johnny Blaze can still grow mentally fatigued, so the longer the fight goes, the more chances Johnny has of losing control.
With that said, the Ghost Rider does have a weakness. Any weapon crafted in Heaven itself or blessed by a holy source can mutilate the Spirit of Vengeance. There is also the fact that the host can be separated from the Spirit, which means that the Rider will remain dormant until another host is found.
15 GHOST RIDER CAN CONTROL CELESTIALS
In Avengers (2018) #5, the team was tasked with battling the Dark Celestials that wanted to purge the planet Earth. The team needed to really power up in order to compete with the new threat and that meant Thor and She-Hulk getting Frost Giant upgrades and Iron Man getting his own Celestial-inspired armor.
However, Ghost Rider got the most interesting upgrade. Robbie Reyes was able to enter into the empty armor of the Ghost Celestial and then using his power, he took control of the Celestial that same way he controlled his car in the past. Reyes also learned that he had not yet tapped into his full powers yet and that he might end up as the most powerful Avenger of them all.
14 LIMITLESS ARRAY OF WEAPONS
Ghost Rider's key weapon is his Hellfire, which gives him the ability to form and create any weapon he wants out of the mystical flame. The most obvious example of a weapon that Ghost Rider uses is his Hellfire-covered chain, which he has mastered the use of over the years. However, Ghost Rider can construct just about any weapon from his Hellfire, from firearms to knives and swords.
On top of that, Ghost Rider can form walls and other objects with the Hellfire just using his mind. He also has his motorcycle that is covered with Hellfire and Robbie Reyes can use the Hellfire to mentally control his car. He also used it to control a tractor at one point to save people.
13 HE CAN GROW IN SIZE
Ghost Rider has shown over the years that he also has the power to grow in size. This was clearly shown in Uncanny Avengers Annual #1 where the heroes were taken into Mojoworld to take part in a television show against their will. However, Ghost Rider proved too powerful to keep under control and he broke free from Johnny Blaze's control and attacked everyone.
While battling Thor, Ghost Rider then grew to a giant height saying that he has the strength of "the demon." There was another moment this happened. In Ghost Rider (2011) #9, Alejandra Jones was Ghost Rider and went to Hell to battle Mephisto. When Johnny Blaze showed up to try to stop her from destroying Hell (and therefore destroying reality), she had grown "half a mile tall" in her fight with Mephisto.
12 HE HAS SUPER SPEED
When thinking of the various powers, skills and abilities of The Ghost Rider, one that not many people think of, or even know about, is that he has super speed. This was really shown in all its glory in Avengers #214. In that issue, Ghost Rider showed up when Johnny Blaze decided that life just wasn't fair and he was going to make it hard on others.
He started out by catching up with X-Men founder The Angel, who himself was doing 190 mph in his car. He then challenged him to a race and easily beat him before hospitalizing him. The Avengers came to the fight, and in the battle, Thor threw Mjolnir at Ghost Rider and the Spirit of Vengeance was able to actually outrace it to get away before turning and catching it when it reversed direction.
11 HIS NOSE CAN SMELL SIN
The entire purpose of the Ghost Rider is to seek vengeance against those who have sinned. The Spirit of vengeance doesn't just guess who might or might not have sinned, though. He has the ability to know when someone has sinned through both his eyes and nose.
When it comes to the eyes of the Ghost Rider, he can see into the soul of any creature -- both the righteous and the sin-filled and judge their guilt or innocence on the spot. He can also see the sins that the people will commit over the rest of their lives. On top of that, Ghost Rider can also smell the sin on the guilty and said as much in Ghost Riders: Heavens on Fire #1.
10 INSTANT REGENERATION
Wolverine and Deadpool aren't the only Marvel heroes who have impressive regeneration skills. However, when compared to Ghost Rider, their regenerating seems very pale in comparison. More like The Hulk, Ghost Rider regenerates entire body parts almost instantly after an injury. Following an injury, both Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze immediately regenerate lost limbs in moments.
This happened in the storyline The Legend of Sleepy Hollow when Jack O'Lantern blew Ghost Rider's head to pieces and it simply regenerated in seconds. While someone like Wolverine grows back limbs to great pain, Ghost Rider doesn't seem to feel anything as it returns to normal. While Ghost Rider is invulnerable to almost all human weapons and devices, he does suffer harm from weapons that were forged in Heaven.
9 CAN'T ENTER A HOLY PLACE
With most Ghost Riders, they have a weakness to holy items. For Johnny Blaze, that means that he is vulnerable to many weapons and devices that were forged in Heaven. However, when looking at the Ultimate Marvel world in Earth-1610, Ghost Rider has a specific weakness. If Ghost Rider enters a church or another blessed holy place, he immediately reverts back into John Blaze.
John Blaze in the Ultimate Universe sold his soul to the devil to protect his girlfriend after a biker gang took his life and then he returned as Ghost Rider to get revenge. It was at this point, that he eliminated all the members of the biker gang, who were now rich and powerful, and when the battle with the final member raged into a church, Ghost Rider immediately reverted back into John Blaze.
8 ALMOST INVULNERABLE
Ghost Rider is almost immune to just about any type of physical damage. In World War Hulk, Ghost Rider attacked Hulk head-on and the two fought to a standstill. While Hulk delivered some brutal blows to the Ghost Rider, the Spirit of Vengeance simply stood back up and was ready for more. When Johnny Blaze finally lost control, it looked like Ghost Rider could be the being to finally take down the Hulk, but then decided it wasn't his fight.
Ghost Rider's body is also capable of withstanding weather extremes as well as pressure extremes. He can survive in outer space and in the depths of the ocean. He can survive in freezing temperatures and can withstand intense heat. He can survive falls from extreme heights and can survive being crushed by immeasurable weight. Bullets pass through him or bounce off his bones. As a matter of fact, he doesn't even feel pain when attacked.
7 BASICALLY IMMORTAL
As long as a being has the Spirit of Vengeance in them, they are basically immortal. There is nothing that can harm them except for weapons forged in Heaven. As a matter of fact, Johnny Blaze said in Ghost Riders: Heavens on Fire #6 that God created the Ghost Riders and therefore only God has the power to destroy them. In other words, unless God changes an opinion on the matter, the Ghost Riders are immortal.
Not only is the Ghost Rider invulnerable to anything outside of Heaven, but he regenerates immediately anytime something takes out a body part. On top of that, the Ghost Rider is ageless and looks the same now as the day that he took over his first host. However, with that said, the host can perish and if that happens, Ghost Rider only needs to find a new host and will just ride on.
Danny Ketch succeeded in doing something that Johnny Blaze never seemed capable or at least never knew that he could do. In Ghost Rider #32, the archangel Zadkiel was trying to overthrow Heaven and tricked Ketch into helping him. Danny then waged war on all the Ghost Riders, including Johnny, and realized he couldn't take them out because they would just find a new host.
Instead, he created avatars of himself made out of pure Hellfire -- proving that Hellfire could not just forge weapons but also create duplicates of himself. They then attacked and stole the Spirit from all the other Ghost Riders. Of course, he realized too late that he was playing for the wrong team, but it was an amazing power that appeared for the first time in that issue.
5 THE PENANCE STARE
Ghost Rider's eyes have the strongest power in his arsenal. When he stares anyone in their eyes, he unleashes his Penance Stare and that is enough to drive anyone to the brink of sanity, and in many cases throws them right over the edge. The Penance Stare causes the person to feel all the pain they ever inflicted on anyone else in their entire life and it lasts an eternity.
Interestingly, there are times where this power does not work. Ghost Rider has looked into the eyes of Deadpool and The Punisher and the Penance Stare did not work because they actually felt no remorse at all over the pain they caused. However, this is a major weapon and it has even worked against someone as powerful as Galactus, as Ghost Rider stared into his eyes and left the Devourer of Worlds lying on the ground feeling the pain of countless innocents left in his wake.
4 CAN SURVIVE UNDERWATER
Ghost Rider's body is capable of withstanding massive pressure and lack of oxygen, and he doesn't even sweat it when he is put into these situations. This includes tossing Ghost Rider into the bottom of the ocean, where he can just chill and have no worries whatsoever outside of how he plans to get out of that mess, to begin with.
Also, add in the fact that Ghost Rider can ride his motorcycle across the top of a body of water, and it seems that this hero has surprisingly little problems with water for a guy with a flaming head. Robbie Reyes has proven to have a nice skill here as well. Avengers Vol. 8 #4 shows that his entire car can work basically as a submarine thanks to his use of Hellfire.
3 ROBBIE GAINS SCARS WHEN PUNISHING CRIMINALS
There is a huge difference between Robbie Reyes and other Ghost Riders. For Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, they are Ghost Riders based on the creatures created by God and serve as Agents of Heaven. However, while they are Spirits of Vengeance, Reyes is instead possessed by the spirit of Eli Morrow, a devil worshipper who tried to use Robbie to seek his own form of revenge.
Thankfully, Robbie was able to gain control and keep Eli from corrupting him, becoming a hero and an Avenger in his own right. However, there is still a downfall to being a possessed Ghost Rider rather than a legitimate Spirit of Vengeance. That is the fact that whenever Robbie takes a life or punishes a person for their sins, he gains more scars on his body, which is evident by the one on his forehead.
2 DANIEL IS IMMUNE TO FORCEFIELDS
There is also a power that Daniel Ketch has as the Ghost Rider that is different from other Ghost Riders in the past. For this specific power, the Ghost Rider's body is immune to external forces. This comes in the form of things like force fields and the like. As a result, if a structure has a force field surrounding it to protect those inside, at least Ketch's version of Ghost Rider can move right through it without any concern at all.
All Ghost Riders also have the power to take notice if there are any supernatural occurrences taking place around them. Doctor Strange has found it impossible to sneak up on Ghost Rider with a spell and the Spirit of Vengeance almost always knows when Mephisto is up to no good in his vicinity.
1 THE APOCALYPSE RIDER IS ALSO IRON MAN
Possibly the strangest version of Ghost Rider appeared in the Age of Apocalypse. Whenever a Ghost Rider's host passes away, the Spirit of Vengeance then seeks out its next host and moves on. This is obvious as the Ghost Riders have been in existence for many years, as Marvel Legacy showed, stretching back almost to the beginning of time as Ghost Rider was a member of the first superhero team in 1,000,000 BC.
Moving to the different timeline and the Age of Apocalypse, the successor to Apocalypse was Weapon Omega and he had his own team of mercs known as the Black Legion. One of these characters had the most interesting body, as it was Iron Man who took on the Spirit of Vengeance and became the Iron Ghost.