SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Thanos #15 by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Antonio Fabela and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Since taking over the creative reigns of Marvel Comics' Thanos in November, writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shawn have infused the title with a slew of mysteries, starting with a future where the Mad Titan stands tall as a conquering king. But every king must have a loyal servant, and for Future Thanos that role falls to the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
This isn't your typical, run of the mill Ghost Rider, however. The cosmic lackey finds himself a mix between the Spirit of Vengeance and herald of Galactus, making for a unique figure in the Marvel Universe. While readers have certainly wondered why and how he became aligned with King Thanos in the first place, the most prevailing question that has loomed large over the "Thanos Wins" story arc is a simple one: Who the heck is this slick-talking, flame-headed lunatic?
We've had our own theories on just who this Galactus-powered Ghost Rider is, but Thanos #15 reveals his true identity, and while we'd love to say we nailed it, well -- we couldn't have been more wrong.
Stare Into My Eyes
Before we get to the big reveal, we'd be remiss if we didn't take the time to discuss a "personal" moment between the Cosmic Ghost Rider and current-day Thanos. One of the more effective weapons in a Ghost Rider's arsenal is his Penance Stare, which renders his victims motionless and forces them to experience every moment of torture and pain they've ever inflicted on the innocent. The Penance Stare is so powerful that it can cause its prey to end their own life. But when the Mad Titan stares into the Ghost Rider's eyes, he only sees his fondest memories of murder and mayhem.
While some people prefer a hot cup of coffee before breakfast, King Thanos opts for something more demonic. This , of course, leads to dog-feeding time, as the Ghost Rider takes Thanos down to a dungeon to feed Thanos' pet Hulk. During their walk down a spiral staircase, modern day Thanos comments that since a Rider only punishes the wicked, their companionship should make for an awkward pairing. The Ghost Rider responds that he used to only punish bad guys, but hanging around Thanos can change a man.