Johnny Blaze, the once and current host of Ghost Rider, the Spirit of Vengeance, is a man after some payback. The target of his quest is Zadkiel, the renegade angel responsible for cursing him with the Ghost Rider. Now having a powerful, primordial being like the Ghost Rider on your tail is enough to terrify even the toughest of Seraphim, but Zadkiel isn't worried. See, he's got an ally who knows a thing or two about dealing with the Ghost Rider. That ally is Danny Ketch, Blaze's brother and the star of the '90s "Ghost Rider" series. In the coming months, "Ghost Rider" will see Blaze and Ketch going head to head and CBR News spoke with series writer Jason Aaron about what fans can expect.Recent issues of "Ghost Rider" have shown that Ketch is aware of his brother's vendetta against Zadkiel, but as of yet, Blaze has no idea that Ketch is an agent of the angel. "He's not ready for it all," Aaron told CBR News. "Ever since Blaze first learned that it was the angel Zadkiel that's really responsible for turning him into the Ghost Rider, he's been focused on nothing but revenge. Now to find his own brother standing in his way really crushes Blaze's spirit, at least until the fists start flying."
The revelation that Danny Ketch is one of Zadkiel's flock of followers have left many fans wondering just how committed the character is to stopping his own brother. "We'll be learning more about Ketch's motivation as we go along, but I'd say that overall, he really feels like he's doing the right thing," Aaron explained. "Or at least he's convinced himself of that."
Ketch's motivations are also explored in the upcoming mini-series "Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider" by writer Simon Spurrier. In an interview with Spurrier we'll published here on CBR Sunday morning, Spurrier hinted that the series also chronicles how Ketch becomes the wielder of his own source of supernatural power. Which leads one to wonder, when Blaze and Ketch finally square off, just how evenly matched will the brothers be in terms of power? "That's one of the big questions, isn't it? Just what sort of powers does Ketch have and where did he get them?" Aaron remarked. "I'll just say, it wouldn't be much of a fight if they weren't evenly matched, and boy, is it a big fight."
If the brother's confrontation turns into a battle of wits, Aaron feels Ketch has the edge. "Ketch has always seemed a little more clever than Blaze, and Ketch also has the element of surprise on his side," Aaron explained. "Blaze has no idea what he's even up against."
If Blaze does manage to get past his brother, he still has to go through Zadkiel's large group of followers before he gets a shot at the rebel angel. "For the most part, the group stays underground, working behind the scenes. Blaze has already fought his way through some of those people," Aaron remarked. "When he really gets in trouble, though, is when he comes up against Zadkiel's actual army, made up of warrior angels who've spent the last several thousand years now perfecting the arts of murder and war."
Danny Ketch resurfaced in May's "Ghost Rider" #23, but since then he's been keeping a low profile. August's "Ghost Rider" #26 marks the beginning of a two-part story line and Ketch's return to the book. "It's set in the mountains of Tennessee, in and around a cabin that serves as a veritable treasure trove of Ghost Rider history," Aaron said. "Blaze has come to the cabin looking for answers. Ketch has come to burn it down. And yes, we'll see the return of several old Ghost Rider villains, as well as the reappearance of Ketch's old mentor, Caretaker. She is very different than the previous Caretaker [who was male], and she'll be a major player in the series for the foreseeable future."
The confrontation between Ketch and Blaze continues in October's "Ghost Rider" #28, which is the start of a major five-part story arc. Aaron revealed issue #28 will come with two covers, each drawn by artist Marc Silvestri. One features Blaze and the other depicts Ketch.
October also sees release of the previously mentioned "Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider" mini-series, which is tied very closely to the story Aaron is telling in "Ghost Rider." "Simon not only fills in the blanks between Ketch's past and present, but also expounds upon the history of the Spirit of Vengeance, which ties in directly with a big revelation coming in 'Ghost Rider' #28," Aaron explained. The coming months in "Ghost Rider" will bring to life many revelations about the nature and history of the Spirit of Vengeance. Aaron cryptically remarked, "Who said there was always just one?"One area of "Ghost Rider" history that Aaron won't be delving into is the complex back-story involving Danny Ketch and his ancestor Noble Kale. "I'm interested just in streamlining the continuity as much as possible and keeping things new reader friendly. That said, Simon and I are both fans of Ghost Rider and aren't looking to just say, all that stuff before never happened," Aaron stated. "I think Simon does a really great job of bridging the past and the present in his Ketch mini-series and I'll be trying to do the same as well, as we move forward."Aaron and Spurrier along with "Ghost Rider" artist Tan Eng Huat and "Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider" penciller Javier Saltares are going out of their way to insure the months ahead are truly memorable for "Ghost Rider" fans. "Things are only getting bigger and crazier from here on out," Aaron said. "The best is yet to come."Look for an interview with Spurrier tomorrow, right here on CBR.
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