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The Legend of San Venganza
In the American Old West, Mephistopheles sends Carter Slade, his bounty hunter of the damned known as the original Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls from the town of San Venganza. Because such a large amount of souls would cause Hell on Earth, the Rider refuses to give the contract and escapes Mephistopheles, later to hide the contract and himself from the devil.
Deal With the Devil
A century and a half later, Johnny Blaze was working with his father as a stunt motorcycle rider. He shares a teenage romance with a young girl named Roxanne Simpson. Later, he discovers his father has lung cancer, Johnny felt ashamed for his plans of leaving. On that very same night Mephistopheles reaches out to Johnny with an offer to cure his father's his father's lung cancer in exchange for Johnny's soul. Johnny was initially skeptical, but inadvertently signed the contract when a drop of his blood lands on it after it was pricked by Mephistopheles before Johnny could refuse.
The following morning Barton is healed from cancer and gives him his favorite motorcycle and blessing and lets him go away with his beloved Roxanne. Just a moment before he actually flees, Johnny assists to Barton's final stunt which results in a horrific bike crash during the show. Later Johnny accused Mephistopheles of causing his father's death, but Mephistopheles considers their contract fulfilled. Realizing that he had been tricked by Mephistopheles, he knew that he'd never be free of his curse and leaves everything behind, Roxanne included.
Years later, Johnny Blaze has became a stunt rider known for his death defing stunts and for his uncanny ability to walk away from life-threatening crashes. His manager and best friend Mack speculates that Johnny must have a guardian angel protecting him. Johnny, however, speculates that it could be "something else".
Before a particularly dangerous new stunt, Johnny meets his childhood sweetheart Roxanne, now a journalist, and makes a dinner date with her that evening. During the same time, Mephistopheles' son Blackheart comes to Earth to find the lost contract and use its power to overcome his father. To ensure himself allies, he enlists the fallen angels known as the Hidden, a trio of demon spirits who represent three of the four elements — the water-demon Wallow, the earth-demon Gressil, and the air-demon Abigor.
In response, Mephistopheles makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider offering Johnny his soul in return for defeating Blackheart., and while getting ready for his date with Roxanne, he experiences his "first ride" where he transforms fully into the Ghost Rider and on instinct goes to confront Blackheart at a train station where the contract was once buried and a fight ensues. In the process, Johnny acquires a heavy chain, which he uses to kill Gressil while the others escape. While searching for the demons, the Rider hears a woman being mugged. He stops the mugger and uses the Penance Stare; a power by which an individual feels all the pain and suffering they have caused others in their lifetime. The mugger ended up in a catatonic state, which is implied to be the "burning" of his soul.
The next day, Johnny wakes in a cemetery chapel, where he meets a man called the Caretaker, who seems to know all the history of the Ghost Rider. When he arrives home, Johnny finds Roxanne and tries to explain his situation; but she doesn't believe him. As Roxanne leaves, the police arrive and take Johnny into custody for his connection to the damage done to the city and the deaths caused by Blackheart. He transforms into Ghost Rider in the cell and escapes to track down Blackheart. He fights and kills Abigor, in full view of Roxanne and much of the police force. Observing the scene after obtaining the location of the contract, Blackheart realizes that Roxanne is Johnny's weakness.
Johnny goes for advice to the Caretaker, who tells him of his predecessor, Carter Slade, a Texas Ranger known as a man of honor before his greed became a reason for him to be sentenced to death. Slade made a deal with Mephistopheles to break free; in return, Slade became the Ghost Rider who hid the contract of San Venganza. The Caretaker warned Johnny to stay away from those whom Blackheart and the fallen angels can use against him. Johnny then returns home to find that Blackheart already has Roxanne. Blackheart kills Mack and stuns Roxanne, before Johnny arrives. When Johnny arrives and sees what has happened he gets assaulted by Blackheart. Johnny transforms into the Ghost Rider, during their fight, Johnny finds that his Penance Stare has no effect on Blackheart, who has no (human) soul. Blackheart threatens to kill Roxanne if Johnny does not deliver the Contract of San Venganza to him.
Johnny returns to the Caretaker to obtain the contract. The Caretaker tells Johnny that San Venganza will be "Hell on Earth" if Blackheart claims the contract. Though reminded of the consequences, Johnny asks the Caretaker to trust him. The Caretaker then reveals that he is Carter Slade, still alive because of his own power as a Ghost Rider. He speculates that Johnny has God on his side because he made his deal with Mephistopheles because of love rather than greed or desperation, and shows Johnny the way to San Venganza. They ride together into the desert, Carter Slade on his old flaming skeletal horse, Johnny Blaze on his hellcycle, leaving a trail of fire in their wake. Some distance from the town, they stop. Slade gives Johnny his sawed-off Winchester 1887 level action shotgun and tells him to "use the shadows" before riding away and dying of his own depletion of his strength.
After killing Wallow, the last of the elemental demons, Johnny gives the contract to Blackheart. He quickly transforms into Ghost Rider in an effort to subdue Blackheart, but dawn comes and he is rendered powerless. Blackheart uses the contract to absorb the 1,000 souls into his body, taking the name "Legion". He attempts to kill Johnny but is distracted when Roxanne uses Johnny's discarded shotgun to separate them. After she fails to destroy Legion, Johnny takes the gun and moves it into the shadows. This allows him to create a "hellfire shotgun" to blast Legion apart. Legion reforms, but Johnny moves in and uses his Penance Stare, made effective by the thousand souls inhabiting Legion's body, to render him catatonic. Johnny turns away from Roxanne, ashamed of his monstrous appearance; but she approaches him.
Mephistopheles appears and gives Johnny his soul, offering to terminate the burden of Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, saying that he will use his power against Mephistopheles, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephistopheles vows to make Johnny pay, to which Johnny in response recites his favorite saying: "You can't live in fear". Mephistopheles then disappears, and Blackheart's body dissipates with him. Johnny and Roxanne share words and a kiss at a tree marked to symbolize their relationship, whereupon Johnny rides into the sunset.
Spirit of Vengeance
Unable to fully control the power of the Rider, Johnny has gone on the run; ending up in Eastern Europe trying nightly to suppress the demon within him. One day, he is aproached by a man named Moreau who offers to lift the curse of the Rider from him if he helps him find the half-human son of the Devil (now going by the name Roarke) before he can transfer his essence into the boy's body.
Ghost Rider is the supernatural combination between the human host Johnny Blaze and the former angel, Zarathos. Zarathos was once an angel of God and the Spirit of Justice whose purpose was to protect man. He was later tricked and taken to hell where he was tortured to the point of insanity. He became a twisted version of his former self, acting on extreme measures of punishing anyone who has done wicked deeds, no matter what they where. He became the Spirit of Vengence and the operative of the devil. The devil uses the spirit of Zarathos to empower certain individuals with the power of Zarathos to become the Ghost Rider. As the Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze possesses a variety of supernatural powers.
Demonic Transformation: Johnny Blaze possesses the supernatural ability to transform into the Ghost Rider at will. When he first started manifested his Ghost Rider form, it would only happen at night or in the presence of evil and he had no control over it. Later he has began to gain control over his transformations and can transform through an act of will. When he was in the desert he was able to transform his arm and the shotgun he held into his Ghost Rider form separately from the rest of his body while it was in the shadow and not in direct sunlight. Later Johnny Blaze has learned to transform into the Rider while in sunlight.
The power of the Ghost Rider depends on who is on control, the original host or the spirit of Zarathos, depending on who has the most will power at the time. Johnny Blaze and the spirit inhabit the same body, but when he first started transforming, the Rider was in control. At the time, Johnny Blaze could only influences the Rider's decisions to an extent, except when he saw Roxanne. Johnny believed that he could control the spirit of the Rider but found that he could not. Carter Slade, the Ghost Rider before Johnny Blaze, has stated the Rider is powerful, but never stated how powerful. Nonetheless, Johnny Blaze, as the Ghost Rider, is one of the strongest and most powerful beings on planet. He was able to beat the elemental demons and use his Penance Stare to defeat Blackheart when he was powered by over 1,000 evil souls. He was able to send the devil back to hell with his mystical chain.
- Superhuman Strength: The Ghost Rider possesses superhuman strength sufficient to lift up to several tons but has yet to exert his full limit. In this form, the Rider was able to beat all of Blackheart's minions and Blackheart as Legion. Johnny evens has limited superhuman strength when in human form as he threw a gangster several feet away from him like a ragdoll, though it should be mentioned that he was struggling to stay in human form while the Rider was trying to manifest itself.
- Superhuman Stamina: The mystical energy that empowers Ghost Rider prevents his muscles from producing fatigue toxins during physical activities, granting him limitless superhuman stamina.
- Superhuman Durability: In human form, Johnny is as vulnerable as any human being. As the Rider, his body is for all intents immune to physical injury, as he is evidently not able to feel pain and is able to survive with no apparent discomfort no matter how severe the injury. He is highly resistant to the point of being basically immune to all types of earthly physical damage as he has taken blows from beings such as Blackheart with no sign of pain or discomfort. The Rider is capable of withstanding bullet shots, great impact forces, temperature and pressure extremes, powerful energy blasts, and falls from great heights without sustaining injury.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his invulnerability, it is possible to cause his body damage with enough physical force and/or high powered energies. If his body is ever damaged, the energies flowing through him while as the Rider, allow him to instantly regenerate any and all damage done. However, this is not extended to Johnny while in human form.
- Angelic Fire Manipulation: Johnny Blaze finds himself able to channel the angelic energies within the spirit of Zarathos and it manifest itself with blue and white flames, representing his merging with the Spirit of Justice. This is in contrast to when he was first cursed with the demonic energies of the Spirit of Vengeance.
- Healing: With the Spirit of Justice empowering him, Johnny manifested his right hand as a skeletal hand infused with blue and white flames that he used to instantly heal Danny.
- Hellfire Manipulation: As the Ghost Rider, he possesses the ability to generate, control, and project mystical fire, or "hellfire" at will. Hellfire is a supernatural flame that burns the soul of a person and can be used to burn their physical body. He can utilize this fire in various ways, including projecting it from his eyes, hands, mouth, or even channel it from his body into his weapons like his shotgun, form walls of hellfire. He can also unleash the hellfire in multi-directional attacks that are incredibly powerful. When he was shot with an automatic machine gun, he spat out the bullets back at his attacker with the bullets covered in hellfire.
- Hellfire Infusion: The Ghost Rider's abitity to manipulate Hellfire, is such that he can even infuse it into external materials/objects. The most common object for infusion is their respective choice in vehicle, in Johnny's case typically motorcycles, but he will also use this ability to create or strengthen weapons. He first displayed the ability on his motorcycle, then later on a chain(see below) which he used to kill the first of the elemental demons, during his first transformation. The second time he transformed he was even able to make minor astetic changes to his jacket, then summon his motorcycle from a distance, suggesting he can re-infuse older objects from a distance. At the films climax he was able to use hellfire on an empty shotgun to give it ammunition. The exact limits of the ability is unknown, however in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, he is seen using the ability on very large mining equipment.
- Penance Stare: The Rider's most powerful weapon is the Penance Stare. When he stares into the eyes of an individual, he can see and feel every bit of pain the individual have ever inflicted on anyone in their entire lifetime. After exposure to the Penance State, the individual eyes are replaced with burn-out pupils. The one side downside of the Penance Stare is that an individual in question must posses a soul. When the Rider first tried the Penance Stare on Blackheart, it had no effect since he did not have a soul. But the Rider was able to use the Penance Stare on Blackheart after he absorbed the contract baring the souls of San Venagaza.
Blaze is a professional stunt motorcycle rider.
It has never been stated if he has any combat training, but as the Rider, he seems to have a natural talent for hand to hand combat, weapons, and mystical combat.
High class, the full limits are unknown
He can at times be stopped by high powered assault weapons such as grenade launchers, while at other times it doesn't effect him.
Vast collection of books on mysticism, magic, folklore, angles and demons, etc...
- Hell Cycle: The Rider can use his Hellfire to transform any motorcycle into literally hell on wheels. The Hellcycle can travel at extreme speeds and the Rider can even use it to ride on the side of thousands feet skyscrapers and on top of water.
- Convertable Pickup Truck: The Rider infused hellfire into a pickup truck while chasing the devil and fighting his foot soldiers. The Rider rams the hellfire infused truck into the back of a regular truck where it explodes at the point of impact.
- Excavator: A massive mining vehicle used to excavate dirt and rock, Johnny transformed it into a titanic hellish machine, unsurpassed in offensive power compared to any other vehicle utilized by the Ghost Rider.
- Hellfire Shotgun: A sawed off Winchester 1887 lever action shotgun Johnny used in his battle with Blackheart at the desert. While initially doing little more than slowing Blackheart as he regenerated quickly, when transformed with the power of the Ghost Rider, it hit with enough force to liquidize the Demon, though at that point he could still regenerate thanks to the power he had consumed.
- Hellfire Chain: Utilizing an length piece of chain he found upon his first time as the Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider's chain has become a mystic weapon capable of transforming into a wide variety of different weapons.
- Mental Commands: The chain obeys the mental commands of the Rider as if it where alive. When not using it, the chain will link to itself in a loop around the shoulder of the Rider. When he decides to use it as a weapon, The Rider can will it to do so it mulitiple feats at the same time.
- Variable Length: The chain is capable of mystically extending to greater lengths, it's upper limits are unknown.
- Lasso Effect: The Rider can use the chain in a lasso effect to snag and ensnare his targets.
- Anchor Effect: While riding his Hellcycle upward on the side of a tall building, the Rider used his chain to stab the outer surface of the building and anchor himself to make a hard U-turn to ride down the building.
- Tornado Effect: The Rider was able to swing the chain with extreme speed and fire creating a tornado effect that he used to kill one of the elemental demons.
- Hellfire: In addition, he can apply hellfire to it to use it to disintergrating his enemies when he uses it in a whip like effect.
- Nicolas Cage portrays Johnny Blaze in both Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Matt Long portrays the character as a teenager during the first film. Cage is the only actor from the original film to return for its sequel.
- The Ghost Rider's skull was redesigned for the sequel. The new skull appears to be black and charred, indicating that the skull is actually on fire as opposed to the clean fleshless skull simply cloaked in fire in the previous film.
- 3 Appearances of Johnathon Blaze (Earth-121347)
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- Character Gallery: Johnathon Blaze (Earth-121347)
- Johnathon Blaze (Earth-121347) at Wikipedia.org
- Characters killed by Ghost Rider
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