Ghost Rider – Danny Ketch
Real Name: Danny Ketch
First Appearance: Ghost Rider Vol. 3, #1 (May, 1990)
Powers: Can project flames, possesses superhuman strength and durability, can travel inter-dimensionally, carries a magical chain, rides a flaming motorcycle, and can use the Penance Stare.
Affiliation: New Fantastic Four, Secret Defenders, Midnight Sons
Did You Know? Danny Ketch is the third Ghost Rider
A Little History
Created by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares, this version of Ghost Rider first appeared back in 1990 in Ghost Rider Volume 3, issue #1.
To know the origin of Dan Ketch as the Ghost Rider means to know the origin of the Ghost Rider. The history of the Ghost Rider dates back to well over 20,000 years ago. During this time there was a Great War between the demon, Zarathos and a group of immortals known as the Blood. To win the war, the Blood aligned themselves with the Spirits of Vengeance. However, to harness the power of the Spirits of Vengeance, the Blood created the Mythical Medallion of Power. At the conclusion of the war, not only had the Blood won, but they also managed to trap part of Zarathos inside their medallion. With both the Spirits of Vengeance and Zarathos trapped, they split the medallion and passed it down into the spiritual bloodlines of two different families.
After the medallion had been split, nothing was heard from the Spirits of Vengeance for thousands of years. As with most things, however, this wouldn’t last.
In the 1700s, a man named Noble Kale fell in love with a woman named Magdalena. Fearing that his Pastor father would disapprove of their relationship, Noble hid it. Unfortunately, when Magdalena gave him a child, their love could no longer be hidden. Furious with his son, the Pastor had her branded a witch and burned at the stake. As she stood burning alive, she cursed the Pastor and caused the Furies to seek vengeance against him.
With nowhere left to turn, the Pastor began negotiation with Mephisto. He promised the demon that in exchange for his help, he would offer up the soul of his son. Mephisto immediately recognized the medallion that Noble possessed, activated it, and turned him into a Ghost Rider. With the power of the Ghost Rider, Noble defeated the Furies. After beating the Furies, he turned his attention to his father, who had offered up Noble’s son as a sacrifice to the Ghost Rider. Unable to handle what had happened, Noble attempted to commit suicide but before he could, Mephisto appeared to claim his soul.
Before Mephisto could claim his soul, a being named Uriel appeared telling that he belonged in Heaven. Of course, Mephisto didn’t agree with this and after it was all said and done, it was decided that his soul belonged in neither Heaven or Hell, but instead in the void between the two. Worse yet, while in the void, he could be called upon by the firstborn of his descendants. This means, that each of the first born descendants could call upon the power of the Ghost Rider.
Fast forward a few hundred years to the family of Naomi Kale, Dan, and Barbara Ketch. Naomi, the mother, had fled Europe for New York after learning that her children could become the Ghost Rider. Dan, the oldest of the two, befriended a girl named Stacy Dolan. As the two aged, Dan began showing affection for Stacy. Aside from Stacy, Dan quickly began showing an interest in motorcycles.
One night he and his sister, Barbara, were walking home and decided to take a shortcut through the Cypress Hill Cemetery. It was here that the two stumbled upon the criminal Deathwatch and his murder of another man. Horrified by what she was seeing, Barbara screamed, thereby alerting the criminal of their presence. Deathwatch ordered his accomplices to kill the two and as a consequence, Barbara was shot in the chest.
Dan immediately picked up his sister and carried her out of the cemetery into a nearby junkyard. Once in the junkyard, he noticed a motorcycle parked in its middle. Drawn to it, Dan walked over, touched the gas cap with his blood-soaked fingers, and initiated the transformation from Dan Ketch to the Ghost Rider. He rushed his sister to the hospital but her injuries were so severe that she was left in a coma. Infuriated by this, he set out to bring vengeance to all the innocents whose blood had been spilled unjustly.
And thus was born Danny Ketch, Ghost Rider.