Ghost Rider is in the company of the most iconic Marvel Characters. He was so popular back in the day that he even got his own series of movies long before MCU and the Avengers were a thing. This is partially because he is a cool character and partially because of his overwhelming powers. Ghost Rider has his iconic Penance Stare, and he is technically immortal, which led many fans to assume that he is the most powerful force in the Marvel Universe to be reckoned with, but is this really true? Is Ghost Rider the most powerful Marvel character?
Ghost Rider is not the most powerful Marvel Character. There are plenty of cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe far stronger and more powerful than he is, including abstract beings like Eternity, Infinity, and the Living Tribunal, not to mention The One Above All, who reigns supreme. There are plenty of characters out there who managed to defeat Ghost Rider. He is extremely strong, but not the strongest one by far.
Now that we’ve given you a brief answer, it’s time to explore why Ghost Rider is and is not the most powerful character at the same time. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Ghost Rider has a Penance Stare
Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare is among the most powerful abilities in the Marvel Universe. Why? Because it’s able to affect Ghost Rider’s targets no matter their strength level and durability. Penance Stare is able to burn Ghost Rider’s victims from the inside out, expunging their sins and making his targets re-live all the sins, pain, and suffering that they’ve inflicted on others over time, at the same time.
This often results in the target collapsing in violent fits of pain, and sometimes it can be lethal if the guilt is strong enough. But, like with everything, there is a catch and an argument for why Penance Stare is not overpowered. For starters, it doesn’t affect beings without souls, so, for example, Ultron would be completely unaffected by this. Penance Stare also doesn’t work for characters that don’t feel guilty about their bad deeds. The most notable examples of this are Thanos and Punisher.
Punisher once resisted the full force of Penance Stare due to not feeling any guilt, although, in a separate issue, he was affected by it. Penance Stare doesn’t work on amoral characters like Galactus. Galactus is above the morality system since his actions are deemed necessary for the overall balance of the Universe. No matter how many different beings he kills and displaces by the fact that he eats planets.
So as you can see, we’ve already summed up several characters that would be able to resist the full might of Penance Stare; hence they had a pretty good chance at gaining the upper hand against Ghost Rider.
Ghost Rider is immortal
Ghost Rider’s immortality has always been a touchy issue. The Spirit of Vengeance, Zarathos that inhabit the human host are immortal, but the human host itself isn’t. Ghost Rider, while in its Rider form, cannot be killed except by god. And even then, the dark entity will eventually find a way to reform itself. The Spirit of Vegenace is merely a principle, and principle cannot be killed, as it’s an integral part of the Universe.
It turns out that all hosts of Spirit of Vengeance have only the projection of Spirit of Vengeance and not the real deal. The real Spirit of Vengeance resides somewhere in the void or even beyond the void, and although it’s possible to banish it, it can never truly be killed.
So, I guess this is one major proof that Ghost Rider is all-powerful. Not particularly. Zarathos’ human host can still be killed in his human form, which sets him back significantly and forces him to retreat. Plenty of characters in the Marvel Universe technically cannot be killed, as they will find a way to return (Galactus, for example, or even Thanos), But it doesn’t necessarily make them omnipotent.
Ghost Rider violated The One Above All’s command
We know that The One Above All is the chief entity of the Marvel Universe, as it’s basically a manifestation of the writer. The One Above All is the source of everything and everyone and even all rules. He is the single most potent source of power in the entire omniverse.
So, The One Above All created the rule that Mephisto has to rule Hell forever, and as it turns out, Ghost Rider defeated Mephisto (although he cannot kill him) and assumed the throne of Hell for himself. Eventually, Mephisto returned and sat on the throne again.
You have to be a pretty powerful being to break The One For All’s plans, but you don’t have to be the most powerful one. Plenty of characters in the past rivaled and defeated Mephisto, including his son Blackheart.
Ghost Rider is as powerful as the writer wants him to be
The main factor concerning what Ghost Rider can and cannot do depends on the writer that is currently developing the story. And although this seems to be the case for pretty much any character in the comics, Ghost Rider is a special case because he is consistently powerful and often faces impossible odds or does seemingly impossible feats.
Ghost Rider is simply not fun to play with since if you go far enough, there’s pretty much anything he can do, and don’t get me started on some of the alternate versions of the character, such as Cosmic Ghost Rider and All-Rider.
All in all, Ghost Rider has the potential to be a top-tier powerhouse in Marvel Comics, but he is nowhere near the most powerful character.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!