Ghost Rider is one of the most iconic characters in Marvel history. The mantle of Spirit of Vengeance has been carried by multiple characters and some have been more famous than others. Throughout the long years that Ghost Rider has been gracing the pages of Marvel’s comics, some versions were arguably stronger than others. From the pre-historic possibly the first Ghost Rider, to entities with cosmic levels of powers, we bring you the 15 strongest versions of Ghost Rider.
15. Naomi Kale – Ghost Rider
Naomi Kale is as standard as Ghost Riders go. She was a descendant of Noble Kale (which we will mention eventually), and she was the mother of Johnny Blaze the most legendary Ghost Rider there is. While not much is known about Naomi Kale we do know that she has the standard set of abilities like all individuals on this list due to tapping into the powers of Medallion of Power. She was also an extremely skilled motorist. But since her powers weren’t as neatly described, we have to assume that she brings nothing new to the table hence why she is so low on this list.
14. Shark Rider
I’ve decided to include this version of Ghost Rider simply because no one else did. Shark rider is one of the former Spirits of Vengeance seen in one of the visions by Caretaker Sara. What’s special about this version of Ghost Rider is the fact that he was possibly of Atlantean origin, and he rode a shark. As far as abilities go, it has all the standard powers attributed to every Spirit of Vengeance.
13. Ghost Rider – Frontier Era
One more lesser-known Spirit of Vengeance. This one was active during the Frontier era and true to its name, it targeted bounty hunters committing various horrific crimes upon Native American people. What makes this Ghost Rider special is the fact that he was an extremely skilled horse rider and had specialty equipment. His arsenal consisted of bow and arrows, all enhanced with Hellfire. Due to his incredible proficiency with ranged weapons and his standard set of abilities he earned his place on this list.
12. Ghost – Pre-historic Ghost Rider
Ghost is the first Ghost Rider ever. From the day he was born among the tribe of primitive cavemen he was aware that he was unlike the others. What marked him was his above-average intelligence for that time. And that at the same time was what saved him and doomed him at the same time. Ghost survived the tragic takeover and devouring of his tribe by Wendigo, and he decided to carve his own path. The reality and conditions of surviving alone without his tribe led him to “sell his soul” to a Snake, a demonic entity that turned him into a Ghost Rider.
White this version had the standard package of powers attributed to all Ghost Riders, he was also excellent Necromance able to resurrect the bones of the dead and animate them to fight for him. He also rode a giant Hellfire-imbued mammoth. Talk about badass.
11. Noble Kale – Puritan Avenger
Noble Kale belonged to the ancient bloodline of keepers of the Medallion of Power. He was also the son of a pastor who was secretly serving Mephisto. Noble fell in love with Magdelena, a woman from a traveling caravan. He was afraid to admit to his father about his relationship with Magdelena, and things got worse when two things happened. A) Magdelena was with child B) Magdelena also figured out that Pastor Kale was serving Mephisto.
Pastor scheduled the execution of Magdelena and she cursed him with her dying breath. To save himself from the curse, the Pastor offered Noble’s soul as payment. And it worked. Noble Kale had all the standard Spirit of the Vengeance powers, with the addition of being summonable through the Medallion of Power.
10. Kushala – Spirit Rider
Kushala was not only a Ghost Rider during her time, but she was also a Sorcerer Supreme. She was an Apache woman, and at a time when her tribe was being killed and exterminated in a moment of desperation she prayed to god, but the Spirit of Vengeance answered. She was possessed and managed to take control of the standard Rider abilities. Standard abilities aside, she was among the greatest hand-to-hand combatants, she was able to fly, and she could use astral projection to physically manifest her body as well.
9. Deputy Kowalski – Vengeance
Deputy Kowalski was not only one of the strongest Ghost Riders, he was possessed by the Spirit of Pollution as well. His story began somewhat comically, it involves cannibals and trying to place the Ghost Rider under arrest. In a bizarre chain of events, he faced the Penance Stare and was left a broken man. He wanted to take revenge on Ghost Rider and tracked him down in the Arabian Desert. While trying to eliminate him with the special shotgun given to him by Michael Badilino he was transformed into Vengeance instead.
His standard set of abilities includes that of every Ghost Rider with the addition of powers he gained for being the Spirit of Pollution as well. His unique Mystical Bone Chain is a powerful and legendary weapon said to be able to cut through almost anything. His Penance Stare was also replaced by Pollution Stare, a special power that consumes his victims by magnifying the corruption found within them.
8. Daniel Ketch – Death Rider
Daniel Ketch’s story of becoming a Ghost Rider is as tragic as they go. On one Halloween Night, he and his sister Barbara visited the graveyard. They would never suspect that the night will play out as tragically as it did. They somehow came across a confrontation between two rival gangs, one that allied itself with Kingpin and one with Deathwatch. Barbara was shot straight in the chest by someone belonging to the Deathwatch gang. Danny desperately tried to save his sister so she ran away with her. The only place to hide that they could find was the junkyard nearby. There he came across a motorbike with a glowing gas cap. Upon touching the bike with blood-covered hands he was transformed.
Danny is as powerful as Ghost Rider can get, he is also possessed by the Spirit of Corruption that works well hand in hand with the Spirit of Vengenace. His legendary blade Blight Blade works similarly to Vengenace’s Pollution Stare. Upon using the blade on his victims, the victims are consumed by corruption within them.
7. Michael Badilino – Vengeance
Michael Badilion’s family was connected to the aforementioned Medallion of Power. This is why his family was targeted by Mephisto and consequentially ruined. Michael swore vengeance upon Johnny Blaze after he drove his father to insanity which resulted in catastrophic events.
As far as his powers go, they are quite standard. He wields Mystical Bone Chain, is able to manipulate Hellfire, and uses Penance Stare on his victims with certain limitations. He is also extremely durable in his Vengenace form.
6. Robbie Reyes – Ghost Rider
Roberto Reyes got his powers while he was taking part in a street race. But his story was not that of violence and crime, instead, he wanted to provide a better future for his brother. Robbie got into a car and prepared for the race, one thing he didn’t know was the fact that the car was possessed by a ghost. During the race, Roberto noticed someone following him but decided to cease everything and faced whatever was coming to him. Instead of facing the police, he was shot on sight. Instead of dying, he transformed into a Ghost Rider.
While Robbie has all the standard abilities there are a couple of things that make him unique from all the order Spirits on this list. Robbie is bound to Hell Charger, a Hellfire-imbued possessed car he uses instead of Hell Cycle. He also has the ability to teleport which makes him extremely agile and hard to keep track of during combat.
5. Alejandra Jones – Guardian Fantasma
Alejandra Jones was, unlike most of the characters on this list, trained to become Ghost Rider. The fact that she trained greatly amplified her powers after she was possessed by Johny Blaze’s Spirit of Vengeance. She is quite a formidable fighter. Her range of superhuman abilities includes super strength, super regeneration, various soul manipulative abilities, and trademark penance stare. Her higher-than-average durability (compared to most Ghost riders) makes her a number 5 on this list.
4. Red Hulk/Venom/Ghost Rider fusion – Circle of Four
This fusion happened when Red Hulk, Venom, and previously mentioned Alejandra Jones’ Ghost Rider. They merged to create one abominable seemingly unkillable and almighty creature – The Circle of Four. This happened after Blackheart ushered in chaos while trying to open a gateway to Hell on Earth. Our heroes were ultimately killed in the battle against Blackheart but Mephisto offered them a chance to avenge themselves, the price being they have to be possessed by Spirits of Vengeance.
This resulted in the creation of the Circle of Four. When it comes to the abilities of this fusion they are truly terrible. Fusion was able to withstand massive amounts of damage without dying, Hulk brings to the table his terrible anger which can unleash both gamma rays and Hellfire in blasts reminiscent of explosions. Not to mention other symbiote-related abilities that got enhanced as well.
3. Kenshiro Cochrane – Ghost Rider 2099
Kenshiro is a futuristic entry on our list. He was a hacker from Traverse City, and one day while attempting to decrypt a heavily-encrypted data archive of unknown origin he got attacked, as well as the rest of his Hotwire Martyrs gang. The gang in question that attacked them was Artificial Kidz.
Kenshiro wouldn’t have survived if he didn’t transfer himself into cyberspace. There he was gifted with powers similar to Ghost Riders by The Ghostworks in a last attempt to save the dystopian city from falling into the hands of corporations.
Why is Kenshiro number 3 on this list? Because of his neat gadgets that further amplify his standard Ghost Rider powers and futuristic abilities such as stealth camouflage, hacking, eye lasers, chainsaw hidden in his left forearm, and of course, Hellfire-imbued hoverbike. While all other Ghost Riders from this list were unstoppable badasses during their eras, Kenshiro was truly able to bring the machine-controlled city to its knees with his superior hacking skills.
2. Johnny Blaze – Ghost Rider
You know that number two is reserved for the most famous, most iconic Ghost Rider there is, Johnny Blaze. Johnny was a stuntman at first, he followed the life of risk inherited by his father, Barton Blaze. His father died while performing a stunt and then Crash Simpson became a father to him in all but blood. Crash, however, became deadly sick, and Johnny decided to literally sell his soul to prevent it. As always, when you’re dealing with demonic entities expect to get screwed over. Crash died in the end and Johnny was left possessed by a Spirit of Vengenace.
Johnny is second on this list due to at one time being a King of Hell. He is able to summon other older Ghost Riders, he can manipulate not only Hellfire but matter as well. He is capable of incredible destruction and his soul-manipulative abilities are legendary at the least.
1. Francis “Frank” Castle -Cosmic Ghost Rider
Frank Castle technically bargained twice in order to enhance his powers. The first time, he was so pissed at Thanos, after dying, he sold his soul in order to punish him for the destruction and death he has brought to earth. However, when he ascended from Hell as Ghost Rider, Thanos was already long gone.
He wandered the wasteland for years until a chance presented itself and he sold the ruined planet to Galactus for a chance to punish Thanos as well. The deal worked and Frank Castle became the Herald of Galactus. This was a nice deal for both of them until they finally managed to catch up to Thanos. Frank Castle – now at this point already Cosmis Ghost Rider, decided to join Thanos (don’t worry everything works out in the end)
He might not be as famous or as badass as some other Ghost Riders from this list, but Frank Castle’s powers as Cosmic Ghost Rider are well, at a cosmic level for the lack of a better word. He is capable of interstellar travel, energy manipulation, and self-resurrection, he is immortal. And best of all, he has the ability to manipulate time itself as he was seen both stopping time and traveling through time. I mean the guy practically wrestled with the black hole.
And that’s it. If you’re interested in more top lists, check out our list of the strongest Superman versions!