Marvel Comics just introduced its latest Ghost Rider and its safe to say this character is unlike any spirit of vengeance to come before it.
SPOILERS For Thanos #13 follow.
This new Ghost Rider was introduced in the pages of Thanos #13, the first issue to be part of Marvel Legacy. The issue is also the first for the new creative team of writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw and they waste no time in turning Thanos’s world upside down.
Thanos has just finished casually conquering the Chitauri when the sky literally begins to rain blood. Streaking through the sky on a flaming motorcycle is a being wielding bright red chains. An unidentified narrator informs the reader that this is the Ghost Rider from the future, both spirit of vengeance and former herald of Galactus and thus endowed with the power cosmic. The narrator also reveals this Ghost Rider is “black right hand” of the Final King but doesn’t immediately reveal what that means.
Ghost Rider isn’t there to fight Thanos, but poorly communicates his intentions and ends up coming to blows with the Mad Titan anyway. During this battle, readers learn a bit more about this Ghost Rider. First, he has a fragment of the Time Stone, which had apparently been broken apart in his future, which allows him enough power to travel in time and freeze Thanos in space. His chains are also forged from the bones of Cytorrak, the powerful demon that grants the Juggernaut his power and who I the namesake of the powerful binding spell, the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak, that Doctor Strange has often invoked.
The narrator also tells the reader that this Ghost Rider is insane and that he was once another person that we may know, obviously setting up a mystery that will presumably be revealed in a later issue of Thanos. Cates himself fanned the flames of this mystery using the hashtag #WhoIsTheRider on Twitter.
Given that this character is insane, it's easy to guess that its actually Deadpool who has become a Ghost Rider. That would also explain the red and black text bubbles. Deadpool also has a history with Thanos due to their shared affection for Lady Death and the curse that Thanos put on Deadpool so that he could never die. However, this is all just a guess for now. It's entirely possible that the Ghost Rider was a normally sane character who went insane only after being endowed with his new powers.
And as for the “Final King,” it turns out that’s Thanos himself. Having already won in the future, Thanos sent his right-hand man back in time to fetch his younger self and bring him into the future. To what end remains unknown.
Thanos #13 is now on sale.