Danny Ketch returns with a "vengeance" in a new Ghost series

Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider #1 cover art
Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider #1 cover art (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel's Ghost Rider is back…

Yes … that one.

Well, kind of.

Marvel Comics has recently made something of a sub-genre of series telling "untold tales" set in the past of characters during the height of their popularity, often written by the writers who were responsible for those fan-favorite runs.

The new Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider is no exception. The May-launching five-issue limited features not only stars Johnny Blaze's successor to the Ghost Rider mantle (and as we'd later learn, Johnny's brother), the series is written by Howard Mackie, co-creator of the character along with artist Javier Saltares for a popular 1990 series smack dab in the middle of the so-called "speculator boom" of the mid-'80s to early '90s.

Readers would eventually learn the Spirit of Vengeance that possessed Danny was not Zarathos, who possessed Johnny as Ghost Rider, and Danny would go through many evolutions over the years including most recently taking on the identity of Death Rider (aka the Spirit of Corruption) in the 2020-'21 King in Black event. This story, however, goes back to his early days. 

The new series is illustrated by Daniel Picciotto.

"Flashback to a time when innocent blood was spilled, a Spirit of Vengeance was born, and Danny Ketch found himself transformed into the GHOST RIDER!" reads Marvel's description of the series.

"A gang war is breaking out across New York City, with Ghost Rider caught in the middle! But if it’s just rival gangs killing each other, does Ghost Rider need to get involved?"

Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider #1 cover (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

"Returning to my roots – Cypress Hills, cemeteries, Ghost Rider, the penance stare – was not something I saw coming," Mackie tells Newsarama. "It was a long and hard look back…and I took to it like Ghost Rider to the penance stare. And I'm tackling the story – and more than a few new and old villainous favorites – with a vengeance!"

Mackie most recently revisited his co-creation in the December 2020 special Ghost Rider: Return of Vengeance #1 drawn by Saltares.

Danny Ketch: Ghost Rider #1 (of 5) goes on sale May 17 with a cover by Ben Harvey. It's actually the second Ghost Rider series set in the past that Marvel has announced in as many days. In June, Johnny Blaze-Ghost Rider will crossover with Wolverine in Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance, a story partially set in their past.

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George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)