Lookout Silver Surfer, you’re going to have to share the stars soon with the Cosmic Ghost Rider. Starting in July 4, Thanos writer Donny Cates is doubling down on the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe with a new five-issue mini-series starring Cosmic Ghost Rider with artist Dylan Burnett. Covers will be drawn by Geoff Shaw (God Country).
For those who haven’t been reading Cates’ Thanos run, he introduced Cosmic Ghost Rider in the 13th issue at the start of the “Thanos Wins” storyline and now he’ll be able to ride solo in an adventure all his own. Those up-to-date with the Thanos storyline and familiar with this new Ghost Rider are already putting him in the company of Deadpool as far as unpredictable wild cards go. But part of that is who the Cosmic Ghost Rider actually is.
Beware of the following spoilers discussed revealing the Cosmic Ghost Rider’s identity.
To understand that one must first review the details revealed in Thanos #15. In “Thanos Wins” the younger Thanos is visited by a Future Thanos and his right hand man, Cosmic Ghost Rider. In the future of an alternate reality, Thanos has wiped the universe of any remaining living thing to, as always, show that he is worthy of Death’s love. Without anyone to be a spirit of vengeance for, Future Thanos shows that Cosmic Ghost Rider is kept around for one main reason.
Future Thanos proceeds to take off Cosmic Ghost Rider’s skull and stares into the eye holes and Thanos is able to experience all of countless piles of corpses that he is responsible for. To put it plainly, Future Thanos gets off on being able to relive that horror whenever he wants. Cosmic Ghost Rider realizes that he’s yet to introduce himself to the younger Thanos and explains the lives he’s led, the people he’s murdered in the name of being a vigilante, and details his time in hell and beside Galactus. Finally he shares that he stopped moving around when he decided to help Future Thanos in his attempt to destroy everything, right before revealing his human name.
Frank Castle – The Punisher.
Younger Thanos is not amused as the name doesn’t even register a reaction. But the fans have spoken and they wanted more and will get more. In Space Ghost Rider, we not only have have a character that's got an interesting new vantage point (witness to Thanos' destruction) but we're already vested in his back story. Not since Jason Aaron (Mighty Thor) treated Ghost Rider like a grindhouse film back in 2011 — that included nuns with uzis — has there been this much excitement about a new Ghost Rider comic.
Now, this is not the first time we’ve seen Frank Castle reimagined. There was Captain Frank Castle of the NYPD in Spider-Gwen, the Rick Remender movie monster story "Franken-Castle" where Morbius rebuilds a murdered Punisher as the protector of the Legion of Monsters, and then there's the western take on the Punisher, A Man Called Frank. Castle and Punisher have been reinvented on numerous occasions. So why couldn’t Frank Castle be the lap dog of a future Thanos, who owns a bearded Hulk for a pet? Seriously, why not?
“It’s honestly pretty overwhelming how much the Marvel fans have embraced this crazy character,” Cates said in a statement from Marvel, “I’m having so much fun continuing the Rider’s insane story! If you thought 'Thanos Wins' was wild… you just wait to see what we have planned for everyone’s new favorite space lunatic!”
Look for Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 to hit the comic racks and digitally, July 4.