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Ghost Rider

Real Name: John "Johnny" Blaze
Occupation: Former stunt motorcyclist
Legal Status: American with no criminal record
Identity: Johnny Blaze's former identity as the Demonic Ghost Rider is unknown to the general public.
Other Aliases: The Ghost Rider
Place of Birth: Waukegan, Illinois
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Barton (father, deceased), Clara (mother, deceased), Craig "Crash" Simpson (stepfather, deceased), Mona Simpson (stepmother, deceased), Roxanne Simpson (wife)
Group Affiliation: Former member of the Champions of Los Angeles
First Appearance: MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5

History: Johnny Blaze was the son of stunt motorcyclist Barton Blaze, the top attraction at Crash Simpson's Daredevil Cycle Show. The Elder Blaze was killed performing a dangerous stunt, and Johnny, now an orphan (his mother Clara having died shortly after his birth), was adopted by Crash Simpson and his wife Mona. At first frightened of motorcycles, Blaze soon conquered his fear and became an accomplished amateur motorcyclist. Blaze practiced stuntriding on his own, and became romantically involved with his stepsister Roxanne Simpson.

Blaze also began to take interest in the occult. Just when then the Simpson Cycle Show was about to get a chance at fame with a booking at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Crash Simpson learned that he was dying of a rare blood disease. Desperate to save his stepfather, Blaze performed a ritual to summon up the "devil," whom Blaze believed to be the Biblical Satan but was actually the demon lord Mephisto. Mephisto agreed to save Simpson from his fatal disease in return for Blaze's soul.

At Madison Square Garden, Crash Simpson performed the greatest stunt of his career, a cycle jump over 22 cars widths, and crashed to his death. Blaze was shocked, since he believed the "devil" would protect his stepfather. When Mephisto appeared to collect Blaze's soul, the demon explained that only promised to save Simpson from the diseased, and nothing more. However, before Mephisto could take Blaze's soul, Roxanne Simpson arrived and recited a spell of banishment she read in one of Blaze's occult books. Mephisto was forced to leave without Blaze's soul, but was able to graft the essence of the demon Zarathos to Blaze's body.

Zarathos was a demon who attacked human souls. In order to capture Zarathos, many centuries ago Mephisto stole the soul of an American Indian now known as Centurious. When Zarathos' attacked on Centurious therefore proved ineffective, the demon's followers lost faith in him. Mephisto then stole the living flames that was Zarathos' soul. Over the centuries Mephisto amused himself by placing the essence of Zarathos within various human hosts. Johnny Blaze was the latest of these.

Blaze was unaware of the separate consciousness of the being that dwelled within him, and believed that the demonic personality was a sinister side of his own personality. At first the demon manifested itself every nightfall, mystically burning Blaze's flesh to become a fiery skeletal being. Using his demonic hellfire to create a fiery motorcycle to ride, the composite Zarathos. Blaze entity became publicly known as the Ghost Rider. Whenever the Ghost Rider returned to human form, Blaze's flesh would immediately restore.

At first Johnny Blaze dominated the Ghost Rider's personality. After a few months, Blaze's automatic transformations at nightfall ended. He then became the Ghost Rider whenever he mystically sensed "evil" in his vicinity. Later, Blaze was able to control his transformations as well as the actions of the demon when it manifested itself. It was during this period that the Ghost Rider became a member of the Champions of Los Angeles, a short-lived group of superhuman adventurers. But the more Blaze became the Ghost Rider, the stronger the demon became. Eventually Zarathos tried to take control of their composite form. Blaze no longer summoned the demon within him to help him accomplish his ends, such as fighting crime. Instead, Blaze valiantly struggled to prevent Zarathos from taking control and wreaking havoc.

Centurious still lived and sought vengeance on Zarathos for being the reason why he lost his soul. Centurious entrapped Blaze's soul within his "crystal of souls" and then defeated Zarathos. Zarathos cracked open the crystal, releasing Blaze's soul and many others, and entrapping Centurious within the crystal when it mystically resealed. An associate of Centurious offered to send Zarathos into the crystal to take vengeance, and the demon agreed. Zarathos' essence was sucked out of Blaze's body into the crystal, where Zarathos grapples eternally with Centurious, neither able to defeat the other.

Johnny Blaze thus been permanently freed his bond to Zarathos. Blaze and Roxanne Simpson have been traveled through America together by motorcycle. Ghost Rider roared to life once again when teenager Dan Ketch and his sister, Barbara, chanced upon the illegal activities of the crime lord Deathwatch. The siblings attempted to escape, but Barbara Ketch was mortally wounded. Soaked in blood after dragging his sister's body into a trash heap, Dan Ketch came across a mysterious, mystical motorcycle. Touching its glowing gas cap, he stood transformed into the Spirit of Vengeance. Ghost Rider's return attracted the attention of Blaze, who believed him to be Zarathos. Blaze set out to exorcise the demon, thereby liberating its hapless host. But when Ghost Rider convinced his predecessor he was not Zarathos, the two became allies. Later, Blaze and Ketch learned they were long-lost brothers.

Having lost his wife and children, Blaze again finds himself possessed by the demon Zarathos. And so Ghost Rider -- blood-born Spirit of Vengeance, High Lord of Hell on Earth -- haunts America's highways, visiting his righteous wrath upon the souls of the wicked and the damned.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Reddish blond

Strength Level: Johnny Blaze possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build, who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers: As the Ghost Rider, Blaze possessed superhuman strength, enabling him to lift (press) about 5 tons, and immunity to must forms of conventional injury. He could create "hellfire" that could harm or traumatize a human soul, and with which he created a fiery motorcycle he rode. Blaze possessed none of these powers in human form.

Other Abilities: Johnny Blaze is one of the greatest living stunt motorcyclists. He has some knowledge of the occult, but has forsworn using it.

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