Ghost Rider is known for his iconic flaming motorcycle, the Hellcycle, but it’s far from the biggest or most powerful vehicle he’s used.
Ghost Rider is a truly powerful figure in Marvel comics, with Robbie Reyes even taking a place on the roster of Earth’s mightiest heroes in Jason Aaron’s run on The Avengers. The Spirit of Vengeance is an almost godlike power, but another huge part of what makes Ghost Rider so badass – other than the flaming chains and penance stare – is his ability to imbue objects and vehicles with supernatural power.
The most famous of these vehicles is Johnny Blaze’s hellfire-wreathed Hellcycle, but with so many millennia under its belt and the Ghost Rider’s propensity to work with a mount, the Spirit of Vengeance has claimed far larger vehicles as its own. But exactly how big can they get? To find out, let’s dive into the comics.
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The newest incarnation of the Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes, created by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore, first appeared in All-New Ghost Rider #1 in 2014 and made a real splash in comics with his signature Dodge Charger RT nicknamed the “Hellcharger.” Though it doesn’t cut the same kind of silhouette as Blaze’s two-wheeled chopper, it certainly is a beast and one with room for passengers, a change that has served the Avengers well. While cruising around outer space in his Hellcharger – yes it can do that – in Jason Aaron and Ed McGuiness’ The Avengers #28, Ghost Rider crosses paths with a hostile Silver Surfer. After a brief confrontation, Reyes steals the Silver Surfer’s board for a quick ride. Though this may not be the biggest in size, it sure packs a lot of power cosmic even before the Spirit of Vengeance gets involved.
In the first issue of the Avengers/Fantastic Four crossover event Empyre, written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Valerio Schiti, Reyes leaves behind wheeled vehicles altogether and opts to take to the sky in the Avengers’ Quinjet. The ship gets a pretty rad, but unfortunately short-lived, Ghost Rider upgrade, but again it’s not large enough to take the top spot. Earlier, in Ghost Rider #33, readers get a different taste of the Spirit of Vengeance from writer Jason Aaron, this time joined by artist Tony Moore. In this issue, readers are presented with a kind of madcap historical montage of Ghost Riders in biplanes shooting down the German Luftwaffe in WWI, cruising around hell-powered Sherman tanks in WWII, and even a “Hell-Driver” plowing down demonic sheriffs in a big “Devil Rig” truck. Equal parts ridiculous and wicked was the prehistoric Ghost Rider’s hell-infused mammoth mount. First appearing in Marvel Legacy #1, by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic (among others), and then again in Aaron’s Avengers run, the Stone-Age Ghost Rider makes the most of an era without combustion engines and rides a woolly mammoth into battle.
The biggest yet, however – and definitely a feat that will be hard to top, even for a Ghost Rider as powerful as Robbie Reyes – happens in Avengers #5 by Jason Aaron, Paco Medina, and Ed McGuiness. The Avengers are facing a host of rogue Celestials that have come to Earth to destroy it. To match the enormous threat, Iron Man brings to bear his Jaeger-sized “God Killer” armor and Ghost Rider takes over the body of a dead Celestial. What’s more remarkable here is that the enormous size of the celestial doesn’t strain Ghost Rider’s powers. In fact, Reyes appears reinvigorated by the new vehicle, and asks himself, “Just exactly how strong am I?” A question readers would certainly like an answer to in the not too distant future. Jason Aaron has a real love for the character that’s inspired him to push the boundaries of what’s possible for Marvel’s Ghost Rider past what any prior writer imagined, and the Celestial mount is definitely the most impressive yet – though it’s also likely to inspire even more impressive feats from Marvel’s Ghost Rider.
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