Ghost Rider misconceptions are quite the norm on battle forums and in general comic discussions. So here is the break down on the abilities, powers, and limits of Ghost Riders shown thus far.
Danny Ketch, the brother of Johnny Blaze, and the most popular Ghost Rider through the 90s. Danny Ketch was a normal guy who never heard of the Ghost Rider curse until twist of fate caused him and his sister to be attacked by assassins. With the sister dying in his hands, Danny stumbles on a old motor bike which activates the curse within him. Turning him into a Spirit of Vengeance. With his powers Danny protects New York with the rest of the New York heroes, until the truth of his curse comes full circle, losing the power. Since then, Danny has long to get back to being a Ghost Rider, and was manipulated into events that wrecked heaven. Now like his brother he wanders the roads to where they take him. The story of how Danny became a Ghost Rider is a very complicated when compared to his brother.
Danny curse activates only after stumbling onto a motor bike in the middle of a junkyard after him and his sister are brutally attacked by ninjas. Crazy yeah? The crow Eleven sums up Danny's life as a Spirit of Vengeance here.
It was complicated. More interesting though is that the Spirit of Vengeance in Danny is not like typical Spirit of Vengeance. A spirit of Vengeance is the wrath of god, an Angel of Vengeance. At first, Caretaker who was employed by Zadkiel to explain the origins of Ketch's spirit. A elaborate lie to keep Spirits of Vengeance ignorant to their true origin for the longest time. In time Danny discovers a more crazy truth, that the Spirit within him is none other than his ancestor Noble Kale who was turn into the Angel of Death via the cooperation of the powerful Angel Uriel, and Hell Lord Mephisto. Creating a more unique being.
Shortly after though, when Noble Kale took hell for himself, Kale and Ketch separated. Danny was distraught, and lost. Like a junkie needing the power. Then Zadkiel stepped in seeing the perfect pawn.
Zadkiel gave Ketch a Spirit of Vengeance again, and sent him to kill the rest to gather power. In the end, Ketch helps Blaze take out Zadkiel, and both ended up their separate ways. While the current spirit remains nameless, it is proven as strong as Zarathos thus far. After Blaze and Ketch beaten Zadkiel, both went their separate ways.
Danny does not have a lot of feats in strength, but what few he has are solid.
One handed Danny flips a cop car.
Danny breaks out from a collapse cave.
Ghost Rider easily overpowers Pile Driver of the Wrecking Crew.
Danny punches Blaze a football fields length. Punches Blaze again 100s of feet high. Danny then lifts a large boulder and slams it on Blaze.
Ghost Rider is pretty fast. Peak human so, and his travel speed and reaction speed is Hypersonic+ easy.
Ketch races Blaze for four full pages around most of Africa and Europe. Dodging obstacles, attacking each other, and holding a conversation the whole time.
This is the bread and butter of Ghost Rider. He is very tough to kill or KO. Wolverine levels of tough. While 100+ toners can knock him out, and do so, anything less will struggle to down a Ghost Rider. Unlike Blaze however, Danny has shown far more healing ability than Blaze has.
Building level bomb goes off, burying Danny, who then emerges enraged.
Danny tanks Abominations blows though is KOed.
Danny gets hit with a huge hell fireball from blaze. Takes alot out of him, but Danny is still able to fight.
While Danny is possessed by the Brood, he mentions his mystical healing factor. Healing all damage from Wolverine's adamantium claws.
Danny heals from being runs over by a semi truck in a short time.
Danny strides through laser fire. Healing all damage near instantly it is done.
Danny has his head blown off, an takes a few moments to get back in the fight.
Danny gets blasted into melted slag and reforms after many moments.
Its important to show and touch on the weaknesses Danny and Kale have. Unlike most Ghost Riders, they did not show a weakness to holy weapons. However, magic was still more potent to them than non magic, and the biggest weakness was pain itself.
While possessing incredible healing, enough pain build up or suffered will make Danny weaken, and fall unconscious.
Danny again showing even later on in comics to be felled by the same weakness of excruciating pain.
Another way to kill Danny is to kill him in human form. Blackout nearly did, but Kale took control last second, though Danny was in an near death state till Dr Strange healed him.
Specific weapons can also separate the Spirit of Vengeance from Danny. Killing Danny and Kale.
Being a servant of Zadkiel, Caretaker is able to flat out turn off Ketch's and Badilino's powers off.
Hell Fire Explosion
Hell Fire is the magical energy that makes up Ghost Riders power to attack and defend. Danny Ketch does not make use of hell fire nearly as much as other Ghost Riders. When he does use it its in limited but powerful explosive fashion.
Danny burns Blackout off him.
Danny blasts whats left of Blackheart. Blackheart was pre Hell Lord here.
Danny blows away Abomination when transforming into Ghost Rider.
Danny blows away two super beings with a massive explosion.
Danny is able to generate infinite number of chains made of near unbreakable Hell Fire. The hell fire changing into a solid form for physical attacks. Danny is shows more abilities and skill with his chain than any other Ghost Rider.
Danny catching and hanging Madcap.
Danny using his chain to beat up, and choke out Snow Blind.
Danny rips off Highway Man's head off.
Danny chokes a foe, and ties them up.
Danny catches and chokes out Spider X.
Danny ties up Bulldozer of the Wrecking Crew legs, and slams him into Wrecker.
Danny smashes the skulls of three targets with a chain throw.
Danny disarms a hand ninja of his weapon by smashing it in his hands.
Danny likes to solidify his chain into a spear to stab and throw like a javelin.
Pins a vampire to the wall.
Uses the chain as a spike to stab Blackout in the skull.
Slices the side of a semi truck.
Throws the chain as a javelin to cut Blackout's arm.
Throws the spear like a javelin to pin to the wall two Broodlings.
Danny main form of range attacks involve the use of his chain breaking into razor sharp pieces and blast out like a shotgun blast.
Danny kills a ninja at range. Shows how the Chain breaks apart and reforms.
Danny takes out multiple thugs with one attack.
Danny shows enough accuracy to cut Blaze out of a web with the flechette attack.
Danny's flechette attack take down multiple thick trees.
Danny one shots a large monster with the attack.
Hell Fire Avatars
Danny once showed he can make limited hell fire copies of himself to battle.
Each hell fire copy was powerful enough to match weaker Ghost Riders.
Ghost Riders are able to open dimensional portals and travel to areas if needed. Danny has use teleportation before.
Danny opens a portal from the city to deep underground tunnels.
Danny is a skilled motor bike user, and motor bike racer.
Hell cycle plows through a news van and two cops cars with ease.
Danny uses hell cycle to plow through dozens of meters of solid stone to get from underground tunnel to surface.
Danny fighting from the seat of his hell cycle. Taking down multiple hostiles on the drive by.
Danny using motor bike to fight off, and blaze through demonic rats.
Ketch has the skill and balance to tight rope the Hell Cycle.
Danny showing the skill to wrap around the cables of the bridge and jump it.
The Hell Cycle can scale vertical surfaces with ease.
Even when blown to small pieces the hell cycle instantly reforms via hell fire.
Danny Ketch and Nobel Kale have shown several times capable of outright flight.
Several examples of Ketch and Kale showing no need for ramps to get airborne, and able to change directions in the sky.
Ketch generates hell fire wings to ascend to heaven.
All Spirits of Vengeance smell evil intentions and sins of others. They are able to hone in on such evil like hound dogs.
Danny senses the demonic presence hiding in the shadows.
Danny senses the sin and thoughts of a man wanting to hit his wife.
Danny senses and pin points Punisher's intentions to do harm.
Danny is fully able to see Snow Blind, whose power white outs the senses and makes him invisible to others.
Danny senses the presence of his brother Blaze closing in on him.
Due to the unique bond Danny and Nobel Kale shared, they had a far stronger resistance as a human control Ghost Rider than any other.
Even after infected by the Brood, Ghost Rider was able to resist it till Danny was helped by Psylock to be free. After the infection the Brood Queen stated it was impossible to resist her commands, which Ghost Rider did fine.
Madcap has the power to drive anyone insane with a stare. This trump card of his had no effect on Danny.
This is arguably Ghost Rider's most powerful attack. This attack allows Ghost Rider to look into your mind and soul, and bombard you with the pain and suffering you caused others. Many people are ignorant to how this works, thinking guilt and sin is a factor. It does not matter.
Here Ketch uses the Penance Stare on Blade, who at this time has the full power of the Darkhold. That little book that contains the C'thons power. The Eldar god that created Dark Magic in the universe. Key facts are stated how it works.
"Blades experience is no different from the countless others who have felt the pain they have inflicted."
"No different, but a hundredfold more severe."
"Every cell in his body explodes with the pain that he has inflicted upon his recent victims."
"He relives their deaths a thousand times in the span of a microsecond."
"The Experience threatens to shatter his mind."
This is how the power works. No matter your a good person, guilty of some sin, or what. All that needs to make this work is you have a soul, and if you caused pain to others whether for good or bad reasons.
Madcap is a perfect example. Madcap is immune to feeling pain. He is also so insane, that he drives other people insane with a stare. Even with his neck snapped, he is fine due to his Deadpool like healing factor. In short, he feels no guilt, pain, or sin. Ghost Rider's Penance Stare does Madcap in.
We also see the Penance Stare work just fine on Dr. Strange who has the great TP feats and sound mind of any character.
We also see Wolverine, the mutant of badass, toughness, all healing, and no guilt get Penance Stare worth of pain of one single day. Wolverine nearly buckles over that single day much less hit with a lifetime of pain caused.
Works on the most insane and guilt free comic character known, Deadpool. KOing the merc with a mouth for enough time to turn clear day to twilight in the art.
Penance Stare destroys a noble angel who answered only to God.
This attack is so potent, it works on Ghost Riders themselves, embodiment s of Vengeance because they harm people, whether by Gods orders or not.
Use to exorcise Mephisto himself from possessed before.
Penance Stare does more than torture you into submission. It also can read the mind and soul of any being affected by it. It can be used to read minds without causing pain.
Penance Stare used on Wendigo to read its mind.
Penance Stare used on Morbius to read his mind and innocence.
Penance Stare used to unveil the multiple lifetimes and lives of Judah.
Read the mind of this angel of the lord before killing him.
Penance Stare Weakness
The Only time the Penance Stare has ever failed is when used on Souless people, people empowered by suffering, or people that are stated immune to it via divine intervention.
Fails on souless beings. No soul to punish for the Penance Stare.
Fails on Blackheart because he is a Hell Lord who is empowered by death and pain. When he feels all the pain and suffering he caused by a factor of ten, Blackheart just gets stronger.
Some now think the Stare failed on Thanos. Not true after close inspection and context. As stated, the Penance Stare used on Thanos is not causing pain. Just sorrow and despair. A trip of memories, and in Thanos case the Penance Stare used on him is stated, "These are not Thanos deepest secrete and regrets. no for him they are his fondest memories." This tells me that the pain the Penance Stare inflicts is missing, and that this Ghost Rider, servant of King Thanos is using the Penance Stare only to look at fond memories of Thanos as instructed. Which more falls in the mind reading power the Stare has.
The Deacon was Heavens hit man on earth. Empowered by the powerful angel Zadkiel himself. When Blaze attempts the Penance Stare on him, Deacon states he feel guilty about nothing. Truth is all of Ghost Riders powers are shown not to work on the Deacon. The Hell Fire, the Chains, and the Penance Stare thanks to that divine intervention.
Many people feel Punisher tank the Penance Stare. Most people never read the Thunderbolts comics. In the comics before the Rider fights Punisher, we see a Angels feather react to a dying Punisher. Curing him of all wounds, and as stated the feather of the angel went out of its way to help Punisher. Punisher states dont ask. Then later we see Penance Stare fail on Punisher. He has proven and shown divine intervention on his part. Thus it failed. That simple.
For some odd reason the Penance Stare has issues working on Venom. The Eddie Venom was still affected, and still harm by the attack, but Ketch was hit by his own Penance Stare at the same time.
This is shown again when Blaze uses the Penance Stare on the stronger Flash Venom. Venom this times shrugs it off completly as the Penance Stare turns around on Blaze and KOes Blaze.
Another limit of the Penance Stare is eye contact. This is false.
Alejandra unleashes a Penance Stare through her nunchucks making contact with the head.
Alejandra unleashes hell fire skulls that unleashed the Penance Stare both Deathwatch and Blackout without eye contact, and at the same time.
Zarathos level of power can unleash a Penance Stare that affected an whole city with his Penance Stare, and even Dr Strange magical shield was failing to hold up.
Here Slade uses it to affect multiple people in the stands via beams. As long the more powerful Spirit is in control, the eye contact matters little.
Nobel Kale is a unique case of a Spirit of Vengeance. He was stated to be more a Angel of Death by Mephisto and Uriel, but for all intents and purpose still functions as a Spirit of Vengeance. Nobel Kale was a human, ancestor to Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze, who got caught up in a bargain between Mephisto and Uriel. Both the Angel and Hell Lord making a pact to make the ultimate weapon between them. The truth of this pact and Nobel Kale's power was kept secrete until revealed to Danny and Kale. Once the truth was revealed, Nobel Kale full power was realize, and he no longer needed Ketch, and they separated.
Danny Power vs Nobel Kale Power
This difference of power depends on who is in control. However in this instance the power depended on how much Kale remembered his past. When bonded to Danny, they both shared the thoughts, and body. Acting more as a merger of the two. When Kale realize who he really was, his power grew.
Danny expresses the original bond was like Danny is still there in the mind, but shoved in a darkness.
Even when Danny was thought dead, and Kale in the driver seat, Danny was still part of Kale, and Kale was still only as powerful as he was with both sharing the body. However, after the near death experience, they worked better.
It was not till the reveal of Kale's true past that Danny and Kale were able to hit full power, reach greater levels of strength, and transform into something more.
Nobel has increased strength.
Nobel Kale easily overpowers and beats Venom.
Physically matches the Furies. The Furies were shown more powerful than Valkyrie, taking her out easy. Stated as members of the Olympians race.
The un name Spirit of Vengeance in Danny show able to easily overpower and throw 100+ tons.
Nobel durability is far greater to damage and nearly unable to be put down against all but the most powerful attacks.
While not nearly fully power, Nobel was closer to his power in his fight vs Nightmare in the dream realm. Nightmare states he wants Nobel dead, but has issues trying to execute this plan with his attacks.
Nobel is ganged up on by the Furies. They deliver the stated killing blow which Nobel survived, much to their surprise.
Nobel Kale abilities with hell fire is still very limited in forms of attacks, but is fully capable of using effective and powerful hell fire attacks.
Nobel using hell fire in his fist to put down Verminous Rex who survive Ghost Riders before.
Nobel uses hell fire to expel the soul of Scarecrow, empowered by Blackheart at the time, from Danny's body.
Nobel Kale burns the spirit Willow to ash with hell fire. Burning the un kill able spirit.
At the peak of his power, Nobel was able to destroy Hell Lord Blackheart in one hell fire attack.
Caleb Ghost Rider unleash his Spirit, and through that Spirit of Vengeance we see it turn the planetoid hell into a Ghost Rider face and unleashing a ring of energy out.
Still a avid user of chains, Nobel chains proven far superior on tougher foes.
Chain takes the fight out of Nightmare himself in one shot.
Chains strong enough to capture and hold Uriel. The equal of Mephisto.
Hell Fire Chain Scythe
Combining hell fire with his chain for something of a hell fire Scythe as his preferred weapon.
Cutting down foes.
Damaging beings as string as the Furies.
Nobel shown effortless ability to create portals from earth to hell and vice versa.
Nobel creates dimensions from hell to anywhere on earth as he pleases.
Caleb Ghost Rider gave in to his Spirit of Vengeance and was able to BFR a whole cattle town of the old west into a hell dimension.
Nobel is proven as strong as Zarathos.
Zarathos defeated Danny Ketch Ghost Rider and absorbed him. Only later and way too late did Zarathos realize Nobel Kale power within him was too much to bear. Destroying Zarathos inside out rather than being absorbed.
Reality Warping Resistance
As proven many times, you cannot keep a good Ghost Rider down. Even when you sit on Gods Thrones, and take the power of all creation for yourself.
Zadkiel usurps God's Throne, and has power over creation itself. Effectively a sky father level being if not higher. He was changing reality, re writing creation itself in many ways on earth. When Blaze and Ketch fought Zadkiel, they discover that due to being a vestige of Gods own power, they were immune to being affected by such power.