Ever since Johnny Blaze agreed to give his soul to Mephisto to save his mentor's life, the Marvel Universe has had a motorcycle-riding Spirit of Vengeance cruising around, serving vengeance to the wicked. There have been five people in the Marvel Universe, who have taken on the mantle of the Ghost Rider, including Punisher, and each of them has had some incredible adventures and amazing stories over the years.
Over the 48+ years he's been driving villains insane with his Pennance Stare, there have been tons of comic books, great stories, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, comic book issues, story arcs, storylines, and one-shot books about Ghost Rider, making it hard to determine which is the best of Ghost Rider's greatest adventures. This list attempts the impossible by narrowing the best down to the top 20. You can also use this list as a Ghost Rider reading guide.
Check out the stories listed below, and if you see your favorites, vote them up. Then check back to see which of these comics is the best Ghost Rider story ever told!
Story Found In: Ghost Racers #1-4
Details: What counts as entertainment on Battleworld might seem like a terrifying hellish spectacle to outsiders, as Ghost Rider and many others find themselves on the scorching-hot racetrack! The cursed and the damned must take part in the Ghost Races, and everything is on the line.
For any damned soul lucky enough to win first prize in the Ghost Races, they will enjoy a temporary reprieve from the Arena, but what happens to the ones who come in second to last? It's not pretty in this all-out, high-speed race to end all races!
Story Found In: Ghost Rider #69
Details: One issue after the origin of both the Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze was retold, writer Roger Stern and artist Bob Budiansky explored the very nature of the character. Is Ghost Rider a combination of Blaze and the demon who possesses him, or is he Blaze empowered by the damned?
Ghost Rider has displayed his raw power in previous issues, and his wrath is often violent and destructive. As he continues to evolve, his violence and level of outright malevolence toward the wicked paints him as less of a superhero and more of a villain ready to take vengeance wherever he can, no matter the consequences.
Story Found In: Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance # 9-10
Details: The story, "Carnival of Death," intertwines the previous plots in the Spirits of Vengeance books revolving around Quentin Carnival. The climax reveals Centurious as the villain behind the previous year of Ghost Rider comics, making this story a climactic payoff culminating from dozens of issues.
Everything in "Carnival of Death" is significantly magnified in terms of violence, vengeance, and intensity, as Steel Wind and her army of Stygian Demons head to full-blown war with Carnival. The addition of Vengeance only serves to up the ante in this incredible story by Howard Mackie and Adam Kubert.
Story Found In: Marvel Spotlight #5
Details: You can't have a list of the greatest Ghost Rider stories ever told, and leave off the one that introduced the character to the Marvel Universe. This book introduced Johnny Blaze as the Ghost Rider, and while he wasn't technically the first character to carry that name, he's the one most fans associate with the Spirit of Vengeance.
The issue is an origin story, so it lays out how Johnny Blaze made a deal with the Devil (later retconned to be Mephisto) to save his mentor and father figure, Craig Simpson. The pact he made with the demon led him down a dark path of supernatural horror that saw his flesh burn away to reveal the Spirit of Vengeance lying underneath.