Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi rev up the action in Ghost Rider!

Every day this month, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

You‘d think that discovering you’d been working for angels instead of demons would be good news, but then again, you’re not Johnny Blaze. Everyone’s favorite flaming skull motorcycle enthusiast came to understand that an angel named Zadkiel had been pulling his strings this whole time before Jason Aaron took over the GHOST RIDER series in 2008. That gave the future DOCTOR STRANGE scribe a great place to start and a clear mission for his star: get Zadkiel.

For Aaron’s first arc, starting with GHOST RIDER #20 and running through #23, the writer and artist Roland Boschi set the tone for one of the most wild, violent, and supernaturally stacked runs on the character to date that felt like a great mix of horror and grindhouse action. Not a fan of having the wool pulled over his fiery eye sockets, Blaze decided that he needed to have a face-to-face with this Zadkiel character. While traveling through New Beulah, out hero heard about a kid named Lucas who had a near death experience and came back terrified of angels. That seemed like a good enough place to start, so Johnny paid the boy a visit in the hospital.

Before he could even talk to the young man, Blaze ran into a mountain of a woman who told him to kick rocks. He listened for about a minute and then drove his bike straight through the doors, grabbed Lucas and took off with him. Not to be outdone, the head nurse ordered her underlings to grab a ton of guns and follow them. After getting a night’s sleep, Lucas explained that, when he briefly died he found the gates to Heaven locked and Zadkiel looking to succeed where Lucifer failed. Lucas even remembered working on their siege engines until he returned to the land of the living.

Ghost Rider (2006) #20

Ghost Rider (2006) #20

  • Published: February 13, 2008
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 07, 2008
  • Rating: Parental Advisory
  • Writer: Jason Aaron
  • Cover Artist: Marko Djurdjevic
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before Blaze could leave the kid and go off on his own mission, the nurses—who served Zadkiel—shot Lucas in the side. They tried running off again, but their pursuers caught up and nearly destroyed the Rider with a drop of Zadkiel’s fiery rain; howerre they made the mistake of threatening the Rider’s bike and he went nuclear on them. The chase continued with Johnny accidentally leading them all to Highway 18 which happened to be haunted by the ghosts of a bunch of cannibals that hadn’t given up their eating habits. These ghouls proved powerful enough to not only separate Lucas from his new friend, but also give the Rider a run for his money.

The last issue of the arc ended with a huge collision between Ghost Rider, the nurses, a bus, and the only living member of the family of ghost cannibals! At the end, just about everything went wrong, but Johnny Blaze rode away with a bit more information that he’d use to get his revenge in later issues of Aaron’s tenure.

Fright Fact

In this story we just begin to see how Blaze’s fellow Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch, played into the larger story. The character took over as the Spirit of Vengeance in the 1990-launching GHOST RIDER series. Eventually, Blaze returned to active duty leaving Ketch behind. As we found out in Aaron’s series, Ketch missed the power so much that he agreed to work for Zadkiel in order to regain the mantle of Ghost Rider. Danny even went so far as to gather a group of villains like Orb, Doghead, Death Ninja, and Blackout to aid in their efforts. Eventually he and Johnny worked things out, though, as you can see in the endcap to this epic, a limited series called GHOST RIDERS: HEAVEN’S ON FIRE.

Tomorrow, the X-Men find themselves facing off against a psychic vampire and an army of mostly dead mutants!

Read More

Creative Director Bill Rosemann gets you caught up on all the updates about the Doctor Strange and Halloween events!

Marvel.com’s got a man inside Marvel Games.

For over two decades Bill Rosemann has a part of the Marvel family, from his time as a freelance writer for Marvel Age magazine, to marketing copywriter, to “Your Man @ Marvel” blogger, to writer of the Deadline limited series, to editor of dozens of comic series including Nova, Black Panther, Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy. Bill also helped launch the Disney Kingdom imprint and was part of the team that co-created the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy. Bill is now Creative Director for Marvel Games, where he uses his knowledge and passion for the House of Ideas to collaborate with partners around the world on hit titles for console, PC and mobile devices.

Every few weeks, Bill and talented members of the Marvel Games team join us to share their stories as well as exclusive news and scoops on what’s happening in the world of gaming!

Marvel.com: Bill, can you share with us the exciting new events going on in Games right now?
Bill Rosemann:
I would love to. Last week, Marvel games team was lucky enough to get invited to the Hollywood red carpet premiere of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.” The team was so excited to attend that and see all the great actors and actresses there. And part of the reason we were so excited is because we’ve been working months and months and months on delivering our next big Marvel games event, which is focused on Doctor Strange. We announced at New York Comic Con this would be happening and showed some art, but now that the event’s here we can talk about it more – Doctor Strange content started rolling out throughout Marvel games last week.

Marvel.com: This is great for fans just to get their hands on it before the film comes out November 4th.
Bill Rosemann:
That’s right. This event is like past events we’ve done. We’ve done events inspired by the different Marvel movies. The first one we did was Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Then we did one for Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” one for Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” and we’ve even done events inspired by comic events in publishing, such as Marvel’s Women of Power. In July, we joined the celebration of Captain America’s 75th anniversary by introducing new versions of Captain America across our portfolio in games. So here we are and it’s time to do something very similar. We reached out to all of our partners and said, “Hey, if we gave you reference from the film would you be interested in introducing characters, costumes, and missions in your game that your players would really love?” Our partners were all very excited to participate.

Marvel.com: That’s awesome. What can our fans expect?
Bill Rosemann:
What’s fun is we no longer try to do direct game adaptations of films, which can be very difficult to do because you’re creating the content at the same time that they’re making the film. As a result, reference can be limited and you never get the same experience in a game that you might get when watching a film. Instead of trying to cram that in, we offer all of our partners the freedom to create the content that has the most meaning for their game and for their players because each game is different and each game’s players want something different.

Marvel.com: Right, so most of the games will have some of the same key players but they will tell a different story depending on how it fits inside their universe?
Bill Rosemann:
Exactly! Our games have their own story. All of our games are based on and inspired by existing Marvel continuity—whether that’s from Publishing, from TV, or from Marvel Studios. We work with them to tell their own story.

What’s happening in Marvel Contest of Champions – you know, with the Collector and the Grandmaster – is very different than, for example, what’s happening in Marvel Puzzle Quest. Or when you think about Marvel Avengers Academy, they have a very different set up with the school and the younger versions of the heroes. So, again, we really allow all of our partners to tell their own stories but we focused on a lot of the same characters and then let them decide who they thought would have the greatest impact in their game.

Marvel.com: Across the games, can we find Stephen Strange at different points in his life? For example, he’s probably a student on Avengers Academy?
Bill Rosemann:
Exactly. We can go through them one by one, but we really worked with each team to think about where Stephen Strange would be in his journey in each game. We also thought about what he would look like, what his powers would be, and what would have the most meaning for each game’s story and situation.

Marvel.com: Let’s start with Marvel Contest of Champions.
Bill Rosemann:
Created by our friends at Kabam, Contest of Champions is our big mobile fighting game. We’ve revealed that we’re introducing not one, but two new characters. Doctor Strange is gathering together all the game’s mystical characters in a new quest called the Sorcerer’s Conclave. He’s bringing together Scarlet Witch, Guillotine, and Magik from the X-Men. As for the two new characters, we’re introducing Mordo, largely inspired by how he looks in “Doctor Strange,” and Brother Voodoo, inspired from his current comic look UNCANNY AVENGERS. Be on the lookout for them. There’s new key art, and an awesome new app icon as well.

Marvel.com: Will they be allies with Stephen in Marvel Contest of Champions?
Bill Rosemann:
We shall see, we shall see. Anytime you get people with immense power in a group you can hope that they will go along with the fight but you never know when you have people like Mordo, and even Guillotine or Magik, they may have their own motivation and goals. You’ll have to play the game to see where the characters’ quest will take them.

Marvel.com: Up next, Marvel Future Fight.
Bill Rosemann:
Marvel Future Fight is our action RPG mobile game created with Netmarble. We revealed at New York Comic Con that we are adding some all-new characters and new costumes as well. Some are inspired by the film, and some you’ll see inspired by their classic comic book version. Five of the all-new characters include Doctor Strange, Mordo, The Ancient One, Kaecilius, and Wong, who all have looks inspired by how they appear in the film.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us about some of the different costume styles?
Bill Rosemann:
As far as costumes, Strange, Mordo, The Ancient One, Kaecilius, and Wong will also be getting comic book-inspired costumes. We’re also introducing comic book versions of Clea, who was a long-time student and partner of Doctor Strange, Daimon Hellstrom and Satana in the game. Again, they have a great mission quest cooked up and you’ll see these amazing characters all combined together. With Marvel Future Fight, it’s just so impressive – all the effort that they put into what they introduce. There will be a new app icon, new key art and all these new characters and costumes, it should be an amazing new addition for the game.

Marvel.com: What can you share about Marvel Puzzle Quest?
Bill Rosemann:
For our match-3 puzzle game made with our friends D3Go, Marvel Puzzle Quest, we’ve revealed that that there will be a movie-inspired Doctor Strange introduced to the game. At NYCC, they were celebrating their 3rd anniversary and had a booth with a big banner showcasing the new Doctor Strange. There are additional things that I can’t mention right now, but all will be made clear as we get closer to the release date of their content.

Marvel.com: What can we talk about next?
Bill Rosemann:
Jumping over to PC, we have Marvel Heroes 2016, made along with our friends at Gazillion. We revealed at NYCC that there will be movie-inspired Doctor Strange content added to the game. Like our other games, there will be some additional features that I can’t quite mention now. Word will be coming out soon, but again, I’m really impressed with Marvel Heroes 2016. Recently, we’ve been able to work very closely with them and release content related to their inspiration’s release date. For example, we released the Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider and Quake on the very same day that “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 4 debuted. We also introduced Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, inspired by their Netflix shows, on the very same day that “Marvel’s Luke Cage” hit.

It’s pretty cool that you can turn on your TV and watch the characters, and then you can say, “You know what, now I want to play them,” and then you can go play them. You want to actually be them or play them, and you can do that on Marvel Heroes; that’s the same thing we expect to happen here with “Doctor Strange.”

Marvel.com: What do you have cooking for the world of Avengers Academy?
Bill Rosemann:
 Marvel Avengers Academy is doing something really fun – they are our simulation builder that we make with our friends at TinyCo – they will be doing a whole Doctor Strange event. We’ve revealed the Avengers Academy version of Doctor Strange; as with the rest of the characters in the game, he is a younger version. He appears to be a student, so maybe he’s not quite the Master of Mystic Arts just yet. Maybe he’s studying.

Avengers Academy is great with their ability to release multiple amounts of characters and buildings, and of course, a great story. I always give a tip of the Cloak of Levitation to writer Allen Warner and artist David Nakayama – they do just an awesome job of rethinking and reinterpreting our characters in a new and younger setting. You can bet they’ll deliver plenty of surprises with their Doctor Strange event.

Marvel.com: Lastly…
Bill Rosemann:
And last but certainly not least, let’s talk about Marvel Tsum Tsum. This is another match-3 game that we made with our friends at Disney Japan, mixi, and NHN. Together they created this awesome game that has really surprised people with the amount of characters and how deep we’re going in the bench – the Marvel bench.

What’s really fun is part of the need for the game and what the players want, which sometimes are characters based on color. You’re doing matches – match and erase and so sometimes they’ll need specific colors. This allows us to go really deep and deliver characters that you wouldn’t expect in the game yet. They’re able to introduce characters to the game that have only recently been introduced in Publishing. We were able to release Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” characters. You’ll see the Tsum version of Doctor Strange in-game right now during their Doctor Strange event. A lot more characters are jumping to mind, but I can’t reveal them yet. A lot more characters are jumping to mind, but I can’t reveal them yet.

Marvel.com: What new challenges are we going to see that’s not in the regular game play?
Bill Rosemann:
The story in Marvel Tsum Tsum is that all the Tsums are in this room in a toy store that’s decorated like New York City, and all the Tsums think it is the real New York City. The heroes think that they are the actual heroes and the villains think they’re the actual villains. Hanging above them are these mobiles of these different worlds; that’s how you’re able to go to all of these different worlds in the Marvel Universe. I could imagine perhaps that there will be some sort of Doctor Strange-inspired world hanging over them that you’ll be able to travel to with magic.

It’s great how all of our partners go all out. They don’t want to introduce just one character – they want to introduce multiple characters, multiple costumes, worlds, mission, and events. They redo their app icon, and they even create new art. It’s a lot of fun; they get very excited and they love seeing all the great Doctor Strange stuff before the movie comes out. It’s a case of “with great power comes great responsibility” – the power is they get to see all this great stuff and the responsibility then is to create all this great content for their games. We’re excited once again to have a big Marvel event so you as a Marvel games fan, whatever kind of game you want, whether it’s a match-3, a simulation builder, a RPG, or a fighting game across our whole portfolio of mobile and PC, we have something for you. If you’re a Doctor Strange fan, you can just play one, or if you want to experience it all, there are all these different games to play.

Marvel.com: You get to see the whole universe, not only the theatrical, but also the comics.
Bill Rosemann:
You get to learn! I think people who are seeing the film are then going online and reading a lot of articles that Marvel.com puts up explaining, well, who is the Ancient One, and where did she or he come from? What inspired them? Who is Mordo? Through the games, we introduce these characters. Fans may wonder who’s Clea, who’s Mordo, or who’s Brother Voodoo. Hopefully this will be a gateway for them to go to Marvel.com, or go to Marvel Unlimited and read all the adventures that have inspired these characters.

Marvel.com: That’s awesome. Doctor Strange is not the only event we have going on right now?
Bill Rosemann:
That’s right! It is the season of Halloween here – we are deep in the month of October. You have all this Doctor Strange content hitting Games last week, all of which are very supernatural and spooky in nature, so we wanted to keep the fun going! We’ve worked closely again across our portfolio of partners to have some additional Halloween content.

Let’s see, Blade the Vampire Hunter will be coming to Marvel Puzzle Quest. He’s already in the game, but this is going to be an updated version of him based on his most recent appearance in comics. Marvel Puzzle Quest wants to show the fans that the content and characters in their game are closely inspired by what’s happening in Publishing. Also, the classic Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze is coming to Contest of Champions. I mentioned earlier that the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider is appearing in Marvel Heroes 2016, and he’s also appearing in Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: A burning skeleton head is perfect for Halloween.
Bill Rosemann:
You know you can’t beat it. They don’t have a Ghost Rider yet in the game so Marvel Contest of Champions wanted to start with Johnny – he’s going to come roaring in on his demonic motorcycle and bring the vengeance. Hopefully one day we will see Robbie Reyes speed into the game as well. But for right now, we’re going to start with Johnny Blaze.

We also have a big event happening right now in Marvel Avengers Academy for Halloween. And our friends at TinyCo are going all out. They’re not content just to introduce one character – they’re introducing many characters! The Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider has been introduced to the game. We’ve also revealed that Misty Knight, who has appeared recently in “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” is in Avengers Academy. Moon Knight, who guards travelers in the dark of night, I can see him out there protecting trick or treaters. He will also be in the game. Satana, the daughter of the devil, who we talked about earlier appearing in Marvel Future Fight, will also be in Marvel Avengers Academy. There will be additional characters and costumes appearing in the game. A lot of the Marvel characters will also be dressing up in…

Marvel.com: As each other?!
Bill Rosemann:
Loki is wearing a Thor costume, Wasp is dressed as a pirate, Hulk is kind of going as Bruce Banner – he’s going as a mad scientist – and there’s a zombie version of Taskmaster… and oh! Ms. Marvel is dressed as Little Red Riding Hood! Given how powerful Kamala is, any wolves out there better watch out. In fact, Cap Wolf is in the game, Cap Wolf better watch out because this Little Red Riding Hood is going to knock him out.

So there we go! From Doctor Strange to Halloween… all of our partners in Marvel Games and the Marvel Games team itself are all rallying together to release all this great content. I want to give a shout out to all the Marvel Games people that made it happen: you have Isabel Hsu, our Creative Assistant who makes sure all of our partners have the reference that they need, and she helps review all the content that’s created. Becka McIntosh makes sure everything happens on time and she works behind the scenes just making sure all the T’s are crossed and it all happens when it should happen. And then you have our two producers: Danny Koo, who is the senior producer of Marvel Future Fight, Marvel Tsum Tsum and Marvel Heroes 2016, and then you have Tim Hernandez, who is the senior producer of Avengers Academy, Marvel Puzzle Quest and Marvel Contest of Champions. They work with these partners every day making sure that all the content is as authentically Marvel it can be, and that the content, stories, and gameplay are awesome. They’re the people who are behind-the-scenes making this all happen because the want to make sure that all of our players and gamers have awesome content every single day.

Marvel.com: You’re all doing incredible work! Any last things you want to share?
Bill Rosemann:
The games are happening right now! All these games that I mentioned are free-to-download and free-to-play but of course you can make in-game purchases if you wish. It’s great that everyone can experience these games; and if you see the “Doctor Strange” movie and have a good time, and want to experience it more and expand upon that, you can fire up one of these games and have a great time.

Marvel.com: Perfect, well, thank you.
Bill Rosemann:
Thank you! And thank you all the Marvel games fans out there – you’re magic.

Read More

Johnny Blaze makes a fiery entrance to the Battlerealm!

Ever dreamed of burning rubber and bad guys’ souls all while wearing an awesome leather jacket? Well the good people at Kabam have heard you friends! They’ve unleashed the Ghost Rider on Battlerealm and now every hero needs to beware Johnny Blaze’s fiery gaze. We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Game Designer Justin Ostensen about the Ghost Rider and everything he brings to “Marvel Contest of Champions.”

Marvel.com: Can the Collector and the gang really hope to harness the Spirit of Vengeance on Battlerealm? As usual, he’s playing with some seriously volatile energies.

Gabriel Frizzera: He had little choice in the matter, since it was the Grandmaster who brought Johnny Blaze to the Battlerealm under false pretenses, just to stir some trouble. All the Collector could do was try to beat his brother in his own game and capture Ghost Rider for his roster, before he causes too much damage to The Contest.

Marvel.com: Ok, I’m skipping right over everything else to get to the really important question: are we going to get to hit people with a motorcycle?

Gabriel Frizzera: How did you guess? That’s exactly his Special Move #3. He runs you over with his Hellcycle (in fact he push-kicks the Hellcycle over you), then does his famous Penance Stare to make sure you’re extra-dead. There’s also lots of flaming chains to the face, and even some fire-breathing.


Marvel.com: Let’s talk about his kit. Spirit of Vengeance seems like the linchpin of all his abilities. How does it play with Judgement?

Justin Ostensen: Judgments are a pretty unique and powerful ability, with Spirit of Vengeance acting as a more powered up version. Basically, as the player performs different actions during the fight, they’ll place these Judgment effects on the opponent, which each come with their own powerful effect. Everything from Fate Seal to Life Steal to Bleed are in Ghost Rider’s Judgments. But, the thing that makes Judgments extremely powerful in the hands of a skilled player is that each Judgment gets multiplied for each other Judgment already active. Placing these effects in the right order can allow Ghost Rider to deal with any type of threat in The Contest in brutal fashion.

Marvel.com: Bleed Immune sounds pretty self-explanatory, Ghost Rider being a burning heap of leather and bones and all, but how does Evil’s Bane work into everything?

Justin Ostensen: We really wanted to tie into Ghost Rider’s “hunting down the wicked” routine by making him more effective when he’s fighting against villains in The Contest. His Evil’s Bane ability grants him increased Armor and Critical Hit Chance whenever he’s facing off against a villain such as Abomination or Ultron, and his chance to place Judgment effects also rises.

Marvel.com: Ghost Rider’s had a ton of different leather getups since his inception. Where did you guys pull his looks from? Comics? Nicolas Cage movies?

Gabriel Frizzera: Ghost Rider is one of those characters that has a lot of different interpretations throughout the years: the classic blue jacket, several different versions of the leather costume, variations on the bike, from a normal “daredevil” light motorcycle to a crazy twisted metal monstrosity, etc. When it comes to characters like that, we always ask: “when I say the name of blank, which version comes first to mind?”. Sometimes the answer is clear-cut, but sometimes is a composite of many different versions. In the case of Ghost Rider, we knew we wanted to use Johnny Blaze, but the truth is some of the visual traits that people want to see when they think of Ghost Rider are not from Johnny, but from the Danny Ketch version.

So we used Johnny as a base, but pulled some details from other incarnations of Ghost Rider (like more exaggerated metal spikes), to create a “prototypical” version of the character, one that would satisfy fans from the comics, the movies and even the ones that know nothing about the character but love the visual of the crazy flaming skull dressed in black with lots of chains.

Marvel.com: And who are we playing Ghost Rider with? Who are his ideal teammates?

Justin Ostensen: You’re going to want to grab up Ghost Rider’s old teammates, Wolverine (X-23), Elektra, and Deadpool to increase Ghost Rider’s defensive capabilities. Putting him on a team with his rival, The Punisher, will also increase Ghost Rider’s offensive capabilities as well.

Marvel.com: And when do we get to rip up the road with Ghost Rider?

Justin Ostensen: With the Summoners’ help, the Collector has been able to temporarily subdue the Spirit of Vengeance and he should be roaring into The Contest at any moment. Keep an eye on in-game messages and arena announcements to know when you can finally add Ghost Rider to your roster.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

Read More

Recruit street level heroes to take down a corrupted Daredevil!

The latest update for “Marvel Future Fight” brings a slew of new PVE content for rookie players and hardcore fans alike. Pulling inspiration from the 2010 Shadowland event, players will find themselves up against The Hand and their newest leader: Daredevil himself! The assassin cult has released a demon—The Beast—who has possessed the Man Without Fear in an effort to use his status as a hero to get close to the rest of the team.

In order to defeat Daredevil, players will work through the most difficult combat ever seen in “Marvel Future Fight,” battling more and more powerful bosses to dispatch the Hand’s lieutenants and clear a path straight to their new boss. Your team of heroes won’t be alone in this fight, however, as some new faces join the ranks to face off against their former ally. Shang Chi—the Master of Kung Fu—uses a mix of the physical and mystical arts to dispatch his enemies with ease, while Misty Knight—cunning detective and one-time leader of the Heroes for Hire—baffles foes with her bioengineered arm, throwing ice and lightning to defeat the Hand’s assassins.

Alongside the new stages pitting players against The Hand and Daredevil, a new challenge mode will task them with climbing a tower, battling an ever increasing number of Hand assassins to reach the top and unlock new rewards. And what better way to dive headlong into this challenge than with new uniforms? Moon Knight sports a new armored costume, while Ghost Rider gets his INHUMANS: ATTILAN RISING look. Black Cat and Daredevil can unlock their All-New, All-Different looks as well.

Netmarble hasn’t left their PVP fans in the dust. Changes to Alliance tournaments add match replays and allow for tournaments to run more quickly, while Cheer Rewards have been updated to more appropriately reflect the ranks of teams involved.

Dive into Shadowland, bring some of Marvel’s greatest street-level heroes to your team, and defeat the demon inside the Man Without Fear in “Marvel Future Fight”!

Read More

Two more Worthy step up to the plate as the war against the Serpent rages on!

Between the Serpent and his Worthy coupled with those pesky Incursions, there’s plenty to worry about in the world of “Marvel: Avengers Alliance,” meaning it will take your full efforts to help S.H.I.E.L.D. protect the planet—feeling up for it?

We spoke with Associate Producer Tony Sherrill about the newest Worthy, what to expect from missions, and much more as it relates to Chapter 11 of “Marvel: Avengers Alliance” Season 2!

Marvel.com: What are the big story advances for Chapter 11?

Tony Sherrill: Following the destruction on the Black Vortex [in] Spec Op 35, Odin has placed a barrier around Midgard, in hopes to prevent any unwelcomed visitors. Cul Borson’s plan to spread fear has been more than successful; having made the world a dangerous place filled with Incursions and the Worthy, the more powerful foes scramble for survival and will go to great lengths to make their escape.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the new Worthy for this chapter?

Tony Sherrill: In this chapter we introduce the last two Worthy: Worthy Black Knight, aka Mokk, Breaker of Faith and Worthy Ghost Rider, aka Greithoth, Breaker of Wills.

Mokk has a few new tricks up his worthy sleeve. As the Breaker of Faith he has three new status effects: Desecrated, Treacherous Tactics, and Damnation. Desecrated removes and prevents resurrection effects, prevents most healing effects, plus removes a large amount of health when it’s removed, similar to Doom. This attack targets all enemies. Treacherous Tactics is a two-round Team Buff that makes melee attacks apply Internal Bleeding, plus gain Hemorrhaging. This buff will also greatly reduce the damage taken from enemy attacks. Damnation causes Desecrated to immediately trigger, but will also prevent Desecrated from being applied again for 1 round.

As the last Worthy, Ghost Rider, who now wields a hammer at the end of his Damnation Chains, has a Breaker of Wills passive. This passive gives him a chance to preemptively counter with Cower and Agony, in addition to halving the damage from any non-Hallowed attacks. His Damnation Chains attack, now called Chains of Greithoth, has had the Dark Forces and Malignant Poison statuses added to it. Greithoth’s second action “Are You Worthy?” will do increased damage with its new Serpent’s Scrutiny property, to those deemed not Worthy. Weakened, Pyrophoric, and Intimidated have been added to his third attack, Feel The Burn, and Broken Will to his fourth attack, Will Breaker.

Marvel.com: As we build to the climax of this story, what challenges do our heroes face?

Tony Sherrill: It’s a very eventful Chapter. The Worthy are on a rampage in London. Red Skull seeking a new power source draws upon the power of Incursions with catastrophic results. Mephisto makes Kingpin an offer he can’t refuse, putting the inhabitants of New York in Jeopardy. M.O.D.O.K. constructs a dimensional portal, but unfortunately something is there waiting on the other side and it’s bad news. Hela seeks an alliance against the Serpent, but can the Queen of Hel be trusted? Many flock to Madripoor with the hope that the Mandarin, yes the Mandarin, can protect them from the Incursions. Just wait until you see Chapter 12 later this month.

Marvel.com: What new heroes and villains debut with this chapter?

Tony Sherrill: This is the chapter where, after all these years of hiding behind the protection of being an NPC, you finally get to punch Cul Borson in the face. Cul Borson is immune to Interrupts and of course, Fear-based statuses. Several of his attacks apply Fear, which can be applied five times, with a 10% chance per application for attacks to fail and cower in fear. With his Hammer Strike he has a chance to apply Contusion, which is a new status that applies Ravaged and up to three applications of Internal Bleeding. Yikes.

Marvel.com: Who takes center stage for the good guys during this chapter?

Tony Sherrill: This is all out chaos and S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing their best to contain it all. Heroes are fighting villains around every corner, in every alley, and on every rooftop. In this Chapter, five of the six missions have Epic Bosses; these make for some really great fights:

  • Mission 1 – Epic Mokk vs. Captain Britain                    
  • Mission 2 – Epic Man-Ape vs. Black Panther                    
  • Mission 3 – Epic Greithoth vs. Dr. Strange                    
  • Mission 5 – Epic Cul Borson vs. Thor (Jane Foster)                   
  • Mission 6 – Epic Mandarin vs. Iron Man   

Marvel.com: What are some of the Heroic Battles we can dig into?

Tony Sherrill: Heroic Battles are my absolute favorite, because they are customized fights that sort of work like puzzles and the [“Marvel: Avengers Alliance”] Designers do such a great job making each fight unique. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Mission 1 – Kamala Khan and Captain Marvel vs. X-Ray and Ironclad                    
  • Mission 2 – Drax and Cammi vs. Black Dwarf and Proxima Midnight                    
  • Mission 3 – Squirrel Girl vs. Targets                   
  • Mission 5 – A-Bomb vs. Abomination                    
  • Mission 6 – Misty Knight and Colleen Wing vs Beetle and Maggia

I saved Mission 4 for last, since this is the very first time we’ve introduced a new villain via a Heroic Battle. In this battle Ant-Man faces Yellowjacket and Crossfire! We also gave Ant-Man some new moves through an E-Iso called Growing, which is based off what is seen in the “Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War” movie. The fight starts off with Ant-Man fighting some grunts for the first wave, being his typical self, shrinking and stealthily attacking and such. In the second wave Crossfire appears and whenever Ant-Man performs an attack with either the Stealthy or Ants! properties, Crossfire will counter him, which is a huge pain in the Ants since every single one of his moves has one of these two properties. This is when Hank Pym steps in to help out poor Ant-Man and guides him in learning how to use his new Growth attacks. I hope you enjoy it.

Play “Marvel: Avengers Alliance” now and look for Chapter 11 coming soon!

Read More

The Spirit of Vengeance races into town as Johnny Blaze joins the Marvel mobile puzzle game!

Evildoers beware, Ghost Rider roars into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” ready to deliver blazing vengeance to villains everywhere. D3 Go! Producer Joe Fletcher rides shotgun and delivers some arcane knowledge on the Spirit of Vengeance and the newest story event!

Marvel.com: Do I see our newest 4-Star hero cresting the horizon, flaming skull and all? Why have you guys decided to rope Johnny Blaze into ‘Puzzle Quest”?

Joe Fletcher: A couple of reasons, really. The first is that he’s one of our top requested characters, not to mention one that we’ve wanted in-game internally for a while now. So getting to slot Johnny Blaze into our releases and unleashing his vengeance on the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” world just feels awesome. There’s also that having Johnny Blaze around lets us tell some great stories, especially with some of the more conflicted characters out there like Wolverine or Daredevil.

Marvel.com: And he gets his very own story event as an introduction. What a warm welcome!

Joe Fletcher: Indeed! Johnny will be launching with our newest story episode titled “Hearts of Darkness.” Astute Marvel readers will note that this was a storyline from Howard Mackie and John Romita Jr. quite a while back. We’re taking the story and putting a “Marvel Puzzle Quest” sheen on it with Alex Irvine penning the story with a bit of a twist. Instead of Dan Ketch as Ghost Rider facing off against Blackheart, Johnny Blaze is going to be taking Wolverine, Punisher, and Daredevil with him into the heart of hell itself to stop a plan recently hatched by The Hood.

This is hot off our last story event, “Enemy of the State,” which had Wolverine brainwashed and working for the Hand. So not only is Wolverine coming off of having done some pretty nasty stuff and now having to save a town from The Hood, but he’s got to do it under the eye of the Spirit of Vengeance himself. Any more than that you’ll have to find out for yourself when we run the story!

Marvel.com: The Ghost Rider has access to a host of hellfire-imbued abilities; please tell me the Penance Stare made the cut?

Joe Fletcher: It did! With a fittingly chilling animation, at that. Penance Stare is a bit of an interesting ability, since it deals damage based on the amount of damage that an opponent has done in combat. So someone like Juggernaut or Ares will have a lot to answer for after they wreck the place. Meanwhile, someone like Loki who keeps things more problematically rationalized can get away with a bit more. One person’s exact penance is a difficult thing to judge. But to be sure, Blaze will be bringing the hurt with his Penance Stare and his unique form of bike mounted combat.

Meanwhile, the other abilities both use his ride to deal out some pain. Burning Rubber will have him dealing damage to the entire enemy team as he wreathes them with flames from his bike and striking them with a flaming chain. Along with the team damage, it’ll create Attack tiles on the board, and as an added bonus it will deal additional damage if enough Attack tiles are already on the field. This lets Ghost Rider deal out quite a bit of instant and ongoing damage for a relatively small 7 Green AP.

Hellfire, for 8 Red AP, is more of a chaotic ability. Similar to Punisher’s Molotov Cocktail, this ability will place a Countdown tile on the board. Every two turns, it’ll deal damage to the targeted enemy and also create an Attack tile. Along with that though, it’ll deal bonus damage if the enemy team has more Villains than Heroes. If you’re a bad guy, you’re going to have a bad time.

Marvel.com: What are some of the key fantasies you guys wanted to fulfill letting people ride around with the Spirit of Vengeance?

Joe Fletcher: Penance Stare was totally one of the keys for us, since the ability is pretty well the quintessential Ghost Rider. Forcing opponents to face their sins and own up to them is what he does, and he does it well in our game. Besides that, making sure that his bike was represented was important to us, since any incarnation of the Spirit of Vengeance sports a great ride. So that transmuted into being speedy and hence being able to attack the entre enemy team at once and sow chaos. Hellfire represents the more personal side of his avenging spirit, slowly but surely hunting down the enemy and ensuring that they’ll be in constant pain before they face his music.

Marvel.com: Who would you pair up with Ghost Rider? For new players what 2-Stars does he play well with? 3/4-Stars?

Joe Fletcher: Ghost Rider has three active abilities, all of which are pretty powerful, so he works well with characters that either run passives in Black, Green, or Red, or characters that are a bit more sneaky or leader types that run Blue/Purple/Yellow. As a result, he works well with the likes of Daken or Hawkeye in 2* land, with Daken being able to increase the damage that Johnny’s Attack tiles create, and Hawkeye will be able to stun opponents and deal out some real damage on match 5s while leaving Ghost Rider to do his thing.

For higher levels, both versions of Sam Wilson—Falcon and Captain America—work extremely well with the fiery ghost. Falcon provides defense tiles to cut down on incoming match damage, while his Yellow Passive raises Ghost Rider’s tile strengths every time Yellow is matched. Sam’s Captain America persona does much the same, but also adds in a powerful Red attack if you need burst damage compared to Johnny’s more measured and slower ability. Star-Lord is also another pretty good partner, allowing Ghost Rider’s already fairly low costing abilities to be fired off that much quicker.

Marvel.com: And when does this event kick off?

Joe Fletcher: Hearts of Darkness, along with the advent of Ghost Rider, goes out of the gate on November 26, Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Watch out if you’re playing while cooking up that sumptuous meal or you may end up with a flaming turkey!

Download “Marvel Puzzle Quest” here and stay tuned to news and interviews on Marvel.com!

Read More

The tragic tale of how Johnny Blaze transitioned from a regular stunt man to the Spirit of Vengeance!

Every day this month a different supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets the spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

Who better to kick of this month-long look at some of Marvel’s best supernatural characters and stories than Ghost Rider? From the flaming skull down to the Hell leather boots, he’s one of the scariest looking characters around and also one of the more popular when it comes to demonic entities.

Blaze and his fiery alter ego first appeared in 1972’s MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5 written by Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich with art by Mike Ploog. Ghost Rider rode through that book for a while, even after Son of Satan scored top billing, before earning his own series in 1973. That title lasted a decade and eventually came to a close in 1983 with GHOST RIDER #81. Blaze even joined a super hero team in 1975 when the Champions formed, but he mostly cruises solo.

Before all that, though, Johnny Blaze just wanted to do the right thing. As a kid, Johnny watched his dad die in a stunt show leaving him without any family he knew of. The show’s boss, Crash Simpson, and his wife Mona offered to take the boy in and raised him along with their daughter Roxanne. After overcoming his understandable fear of motorcycles, Johnny accidentally blew one up in a crash of his own, catching Mrs. Simpson in the explosion. Before she died, she made him promise not to ever ride again.

Marvel Spotlight (1979) #5

Marvel Spotlight (1979) #5

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Johnny stuck to that vow even though it meant disappointing Crash and Roxanne in the ensuing years. However, when Crash revealed a terminal malady, Johnny decided to finally act: by making a deal with the devil himself that would spare his surrogate father’s life from the sickness. When Crash eventually died after doing a crazy stunt, Johnny geared up and did the same trick, landing successfully. Instead of feeling the adrenaline, though, he only felt rage, especially after Satan appeared to him, told him he never said anything about Crash dying in an accident, and turned him into the Ghost Rider.

In 1990, a new Ghost Rider burst onto the scene with his own ongoing series. This time Danny Ketch turned into the fiery demon, but readers soon found out that he and Blaze shared a mother. The two have fought and teamed up many times over the years. The same can be said of Blaze and the Rider, who continually find themselves linked even when it looks like the curse abated. Deals with supernatural forces never really work out the way you want.

FRIGHT FACT: Johnny Blaze isn’t technically Marvel’s first Ghost Rider. The name actually goes back to a Western comic of the same name from 1967. Carter Slade wore a white, glowing costume completely with mask to scare away evildoers. Though that character eventually transformed from Ghost Rider into Night Rider and eventually the Phantom Rider, Blaze met up with him while traveling to the past in GHOST RIDER #50 wherein both men saved each other’s lives at various points.

Come back tomorrow for another Halloween Spooklight with Dracula fighting the X-Men!

Read More

Watch the massive alliance to take down Supreme Leader in a clip from 'Marvel's Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.'!

Spider-Man, Thing, Ghost Rider and more join Hulk to fight the Supreme Leader in a clip from “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”!

While the Hulks hope to take down the Supreme Leader, the Avengers follow their lead in hopes of taking him down permanently! Unfortunately, even the might of the Avengers can’t stop Supreme Leader, so the Hulks call in a few favors from other heroes to help turn the fight in their favor. Check out the clip above to see Spider-Man, Thing, Ghost Rider and more join the fray!

Tune in to an all-new episode of “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.,” airing Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest on all of your favorite Marvel Animated Series.

Read More

The Spirit of Vengeance follows the Agents into Death Valley in 'Marvel's Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.,' airing Sunday!

The Spirit of Vengeance pursues the Hulks into the depths of Death Valley in a new clip from “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”! Check out the clip above and tune in to an all-new episode of “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” this Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD.

While transporting Abomination to a prison to pay for his crimes, the Hulks decide to take a shortcut through Death Valley. To their surprise, this shortcut leads to a run-in with Ghost Rider, aiming to take Abomination as a prisoner of his own! See Ghost Rider’s appearance in the clip above.

Tune in to an all-new episode of “Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” airing Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on all of your favorite Marvel animated series.

Read More

Take a ride with the deadliest racers on Battleworld in these preview pages by Juan Gedeon!

Start your engines! Prepare for terror! The deadliest racers on Battleworld are peeling out and unleashing their fury this June.

Marvel is pleased to present GHOST RACERS #1, a new Secret Wars series from writer Felipe Smith and artist Juan Gedeon! Put the pedal to the metal as the Spirits of Vengeance go head to head in lethal, cutthroat races! Welcome to the scorching hot track of Battleworld’s arena – for the one and only spectacle known as the Ghost Races! Enslaved and bound to the arena, cursed souls race at the speed of sin – and anything and everything goes! Friendship, loyalties and family bonds will be tested. All in the name of the top prize – temporary freedom from the arena! But what happens to the unlucky and unholy losers? Now, Robbie Reyes, Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, Alejandra Blaze and many, many more step onto the track for all-out, high-speed warfare. The stakes have never been higher as the most vicious Spirits of Vengeance do battle for their very souls!

Who will come out on top and who will be left in the dust? Buckle up for the most wild ride of the Secret Wars when GHOST RACERS #1 speeds into comic shops this June!

Slade Variant by DAN PANOSIAN (APR150735)
Robbie Reyes Variant by TRADD MOORE (APR150736)
Ant-Sized Variant by MARK TEXEIRA (APR150737)
FOC – 05/18/15, On-Sale – 06/10/15

Read More