Writer Victor Gischler details the resurrection of the classic series!

When an angel dies, the Spirits of Vengeance are the first to respond.

Ghost Rider has tried to manage the situation on his own, but it’s time to bring in some reinforcements. As Marvel Legacy dawns, Satana, Hellstorm, and Blade ride with Johnny Blaze once again…on October 4, writer Victor Gischler and artist David Baldeón heat up the cold war between Heaven and Hell with SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE #1!

We gave Victor a grilling to learn more about the return of this supernatural quartet.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about how this story begins?

Victor Gischler: The Marvel Universe is a huge place, but our story takes place in its own macabre little horror corner…The Spirits have entered into this eternal cold war between Heaven and Hell, and Earth stands as the battlefield.

There’s a constant struggle to nudge Earth and humanity toward good—or a little bit toward evil—but it’s an ongoing balance. When something significant comes in to try to tip that balance toward evil, our Spirits arrive to figure out how to stop it.

Marvel.com: How does it feel to reboot a series like SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE?

Victor Gischler: I don’t know! [Laughs] I mean, nobody really put it to me like, “We need you to reboot this series.” They said “Here are some characters that we can bring back and do some cool stuff together.”

I didn’t think of it as a reboot; I thought of it like, “These characters would be great in a certain kind of story.”

Marvel.com: What are the dynamics between these characters like?

Victor Gischler: They work well together because they’re professionals—but a couple of them will raise an eyebrow at one another. You know, Satana and Hellstorm are siblings, so they have a little friction there. But when it comes down to getting the job done, they can set that aside—they’ve got bigger fish to fry!

Marvel.com: Did you draw from the past incarnations of these characters? Or did you approach them with a fresh perspective?

Victor Gischler: A little bit of both! We have some of the past flavoring—you’re not going to see Ghost Rider turn to Blade and say, “Hey, this is just like issue #22! Remember that from the ‘90s!?” They won’t do that. [Laughs] The vibe of the past exists, but we’re refreshing them and updating them.

David Baldeón gave Hellstorm a makeover into the sort of super spy of the Spirits of Vengeance; he’s always dapperly dressed, but he’s also in his civilian clothes a lot. We’re also waiting for him to bust out with that pentagram on his chest, of course, but he covers a lot of mileage. It’s not just about his powers, but also what he knows and how he experiences everything.

Marvel.com: It seems like you’re bringing your own style while honoring what came before.

Victor Gischler: I think that’s the perfect way to put it. Maybe we tip the balance a little here and a little there, but we are trying to walk that line. It would be wasting an opportunity to forget everything that came before. Part of it feels like rediscovering treasure we already had.

We’ve also got a couple of bad guy characters and, in a way, they’re exactly what you’re saying—we’ve created a totally new villain but we’ve also reached back into the archives for one…and gave him a revamp. It’s the best of both worlds. When we were in the process of creating them, I thought about whether we should dig up a villain or invent a bad guy. If you invent a bad guy, you can tailor that person to be exactly what you need for the book—but on the other hand, the revamp gives you a chance to have some history and continuity. It’s so cool to have a callback! You know, some other writer—however many years ago—already put such hard work into making a character that I can reshape and update a little. Again, it’s about walking that line.

Marvel.com: How would you describe the art in the book?

Victor Gischler: I have a pretty poor vocabulary when it comes to art stuff…I tend to say that things look “neat” or “cool”…but basically, David’s pages are kickass.

Marvel.com: And how would you describe your characterizations in the story?

Victor Gischler: The characters have some edge but are still obviously good guys. These guys aren’t Captain America, but in spite of that edge, you know whose side they’re on. We tried to show that from the outset. When we introduced Satana, for instance, I wanted to remind readers of who Satana is—the kind of stuff she does. Yes, she’s one of the “heroes,” but she’s also literally Satan’s daughter.

Marvel.com: This is a Marvel Legacy title, so what does the legacy of Marvel mean to you?

Victor Gischler: Oh, man…where to start

Well, I remember when I started buying comics as a kid. You’d have to walk into a convenience store on the corner and they’d have these racks and there’d just be comics crammed in. Nobody thought these things would be valuable or collectible; we only thought about reading the stories and the characters.

But what a wealth. What a wealth of story and characters and history. I can remember being 8 years old and getting a copy of THE INCREDIBLE HULK at the store. So why wouldn’t we create a series that remembers what we have?

You know, when I first picked up a copy years ago, Johnny Blaze was my Ghost Rider. And now I get to write him. How awesome is that?

Victor Gischler and artist David Baldeón’s SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE #1 drops on October 4!

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Johnny Blaze, Satana, Blade, and Hellstrom unite!

Writer Victor Gischler and artist David Baldeón have spirit, yes they do. They’ve got spirit. How about you?

More accurately, they have SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE coming at you! On October 4, the Marvel Universe’s most infernal characters join forces in this fiery five issue limited series.

Back in the ‘90s, Marvel gave Ghost Rider and his horror-themed pals their own dark corner of the House of Ideas to play in. In addition to a series focusing on the Rider, the line also included a team-up called SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE that starred Johnny Blaze alongside another Rider, Danny Ketch. While this new series certainly acts as a spiritual successor to the original, readers need no familiarity with the original concept to enjoy the new series.

We caught up with Gischler and Baldeón to speak about working inside the Marvel Legacy initiative, the new team’s origins, and exploring the darker parts of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: 1990s comic book fans will definitely recall the original SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE—how does it feel taking that title and using it to tell a new story as part of Marvel Legacy?

Victor Gischler: It feels just fine. And if hitting those notes brings out readers who were fans in the ‘90s, then that’s awesome. But in no way are we approaching this book in a fashion that leaves out new readers. We’re looking forward. I guess it’s the best of both worlds. We’re taking some great characters who maybe haven’t gotten enough play in recent years and reintroducing them.

Marvel.com: So far we know that the series features Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider, Satana, Blade, and Hellstrom. Victor, how did it feel to nail down this line-up?

Victor Gischler: Not a chore at all really. There was some brief discussion with the editors about different possibilities, but it would have been cumbersome to fit in every character that might be in a book like this. I mean, it’s a five issue limited series. We got to make it a tight little team. The best and most obvious choices are the four you mentioned.

Marvel.com: David, was there much of a redesign process when it came to these characters?

David Baldeón: There’s a little bit of everything. As Victor says, we want to take the very best possible of the original title and its era, and look forward with that. Hopefully that comes through in the designs! With that in mind, in some cases, I have just had fun with the original look of the character, ran with it, and tried to give it a twist. In other cases, we’ve dug deeper to give new versions that still are true to the character’s core. And also following that line of thought of adding and moving forward rather than going just for repetition. There’s a lot of layers there, design-wise. Oh, and the antagonists! I’m so looking forward to everyone seeing them!

Marvel.com: These characters have run into each other over the years—and they’ve even worked together. What brings them together this time around?

Victor Gischler: They come together fairly organically. It’s not like S.H.I.E.L.D. had a meeting and said, “Hey, let’s invent a super hero team to fight bad guys.” Not this time. One of our heroes recognizes a threat and one thing leads to another.

Marvel.com: How deep are you going into the supernatural and horror genres as you dive into these stories?

Victor Gischler: We reach deep into some familiar mythos.

Marvel.com: The classic SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE title and the Midnight Sons umbrella featured plenty of crossovers and guest appearances. Do you have plans to continue that tradition with this new series?

Victor Gischler: Not at the moment, since it’s just five issues. We need to stay focused on our story and the four characters we already have to work with. But if there’s a call for more, there’s a huge potential for crossovers and other familiar faces. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

Marvel.com: How has it been collaborating with each other to bring this group and this book to life?

Victor Gischler: Pretty easy for me. I just sit back and watch David’s excellent art roll in. It’s going to knock your eyes out!

David Baldeón: It’s a delight—pure and simple. I’m having the time of my life with this book and it is in great measure thanks to Victor’s amazing take on the characters. For instance, as fun as it is to “unleash” the Rider, the real joy is drawing Johnny Blaze as Victor writes him.

Victor Gischler and David Baldeón delve into darkness with SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE #1, available October 4!

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