Halloween Spooklight: Spirits of Vengeance
Ghost Rider, Hellstrom, Blade, and Satana join forces to save the Earth from the hordes of hell!
Throughout October, a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets a spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!
Last year, the House of Ideas celebrated the witching month with the release of a new five-issue SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE limited series by Victor Gischler and David Baldeon. Starring Blade, Johnny "Ghost Rider" Blaze, Satana, and Daimon Hellstrom (otherwise known as the Son of Satan), the group scrambled to stop the destruction of life as we know it!
The gang gets together after a mystery man wonders out of the desert, hands over a piece of silver, tells Johnny Blaze to get it to Hellstrom, and then bursts into flames, leaving nothing behind but ash.
Upon discovering that his missing metal wound up in Blaze's hands an increasingly powerful sorcerer by the name of Necrodamus tasks his minion Razan, the Night Jackal, with tracking him down and retrieving the piece. Razan also decides to make her job a bit easier and put a bounty on his flaming head.
Having heard of the bounty and the short time-frame, Hellstrom recounts a meeting called the Covenant to his companions which acts as a summit between the forces of Heaven and Hell, occurring every thousand years.
We also eventually learn that the supernatural silver came from none other than Judas, the Apostle who betrayed Jesus to the Romans. Though he killed himself over the guilt he felt, the payment itself became pure evil. Long buried and eventually protected by humanity, Necrodamus found the location and sent Razan to get the coins.
However, a spy – the man who delivered it to Blaze – made off with one of the 30 pieces. This threw a wrench in the villain's plan which revolves around a dwarf building a weapon named the Archangel Killer inside of an active volcano. To make it all work, though, the blacksmith needs the complete set, hence the wild hunt for Blaze and his companions.
Razan manages to get her hands on the piece of silver, leaving our heroes on the back foot. With the Covenant quickly approaching, brother and sister Daimon and Satana realize there's only one person they can go to for the location of the meeting: their dad, Satan.
Dear old dad explains that Necrodamus found a loophole. While the Covenant features fail-safes so that the forces of Heaven and Hell cannot work against one another, no such safeguard exists to keep mere mortals out. When the sorcerer uses the Archangel Killer at the Covenant, it will trigger one of the built-in defenses, closing Heaven off from Earth forever allowing the forces of Hell to take over.
With the Covenant in progress, Necrodamus races towards the meeting place in a convertible, trailed by a swarm of demons to distract our heroes. Luckily a host of angels also shows up to help even the playing field.
Necrodamus manages to get through the barrier and unleash his weapon, which looks like a rocket launcher. Losing the Archangel Killer on its intended target, he feels elation, which immediately disappears when Ghost Rider races into the Covenant and takes the brunt of the attack, saving the day in the process.
After all the madness of battle dies down, Ghost Rider, Blaze, Hellstrom, and Satana talk the whole thing over with Archangel Michael, who explains that their side wants humanity to stand up and fight for itself with all that free will built into them before heading home.
If the SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE title sounds familiar, that's because it's got a long history in comics. First of all, Ghost Rider's been known as the Spirit of Vengeance since the beginning of time. In 1992, as part of that era's horror-themed Midnight Sons roll-out, Marvel published GHOST RIDER/BLAZE: SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE. At the time, Blaze hunted down supernatural threats alongside his Ghost Rider successor Danny Ketch. The series ran for 23 issues until it ended in 1994.
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