Comics
Published August 14, 2023

Wolverine & Ghost Rider's Greatest Crossovers (So Far)

As Ghost Rider and Wolverine reunite for 'Weapons of Vengeance,' revisit a few other times they've teamed up in Marvel history.

Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Weapon X and the Spirit of Vengeance. One, a cantankerous, virtually unkillable mutant warrior; the other, an unstoppable hand of divine retribution, born in the fiery depths of hell.

While these two instruments of violence may drastically differ in terms of power and purpose, they do have something in common: perhaps no other two Marvel Super Heroes instill as much fear in their enemies as Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Their unslakable thirst for justice runs deep; it saturates their whole beings, right down to their bones. Literally.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the two appear together in GHOST RIDER/WOLVERINE: WEAPONS OF VENGEANCE by Benjamin Percy and Geoff Shaw, which reveals their never-before-seen first meeting, as well as their shared mission to confront a mysterious threat from their past. 

Although WEAPONS OF VENGEANCE will reveal the secret origins of their partnership, they've already shared a rich history. In fact, the two have gone on quite a few misadventures together. Their union begins in a story called "Acts of Vengeance," where they almost killed each other.

Wolverine vs. Ghost Rider: Acts of Vengeance

Until WEAPONS OF VENGEANCE, Wolverine and Ghost Rider's first recorded meeting took place during the "Acts of Vengeance" story in MARVEL PRESENTS (1988) #64 by Howard Mackie and Mark Texeira

In it, the two came together to face a nefarious nest of international ninjas both called and led by a person named Deathwatch. Not recognizing each other, they accused each other of working for their shared enemy. Hotheaded as they are, the two instantly engaged in fisticuffs.

Unfortunately, after Rider's patented Penance Stare met a well-timed adamantium punch from Wolverine, the two sparked an explosion that knocked them both out—and seemingly put them at the mercy of their enemy.

The two finally set aside their differences in MARVEL PRESENTS (1988) #67 by Mackie and Texeira, thanks to a karate school sensei forcing them to table their misunderstanding and work together for the greater good. They ended their inaugural team-up in MARVEL PRESENTS (1988) #71, when Ghost Rider faked corruption and saved Wolverine by throwing him through a wall—classic tough guy stuff.

While their formative friendship ended there, it would be far from the last time they teamed up. In fact, their next meeting wasn't long after, and it had a little something extra… extra-terrestrial, that is.

Ghost Rider & the X-Men vs. The Brood

In a crossover called "Brood Trouble in the Big Easy"—which took place between X-MEN (1991) #8 and #9 by Scott Lobdell and Jim Lee and GHOST RIDER (1990) #26 and #27 by Howard Mackie and Ron Wagner—the two once again made an uneasy alliance. This time, their team-up took them to New Orleans, where they faced the brutal body-snatching baddies known as the Brood.

Unfortunately for Wolverine and the X-Men, the Brood's ability to take over their living hosts proved formidable enough to corrupt the physical body of the Spirit of Vengeance, and he became Brood-ified. 

The X-Men's Psylocke managed to exorcize the Brood from Ghost Rider's human host, Daniel Ketch, and brought him back on the side of the angels… so to speak. In the end, Ghost Rider saved the day by literally ripping the Brood Queen apart, with the X-Men helping to decapitate her for good measure. 

A follow-up to the story quickly followed in GHOST RIDER (1990) #29 by Mackie and Andy Kubert. This time, Wolverine and Beast showed up to check on Ghost Rider, just to make sure he wasn't still infected by the Brood. After helping the Rider with some local (yet high-powered) thugs, Logan grew satisfied he wasn't under the Brood's influence, but feared for the diminishing presence of his human host, who at the time was locked in a sort of purgatory. 

That loss of humanity was something with which the savage Wolverine was all too familiar. In fact, it became a defining part of their next team-up, this time alongside the Punisher.

Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Punisher: Hearts of Darkness and the Dark Design

Howard Mackie and John Romita Jr.'s GHOST RIDER/WOLVERINE/PUNISHER: HEARTS OF DARKNESS (1991) #1 brought the two together with the Punisher after they were all summoned to the town of Christ's Crown by Blackheart, the son of Mephisto

Knowing the trio represented a "new breed" of hero—ones who would shuck the shells of their humanity in order to stop evil—Blackheart tried to recruit them to dethrone and destroy his devilish dad. He even promised them each a massive hellish power upgrade and a peek at the secrets that gnawed at their beings: who killed Punisher's family, how Wolverine got his claws, and who the Ghost Rider was, really. 

However, when trying to prey on the "edge" of the heroes' morality, Blackheart didn't take into consideration that they were dedicated to never crossing it. Thus, each of them refused, and they teamed up to banish Blackheart from Christ's Cross, leaving the demon a bullet-ridden, slashed, and fried husk.

The three reunited in a sequel called GHOST RIDER/WOLVERINE/PUNISHER: THE DARK DESIGN (1994) by Howard Mackie and Ron Garney, which saw them called back to Christ's Cross by a little girl named Lucy, who they helped protect in HEARTS OF DARKNESS. Blackheart was back to his old tricks, but this time, he used his power (and loosening grip on sanity) to corrupt the entire town and transform it into a horrifying hellscape in order to march on Mephisto and destroy his fiendish father.

Thankfully, the three once again stopped Blackheart's designs—or at least, so they thought. He later used Lucy's blood to kill Mephisto (temporarily) and usurp his throne. Still, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, and Punisher worked well together, proving that the Spirit of Vengeance and Weapon X can make a good team, even when wild cards like Frank Castle are thrown in the mix. Of course, that's something they've also proved as co-members of… the Fantastic Four?

Ghost Rider, Wolverine, and the Fantastic Four

Alongside the Grey Hulk and Spider-Man, Wolverine and Ghost Rider were first drafted into an all-new, all-different Fantastic Four in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #347 by Walt Simonson and Arthur Adams. This misfit team took over when Marvel's First Family was incapacitated by a Skrull infiltrator named De'lila. 

De'lila's complex plans involved setting monsters loose on New York City and stealing a powerful living weapon from the depths of Mole Man's hidden kingdom. She failed, of course, thanks in no small part to Wolverine and Ghost Rider, who seemed more at ease teaming up together this time than in their previous encounters.

The two joined forces Spider-Man and a greener, smarter Hulk in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #374 by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan, when Spidey needed to bring Johnny "The Human Torch" Storm to justice after he lost control of his flame powers and destroyed part of Empire State University. The original Fantastic Four got involved to defend their teammate from the likes of Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and their chums, then managed to escape.

Even though this alliance was also temporary, this New FF has remained an immensely popular team, leading it to become the focal point of stories in and around the Marvel Multiverse. For example, the team came together in Erik Larsen and Roger Cruz's WOLVERINE (1988) #148 as Earth 2841's last remaining heroes following an apocalypse. We even got demonic versions called the Infernal Four in SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD (2015) #1 by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson.

After their time as the main Marvel Universe's New Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and Wolverine had a few more run-ins, like the "Wolverine Goes to Hell" event that took place between WOLVERINE (2010) #1-5 by Jason Aaron and Renato Guedes. Most recently, they met up in GHOST RIDER (2022) #5 and #6 by Benjamin Percy and Cory Smith, where Wolverine helped cut out yet another infection that plagued the original Rider, Johnny Blaze.

For another explosive adventure with Ghost Rider and Wolverine, check out GHOST RIDER/WOLVERINE: WEAPONS OF VENGEANCE ALPHA #1, on sale now! Then, don't miss the next chapter of their story with GHOST RIDER (2022) #17, on sale this Wednesday, August 16.

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