Industrial saboteur Ghost steals and embeds information acting on a personal anti-corporate agenda…or for hire. Their Ghost-Tech suit is the ultimate in stealth design, granting full intangibility and cloaking.
The man known only as Ghost is first a gifted, ordinary, and idealistic young man working in the information technology field for the emerging I.T. firm, Omnisapient Systems. He excels at both programming and engineering, rising to the company’s head of technology. He catches the attention of the company’s board members Dana and brothers Charles and Neil Kolman. They approach him with a new project, flattering the young man. He accepts the project, to create a processor that could phase shift and store massive amounts of data, going intangible before it overheats, but still functions in a flux-state. It became known as Ghost-Tech. The young man becomes hyper-focused on it while heading multiple crews and has some workplace distraction in the form of his coworker Shana who asks him to help her with her computer. The board immediately threatens to fire her for disrupting their project head. The company hinges everything on this project and puts a great deal of pressure on the young man to finish in record time. The young man never goes home but he reaches burnout and takes a vacation. Its here that Shana contacts him and restores his will to return to work.
Inspired, he implements solutions to make up for lost time, allowing Omnisapient to expand rapidly. He grows closer with Shana and they sleep together but their romance is short-lived when she perishes in a gas stove fire in her apartment building. He dwells on her death and throws himself into work by physically connecting his body to the network, wiring himself head-to-toe with Omnisapient’s flux-state processors, all while keeping his work hidden from his colleagues. His connection to the network allows him to discover what really happened to Shana—that she was instructed by the board members to get close to the young man in exchange for money. He also learns that the board members hired an assassin to take her out when she bribes them for more money. Finding the motivation to leave work, he goes back to his apartment only to see a contract killer outside his apartment who blows up his building, seemingly killing him and other tenants. When the board members start to drop like flies, Dana dying in an explosion, Charles and the contract killer perishing in an airplane crash, Neil absconds on his yacht, only to be found by the young man who had survived but had become something else akin to a ghost. He reveals to Neil that the bomb exposed him to 700 degree heat, and thanks to the flux-state processors he had attached to his body, the heat triggered intangibility and helped him survive such extreme heat. Neil attempts to offer the ghostly figure money to save his life but having already tampered with the yacht’s radar, the figure leaves Neil to be slain by an oncoming container ship.
The figure erases all trace of his former life so that no one, no government nor business, could use him. He commits himself to haunt the corporate hierarchy, since they consistently exploit creative types and uses the identity of the Ghost so that he can destroy them. Although, he presents the front of a mercenary, receiving most of his targets from employers who wish to see their competitors ruined, the Ghost will forgo payment simply for the opportunity to perform acts of sabotage. The Ghost will travel anywhere in the world to pursue his objectives.
The Ghost wears a battlesuit that allows him to become invisible and intangible by harnessing polarized eternons. Cybernetic circuitry within his mask enables him to control his powers through mental commands. While invisible, he is immune to detection by most sensory equipment; while intangible, he can disrupt electrical devices by passing through them. He can also turn other objects invisible or intangible while he is touching them. If his concentration is interrupted while using his cybernetic devices, he can be forced to become visible and solid; sonic-based weapons have proved most reliable at breaking the Ghost’s control, and select sonic frequencies can temporarily nullify his costume’s powers. The presence of a quantum pulse will also inhibit the Ghost’s intangibility. While in his intangible state the Ghost is partially transparent, but he cannot become completely invisible while intangible. The presence of smoke or mist can reveal the Ghost’s outline while he is invisible.
The Ghost occasionally carries spare copies of his intangibility devices. The only known substance that the Ghost’s intangibility cannot penetrate is a synthetic material devised by Justin Hammer. At least one version of his battlesuit contained holographic generators that could disguise his appearance. Circuitry within his mask includes a personal Wi-Fi transmitter and receiver for communications. His battlesuit has ports and wireless connections for tapping into other computers, used primarily for activation of his bombs; he can also control and reprogram computers. An onboard hard drive is used for data storage during theft operations. He also carries a TASER and guns that fire blasts of electricity or concussive force. He uses a variety of explosives for his acts of industrial sabotage, including miniature explosive drones and grenades. The Ghost is a gifted inventor, having devised nearly his entire arsenal personally.
Ghost’s targets typically include corporations like Accutech and Roxxon, and industry leaders like Justin Hammer. Ghost will turn against even his employers if need be and target anyone who gets in his way, such as heroes Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, and Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man.
The Ghost's identity remains unknown to all save his employers at Omnisapient, who are now all deceased. This anonymity conveniently allows him to work as the mercenary Ghost, often working alone. Although, he has been known to join a few teams on occasion, including the Thunderbolts. Although, his motivation for joining the team aligns with his ideals: to sabotage their leader, reformed villain Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin, as he represents all that the Ghost hates. He eventually succeeds in helping to defeat Osborn, thanks to many mini-plots and leaking key information to the Mighty Avengers. The bulletproof Avenger Luke Cage then takes him under his new team of Thunderbolts to put him on a path of redemption.
A Ghost’s Story
When hired by Carrington Pax of the Roxxon Oil Corporation to destroy Accutech Research & Development, the Ghost takes the opportunity to take down what he despises. The Ghost was charged to drive Accutech into bankruptcy so that Roxxon could acquire a beta particle generator, which the company had refused to sell them. The Ghost's tactics included starting a brush fire on Accutech property. Believing the Ghost was behind these incidents, Accutech technician Abraham Zimmer shared his suspicions with Tony Stark, who was in the process of purchasing Accutech himself. As Iron Man, Stark discovered the Ghost while he was in the midst of another act of sabotage, but the Ghost escaped, leaving a warning that he would now target Tony Stark in retaliation. Unimpressed with the Ghost's personal vendetta, Pax fired him and hired Spymaster to complete the job, but the Ghost kept trying to kill Tony Stark. Invading Stark Enterprises' facilities, the Ghost assaulted what appeared to be Stark but proved to be Spymaster, making his own attempt on Stark's life. Spymaster managed to get the Ghost within his power, but Tony Stark arrived and prevented him from killing the Ghost. Switching to his Iron Man armor, Stark fought Spymaster and the Ghost simultaneously. During the battle, the Ghost lent one of his intangibility devices to Spymaster, seemingly so that he could escape; however, the Ghost removed the device while Spymaster was halfway through a wall, solidifying Spymaster inside the wall and killing him. Iron Man subsequently set a trap for the Ghost at Accutech, using a holographic generator to project an image of Stark to draw the Ghost out. When the Ghost attempted to destroy the beta particle generator, Iron Man activated the device; the electrical charges began to disrupt the Ghost’s battlesuit, and prolonged exposure threatened to kill him. Heedless of the danger to himself, the Ghost continued to move in close to the generator until the heat of his battlesuit caused him to melt through the floor. Iron Man could find no trace of the Ghost afterward.
The Ghost survived his collapse and escaped, then resumed his career of sabotage. When he began to target the Italian company Electronica Fabrizzi, a property of Stark's rival Justin Hammer, Hammer's agents Mark Scarlotti, AKA Blacklash, Donald Gill, AKA Blizzard, and Fred Myers, AKA Boomerang, attacked the Ghost, but were unable to harm him. Hammer made a deal with Stark for his help against the Ghost, and Iron Man was nearly killed when the Ghost attached an intangibility device to his armor, intending to leave him unable to obtain food or drink, but Iron Man deactivated the device using an electromagnetic pulse. The Ghost threatened Hammer in person that he would complete his mission against his company, so Blacklash, Blizzard, Boomerang, Iron Man and James Rhodes, AKA War Machine, joined forces to fight the Ghost when he came to sabotage Electronica Fabrizzi again; however, the Ghost still succeeded in bombing the property. When he went after Hammer to gloat and attempt to kill him, Hammer temporarily confined him within a room surrounded with a synthetic material he could not phase through. The Ghost vowed that he would eventually destroy Stark and Hammer.
In his next known assignment, Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin, hired the Ghost to investigate Roxxon, who were then developing a synthetic Vibranium that the Kingpin wished to acquire. Fisk charged the Ghost to steal their data and destroy their facilities so that they could not continue their experiments. Eager for another opportunity to interfere with Roxxon, the Ghost was hampered in his mission by the Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Roxxon's own Arthur Dearborn, AKA Sunturion. When the killer robot Ultron became involved, the Ghost abandoned his assignment and alerted the Kingpin to Ultron's presence. The Kingpin ultimately made an alliance with Ultron to further his interest in the synthetic Vibranium. In another of his assignments, the Ghost targeted energy research company Tricorp. Attempting to sabotage one of the company's energy tests, the Ghost ran afoul of Spider-Man and the time-traveling historian Cassandra Locke. Locke shut down the Ghost's bomb and temporarily shorted out his intangibility devices, enabling Spider-Man to strike him down. The Ghost was taken into police custody.
Later, the Ghost was hired by Advanced Idea Mechanics’ (A.I.M.) leader M.O.D.O.K. to commit various acts of sabotage using a bombing strategy where the receipt of a "You da man" e-mail at a targeted company would activate the bombs the Ghost had planted within the computers at the building site. A.I.M.'s ultimate goal was to eliminate rivals for their new corporation, Omnitech. The Ghost adopted false identities so that he could pose as an employee of the targeted companies while planting his bombs. He successfully demolished the company Microwear using this plot. In the guise of John Morley, he infiltrated the company Askew Electronics, where Iron Man had assumed the identity of "Hogan Potts" in a brief attempt to escape his life as Tony Stark. Unaware of each other's true identities, "Morley" and "Potts" became friends. The Ghost led Iron Man away from Askew, making him think that the bomb was planted within his own armor so that he would not be present when the bomb detonated. Iron Man eventually tracked the source of the bombings to Omnitech and fought M.O.D.O.K. and the Ghost. During their clash, the Ghost accidentally drove his hand inside M.O.D.O.K.'s head, incapacitating him. The Ghost then ran his hand into Iron Man's heart, paralyzing him long enough for him to escape. Afterward, Iron Man resumed his identity as Tony Stark, acquired what remained of Askew, and set a trap for "Morley". Confronting him with the knowledge of his true identity, the Ghost attacked Iron Man again and once more plunged his hand into Iron Man's heart, but Stark had anticipated this action and rigged his armor to cause a feedback that rendered the Ghost unconscious. The Ghost was taken into police custody.
Recently, Sinclair Abbott, AKA Spymaster—the latest person to take the alias—learned that the Living Laser was in Tony Stark's custody and sought to capture him so that he could be turned into a terrorist weapon. Contacting the Ghost, Spymaster tried to persuade him that, as Super Villains, they were part of a brotherhood and should seek Iron Man's destruction, but the Ghost was unmoved and interested only in the acts of sabotage, which he would have an opportunity to commit while kidnapping the Living Laser. In his first attempt, the Ghost fought Iron Man and incapacitated him with explosives, incorrectly believing that he had killed him. Furious that the Ghost did not complete his assignment, Spymaster used a device that could overload the Ghost's battlesuit in order to force him back to complete the mission. When the Ghost came back for another attempt, he found that Iron Man had set up a new security system using disruptors that would render his intangibility useless. Ghost barely managed to escape Iron Man and fled, abandoning the assignment.
Ghost then joined the black-ops hit squad, the Thunderbolts, under Norman Osborn with a singular goal: to take down Osborn’s empire from the inside, including his organization H.A.M.M.E.R. Ghost revealed his plan to fellow teammate, the ruthless Russian agent Yelena Belova, known as Black Widow II, who was actually Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, in disguise working for Nick Fury. Ghost, along with teammates Cleavon Twain, AKA Headsman, and Paladin, helped the pair escape H.A.M.M.E.R. incarceration, and Ghost then erased the memories of teammates Mr. X and Scourge to maintain team unity. Ghost also sabotaged the “Hero Program”—a program intent on manipulating the Avengers Danny Rand, AKA Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, in to joining the Thunderbolts. When Osborn ordered the team to capture the spear of Odin in the siege of Asgard, Ghost alerted the Mighty Avengers to prevent Osborn from obtaining the weapon that rivals Thor Odinson, AKA Thor’s hammer, and the villain was eventually defeated.
Despite his actions to dismantle Osborn’s empire, Ghost was soon arrested and held at the supermax facility known as the Raft. He was soon recruited into a new incarnation of the Thunderbolts led by Luke Cage, a team that included other super-powered criminals such as Brock Rumlow, AKA Crossbones, Cain Marko, AKA Juggernaut, Abner Jenkins, AKA Mach-V, Ted Sallis, AKA Man-Thing, and Karla Sofen, AKA Moonstone. The intention of this new squad was to put these criminals on a path of redemption. During one of their missions, Ghost faced an Asgardian half-troll, who sliced through his tech-suit while it was invisible. Meanwhile, Ghost became convinced that there were Pym pills in the food at the Raft, which made him and the others amenable to control.
While working with the Thunderbolts, Ghost faced a subterranean sect of the Hand known as the Underhand, with the task of saving Darris Kimbro, the policeman son of Cage’s friend. While facing the Underhand, Ghost secretly witnessed the killing of Kimbro by Crossbones, who had previously been exposed to Terrigen Crystals, which gave him destructive powers. After the team’s failure to save Kimbro, Ghost overheard Cage’s plan to leave the Thunderbolts thanks to his tech-suit. Ghost used their next mission as an opportunity to escape the confines of the team and the Raft, informing Crossbones and the Juggernaut of his plan. While Man-Thing was transporting them with several other heroes to their next mission, Ghost manipulated Thor’s hammer, which resulted in the whole group landing in an alternate dimension. Ghost faced Iron Man, but Stark allowed him access to his historical data, showing him that he had closed Starktech and all subsidiaries, and as such was no longer a corporate conglomerate, Ghost’s typical target. Realizing he was no longer the enemy, Ghost dropped his vendetta against Stark and accompanied him to rejoin the others. Thor and Cage had taken down Juggernaut, and Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, took on Crossbones alone, learning of his new power. Though, Cap succeeded in taking Crossbones down, and they all returned home. Cage stayed on a leader, though Crossbones was cut from the team for the killing of Kimbro.
Remaining on the team is fellow villain in reform, Moonstone, who with her psychology background encouraged him to share his origin story so they could bond and better trust one another. He shared his origin with her, which left her speechless, and only did so because he believed he was untouchable. They soon went up against their new teammate Mark Milton, AKA Hyperion, from Earth-4023. The Ghost continued to work with the Thunderbolts facing antagonists Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, and the Dark Avengers. Though after the defeat of the Dark Avengers, the Thunderbolts disbanded.
The Ghost later joined Baron Helmut Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo’s Thunderbolts team to take out Frank Castle, AKA the Punisher, who was causing disorder in New York City. Zemo was working with NYC’s Mayor Wilson Fisk, but when Zemo and the Thunderbolts failed, Fisk tasked Ghost to seemingly get rid of Zemo.
Ghost later found that Roxxon stored Shana’s consciousness on a memory card, and the card was then stolen by crazy former psychologist, Moonstone. Moonstone used this data to convince Ghost to help him in her plan to upload consciousness into the internet to create a digital heaven, dubbed the Aaru Project. To do so required a considerable amount of energy, the energy that only Monica Rambeau, AKA Spectrum, could provide. Ghost helped lure Spectrum and her team Strikeforce to a hospital where they could enact their resurrection plan. Though finding out that Moonstone was murdering patients to use in her experiment, Ghost worked with Strikeforce to take her out as long as he could get the memory card from her. Strikeforce trapped her so that Spectrum was able to nullify her moonstone and she was sent to Ravencroft Institute for the criminally insane, but not before Ghost swiped the memory card from her pocket.