Ghost Rider: Highway Back to Hell

Jason Aaron spills on Danny Ketch's return to the world of Ghost Rider and what it means for the Spirit of Vengeance. Plus: preview art by Tan Eng Huat!

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Preview art by
Tan Eng Huat

By Marc Strom Danny Ketch has a lot of lost time to make up for. While fans caught their first glimpse of the newly-returned Ketch a few months ago, GHOST RIDER #26 brings the former Spirit of Vengeance fully back into the spotlight on August 20. Ketch, who held the title of Ghost Rider throughout the '90s, now serves Zadkiel, the angel responsible for cursing original motorcycle-riding flamehead Johnny Blaze. And writer Jason Aaron promises some additional surprises as we catch up with Ketch next month. "[Danny's] carrying out a mission for the rebel angel Zadkiel," the scribe teases. "And you'll never guess who Danny's after, or who he brought along to get the job done." Though many longtime readers have clamored for Ketch's return since his last appearance more than a few years ago, bringing the character back into the Marvel Universe didn't immediately appeal to Aaron.

Preview art by
Tan Eng Huat

"We needed someone to serve as Zadkiel's earthly lieutenant, and it was actually [former series] editor Aubrey Sitterson who suggested Danny," he reveals. "At first I was opposed to the idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. "I've always been partial to Blaze, just because he's a more interesting character, more tortured, more tragic. But I'm having a lot of fun writing Danny, and I'm excited about where we're taking him as a character. Fans have been begging for his return for years now, and I like that we're bringing him back in a way that people weren't expecting." While readers may not quite know what to expect, one major question remains unanswered as yet: Just how much of his Ghost Rider power does Danny still have? "All I know is, when Blaze finds out what's going on, he's going to be looking to pound Ketch into oblivion," Aaron promises. "For Ketch's sake, let's hope he's got some way of protecting himself."

Preview art by
Tan Eng Huat

Aaron remains equally secretive as to just how Ketch wound up in the service of Zadkiel. "We'll have to wait and find out," the wordsmith notes. "I will say, though, that it isn't simply the case of Danny being brainwashed, or possessed, or anything like that. And that ain't no clone. That's the real Danny Ketch." But people change, and Ketch stands as no exception. Always a very different character from his predecessor, the Spirit of Vengeance who rode throughout much of the '90s has come back with a new perspective on his supernatural-tinged life. "Blaze got his powers because of a choice he made," Aaron explains. "Ketch was just the victim of bad luck and some sort of family curse. But things are changing for Ketch. He's definitely making some big choices now, and we'll just have to wait and see how he lives with them." With all the shakeups rocking Johnny Blaze's world, what else could possibly happen? Plenty according to Aaron:

Preview art by
Tan Eng Huat

"Blaze vs Blackout. The return of the hellfire shotgun. A dramatic revelation about the very nature of the Spirit of Vengeance. And Ghost Rider vs Ghost Rider for all the marbles." Jason Aaron and Tan Eng Huat present the second coming of Danny Ketch in GHOST RIDER #26 on August 20, but before that, get caught up with the GHOST RIDER SAGA on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

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