Marvel's New Ghost Rider Is A Zombie - And That's A Bigger Deal Than You Think

A zombie Ghost Rider is emerging from the darkness to take on the Hulk, with a new tease for "The Incredible Hulk" #6 showcasing the Jade Giant battling against a new, undead Spirit of Vengeance.

Thus far, the Hulk's latest ongoing series (by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Nic Klein, Matthew Wilson, and VC's Cory Petit) has had Bruce Banner hunted by monsters from across the Marvel Universe, with a new villain named the Eldest attempting to bring him down and free their creator, the Mother of Horrors. The series has returned the monstrous Avenger to his horror roots once again, with future issue descriptions teasing upcoming battles with different monsters, including Marvel Comics' very own Man-Thing. Now, the announcement hyping the sixth issue of the series features the surprise introduction of a new Ghost Rider.

But unlike other riders, this one may have an edge in its fight against the Hulk since they aren't alive, which is a notable change from every other Spirit of Vengeance we've met.

Marvel's new zombie rider is unique

From the very first Ghost Rider, called the Phantom Rider from the 1960s, to the most iconic Spirit of Vengeance, Johnny Blaze, debuting in the early 1970s, there have been many characters to don the mantle. There has been no shortage of flaming skull antiheroes since Blaze's debut, either. Danny Ketch, Robbie Reyes, and Kushala have all been possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance and have taken up the role in recent years. In Marvel's past, in 1,000,000 BC, the first Ghost Rider chronologically rode on a willy mammoth. In Marvel's far future, the mantle will even be taken up by Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, whose mental breakdown will lead him to become the Cosmic Ghost Rider. But Marvel's latest Ghost Rider appears to be pretty unique, as none before them have been, well, a zombie.

While very few details have been revealed about the unnamed zombie Ghost Rider, it seems likely he'll have an advantage that some of the other Riders don't. Assuming he has traits similar to most zombies, when he reverts from being the Spirit of Vengeance back to his undead form, he likely can't be easily killed. That means that the new Ghost Rider could be essentially immortal no matter what form he takes. If that's the case, he might have a chance to win his upcoming fight with the Hulk — and a fighting chance is far better than what most foes who have taken on the Jade Giant have.

Zombie Ghost Rider could become an important ally to the Hulk

The tease for "The Incredible Hulk" #6, presented below, hints that when the Hulk arrives in a town attacked by creatures called war devils, he accidentally awakens the zombie Ghost Rider, leading to a supernatural fight breaking out.

"Attack of the zombie Ghost Rider! Charlie reminds Bruce that he's more than a man on the run – he's an Avenger, a hero. And heroes help people. When their travels lead them to a Texas town under attack by dreaded monstrosities known as war devils, it's time for the Hulk to step in... but he rouses an undead Spirit of Vengeance from his eternal slumber, summoning a 100-year-old Ghost Rider to ride down the Hulk!"

While the zombie Ghost Rider might start off as a foe for the Hulk, given Bruce Banner's current detachment from the rest of the Marvel Universe, this version of the Spirit of Vengeance could eventually become an ally. After all, that's how superhero fights with other superheroes tend to go. It would be fun to see Hulk and the zombie working together, and Phillip Kennedy Johnson is no stranger to putting Ghost Rider in his team-ups. That said, it's still possible the zombie Ghost Rider may not rest again until the Hulk is taken off the board.

Readers can see the debut of the new Ghost Rider in "The Incredible Hulk" #6 from Marvel Comics, which arrives in comic book stores in November.