Ghost Rider vs. Deadman
Duel of the Supernatural
Debates among comic book fans are common, and one of the fascinating aspects of being a fan of the medium is you can flaunt your knowledge of comics and even learn a lot from your friends. Of course, if you are going to talk with your friends, the discussions about which character could beat which character is a common theme. In that regard, we have decided to offer our input: Who would win in a fight between Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider and DC Comics’ Deadman? We are going to find out today.
Who are these characters?
Before we get started, we must understand who these characters are and what they can do to grasp better who would win in a dual between the two comic book characters.
Ghost Rider was one of Marvel Comics’ first ever supernatural comic book characters leading his series, created in 1972 by writers Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, and artist Mike Ploog. There have been multiple wielders of the Ghost Rider identity, with the three main ones being Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, and Robbie Ketch, but since it would take too long to address each version, we are going to mainly focus on Blaze as he is the most known wielder of the mantle.
In that regard, Johnny Blaze was a stunt motorcyclist who made a deal with the Devil, later known as the Marvel Universe version of Satan, Mephisto, to save his father’s life, which in return turned him into the Ghost Rider. Blaze is bonded with the demon Zarathos and tries to execute his brand of rough justice and vengeance through his stories.
Ghost Rider has typical superhero virtues like superhuman strength, stamina, endurance, etc. Still, among his unique skills, you can find pyrokinesis and the ability to travel among realms due to his connection with the supernatural, which is one of the main sources of storylines in the Ghost Rider universe. Ghost Rider’s signature move, the Penance Stare, amplifies and overwhelms its victim with pain and remorse.
On the other hand, we have DC Comics’ Deadman. Writer Arnold Drake and artist Carmine Infantino created him. However, the artist and writer Neal Adams developed the character after the first two finished their first storyline with Deadman, which has resulted in many people linking the character more with Adams than with his actual creators.
Regardless of that, the story of Deadman is the story of Boston Brand, a circus trapeze artist who used to use that moniker as a stage name and ended up being murdered. Upon his death, the Hindu god, Rama Kushna, gave his spirit the power to possess living beings and walk the Earth to find his murderer and seek justice.
Due to his background as an acrobat, Deadman is in peak physical condition. As a result, he has a lot of flexibility and freedom to move, which has become a primary trait of the character. In addition, Deadman has invisibility, flight, intangibility, and the capacity to possess any living being, which makes him capable of controlling bodies with different skill sets.
Who would win this fight?
Considering that these two characters are immortal, there is no point in discussing whether they should fight to the death because they cannot die, so that is not up for debate. And we should also take into account that the supernatural world of DC Comics is quite different than the one in Marvel Comics, which makes the discussion a bit more complex because some variables in each world could swing the battle in each character’s favor.
But if we have to focus on a fight, I think it would be a stalemate simply because each character’s main traits and abilities make it impossible for the other character to get the upper hand.
For example, let’s say Deadman wants to take over the Ghost Rider’s body–he simply can’t do it because of the special elements surrounding the character due to his deal with Mephisto. As a result, Ghost Rider doesn’t have a material body to take over. So that makes Deadman’s main trump card, possession, virtually impossible to execute.
On the other hand, the Ghost Rider’s main trump card, the Penance Stare, can only be executed on living people, which Deadman certainly isn’t. Plus, Boston Brand is immaterial, making the conflict all the more complex to the Rider because he is facing an enemy that is not impacted by his skillset.
So, we are in a situation where Deadman doesn’t have enough abilities to hurt the Ghost Rider correctly, and the Ghost Rider cannot attack an immaterial opponent. It’s fascinating because this is a fight where both characters are forced to a stalemate, which is not very common in comic book fights. However, it would be something fun to see, at least from a comedic angle–watching two supernatural characters not being able to be supernatural at all.
Of course, you will likely find other arguments that lean toward why Ghost Rider or Deadman could win the fight. Still, these are the arguments that I came up with, and I invite you to enjoy the comics featuring these two supernatural characters and come up with your thoughts. Imagination is part of what makes this medium so much fun.