|Alias(es)|| The Rider|
Spirit of Justice
Spirit of Vengeance
|Appeared in|| Ghost Rider|
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
|Status||Attached to Johnny Blaze|
Zarathos is the mad angel who took possession of Johnny Blaze after the latter made the deal with Mephistopheles. He is the source of Johnny's power as the Ghost Rider. During his early career as Ghost Rider, Johnny christened Zarathos simply as the Rider.
Zarathos is an angel, the Spirit of Justice, created and sent by God to protect the innocent on Earth. However, he was tricked and captured by demons. Brought down to Hell, he was corrupted and tortured with visions of humanity's depravity until he went insane. His mission to protect the innocent was perverted into a lust to punish the guilty. He became the Spirit of Vengeance.
After Johnny defeats Mephistopheles in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Zarathos was freed from Hell's corruption and has returned to his angelic form.
After a deal with the demon overlord Mephistopheles, Zarathos is bound to Johnny Blaze's soul and body. The union of the two is known as the Ghost Rider. With the powers of Zarathos, Blaze manages to defeat Blackheart and his minions and to save Roxanne Simpson. Eager to control Zarathos, however, Blaze leaves Roxanne and begins a travel in search of redemption.
Despite his efforts, Blaze is still unable to control Zarathos, always hungry for sinners' souls. The monk Moreau promises to Blaze to free him of his curse, in exchange of the Rider's help in protecting Nadya and her son Danny, two people pursued by Mephisto himself, now going under the name Roarke.
Immediately before the process of unbonding, Moreau tells Blaze the history of Zarathos: he was an angel, the Spirit of Justice, sent on Earth to protect the innocents. Mephisto, however, managed to deceive him and capture him, torturing him for eons, until Zarathos had gone completely mad. His original mission of protecting the innocents, corrupted by Hell, became a dark obsession of punishing the guilty, and he became the Spirit of Vengeance.
Despite finally being freed from his curse, Blaze accepted Zarathos once again in his body in order to save Danny, who was about to become Mephisto's new body host. Defeating the demon lord once and for all eventually seemed to cure Zarathos from his madness, and the Spirit of Justice managed to walk on Earth once again.
Zarathos is an angel of awesome power whose strength is matched only by the greatest of demons. This makes him a match to Blackheart or to Mephistopheles himself (even if the latter is defeated only in an extremely weakened form). Zarathos is able to ignite any weapon or vehicle he enters in contact with, making it a hellfire-fueled arm or means of transport. His main ability is the Penance Stare, through which he's able to consume a sinner's soul by making him live everything bad he's done to others. While possessing a vessel, he transforms them into a fiery skeletal being with superhuman strength, heightened reflexes, and invulnerability to virtually all physical harm.
Despite his great powers, Zarathos was mentally unstable after his fall into Hell, consumed by the hunger of consuming souls and punishing sinners. With the time, he becomes more and more irrational and moved only by his main instinct: feeding. However, after Johnny defeats Mephistopheles, Zarathos was freed from Hell's influence and now his angelic grace and sanity are gradually returning to him.
- Johnny Blaze - Human host.
- Carter Slade - Ex human host.
- Mephistopheles - Enemy and master.
- Blackheart - Enemy.
- The Hidden - Enemies.
- Ray Carrigan/Blackout - Enemy.
- Canon (2 films)
Behind the scenes
To be added
- In the comics, Zarathos is a pure demon, not a mad angel.
- The comics' version of Zarathos is much more powerful than the movies' one, and deploys a wider array of powers that puts him almost on the same level of Mephistopheles.