The following contains major spoilers for ghost rider #3, available now from Marvel.
The Marvel Universe has never been short of things that happen at night, and Johnny Blaze has faced almost all of them during his time as Ghost Rider. Of course, there are always new terrors lurking around every corner. Although Johnny has already encountered one of these newcomers in the form of the enigmatic Zeb, it turns out that there are still more gruesome faces waiting to meet Ghost Rider. Luckily, it doesn’t seem like the Council of Night Mage has any ill will towards the Spirit of Vengeance, but they won’t go out of their way to help either.
ghost rider #3 (by Benjamin Percy, Cory Smith, Brent Peeples, Roberto Poggi, Bryan Velenza, and VC’s Travis Lanham) finds Johnny Blaze still utterly lost in the hunt for the demons that previously imprisoned him, as well as unknowingly on the run from the The FBI paranormal unit. Beyond these already varied players, another group of mysterious characters have emerged with a keen interest in Ghost Rider’s activities. In the damp, misty expanses of the Unknown Graveyard, Zeb reunites with four other gruesome yet intriguing characters, and with that, the Council of Night Wizards can start their business.
Zeb has been a part of Johnny’s world ever since he showed up to save him from his personal hell on Earth in ghost rider #1. While not much could be gleaned from his first appearance, it was obvious from the start that Zeb was Marvel’s next master of the mystic arts. While it wasn’t clear which side Zeb was on at the time, his insistence on freeing Johnny made it pretty obvious that he was something of an ally. When Zeb expresses his belief that the Council should help Johnny, Alabaster, a council member, states that they have already done enough and have not allowed the others to speak.
Still, Zeb seems fully determined to do whatever he wants, which probably makes him Ghost Rider’s only true ally at the moment. Despite the fact that the Council does not actively work against the Spirit of Vengeance, their motives and origins are still shrouded in mystery, preventing the group from being considered trustworthy. Even Zeb, as genuine as he seems, is someone Johnny is barely aware of. As stated by Zeb, Ghost Rider doesn’t seem to have a grip on everything that’s going on, and that makes him ripe for exploitation.
There’s no doubt that the Council of Night Mage as a whole has their own goals in mind when it comes to Ghost Rider’s return. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a threat to Ghost Rider, rather it could be a way for the group. Between Mephisto and his own Council of the Reds, the countless legions of Hell, and the interdimensional warlords who call Earth home after Doctor Strange’s untimely demise, many other supernatural threats await elimination. If the Council’s other enemies turn out to be the ones behind Ghost Rider’s recent confinement as well, getting revenge on himself could also be the start of Johnny Blaze’s next biggest problem. That is, assuming it’s not the last thing he does.
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