Marvel's Cosmic Ghost Rider Sends Punisher Into Space

Marvel's new Cosmic Ghost Rider comic makes Frank Castle the new spirit of Vengeance - so what makes The Punisher a 'deep space lunatic'?

The killer once known as Punisher has a new mission as Marvel's Cosmic Ghost Rider, and a solo comic book all his own. Frank Castle will be giving up the mission of eradicating the streets of criminals and killers, and taking on a more devilish charge. Trading his soul to Mephisto to live another day, the former Punisher becomes Marvel's new Ghost Rider.

Just how he goes from following the tradition of Marvel's previous Spirits of Vengeance to becoming a cosmic variation is a complicated story. One that sees him eventually take the role once held by Silver Surfer in Marvel's future... and at the end, work as the right-hand man of Thanos himself.

Frank Castle has come a long way, and the first images of Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 shows fans just what they're in for.

RELATED: Ghost Rider & Hulk Enslaved By Thanos in Marvel's Future

The comic series will be handled by writer Donny Cates and artist Dylan Burnett, beginning in July. Technically this origin story is a little behind the times, since those reading the standalone Thanos comic already know how The Punisher became the Cosmic Ghost Rider. But knowing the story and seeing the story are two different things.

As the official synopsis from Marvel teases, fans who thought Frank Castle losing his mind as the last man on Earth was crazy are in for more surprises:

He’s commanded the page in a blaze of glory…and now, this July, he’ll embark on his own solo adventure in COSMIC GHOST RIDER, an all-new limited series written by the character’s co-creator Donny Cates (Thanos, Doctor Strange) with art by one of the industry’s hottest new creators, Dylan Burnett! The alternate future version of Frank Castle has become a fan-favorite since debuting in THANOS #13, stealing the spotlight with his crazy antics and unique origin story – and in this story, Cates and Burnett promise to pull out all the stops as Cosmic Ghost Rider’s plans for a better universe come to fruition…however crazy they may be.

"Cosmic Ghost Rider is such a blast to work on," said Cates. "It's honestly pretty overwhelming how much the Marvel fans have embraced this crazy character, and I'm having so much fun continuing the Rider's insane story! If you thought Thanos Wins was just wait to see what we have planned for everyone's new favorite space lunatic!"

Along with the first official details and quotes comes a look at the first issue's cover (by artist Geoff Shaw), and some interior pencils. The issue will apparently be revisiting the same events told in Thanos, presumably from a new, more Punisher-focused angle in the style of Cates and Burnett. Take a look at the preview below:

The cover art emphasizes the lunacy and cosmic rock-and-roll vibes being embraced by Cosmic Ghost Rider (given the success of DC's METAL event, an approach comic fans are hungry for). The pages do cover much of the same ground seen in the flashback issues of Thanos - before he moved onto dealing with Silver Surfer and Hulk (SPOILERS). The slaughter of Earth's heroes by Thanos, leading Frank Castle to sacrifice his soul for a chance at Vengeance, the arrival of Galactus, his cosmic promotion - right up until being destroyed by Mjolnir.

The blow from Thor's hammer seemed to put an end to Ghost Rider, suggesting the story of the comic will be set in the millennia-long gap between the world ending and the universe's last, forgotten battle.

That still leaves plenty of potential to spin a wild story, and fans can see what this creative team has in store when Cosmic Ghost Rider begins this July.

Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 arrives on July 4, 2018.

MORE: Nicolas Cage Wants An r-Rated Ghost Rider Movie

Source: Marvel Comics

Who Died In Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 1