Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human variant (Blood)
Occupation: Guardian of the family line associated with Medallion of Power
Group Membership: Blood
Affiliations: John Blaze, Ghost
Rider/Dan Ketch, Francis Ketch, Jack Russell (Werewolf), Shriker,
Midnight Sons (Blade, John Blaze, Frank Drake, Dr. Strange, Noble Kale, Hannibal King, Morbius, Vengeance),
the Nine (Blade, John Blaze, Sam Buchanan, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider/Ketch, Louise Hastings, Hannibal King, Victoria Montesi, Morbius);
formerly Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch)
Enemies: Centurious, Death Ninja, Doghead, Fallen, Danny Ketch, the Lilin, Lilith, Orb,
People of the Dust, Zadkiel, Zarathos;
formerly Vengeance/Michael Badalino
Known Relatives: Presumably some of the Blood
Aliases: "old man"
Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
formerly a house near a cemetery in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee;
formerly a base beneath Cypress Hills Cemetery
First Appearance: Ghost Rider III#28 (August, 1992)
Caretaker as one of the Blood, is apparently immune or highly
resistant to aging and conventional disease. He possesses some
degree of superhuman strength (enhanced human). His primary
weapon is his shovel, which he can use to surprising effect. When
needed, he can call on an inner reserve of power, sufficient to
physically overpower both Ghost Rider and Vengeance
simultaneously. He may only be able to do this do to his
connections to the Medallion of Power. In addition, he can
extinguish the power of the Medallion within its users,
transferring them back to human form instantly.
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 200 lbs.
History: (Ghost Rider III#42-43 (fb) - BTS) -
In a time before Atlantis, a group of beings came together to
from the Blood. The origins of this group remain unknown. They
were allies with the original Spirits of Vengeance, and fought to
keep the Medallion of Power from the hands of the demon Zarathos
and his ilk.
The Blood sought to guard the Medallion, but found that the power contained within was too much for any one being to wield. Zarathos attempted to claim the Medallion, but the Blood and the Spirits of Vengeance opposed him. The Spirits merged with Zarathos within the Medallion. The Blood saw only one solution. The Medallion, which could never be destroyed, was instead, shattered. The pieces of the Medallion, and the powers within were placed within the descendents of two human families. The Blood known as Caretaker was chosen to watch over those families.
(Marvel Comics Presents#145/4 (fb) - BTS) - Caretaker imprisoned the People of the Dust after they were defeated by him and the other Blood. He sealed their prison in the earth under what would become Cypress Hills Cemetery with a sigil and there they had to stay for as long as Caretaker's power existed.
BTS - Caretaker encountered Dr. Strange at least once in the past, earning his friendship and respect.
(Ghost Rider III#28) - Caretaker introduced himself
to Ghost Rider and Blaze, warning them on an imminent attack by
the police. Ghost Rider was at the time suffering from episodes
of weakness from the seeming death of his human host, Dan Ketch.
Ghost Rider collapsed, and Lt. Badalino prepared to collect his
body, but Caretaker cracked him with his shovel, allowing Blaze
and Ghost Rider to escape.
As they left, Dr. Strange appeared and he and Caretaker discussed the imminent coming of Lilith.
(Ghost Rider III#34) - Caretaker meets Dan Ketch in the cemetery. He tells Ketch that his need for innocent blood to be spilled before becoming the Ghost Rider is all in his head. Caretaker also advises him to put some distance between himself and his mother and friends.
(Ghost Rider III#35) - Caretaker followed Ketch and chastised him for allowing a young woman to nearly see his transformation. Ketch tried to manhandle Caretaker to force him to reveal what he wants, and Caretaker tossed him across the alley. Caretaker instructed Dan to prevent the Death Ninja from killing Suicide. After Ghost Rider was badly injured in the ensuing struggle, Caretaker again prevented Badalino from getting him, cracking him in the face with his shovel again. Caretaker collected Suicide's remains.
(Ghost Rider III#36) - Caretaker taunted Suicide as he began to regenerate from his skeletal remains. He gave Ketch some more cryptic information and then left.
(Ghost Rider III#39) - Caretaker met with Francis Ketch in the Cemetery. They discussed how things had gone awry, and that Barbara Ketch (Dan's sister) was supposed to have been the one to have become Ghost Rider. Later, Vengeance attacked Caretaker and beat him senseless, using him to draw out Ghost Rider for another battle. Caretaker revived and blasted Vengeance, stunning him long enough for him to convince Ghost Rider to flee. Vengeance then attacked Caretaker again, but Caretaker vanished in an explosion.
(Spirits of Vengeance#14) - His spirit/astral self appeared and told Ghost Rider to trust the Seer, and that he would reveal his true nature son.
(Ghost Rider III#42) - At the Nightclub, he stopped Seer from revealing too much information. He then goaded Dan Ketch into accepting more of Ghost Rider's power.
(Spirits of Vengeance#15) - Caretaker recruited Vengeance to aid in the fight against Centurious.
(Ghost Rider III#43) - Caretaker demonstrated his power during a dispute by simultaneously choking Ghost Rider and Vengeance with each hand. He then forced them to work together, and explained the history of the Blood and the original Midnight Sons. He guided them in battle against Centurious, but was as surprised as any of them when Zarathos was unleashed.
(Spirits of Vengeance#16) - Caretaker led Blaze, Ghost Rider, and Vengeance away from Zarathos, and to the Nightclub. He explained the remainder of the history of the Medallion of Power to them. He then brought them back to the Cemetery and another confrontation with Zarathos. He guided Ghost Rider to access the power of the Medallion, forcing Zarathos, Lilith, and the Lilin back, into a rift into the Shadowside dimension. Believing they had finally achieved victory, Caretaker revealed that Dan Ketch and John Blaze were actually brothers! ...sigh....
(Ghost Rider III#44) - With Zarathos, Lilith, and the Lilin back on Earth, Caretaker convinced the Nine to flee into the catacombs beneath the Cemetery. As Zarathos and the others closed on them, Caretaker tried in vain to get Blaze, Ghost Rider, and Vengeance to leave with him so he could train them further. Dr. Strange showed up and convinced the three that the rest would not be without protection, and so they agreed, bolting through Dr. Strange's portal just seconds before Zarathos broke through Strange's mystic shield
(Marvel Comic Presents I#143-BTS) - Strange's teleportation spell was disrupted by Pilgrim, and Ghost Rider, Blaze, and Zarathos were teleported to Girth and Skitter, who attacked them. Pilgrim then brought himself, Lilith, and Zarathos to the battle, but the heroes escaped into another of Strange's dimensional portals, and Blaze blasted Pilgrim to prevent a similar occurrence.
(Darkhold#15) - Having arrived in Strange's mansion, Caretaker, Strange, and the others debated who the traitor in their midst might be. Meanwhile, the traitor (Morbius possessed by the Lilin Bloodthirst) slew one of their number, Louise Hastings, undetected.
(Morbius#16, Marvel Comics Presents I#144-BTS) - Caretaker argued with the Nine, insisting that he must take Blaze, Ghost Rider, and Vengeance away to prevent them from losing the Medallion of Power to Zarathos, while the others wished to present a united front against Zarathos. Morbius/Bloodthirst entered Strange's Sanctum, enabling the rest of the Lilin to enter as well. Caretaker joined the nine in battling the Lilin. Strange managed to temporarily banish the Lilin from his Sanctum.
(Dr. Strange III#60) - Caretaker was present as Strange obliterated his own Sanctum
(Spirits of Vengeance#17) - Caretaker brought the Midnight Sons
to the Nightclub, and attempted to stop them from risking the
Medallion.. Blaze, Ghost Rider, and Vengeance overpowered him and
went back to Cypress Hills Cemetery for a rematch with Zarathos.
Caretaker showed up again in mid-battle and showed the three of
them how to access the Medallion's power. Under his guidance,
they fought off Zarathos and then closed the rift to the
Shadowside dimension, pulling Lilith and her into it in the
process. The energy accessed by the three of them proved too much
for the Medallion, which shattered.
Zarathos was on the verge of defeat, when the Fallen, who had escaped through the rift before its closure, arrived and channeled their power into him. Caretaker rushed the Fallen, but was overpowered. He sent the Spirits of Vengeance back to the Nightclub and told them to locate the Blood.
(Nightstalkers#15) - Zarathos and the Fallen captured Caretaker and brought him into the catacombs beneath the cemetery. Zarathos began to torture Caretaker in an effort to regain his lost knowledge. The Nightstalkers (Blade, Drake, and Hannibal King) attempted to rescue Caretaker. However, he sent them away, telling them that he could provide a distraction--causing Zarathos to waste time focusing his efforts on trying to get secrets which he would never reveal--and that he could handle a little suffering.
(Ghost Rider III#45) - Caretaker handled the phyical punishment he received, but was more injured by seeing Patriarch turn his loyalties over to the Fallen.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#145) - He goaded Zarathos into attacking him. Hovering on the edge of death, Caretaker managed to get a message to Speakeasy, who relayed the message to Blaze and Ketch.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#146/3) - While battling Salomé, Dr. Strange psychically contacted Caretaker, who told him not to worry about him, but to "steer Ghost Rider and Blaze, NOW!"
(Marvel Comics Presents I#146 - BTS) - Metarchus impersonated Caretaker and then attacked several of the nine and the Blood.
(Dr. Strange III#61) - Caretaker again psychically contacted Dr. Strange, advising him on how to defeat Salomé.
(Spirits of Vengeance#18) - Ghost Rider, Vengeance, and Blaze entered the masoleum below Cypress Hills and freed Caretaker, walking into a trap of Zarathos' in the process. Caretaker was unable to stop Zarathos from bring Ghost Rider to another plane, and seemingly killing him in single combat.
(Midnight Sons Unlimited#4) - Caretaker fought alongside the group that became the Midnight Sons, battling and defeating Zarathos and the Fallen. Caretaker led the group to accept the mantle and brand of the Midnight Sons. He then carved a memorial of the event.
(Spirits of Vengeance#19) - After Blaze fought off Varnae, Caretaker appeared and offered some more of his cryptic wisdom.
(Ghost Rider III#53-54) - Dan Ketch caught a glimpse of Caretaker on the streets of New York, but then he vanished. Later, Caretaker appeared to Ghost Rider and showed him how to control the transformation back into Ketch.
(Ghost Rider Annual#2/3) - Caretaker took in the defeated Witch Woman, to see if he could turn her over to their side.
(Morbius#29) - Caretaker met with Jack Russell and planned the burial (and resurrection) of Morbius.
(Ghost Rider III#58) - Caretaker sent Shriker to assist Ghost Rider.
(Ghost Rider III#60-61) - Shriker revealed he had
been trained by Caretaker. Ketch blamed Caretaker for ruining
his life and told him to stay away from him.
Caretaker and Shriker were forced to watch from a distance as Ghost Rider was captured by the Team, and then taken to the Black Hole prison.
(Ghost Rider VI#26 (fb) - BTS) - Caretaker relocated to a house by a cemetery in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.
(Ghost Rider VI#26) - Now serving the corrupt angel Zadkiel, Dan Ketch recruited Blackout, Death Ninja, Doghead, and a new Orb to assault Caretaker.
(Ghost Rider VI#26 (fb) - BTS) - Knowing he was doomed, Caretaker mentally summoned his granddaughter, Sara, the last of his bloodline, to take over his mission, as his work on Earth wasn't done yet.
(Ghost Rider VI#26 - BTS) - Dreaming of her grandfather, Sara departed the Sacred Hearts Convent for the Sisters of the Holy Sepulcher and headed towards Caretaker's house.
(Ghost Rider VI#26) - Doghead approached Caretaker's house
first, and Caretaker kicked the door open and blasted Doghead to pieces with a
shotgun that fired Hellfire. When the Orb fired a blast at him, Caretaker fled
back into his house. Orb and Death Ninja entered the house, with the former
stepping on a board that set off a trap, and a board full of nails was launched
right into his giant eye-head (his head was a real eye, instead of an eye-like
helmet as with the previous Orb). Death Ninja attacked next, stabbing a sword
through Caretaker's shoulder before Caretaker slew him with a series of Hellfire
blasts. Blackout then shoved his clawed hand into Caretaker's abdomen, but
Caretaker fought back, shoving Death Ninja's sword into Blackout's crotch.
Before Blackout could assault him anew, Ketch arrived and reminded him of the
order that he not kill Caretaker, at which point Blackout departed. Ketch
criticized Caretaker for being so vague and mysterious, and Caretaker told Ketch
he was not his Caretaker but rather the Caretaker of the truth. He further told
Ketch that he never intended to become the Ghost Rider and then warned him that
the real Ghost Rider was coming.
Ketch set the house ablaze and departed, while Sara and John Blaze approached.
(Ghost Rider VI#27) - Blaze and Sara arrived at Caretaker's
house, and he told them he was dying and instructed them to save his library. As
Sara and Blaze headed into the cellar below his house, Caretaker died.
When Sara touched some of Caretaker's tomes, she absorbed some of his knowledge, and she soon succeeded him as the next Caretaker, guiding Blaze to pursue Ketch through a door to Tibet.
Comments: Created by Howard Mackie and Andy Kubert.
"In a time before Atlantis" would be in the ballpark of 20, 000 BC. For a truly excellent pre-modern era Chronology of the Marvel Universe, check out Robert Wicks' Unofficial Chronology of the Marvel Universe. It is incorrect in one specific spot, however, the sinking of Atlantis was 18000 BC in the Marvel Universe.
I may well have missed some of Caretaker's appearances. Let me know, and I'll add them.
Caretaker is another character from Mackie's house of overdone enigmatic characters with attitude. He spent the majority of his time telling everyone how stupid and/or ignorant they were, yet rarely dispensed any definitive information himself.
With this profile, I'm done with the Blood, and I'm not shedding a tear about it. Someone else can do Salome. I think the next Ghost Rider character I've got lined up is Zodiak, about 100 characters away.
No known connection to:
Ghost Rider III#28 (August, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Joe Kubert (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#34-35 (February-March, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#36 (April, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Fred Fredericks (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#39 (July, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance#14 (September, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Tom Palmer, Jeff Albrecht, Ralph Cabrera & Tim Tuohy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#42 (October, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance#15 (October, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Bobbbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#43 (November, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance#16 (November, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Henry Martine (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#44 (December, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#143 (early December, 1993) - Chris Cooper (writer), Reggie Jones (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Darkhold#15 (December, 1993) - Chris Cooper (writer), Rurik Tyler (pencils), Bob Downs (inks), Hildy Mesnik (editor)
Morbius#16 (December, 1993) - Gregory Wright (writer), Isaac Cordova (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Dr. Strange III#60 (December, 1993) - David Quinn (writer), Melvin Rubi (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance#17 (December, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Henry Martinez (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Nightstalkers#15 (January, 1994) - Steven Grant (writer), Andrew Wildman (pencils), Frank Turner (inks), Chris Cooper (editor)
Ghost Rider III#45 (January, 1994) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Garney (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#145 (early January, 1994) - Chris Cooper (writer), Reggie Jones (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#146 (late January, 1994) - Chris Cooper (writer), Reggie Jones (writer), Fred Harper (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Dr. Strange III#61 (January, 1994) - David Quinn (writer), Melvin Rubi (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance#18 (January, 1994) - Howard Mackie (writer), Henry Martinez (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Midnight Sons Unlimited#4 (January, 1994) - D.G. Chichester (writer), John Hixson & John Bridges (pencils), Bill Anderson, Rich Rankin & Scott Koblish (inks), Evan Skolnick (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance#19 (February, 1994) - David Quinn (writer), Henry Martinez (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#53-54 (September, 1994) - Howard Mackie (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Sergio Melia (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider Annual#2 (1994) - Frank Lovece (writer), Kevin Kobasic (pencils), Philip Moy (inks), Chris Cooper (editor)
Morbius#29 (January, 1995) - Lisa Trusiani (writer), Craig Gilmore (pencils), Mike Whiterby (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#58 (February, 1995) - Howard Mackie (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Sergio Melia (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#60-61 (April, 1995) - Howard Mackie (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Sergio Melia (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider VI#26-27 (October-November, 2008) - Jason Aaron (writer), Tan Eng Huat (artist), Aubrey Sitterson & Daniel Ketchum (editors), Axel Alonso (executive editor)
Last updated: 09/19/08
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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