Real Name: Johnathon Martin
Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional (Ultraverse) human mutate (Ultra)
Occupation: Adventurer; former student and cab driver
Group Membership: Ultraforce (Contrary, Hardcase, Pixx, Prime, Prototype, Topaz)
Affiliations: sponsored by Aladdin;
Eden Blake, Felicia Campbell, Cromwell, Rachel Deming, Amber Hunt, Mantra, Mastodon, Mosh, Ms. Richards, Spook;
Avengers, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Green Goblin (Phil Urich), Spider-Man, and the X-Men of Earth-616
Enemies: Malcolm Kort and his agents (copy)
pharaoh Ahmed-Set, Angels of Metabio, Atalon, Bonehammer, Demonseed, Dog, Entity, Fire People, Helen Volcano, Hybrid, Mastodon, Metabio, Nemesis, Rawborgs, Shifters, Whistler;
Grandmaster, Loki, Sersi, SHIELD II of Earth-616
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Ultraforce HQ,
Headless Cross, Arkansas;
formerly Ultraforce HQ, Miami, Florida;
formerly the Stronghold (island headquarters), off the coast of California);
First Appearance: Exiles (Ultraverse) I#1 (August, 1993)
Powers/Abilities: Ghoul's body has the
consistency and appearance of a rotting corpse. Though he has
normal mobility, he can be relatively easily torn limb from limb.
Though it takes him some time, he can either rejoin severed
limbs, or regrow them. In addition, while he can be physically
incapacitated by certain injuries, he suffers no permanent damage
from various penetrating wounds, etc. He has even reformed from
complete incineration, though it took him at least several weeks.
Ghoul can communicate with the dead, by contacting the body of the recently deceased. On one occasion, he communicated with the spirits of the ancestors of the Fire People, who had been dead for thousands of years. He has also sometimes been able to tell if someone was going to die in the near future.
On a solitary occasion, he absorbed the life force and power of Bloodbath, transforming his body into a more powerful form that incorporated the energies of Bloodbath.
Also on a single occasion, he proved able to temporarily immobilize a crowd of people, lasting a few minutes. He presumably possesses some low-level telepathic powers.
He gained a ring from Eden Blake (formerly Mantra) that allows him to take on a normal human appearance, though she warned him that it would become uncomfortable if overused.
Ghoul uses sarcasm and humor to conceal his loneliness and discomfort.
History: Jonathon Martin was a serious student with his sites set on a career in Engineering. However, he somehow contracted the Theta Virus, which turned him into an ultra, and his body took on the appearance of a rotting corpse. His life was saved by Dr. Rachel Deming, who then recruited him to join her Exiles, to save others similarly affected.
(Exiles I#1) - Ghoul's appearance repulsed new recruit Amber Hunt.
(Exiles I#2) - Ghoul accompanied the rest of the Exiles in an effort to rescue Timothy Halloran (Mastodon) from Malcolm Kort.
(Exiles I#3) - Alongside Tinsel, Ghoul was captured by Kort's agent Hot Rox, and Kort had him dumped in to the biological waste disposal unit. Ghoul was initially overwhelmed by the spirits of all the dead in the tank, but he regained his mind when Kort activated the incinerator unit. He managed to open the vault door and escape before being completely destroyed. Having lost his legs in the fire, he crawled out to try to rescue Tinsel, but found her dead at the hands of Bloodbath.
(Exiles I#4) - Learning what had happened from
Tinsel's spirit, Ghoul confronted Bloodbath. The powerful
mercenary toyed with Ghoul, who kept advancing, despite knife,
axe, bullet wounds, etc. Finally he managed to grab Bloodbath's
gun and kill him, then Ghoul absorbed his life energy and spirit,
transforming into a powerful of Bloodbath himself. Taking
Bloodbath's weaponry, Ghoul blew up the generator in Kort's base--Visionary
Productions--instantly killing all present.
The Exiles and Mastodon had left long before.
(Ultraforce I#0A) - Having finally reformed himself--taking on a slightly different form in the process, Ghoul emerged from his own grave, desperate to learn what had happened to the rest of the Exiles. When the press surrounded him, he became furious, but was assisted by Hardcase, who convinced him to help investigate an apparent Ultra attack on a Naval weapons station. From one of the corpses, Ghoul learned that attack had been perpetrated by Atalon and the Fire People.
(Ultraforce I#0B) - When the military
threatened Ghoul, he became irate and they fired upon him, but
once again, Hardcase's influence convinced them to back off. The
two were then teleported away by Contrary, who proposed forming a
group of Ultras to police other Ultras, to prevent human
organizations from going after them. Ghoul was instantly drawn to
Contrary's young ally, Pixx, around whom he sensed imminent death.
Pixx was mortified of the attention she received from him.
Ghoul decided to stay with Contrary for a time, hoping that she could lead him to the other Exiles.
(Ultraforce I#1) - Ghoul tried to convince Pixx to leave Contrary's side, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Alongside Contrary, Hardcase, Pixx, Prime, Prototype, and Topaz, Ghoul became a founding member of Ultraforce.
(Freex#14 - BTS) - Contrary assembled Ultraforce to investigate the threat of Atalon.
(Ultraforce I#2) - Contrary directed Ghoul to find Rachel Deming, who refused to get involved with any other Ultras after the last disaster (most of the rest of the team was killed or crippled under her guidance), but instead directed him to the graves of the other Exiles. Ghoul tried without success to commune with their souls. Frustrated, he returned to Ultraforce, where he met with President Clinton as they obtained US government sanctioning. Ghoul then tried again to convince Pixx to leave the team, but his behavior was mistaken for hostility by the ultra-feminist Topaz, who blew his arms off. Annoyed, he walked off to sew his arm back on.
(Ultraforce I#3) - As Ultraforce stormed Atalon's base, Ghoul communed with the spirit of one of the soldiers who had fallen against Atalon. Sensing this, Atalon set his sites on Ghoul, wishing to commune with the spirits of his own ancestors. He used his powers to pull Ghoul towards him and when Prototype tried to pull him free, he succeeded only in pulling off his right arm and leg.
(Ultraforce I#4) - Coerced by Atalon, Ghoul succeeded in communing with the long dead ancestors of Atalon, who promised them their own homeland at last.
(Ultraforce I#5) - When Pixx, her radiation suit damaged, began disabling Atalon's nuclear warheads, Ghoul pleaded with her to stop, as he knew the radiation would kill her. Still missing a few limbs, Ghoul was powerless to stop her and she succeeded in her mission, at the cost of her own life.
(Ultraforce I#6) -
Furious over the loss of the missiles, Atalon collapsed the
cavern, and Ghoul dove into its depths to try to recover Pixx's
body to give her a funeral. He was unable to find her, but Prime
dug him out of the cavern. As the battle with Atalon reached a
peak that threatened to destroy the entire planet, Ghoul
convinced him to call a truce and accept his island as a
sovereign nation on which to bury his ancestors.
Ghoul convinced Topaz to stay with the group a little longer, promising that they'd bring her to Mantra at some point.
(Ultraforce I#7) - Ghoul investigated the death of the singer Mosh, an Ultra, which he falsely spun out as a murder so that his followers would stop committing suicide to emulate him. He worked with Ms. Richards of the County Coroner's office.
(Ultraforce I#8) - Ghoul accompanied Contrary and Topaz to pick up some equipment from one of her bases, but they were called back to Miami to investigate the Angels released from Metabio.
(Ultraforce I#9) - Ghoul saved Prime from one of the Angels, succeeding in recontaining the Angel, though not without great pain. Realizing Ghoul was the only one of any use against the Angels, the Black Knight (Dane Whitman( of Earth-616--who had been dumped into the Ultraverse through a spacewarp--used a skysled to fly him around to neutralize them all. With the rest of Ultraforce, he welcomed the Black Knight (and Siren) into their membership. However, Ultraforce was asked to leave their Miami HQ as they were seen as a threat to the public.
(Mantra I#24) - Ghoul and the rest of Ultraforce accompanied Topaz on her quest to confront Mantra. They ended up falling into a trap of Hybrid, and Ghoul, along with Mantra and Prototype, followed a trail to Egypt. There Ghoul tried to communicate with a mummy for information, but succeeded only in reviving the evil pharaoh Ahmed-Set, who blasted him into pieces, though that just incapacitated him briefly. Mantra and Prototype drove off Ahmed-Set and they returned empty-handed. After Mantra defeated Hybrid, Ghoul recognized that the villain was still alive and needed to be taken to a hospital.
(Ultraforce I#10) - Ghoul and the others flew to New York to investigate a magical construct sent their on a rampage by Loki (of Earth-616). There they fell into his plot in the Dark Shoppe, involving the Infinity Gems.
(Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude) - In the Dark Shoppe, Sersi--also from Earth-616, suffering from the Mad Whry, captured Ultraforce, exposing each of them to different Infinity Gems. The Time Gem and Soul Gems exposed Ghoul and Hardcase to the seemingly reanimated corpses of the Exiles and the Squad (Hardcase's dead former teammates), causing them both much anguish before returning them to their Earth.
(Avengers/Ultraforce#1) - The Grandmaster (of
Earth-616) sensed the Infinity Gems in the Ultraverse and went
after them, convincing Loki to gamble the six Infinity Gems for
the location of the seventh gem, the Ego Gem. The Grandmaster
chose the Avengers as his pawns, pitting them against Loki's
pawns, Ultraforce. Ghoul was pitted against the Vision in some
great Necropolis. Ghoul seemingly reanimated both his own and the
Vision's dead former teammates, holding off the Vision, but he
lost it when he reanimated a doppelganger of Pixx.
Loki, through trickery of coursed, won the contest and obtained the seventh gem, but the seven gems united to form the entity Nemesis, who warped reality around them.
- Nemesis created an amalgamated world, combining aspects of
Earth-616 and the Ultraverse. On this world , Ghoul was
amalgamated with the Hulk, and was partially responsible for the
death of Giant-Man during the formation of the Avengers.
These Avengers eventually were brought to the Ultraverse, where they encountered the Avengers of Earth-616 and Ultraforce. Realities started to collapse on one another as alternate versions of the Avengers and Ultraforce began appearing, all of which teamed up and attacked Nemesis to prevent her from destroying their timelines. Finally under direction of the Black Knight of Earth-616, the others kept Nemesis off balance long enough for him to use an alternate dimensional counterpart of the Ebony Blade to cut Nemesis in half.
The energies released from Nemesis' form remade the Ultraverse, altering it on some levels (kind of like the Crisis on Infinite Earths), and the Infinity Gems were dispersed to parts unknown. Ghoul was essentially unchanged by the process.
(Black September Infinity - BTS) - Reality was revealed to have actually been changed twice, once by the renegade Time Gem, and then reversed and permanently changed by Amber Hunt using the Reality Gem.
(Ultraforce Infinity) - With Ultraforce, Ghoul investigated the death of Trinity Kirkbride , an Ultra, and the Fold, a cult led by Pascal. Ghoul's powers revealed the location of Pascal from Trinity, where they found him dead. From Pascal's corpse, Ghoul learned that the Fold had killed him, and that they had used him as a pawn to enforce their beliefs.
(Ultraforce II#1-3) - Ghoul and the rest of
Ultraforce investigated a series of murders seemingly caused by a
man known as Wreckage. Joining with another ultra, Lament, in the
process, they found that Wreckage was actually after the
Commission a criminal organization, and that the murders were
performed by Bonehammer (employed by the Commission). They
defeated Bonehammer with the aid of Wreckage, who joined
Ultraforce as well.
It was Ghoul who learned of the Commissions involvement, from a member killed in one of Wreckages attacks
(Phoenix Resurrection: Genesis, Phoenix
Resurrection: Revelations) - After the Phoenix Force was pulled
into the Ultraverse and possessed Prime, Ghoul and Ultraforce
were scrambled to stop it. They ended up joining forces with the
X-Men of Earth-616 in order to successfully drive the Phoenix
from Prime, but it just possessed Amber Hunt instead.
Ghoul, the rest of Ultraforce, the X-Men, the Solution, and Quattro in opposing her, though the Phoenix was then drawn out of Amber and into the Entity. However, the groups severed the link between the Entity and the Phoenix, and drove the Phoenix back into Earth-616.
(Ultraforce/Spider-Man#1A/1B) - An extra-terrestrial metamorphing race known only as the Shifters attempted to manipulate the Ultraverse into a war with Earth-616, planting evidence of plots from each side, as well as from traitors within Ultraforce. Ultraforce traveled to Earth-616, where after a misguided effort to kill the Phil Urich Green Goblin, they teamed up with he and Spider-Man against the Shifters. Ghoul was especially hostile to Urich as a Shifter posing as Prime from the future had told him that Urich was going to cut him off into tiny pieces and force him to live out his existence in that form.
(All-New Exiles#4) - Amber joined forces with Ghoul (the last of the original Exiles) to investigate the desecration of some of the Exiles' graves. This led the Exiles and Ultraforce into a conflict with some giant, cockroach-like, extra-terrestrial (apparently one of the Progeny) which had been collecting animal, vegetable, and mineral specimens for an unknown purpose.
(Foxfire#1, 2) - Ultraforce investigated Foxfire for the murder of her father (it was just a robot, and--ah, wait a few years and I'll do a Foxfire profile), as well as a series of murders in the sewers below New York. The murders turned out to be the work of the monstrous Mastodon, Timothy Halloran, from the days of the original Exiles of Rachel Deming. After Foxfire subdued the Mastodon, Ghoul explained his origins, and Timothy returned to his normal form. Ultraforce took him away from medical care.
(Ultraforce II#4) - Ghoul and the others were sent out on a mission without the Black Knight when he was off fighting an "Alpha Class Stalker"
(Ultraforce II#5-7) - Ghoul and the others investigated the murder of Senator Robert Shrine, which involved several ultras. Two of these ultras, Whistler and Helen Volcano, were killed during the investigation, and Ghoul pumped their corpses for info. Ghoul and the others fought the Rawborgs, and then the powerful Dog, who required several exertions of lethal force to stop him once and for all. Afterwards, the Black Knight flipped out over the bloodlust exhibited during the fight, and fired several members, including Ghoul (see comments).
BTS - Ghoul got a job as a cab driver
(Ultraforce II#11/2) - Ghoul didn't have much luck as a cab driver, as no one wanted to ride with a stinky living corpse. Finally, he picked up Eden Blake (formerly Mantra), who gave him a ring which allowed him to take on a normal human appearance.
(Ultraforce II#13) - After several other members left, and the Black Knight returned to Earth-616, Ghoul rejoined Ultraforce, just in time to get involved with Hardcase and Demonseed.
(Ultraforce II#14, 15) - Hardcase explained how he had been shunted into another dimension during the reality wave caused by Nemesis. He then led the group against Demonseed, ultimately willingly trap both himself and Demonseed back in their former dimension. Ghoul was present for this battle, but didn't do too much.
Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Tom Mason, Dave Olbrich, and Chris Ulm (writers) and Paul Pelletier (penciler).
Black September--the big question: Why? The Ultraverse only had 3 years of history to it when they screwed with its past, I guess as part of a big promo when Marvel bought out the Ultraverse. Again, it really didn't impact Ghoul at all, but Contrary and Hardcase vanished, any Prototype was switched from Jimmy Ruiz to his predecessor, Bob Campbell. Again...why rewrite history? Anyway, I'm treating this as an altered single timeline, rather than two divergent Ultraverses.
I haven't sorted out the different future versions of the Ultraforce yet, but on the one in Phoenix Resurrection: Aftermath, Ghoul existed some 50 years in the future as a disembodied head, on some sort of floating disk.
Ultraforce I#1-6, by Gerard
Jones and George Perez were excellent, 6-10 were still pretty
Ultraforce II#1-3 by Warren Ellis were also pretty good, and#5-7 were decent.
The rest of them...mmm...they started to take on the behavior of Image Comics, or bad Marvels from the 1990s, with hype just for the sake of hype, and not so much in the quality storytelling department.
As an example of bad
characterization/plot devices, in order to trim the team down,
the Black Knight flipped out at the end of UF#7 and fired Lament
and Wreckage for killing Dog (saving the Knight's life in the
process), Topaz for her bloodlust, and Ghoul, for not complaining
about the others killing Dog...maybe you just like death too
Remember, the Black Knight was one of the Avengers who participated in the seeming murder/destruction of the Supreme Intelligence at the conclusion of Operation: Galactic Storm.
Ultraforce/Spider-Man#1A and 1B was a majorly
cheap ploy for profit. Chapters 1 and 3 are identical, while
Chapter 2 tells two different sides of the fight. And each
version cost $4.00, back in 1996.
Also, although the costume is that of the Ben Reilly Spider-Man, it's definitely Peter Parker in the story.
No known connection to:
Unless it specifically says Earth-616, ASSume that the characters mentioned in the above history, etc. are part of the Ultraverse, and otherwise unconnected to other characters of similar names.
Exiles I#1 (August, 1993) - Steve Gerber, Tom Mason, Dave Olbrich & Chris Ulm (writers), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Ken Branch (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
Exiles I#2-4 (September-November, 1993) - Steve Gerber (writer), R.R. Phipps (pencils), Ken Branch (#2), Scott Reed (#3) & Dave Simons (#4) (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
Ultraforce I#1 (August, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#0A-B (September, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks)
Ultraforce I#2 (October, 1994) - by Gerard Jones (writer), John Statema & George Perez (pencils), Jeff Whiting & Barb Kaalberg (inks), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#3 (November, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#4-6 (January-March, 1995) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez & Steven Butler (#6) (pencils), Al Vey, Keith Aiken, Terry Austin (#5) & Dennis Jane (#6) (inks), Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#7 (April, 1995) - Hank Kanalz & Chris Ulm (writers), Steve Erwin (pencils), John Stangeland (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Ultraforce I#8 (May, 1995) - Marv Wolfman & Hank Kanalz (writers), George Perez (pencils), Keith Aiken & Mark Morales (inks), Phil Crain & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#9 (June, 1995) - by Marv Wolfman & Hank Kanalz (writers), John Royle & Chris Alexander (pencils), Jeff Whiting & Stephen Baskerville (inks), Chris Ulm & Scott Bernstein (editors)
Mantra I#24 (August, 1995) - Mike W. Barr (writer), Dave Roberts (pencils), Jim Amash (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Ultraforce I#10 (July, 1995) - Hank Kanalz & Phil Crain (writers), John Royle & Joyce Chin (pencils), Jeff Whiting, Bruce Patterson & Jim Sanders (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude (July, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), John Statema (pencils), Robin Riggs, Barbara Kaalberg, Larry Welch & Al Vey (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce Infinity (September, 1995) - Ian Edginton & Warren Ellis (writers), John Royle (pencils), Jeff Whiting (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Avengers/Ultraforce (October, 1995) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Angel Medina & M.C. Wyman (pencils), Keith Aiken, Steve Alexandrov, Hector Collazo & Don Hudson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Ultraforce/Avengers (Fall 1995) - Warren Ellis (writer), George Perez & Larry Welch (pencils), Paul Neary, Art Thibert, Ken Branch, Dennis Jensen, Karl Kesel, George Perez, Robin Riggs, Jon Statema & Al Vey (inks), Hank Kanalz & Scott Bernstein (editors)
Ultraforce II#1 (October, 1995) - Warren Ellis (writer), Steven Butler (pencils), Ken Branch & Dennis Janke (inks)
Ultraforce II#2 (November, 1995) - Warren Ellis (writer), Steven Butler (pencils), Dennis Janke (Story 1) & Ken Branch (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce II#3 (December, 1995) - Warren Ellis (writer), Steven Butler (pencils), Bob Almond & Ken Branch (inks)
Phoenix Resurrection: Genesis (December, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton (writers), Rob Haynes, Greg Luzniak, Mark Pacella & Darick Robertson (pencils), Philip Moy, Lary Stucker, Art Thibert, Tom Wegrzyn & Bob Wiacek (inks)
Phoenix Resurrection: Revelations (December, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Ian Edginton (writers), Randall Green, Rick Leonardi, John Royle & Kevin West (pencils), Bob Almond, Rick Ketcham, Philip Moy, Tom Wegrzyn & Jeff Whiting (inks)
Ultraforce/Spider-Man#1A-B (January, 1996) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gabe Alberola, Steven Butler, Gabriel Gecko, Chris Marrinan & Shawn McManus (pencils), Jim Amash, Scott Reed & Lawrence Welch (inks)
All New Exiles II#4 (January, 1996) - Ian Edginton (writer), Chris Alexander (pencils), Jeff Whiting (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Foxfire#1-2 (February-March, 1996) - Ian Edginton & Dan Abnett (writers), Kevin West (pencils), Philip Moy & Bob Almond (inks), Scott Bernstein (#1), Hank Kanalz (#1) & Phil Crain (#2) (editors)
Ultraforce II#4 (January, 1996) - Doug Warner (writer), Pino Rinaldi (pencils), Tom Wegrzyn (inks)
Ultraforce II#5-6 (February-March, 1996) - Ian Edginton & Warren Ellis (writers), Darick Robertson (pencils), Jerome Moore & Terry Pallot (#6) (inks)
Ultraforce II#7 (April, 1996) - Ian Edginton & Warren Ellis (writers), Jeff Johnson, Scott Kolins, Brandon McKinney, Darick Robertson & Chris Schenk (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks)
Ultraforce II#11 (August, 1996) - Dan Shaheen (writer), Pander Bros. (artists)
Ultraforce II#13 (October, 1996) - Len Wein (writer), Deodato Studios & Carlos Mota (pencils), Deodato Studios & Rene Michelleti (inks)
Ultraforce II#14 (November, 1996) - Len Wein (writer), Renato Arlem & Deodato Studios (pencils), Deodato Studios & Jose Pimentel (inks)
Ultraforce II#15 (December, 1996) - Len Wein (writer), Andy Park (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks)
Last updated: 07/26/03
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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