Real Name: Max Parrish
Identity/Class: Human; temporarily possessed by demon
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Cammy Brandeis; Henry Brandeis; Liz Brandeis; Johnny Storm; Susan Storm; Zarathos
Enemies: Dracula; Comte St. Germaine; St. Germaine's zombies/Toys
Known Relatives: Cammy Brandeis (niece); Henry Brandeis (brother-in-law [deceased]); Liz Brandeis (sister); unnamed nephew or niece
Aliases: Ghost Rider
Base of Operations: mobile
First Appearance: Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms#1 (December, 2000)
Powers/Abilities: A well-traveled Archeologist, Max Parrish normally possessed no superhuman powers.
While he was in possession of the Medallion of Zarathos, he gained the power of the Ghost Rider, including superhuman strength, agility, and speed, as well as a resistance to injury. He rode the Ghost Rider's motorcycle, and likely was able to control Hellfire as well, but didn't use it in his short time as the Ghost Rider. Despite the power he gained, Max had a hard time controlling himself in the Ghost Rider persona, as the demon Zarathos became the dominant personality in that form.
Weight: 180 lbs.
History: (Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms#1) Visiting his sister's family, Max found the ashes of his brother-in-law, Henry Brandeis, in his study. Although the cops called it a case of spontaneous combustion, unbeknownst to them all, Henry had been running tests on the Medallion of Zarathos, which ended up taking his life. Three days later, at the funeral, Max met Susan and Johnny Storm, who mysteriously found the Medallion in his pocket. St. Germaine was at the funeral as well, searching for the Medallion, hoping to use it to awaken Dracula. Finding that Johnny had the Medallion in his possession, St. Germaine sent his zombies chasing after him and his sister. When the zombies closed in on the siblings, Max was able to cause a distraction, until his niece, Cammy, came to their rescue, driving them to safety.
(Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms#2 (fb) ) After driving a safe distance, Max took the Medallion, telling Cammy, Johnny and Susan that he was going to take it to the cops, hoping that would get the zombies to stop chasing after them. As he walked to the police station, the Medallion disappeared from his hands, and returned to Johnny. Max returned to the group.
(Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms#2) Along with Johnny, Max broke into Professor Henry Brandeis' office, at the school he worked at. Looking through Henry's files, they found that the Medallion was linked to the Comte St. Germaine. Unfortunately, they set off alarms at the school, and as they went to escape, were attacked by St. Germaine's zombies. Max took the Medallion from Johnny once more, and ordered the kids to escape. As he was swarmed, Susan returned and threatened the zombies with a gun, well, a super soaker, at least... causing them to chase after her. The cops arrived just in time, and as they chased the zombies off, the Medallion returned to Johnny once more. When the four finally were reunited, they came face to face with the Comte St. Germaine.
(Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms#3) Running in the opposite direction of the girls, Johnny and Max tried to get St. Germaine to follow them, as they had the Medallion. Finding that this didn't work, they doubled back, but they had a new passenger with them - Zarathos. Zarathos tried to tempt Johnny into letting him use his body, but Max tricked the demon, and was granted the powers of the Ghost Rider instead. Arriving just in time to save Cammy, the Ghost Rider ran his motorcycle through a water tank, causing St. Germaine to melt.
Victorious, the Ghost Rider claimed that Max was no more, and that Zarathos now had full control. As the Ghost Rider drove away, Johnny jumped onto the motorcycle and ripped the Medallion off of it, sending it crashing to the ground, as Max and Johnny barely held onto the ledge of the building. The Medallion eventually found it's way to a junkyard in Brooklyn, and Max agreed to move in with his sister, to help raise Cammy and her new sibling.
Comments: Created by Terry Kavanagh and Charlie Adlard
The motorcycle and Medallion of Zarathos rested in the cemetery for years, until the day Dan Ketch stumbled upon them. Zarathos, however, was not so quiet, as the demon Mephisto grafted it to Johnny Blaze's soul, where it remained for quite some time.
OK, this story was interesting, but the
Ghost Rider dealy-o was hard to explain. The whole deal was about Zarathos, and
yet it involved the Medallion of Power and he totally had the appearance of the
Dan Ketch Ghost Rider. Let me give it a whirl:
As per our work on the MKE, much of Zarathos' power--and perhaps even some of his soul--was indeed bound to the Medallion of Power along with the original Spirits of Vengeance by the Blood, somewhere @ 20, 000 years ago. Zarathos, in a much less powerful and more bestial form, later developed a cult, but fell under the power of Mephisto as a result of an alliance between Mephisto and the man who would become Centurious. The date of this was unclear, but we were guessing @ 1000 years ago.
Anyway, some fragment of Zarathos remained within the Medallion of Power, and it was likely that fragment that possessed Parrish. Following this encounter, Mephisto most likely withdrew Zarathos mind/spirit from the Medallion. From there, Zarathos was next bonded to John Blaze (John Blaze Ghost Rider, or GRB).
Now, the other problem is that prior to Dan Ketch, that version of the Ghost Rider (the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider, or GRK) was bonded to Dan and John's mother, Naomi Kale. My guess is that the Storms issue took place b/t Naomi's death in Ghost Rider minus 1 and Marvel Spotlight I#5 (first appearance of GRB). Zarathos time spent inside the Medallion with the GRK version colored his appearance and powers to resemble that form more closely. Later, the GRK had a different appearance, presumably colored more by Blaze's own personality and/or mental image. Again, the removal of the remainder of Zarathos' spirit following the encounter with Parrish might explain why every time anyone examined GRK--including Dr. Strange--they confirmed him to be separate from Zarathos.
That's my guess anyway. Any others?
Profile by: Zerostar
Max Parrish has no known connection to...
And likely isn't, but could be linked to...
Before the FF: The Storms#1, p12, pan1 (main image)
Before the FF: The Storms#2, p4, pan4 (with Medallion of Power)
Before the FF: The Storms#3, p15, pan1 (as Ghost Rider)
Before the Fantastic Four: The Storms#1-3 (December, 2000 - February, 2001) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Charles Adlard (artist), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Last updated: 02/19/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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