Type: Divergent Earth
Usual means of access: Presumably vibrational attunement
Dominant Life Form: Demons, humans
Significant Inhabitants: Craig Blaze, Emma Blaze, John Blaze, Roxanne Simpson Blaze, Detective Arthur Dolan, Stacy Dolan, Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch/Zarathos), Jennifer Kale, Barbara Ketch, Frances Dora Audra Ketch, Mephisto, Officer Ellen
Significant Locations: Red Dusk, Arizona
First Appearance: What If? II#95 (March, 1997)
History: (What If? II#95 (fb)) - When the demon Zarathos was wandering the afterlife until a suitable host body for him was found, Mephisto explained his plans to manipulate Zarathos' host so that he would control the Ghost Rider form that Zarathos assumed when bound to a human host. Disguising himself as the young Danny Ketch's teddy bear, Mr. M, Mephisto spoke to young six-year-old after he had convinced Ketch to kill his parents. Danny's sister, Barbara, overheard Ketch's conversation with his teddy bear, and Danny soon discovered his sister. Before he could really react, the children were visited by police officer Ellen, who explained that they would be in her care until the court could find a new home for them.
(What If? II#95) - Ten years later, Danny Ketch went for a drive with his girlfriend, Stacy Dolan, and they started to kiss. Stacy's father, Detective Dolan, soon arrived and warned Stacy that she had to get up early the next day. Dan quickly said his goodbyes to Stacy and drove off, muttering to "Mr. M" that Detective Dolan was an interfering old man and how he treated his daughter like she was made of crystal. As Dan drove home, he saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road. Deciding to pick the girl up, Dan asked her name. She introduced herself as Jennifer Kale and soon after, Dan killed her.
Dan then made his way back home, where his sister Barbara was looking over their adoption records. Barbara noticed that Dan was wearing a different shirt than he had been earlier that day, but Dan explained that she had to have been mistaken. At that same time, in Red Dusk, Arizona, a man named John Blaze was suffering through very vivid nightmares involving the Ghost Rider attacking his children. The next day, as Danny Ketch prepared for his police academy training, "Mr. M" spoke to him about dealing with his sister, as her attitude had become smug. As he left, Barbara reminded him that the anniversary of their parents' death was going to be in the next week and that they should visit the grave. Barbara thought to herself that she was glad Danny was gone so that she could send a letter to the older brother she had recently discovered when reading through her adoption records.
Later that day, after Johnny Blaze did a stunt show for the Quentin Carnival, he received the letter from Barbara Ketch explaining that he was her brother. Weeks later, Barbara and Danny visited the grave of their parents, where Barbara announced that they were adopted. Danny then chose that time to reveal to Barbara that he had killed their parents and that he had been killing people for years. As Barbara started crying, "Mr. M" ordered Danny to kill her. He apologized, but then did as he was told. Panicky, Danny ran from the scene of the crime until he came across a motorcycle, which "Mr. M" ordered him to touch. When he did so, he became bound to the demon Zarathos and transformed into the new Ghost Rider. As Ghost Rider, Zarathos was very confused and disoriented, due to Danny's insane influence on him. The police soon arrived on the scene and sent their attack dogs after Ghost Rider. He easily killed the dogs, but then questioned why he did so, as they were innocent beasts. Zarathos thought himself corrupted as the Ghost Rider and sent himself back to the void whence he came, leaving a confused Danny Ketch.
Ketch soon returned home and found Detective Dolan and Stacy waiting. Stacy informed him that Barbara was dead and Danny began to cry, thinking himself alone. Weeks later, Danny began transforming into Ghost Rider and killing innocent people, such as hitchhikers, with Zarathos unable to control the whims of his human host. As time passed, Danny graduated at the top of his class at the police academy and married his longtime love Stacy Dolan. "Mr. M" soon contacted Danny and reminded him of his brother and that it was time he paid his brother a visit. That night, in Red Dusk, Arizona, Johnny Blaze was contacted by the ghost of Barbara Ketch, who informed him that only he could stop Danny from his murderous ways. When Barbara mentioned that Danny was there, Johnny realized that the gas was on and rushed to get his family out of the house just as it exploded. Johnny soon confronted Danny outside his trailer, and two began a fierce battle. Danny soon tried to take Craig Blaze hostage, but Roxanne, Johnny's wife, managed to hurl a knife through Danny's hand, allowing her children time to escape. Danny called Roxanne an idiot and then allowed himself to transform into the Ghost Rider.
As the Ghost Rider, Zarathos asked Blaze what horror his host body had committed, but Blaze only saw the Ghost Rider as the monster from his nightmares and began firing a gun at him. The Ghost Rider stopped Blaze and then begged him to kill him before Danny's influence overwhelmed him. Johnny did so by diving at the Ghost Rider and breaking his neck, freeing the hellfire inside, effectively destroying Zarathos's body. With Zarathos destroyed, Mephisto gloated at the fact that he now had Danny Ketch trapped in the afterlife, waiting an eternity to return to Earth.
Comments: Created by Ivan Velez Jr., Eric Battle, and Steve Moncuse.
This Earth diverged from the events seen in Marvel Spotlight I#5 (August, 1972).
This reality's designation was revealed in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol.2
No known connection to:
Johnny Blaze was a stunt cyclist for the Quentin Carnival with his wife, Roxanne, and their two children, Craig and Emma. He was plagued by nightmares involving a demonic being attacking his children. He soon discovered that he had two siblings: a brother, Danny Ketch, and a sister, Barbara. After years of murdering innocent lives, Danny Ketch attempted to kill Johnny Blaze by burning his trailer down. Blaze immediately jumped into battle against Ketch until Ketch managed to transform himself into his demonic alter-ego, the Ghost Rider. The demon he was bound to, Zarathos, then begged Blaze to kill him before Ketch's influence caused him to harm more innocents and Blaze did so, releasing Zarathos from his prison inside Ketch.
--What If? II#95
Ghost Rider was the composite form shared by both Daniel Ketch and the demon, Zarathos. Disguising himself as a teddy bear, Mephisto spoke to Danny Ketch and told him to murder innocent people, eventually leading him to a graveyard where he was bound with Zarathos to become the Ghost Rider. Horrified at Danny's murderous ways, Zarathos was constantly trying to fight the influence of Danny in his composite form. Eventually, Danny tried to murder his older brother, John Blaze, and when he transformed into the Ghost Rider, Zarathos begged Blaze to kill him. Blaze did so, freeing Zarathos from Danny's influence and leaving Danny to wander the afterlife.
--What If? II#95 (#95d
Jennifer Kale was a hitchhiker that Danny Ketch picked up. He eventually murdered Jennifer and buried her in a landfill.
--What If? II#95 (#95d
When Barbara was a child, she witnessed Danny Ketch talking to his teddy bear, "Mr. M" about killing his parents. She kept it to herself and years later, found the adoption records that revealed that she had an older brother named John Blaze. She sent a letter to him explaining who she was and was later killed by her own brother, Danny, after he revealed that he had killed their parents. Barbara continued to exist as a ghost and visited Johnny Blaze to warn him about Danny.
--What If? II#95 (#95d
images: (not counting ads)
What If? II#95, front cover (Ghost Rider being manipulated by Mephisto, main pic)
p5, pan1 (Jennifer Kale)
p11, pan3 (Barbara Ketch)
p14, pan3 (Ghost Rider)
p20, pan6 (John Blaze)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 07/11/05
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