Membership: Agent Caulder, Centurious (leader), Stern, Thompson, unidentified chairman, unidentified commander, various unidentified technicians and agents; formerly Dr. Robert Harris, Heart Attack (Tyler Meagher), Pat, Tech 1Z

Purpose: To obtain superhuman individuals for the research and development of biological weapons

Aliases: None

Affiliations: Scarecrow (Ebenezer Laughton); formerly Blackout

Enemies: Archangel (Warren Worthington III), Michael Badilino, John Blaze, Dr. Frank Brukner, Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale), H.E.A.R.T. (Luz Delgado, Mei Lin, Fiona McCormick, Tyler Meagher, Danika Trevani)

Base of Operations: The Evergreen Hospital in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, USA

First Appearance: (in shadow): Ghost Rider III#7 (November, 1990); (fully seen): Ghost Rider III#25 (May, 1992)

History: (Ghost Rider III#37 (fb) - BTS) - In his plot to discover the true nature of Ghost Rider and the demon Zarathos, Centurious utilized the Firm for their scientific access and secretly assisted in their ventures without his usual payment of souls, appearing only in shadow on a video screen to direct the Firm's activities.

(Ghost Rider III#25 (fb) - BTS) - In the business of biological weapons, the Firm existed for years before its attention was drawn to the appearance of a new Ghost Rider, whom they hoped to obtain as part of their "collection" of superhuman individuals used for research and development.

(Ghost Rider III#7) - After Ghost Rider impaled the Scarecrow on his own pitchfork, agents of the Firm retrieved the Scarecrow and carried him off.

(Ghost Rider III#25 (fb) - BTS) - Months later, the Firm terminated one of their technicians and blamed his termination of their Ghost Rider Project. Feeding the technician drugs, the Firm allowed the technician to steal a large amount of their weapons in hopes of proving himself worthy of employ within the Firm, which the technician used to go on a murder spree in hopes of drawing out Ghost Rider. Seeing the Ghost Rider as he was returning to Cypress Hills Cemetary, the technician blasted Ghost Rider from his motorcycle and bragged about the innocent blood he had spilled. The technician then blasted Ghost Rider with a magnetic pulse weapon that dissolved Ghost Rider's form, only for Ghost Rider to reform and submit the technician to his Penance Stare.

(Ghost Rider III#25) - A month later, Stern and other members of the Firm viewed footage of the technician's battle with Ghost Rider, which they showed to the villainous Blackout, with Stern commenting that while the technician was once one of their best, his battle with Ghost Rider had provided them with vast data on Ghost Rider's Penance Stare ability. Stern then explained that while that data had been added to their data banks, the Firm still wanted Ghost Rider captive for study and asked if Blackout was ready to follow through with their arrangement to restore Blackout's recently scarred facial features in exchange for Blackout leading the Firm to Ghost Rider. Blackout replied that if the Firm could get him out of the life support systems he was in, he would be happy to oblige them. Not long after, the Firm repaired Blackout's face and prepared to unleash him to retrieve Ghost Rider, with Stern warning Blackout that betrayal would not be tolerated. Stern then explained to Blackout that if he would be allowed to have Ghost Rider after the Firm was finished with him and warned that if Blackout betrayed them, they would remove the repair work done to Blackout's face without anesthetic. Minutes later, the Firm released Blackout to find Ghost Rider while keeping an eye on Blackout via an implanted tracking device and a series of surveillance teams. After Blackout almost immediately turned on the Firm and killed two of their technicians, Stern met with the main council of the Firm, who punished him for releasing Blackout at all.

(Ghost Rider III#28 - BTS) - When Stern and Blackout were cornered in the Cypress Hills Cemetary, Stern commented that he couldn't let the police catch him, as the Firm would have him reacquired within an hour of his arrest.

(Ghost Rider III#32 (fb) - BTS) - After Stern was briefly captured by and escaped from Ghost Rider, the Firm vacated Stern's former position.

(Ghost Rider III#32) - When Doctor Strange, John Blaze and Dr. Frank Brukner took Ghost Rider to a wing of NYU Medical Center that was undergoing renovations in order to give Strange the space to reunite Ghost Rider with Dan Ketch's spirit, Firm Agent Caulder spotted Blaze outside smoking and reported his findings to the Firm. The chairman of the Firm ordered Caulder to bring Ghost Rider into their custody and gather together as big a team as necessary to bring him in and killed Ghost Rider's three allies, suggesting that Caulder could get promoted to Stern's former position if he were successful. After gathering his team, Caulder was asked by Thompson if he would be joining them in retrieving Ghost Rider but Caulder replied that he had other Firm business to attend to. Shortly after, a team of Firm agents busted into the NYU Medical Center and attacked, forcing Blaze and Dr. Brukner to carry Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange to safety. While the Firm agents had a gunfight with Blaze, Stern stormed the Firm's headquarters and killed its board, taking over the group himself.

(Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear (fb)) - After undergoing extensive surgery at the hands of Firm surgeons, the Scarecrow escaped his bonds and murdered all of the Firm surgeons.

(Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear) - One week later, Firm agents investigated and found the deceased surgeon. One of the Firm agents located one of the surgeons barely alive and injected the doctor with a drug intended to force the doctor to talk about what she had seen so that the Firm could learn more about Scarecrow. Later, the Firm High Commission met to discuss the Scarecrow and what they had learned. Happy to learn that the Scarecrow could now generate a panic-inducing pheromone due to the Firm's surgeries, one of the High Commission ordered a Firm agent to locate the Scarecrow, as the Firm had intended the Scarecrow to become their agent. Following a battle with Captain America and Ghost Rider that left him once again impaled on his own pitchfork, the surviving Scarecrow was approached by Stern, who commented on how well of a job the surgeons had done. Stern then introduced himself and explained that the Firm had use of the Scarecrow's talents.

(Ghost Rider III#33) - As part of the Firm's continuing goal to capture Ghost Rider, Stern sent Firm agents to attack the headquarters of H.E.A.R.T., where they murdered all members of the group except for Tyler Meagher, whom they captured. Once they had reported back to Stern, the Firm agents were ordered to bring Meagher back to the Firm headquarters for a debriefing on Ghost Rider and Stern commented that perhaps they could give Meagher a new direction in life better suited to the Firm.

(Ghost Rider III#35 (fb) - BTS) - Stern had the Firm augment Tyler Meagher, augmenting her physical attributes with cybernetics as their new agent, Heart Attack. Blaming Ghost Rider for the deaths of her H.E.A.R.T. allies due to the Firm's manipulations, Heart Attack promised to retrieve Ghost Rider for the Firm.

(Ghost Rider III#35) - Heart Attack and a small squad of Firm agents attacked Lt. Michael Badilino in his home, demanding all of his information on Ghost Rider. During Heart Attack's threat, Badilino's phone rang and Heart Attack forced Badilino to answer normally. When the call revealed Ghost Rider's location, Heart Attack prepared to depart for that location but Badilino jumped out his own window, shooting a Firm agent on his way out. Beating Badilino to the scene, Heart Attack battled Ghost Rider until Badilino arrived with an experimental weapon that forced Heart Attack to flee for her life before Badilino had the weapon fired. Once the dust settled from the weapon's blast, Badilino ordered his men to find Heart Attack.

(Ghost Rider III#37) - Tired of recent attacks, Ghost Rider stood and waited in Cypress Hills Cemetary until Heart Attack emerged to attack him once more. Demanding to know why the Firm wanted him so badly, Heart Attack confessed that they wish to turn him into their agent, much like they had done to her. Watching from afar via surveillance, Stern witnessed Heart Attack's failure and ordered a squad of Firm agents to move in on Ghost Rider. While the Firm agents battled Ghost Rider, Heart Attack realized that the Firm had used her and caused her to blame Ghost Rider for the deaths of her former allies when it had been the Firm itself. When the X-Man Archangel entered the fray upon seeing Ghost Rider under attack, the Firm was briefly forced to retreat before returning with tanks. When the Firm commander reported to Stern for backup and then ordered another retreat, Stern ordered the commander to stay there lest they lead Ghost Rider back to the Firm headquarters. When the agents retreated anyway, Ghost Rider and Archangel followed them to the Evergreen Hospital as predicted, where the two heroes were bombarded with gunfire from Firm guards. While Archangel took care of the rooftop gunmen, Ghost Rider made his way inside, taking hit after hit from their weapons and fighting his way through. Coming to an armored trooper, Ghost Rider shattered his helmet then turned his attention to Stern, who hit Ghost Rider with a weapon that tore through Ghost Rider's torso. Continuing to lurch forward, Ghost Rider grabbed the scoffing Stern and used his Penance Stare. Stern fell back with the effects of the Penance Stare while Heart Attack entered the hospital, prepared to take her own revenge on Stern. As Stern lay reeling, his master, Centurious, scolded Stern for his failure and took the souls of Stern and all of the Firm agents, Heart Attack included. As Centurious absorbed Heart Attack's soul, he commented on how something could yet be done with her.

(Ghost Rider III#38) - Police and ambulance crews made their way to the Evergreen Hospital headquarters of the Firm, where they pulled corpses of Firm agents out of the building and located a sealed steel door. Police took torches to the door and unintentionally released the Firm's captive, Scarecrow.

Comments: Created by Howard Mackie, Ron Wagner and Mike Witherby.

While Centurious was the overall master of the Firm, it seemed that none within the Firm were aware of Centurious' true nature and identity. As such, they probably actually thought that they were obtaining Ghost Rider for biological weapon research and not for Centurious' true goal of learning the nature of Ghost Rider and Zarathos.

The Ghost Rider: Official Index to the Marvel Universe TPB places Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear in between Ghost Rider III#32-33. Within the Fear one-shot, we see a new Firm board so presumably, after Stern takes over the Firm himself, he installed a new High Commission to oversee Firm activities.

Profile by Proto-Man.

The Firm has no known connections to:

Agent Caulder

Agent Caulder was a Firm agent that had located Ghost Rider at the NYU Medical Center and reported his findings to the Firm. The Firm ordered Caulder to capture Ghost Rider and to assemble whatever size team he needed to accomplish the task, suggesting that Caulder could get promoted to Stern's old position if he were successful. With the Firm distracted by their agents attempting to retrieve Ghost Rider, Caulder allowed Stern to storm the Firm's headquarters and kill all its board members, effectively taking over the group himself.

--Ghost Rider III#32

Dr. Robert Harris

Dr. Robert Harris was a surgeon in the employ of the Firm. After working on the Scarecrow for a huge sum of money, Dr. Harris began to question whether it was humane to perform the surgeries they had been hired to perform on the Scarecrow. His fellow surgeon Pat reminded Dr. Harris that it was not time to question what had already been done. Shortly thereafter, the Scarecrow escaped his bonds and murdered all of the surgeons present including Dr. Harris.

--Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear (fb)


Pat was a surgeon in the employ of the Firm. When fellow surgeon Dr. Robert Harris began questioning whether or not it was right to perform the surgeries on Scarecrow for the Firm, Pat reminded him that it was not time to be questioning the morality of the surgeries that had already been performed. Shortly thereafter, Scarecrow escaped his bonds and murdered all of the surgeons including Pat.

--Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear (fb)


Stern was one of higher up agents of the Firm. He had experimented on himself, gaining superhuman invulnerability in the process. He helped make a deal with Blackout to repair Blackout's damaged face in exchange for Blackout retrieving Ghost Rider for Firm. Once Blackout's face had been repaired, Stern warned Blackout that betrayal would be not be tolerated before releasing Blackout to fulfill his part of the bargain. Unfortunately, Blackout almost immediately betrayed the Firm in favor of taking care of Ghost Rider on his own. For releasing Blackout and Blackout's ultimate betrayal, Stern was punished by the Firm, who blasted him with an energy blaster, knowing that Stern could still feel the pain even if the blaster couldn't kill him. The Firm then reminded Stern never to release the Firm's superhuman agents and warned that if Stern did not do as they wished, they would make him wish he had not made himself unkillable. They then told Stern that they would contact him later. Stern eventually tracked down Blackout and attacked him, only to be interrupted by Ghost Rider, who sealed Stern inside of a tomb with Blackout and placed them in a Cypress Hills Cemetary mausoleum. Later, after Ghost Rider had opened the mausoleum and became plagued with visions of the near future, Stern and Blackout escaped the tomb and Blackout immediately tried to bite into Ghost Rider's neck. Unsure whether Ghost Rider was affected or not, Stern decided to leave the scene before Blackout forgot the truce they had agreed upon, claiming that he had more important things to do than worry about Blackout. Upon venturing out into the Cemetary, Stern found Michael Badilino's anti-Ghost Rider squad waiting and immediately ran back into the mausoleum, where he informed Blackout of the situation. Reminding Stern of his invulnerability, Blackout grabbed Stern and ran outside, essentially using Stern as a shield from the police gunfire until he could escape. In Stern's absence, the Firm vacated his position. Stern later stormed the Firm's Evergreen Hospital headquarters and killed all of the Firm's board, taking over the group himself. Continuing the Firm's agenda to capture Ghost Rider, Stern ordered a squad of Firm agents to murder the members of H.E.A.R.T. except for Tyler Meagher, whom Stern had cybernetically enhanced as the Firm's agent, Heart Attack. When Heart Attack failed to capture Ghost Rider, Stern sent Firm agents in while reporting back to his master, seemingly unaware that he was working for Centurious the Soulless Man. When the Firm agents retreated and led Ghost Rider and Archangel to the Firm's Evergreen Hospital headquarters, Stern sent numerous Firm soldiers against them, only to end up facing Ghost Rider face-to-face. Unafraid of Ghost Rider due to his invulnerability, Stern was met with Ghost Rider's Penance Stare, which left his reeling from the pain. After Ghost Rider left the scene, Centurious decided that he had wasted his time with the Firm and absorbed all of the present agents' souls, Stern included.

Stern had the superhuman power of invulnerability, allowing him to withstand energy blaster fire from only a short distance away without serious injury. His skin was hard enough to resist penetration from Blackout's technological fangs and gunfire.

--Ghost Rider III#25 (#28, #32, Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear, Ghost Rider III#33, #35 (fb) - BTS, #37d,

Tech 1Z

Tech 1Z was one of the technicians employed by the Firm. When the Firm released Blackout to retrieve Ghost Rider, 1Z and another Firm associate were part of one of the surveillance teams keeping track of Blackout. Shortly after Blackout left the Evergreen Hospital, 1Z reported back to the Firm's base that Blackout's trail was still strong, as if right on top of them. Blackout then revealed himself on top of 1Z's surveillance van, shocking 1Z, who ordered his partner to radio back to the base. Before they could report back, Blackout killed 1Z and his associate then removed the Firm's tracking device, reminding Stern that he worked for no one.

--Ghost Rider III#25d


Thompson was an agent of the Firm loyal to its board of directors. When Caulder located Ghost Rider, Thompson was one of the agents gathered to aid in the capture of Ghost Rider. As he prepared for the mission, Thompson asked Caulder if he would joining them but Caulder replied that he had Firm business to attend to. Thompson later participated in the attack on NYU Medical Center but was taken down by the Ghost Rider.

--Ghost Rider III#32

images: (without ads)
Ghost Rider III#32, p8, pan1 (The Firm, main image)
Ghost Rider III#37, p7, pan1 (The Firm's agents)
Ghost Rider III#32, p22, pan1 (Agent Caulder)
Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear, p1, pan2 (Dr. Robert Harris)
Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear, p1, pan3 (Pat)
Ghost Rider III#28, p20, pan1 (Stern)
Ghost Rider III#25, p15, pan4 (Tech-12)
Ghost Rider III#32, p9, pan3 (Thompson)

Ghost Rider III#7 (November, 1990) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mark Texeira (art), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#25 (May, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Ron Wagner (pencils), Mike Witherby (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#28 (August, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Joe Kubert (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider/Captain America: Fear (October, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Lee Weeks (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#32 (December, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Bret Blevins (art), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#33 (January, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#35 (March, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#37 (May, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Bret Blevins (pencils), Fred Fredericks (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#38 (June, 1993) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mike Manley (art), Bobbie Chase (editor)

Last updated: 12/09/14.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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