Real Name: James Sharp
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Evangelist, servant of Centurious
Group Membership: Leader of the Church of the Resurrection; formerly leader of his own congregation
Affiliations: Annette Avalon, Centurious, the Dwarf, Mr. Edleman, Henderson, Francis Ketch, the Other, Reverend Sharp, Speakeasy (Walter Slocum), Steel Vengeance (Sadae Tsumura)
Enemies: John Blaze, the Darkhold Redeemers (Sam Buchanan, Prof. Louise Hastings, Victoria Montesi), Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale), Punisher (Frank Castle)
Known Relatives: Unidentified father
Aliases: "Sin Eater" (title given to him by Centurious)
Base of Operations: The Church of the
Resurrection in Brooklyn, New York, USA; formerly Mount Hebron
Cemetary, Cypress Hills, New York, USA; an old abandoned Methodist
church at the corner of Palmiotti and Branch Street, New York, USA
First Appearance: Ghost Rider III#16 (August, 1991)
Powers/Abilities: Reverend Styge could absorb
the sins of others into himself, which he could feed on. Using a page
from the mystic Darkhold tome, Reverend Styge gained the ability to
resurrect, partially or fully, the deceased. To keep his Darkhold
abilities at full power, Reverend Styge had to eat.
Weight: 180 lbs.
History: (Ghost Rider III#18 (fb) - BTS) - As
far back as he could remember, James Sharp was a cannibal. Forced to
suppress his cravings, Sharp became a simple country preacher like his
father before him. Despite preaching about the Christian God, Styge
secretly worshiped a darker god that allowed him to feed his
cannibalistic nature. After becoming a somewhat crazed evangelist,
Sharp met Centurious, whom Sharp believed was an emissary from his dark
god. Serving Centurious, Sharp was given superhuman powers and remade
into the sin-absorbing Reverend Styge by Centurious.
(Ghost Rider III#16 (fb) - BTS) - After losing her daughter Barbara, Francis Ketch began visiting the church held by Reverend Styge inside an old abandoned Methodist church.
(Ghost Rider III#16) - After Francis was picked up
via limo by a mysterious man, Francis' son Dan became suspicious and
followed her to Reverend Styge's service. Sneaking into the church, Dan
knocked out an armed guard before venturing into the church's balcony
with his ally, John Blaze. When Reverend Styge claimed he could bring
back Barbara, Dan revealed himself by yelling "no!" His sermon
disrupted, Reverend Styge announced that the sermon would need to be
concluded for the evening and asked that his congregation remained
seated while the disruption was taken care of by his "deacons" (armed
gunmen). Styge then informed his congregation that Reverend Sharp would
take up the collection and all church members would be notified of
their next meeting location. As he left the church, Reverend Styge
ordered Reverend Sharp to question and dispose of John Blaze and Dan
Ketch. Styge's men then forced Blaze and Ketch from the balcony and
proceeded to rough them up. When Francis Ketch tried to intervene to
save her son Dan, she was knocked aside by one of Styge's guards.
Hobgoblin shortly after burst into the church, preparing to kill the
"sinners" and their "false religion." The battle with Hobgoblin was
interrupted by Spider-Man, who attempted to prevent Ghost Rider from
killing Hobgoblin. When Hobgoblin escaped the church with Francis
Ketch, Ghost Rider followed, warning Spider-Man to stop interfering.
(Ghost Rider III#18) - As Dan Ketch worried about his mother's affiliation with the phony Reverend Styge, Styge himself was meeting with his master Centurious, who asked what Styge had for him. When Styge replied that he had nothing new and tried to assure Centurious that he would have something the following day, Centurious attacked Styge, exclaiming that the next day might be too late. Centurious then reminded Styge that he had made Styge into what he had become and that he could unmake Styge just as easily, warning Styge not to return until he brought Centurious what he desired. Shortly thereafter, Francis Ketch was picked up and driven to Mount Hebron, the oldest cemetary in Cypress Hills, where Reverend Styge welcomed her and asked how she was doing. Francis replied that she was a sinner and if she could be removed of her sins, her daughter Barbara could be returned to life. Styge reminded her that another sought to be reunited with a lost loved one before Francis' sins could be absorbed. Reverend Styge then began his sermon, starting by bringing forth Mr. Edleman, who agreed to allow Styge to consume his sins and reunite him with his lost wife Iris. Taking Mr. Edleman into a nearby mausoleum, Reverend Styge fed off of Mr. Edleman's body while his congregation were left wondering what was going on inside the mausoleum. Hearing the screams of Mr. Edleman, Styge's unknowing congregation sought to help but Styge's guards prevented their interference, claiming that the Reverend's work was not yet completed. Shortly after, Reverend Styge emerged from the mausoleum claiming that it was satisfying to complete a ceremony. He then beckoned towards Francis Ketch, suggesting they allow Edleman time to enjoy being reunited with his family while they move to another part of the cemetary and reunite Francis with Barbara. Once the congregation had moved elsewhere in the cemetary, Dan Ketch investigated the mausoleum and found only blood, which prompted his transformation into Ghost Rider. Having led Francis Ketch to her daughter's grave, Reverend Styge informed her that his deacons had led the congregation in meditating on Francis' behalf. Beginning to absorb Francis' sins into himself, Reverend Styge was interrupted mid-transfer by Ghost Rider, whom Styge at first thought was sent by Centurious. Soon realizing that Ghost Rider intended to punish him for his own sins, Styge announced that he would kill Ghost Rider in Centurious' name. Styge recounted his origins before being badly beaten by Ghost Rider, who realized that since Styge's soul belonged to another, his Penance Stare would have little effect. Ghost Rider then warned Reverend Styge that if their paths ever crossed again, the pain he felt would seem like kindness and it would last for an eternity. Ghost Rider then rescued Francis Ketch and departed, leaving Reverend Styge behind. Carried back to Centurious, Reverend Styge begged for help from the pain caused by Ghost Rider. Angry that Styge had failed, Centurious ordered Styge not to look at him and ripped one of Reverend Styge's eyes out. Begging for mercy, Styge exclaimed that Ghost Rider had intervened, stirring a lost memory in Centurious, who responded that Styge would be allowed to live after all.
(Spirits of Vengeance I#2) - Reverend Styge, now sporting an eye patch over his missing eye, phoned the cyborg Steel Vengeance and informed her that Centurious had need of her services. When Steel Vengeance asked about her sister, Styge promised her that once she had accomplished her task for Centurious, they would talk about her sister.
(Darkhold I#4) - While Reverend Styge was trying to catch a mouse in his office to feed on, his servant Henderson brought in Annette Avalon to visit Styge. From under his desk, Styge explained that he was very busy but would try to help Annette bring her mother back to life later. He then asked Henderson to show Annette out before catching the mouse. Before he could eat the mouse, Reverend Styge was visited by the Dwarf, who handed Styge an envelope. Thinking the envelope could be from Centurious and unaware it was actually a page from the mystic Darkhold tome, Reverend Styge opened the envelope and the Dwarf told Styge not the forget the magic words. The words seemed to just pop into Styge's mind and he immediately began reciting the incantations to cast the spell continued within the Darkhold page. Demons calling themselves the Other (actually, an aspect of the Elder god Chthon) appeared from the page and asked about Reverend Styge's claims to raise the dead. Styge admitted that he did not possess the power to actually raise the dead but the demons whispered how that feat might actually be possible. Understanding, Styge explained that if he did as the Other asked, Ghost Rider would surely come after him but the Other simply replied that Styge should seek powerful allies.
(Darkhold I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Allying
with the smooth talking drug dealer Speakeasy,
Reverend Styge was set up as a preacher for the Church of the
Resurrection, a scam of Speakeasy's. Using his evangelist skills, Styge
began luring in marks by promising to restore their departed loved ones
to life. Those taken in by the Church turned their life savings over to
the Church, which Styge then gave to Speakeasy. Unbeknownst to Styge,
his congregation had been infiltrated by the Darkhold Redeemers, who
sensed Styge's Darkhold page.
(Darkhold I#5) - Days later, after the Punisher raided the Church of the Resurrection, Reverend Styge visited the site of the Punisher's grenade attack, where he found Speakeasy dead. Using his newfound Darkhold power, Styge restored Speakeasy to a semblance of life and discussed how to bring Punisher to their side by using Punisher's slain family. Shortly thereafter, the half-dead Speakeasy began tipping the Punisher off to mobsters and eventually confronted Punisher, claiming that he had been conversing with Punisher's dead wife Maria and that Reverend Styge could bring Punisher's family back. While Speakeasy left Punisher to think about Styge's offer to restore his family, Ghost Rider was taking out a mugger who informed Ghost Rider that the Punisher seemed to be working for Reverend Styge. As Ghost Rider drove off to confront Styge, Styge was giving a sermon in a graveyard that was attended by the Darkhold Redeemers. During the sermon, Prof. Louise Hastings (disguised as "Mrs. Frumpkin") and Sam Buchanan kept Styge distracted while Victoria Montesi searched the mausoleums for Reverend Styge's Darkhold page. Victoria Montesi eventually discovered refrigerators full of corpse parts that Styge had been feeding on while Speakeasy deliberately led the Punisher to the sermon. Just as Punisher arrived, Montesi returned and revealed Styge's cannibalistic nature to her teammates and his congregation. Reverend Styge quickly grabbed Victoria Montesi as Sam Buchanan battled the outlaw Punisher. Ghost Rider subsequently arrived on the scene and mistakenly believed that the Punisher truly had joined Reverend Styge upon seeing him fighting Sam Buchanan. In order to distract the heroes, Reverend Styge resurrected the graveyard's corpses as zombies and during the distraction, he attempted to fully resurrect the Punisher's family in hopes of blackmailing the Punisher into killing Styge's enemies and giving him an endless supply of corpses to feed on. Victoria Montesi eventually managed to goad the Punisher into proving that the dead stay dead by shooting Reverend Styge, interrupting the ceremony to resurrect the Punisher's family. Without Styge's Darkhold power to keep them alive, the resurrected corpses crumbled to the ground and the Darkhold Redeemers soon found Styge's Darkhold page stashed within Styge's Bible, learning that to activate his resurrection power, Styge only had to eat. As the heroes departed, Speakeasy recovered Reverend Styge's corpse and communicated with it, learning that Styge was relieved to not have to face Centurious' wrath. Upon learning this from Speakeasy, Centurious commented that Styge would not get off that easy.
(Ghost Rider VI#33 - BTS) - Blackout and the Deacon
looked over photos of Reverend Styge and other past Ghost Rider foes in
order to decide which of them would get to help kill the Ghost Rider.
Comments: Created by Howard Mackie and Mark Texeira.
Reverend Styge had a profile in the Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 5: Marvel Knights (2004).
Since Reverend Styge's real name was later revealed
as James Sharp, one has to wonder if he and his ally Reverend Sharp
were related in some way.
Profile by Proto-Man.
Reverend Styge has no KNOWN connections to:
Annette Avalon was a young girl that followed Reverend Styge's
crusade, thinking that Styge could restore her deceased mother to life.
Visiting Styge, she was led into Styge's office by Henderson but Styge
informed her that he was very busy but, Lord willing, he would help her
later. Styge then had Henderson lead Annette out of the building.
Mr. Edleman was a follower of Reverend Styge's who sought to be
reunited with his deceased wife Iris. Holding a sermon in Mount Hebron,
the oldest cemetary in Cypress Hills, Reverend Styge brought forth Mr.
Edleman and asked if he wished Styge to consume the sins of Mr.
Edleman. Edleman replied yes and was taken into a mausoleum and fed on
by the cannibalistic Styge.
--Ghost Rider III#18d
Henderson was a servant of Reverend Styge. When Styge was visited by
Annette Avalon, Henderson showed her to Reverend Styge's office, where
Styge was secretly trying to catch a mouse to eat. Styge quickly told
Annette that he was busy and asked Henderson to show Annette out.
Reverend Sharp was one of Reverend Styge's deacons. After Dan Ketch
and John Blaze disrupted one of Reverend Styge's sermons, Styge had
Reverend Sharp take up the collection plate and notify his congregation
of the next meeting place. When Styge left the church, he ordered Sharp
to question and dispose of Blaze and Ketch.
--Ghost Rider III#16
images: (without ads)
Darkhold I#5, p5, pan2 (Reverend Styge, main image)
Ghost Rider III#18, p12, pan6 (Reverend Styge headshot)
Ghost Rider III#18, p10, pan1 (Reverend Styge in original outfit)
Darkhold I#4, p20, pan2 (Annette Avalon)
Ghost Rider III#18, p10, pan1 (Mr. Edleman)
Darkhold I#4, p20, pan2 (Henderson)
Ghost Rider III#16, p15, pan5 (Reverend Sharp)
Ghost Rider III#16 (August, 1991) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mark Texeira (art), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ghost Rider III#18 (October, 1991) - Howard Mackie (writer), Mark Texeira (art), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Spirits of Vengeance I#2 (September, 1992) - Howard Mackie (writer), Adam Kubert (pencils), Chris Warner (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Darkhold I#4 (January, 1993) - Chris Cooper (writer), Norman Felchle (pencils), Mark McKenna, Andrew Pepoy (inks), Hildy Mesnik (editor)
Darkhold I#5 (February, 1993) - Chris Cooper (writer), Richard Case, Al Bigley (pencils), Mark McKenna, Ariane (inks), Hildy Mesnik (editor)
Ghost Rider VI#33 (May, 2009) - Jason Aaron (writer), Tony Moore (art), Axel Alonso (editor)
Last updated: 01/15/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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