Real Name: Max Pressman
Identity/Class: Human spirit
Occupation: Agent of sorrow;
former Governor of Hell, Spirit of Vengeance
Group Membership: None;
formerly Spirits of Vengeance (Doghead/Francisco Fuentes & Chupi, Pao Fu/Lian Goh, Verminus Rex)
Affiliations: Black Rose (Roxanne Simpson),
Blackheart, Skritch, the Spirits of Vengeance, numerous unidentified demons
Enemies: Central Bronx Hospital patients and staff, Father O'Hallaran, Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch/Noble Kale), Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Melinda Pressman, Michael Pressman, Vengeance (Michael Badilino)
Known Relatives: Maria Pressman (wife, deceased), Melinda Pressman (daughter), Michael Pressman (son)
Base of Operations: Blackheart's Hell-realm
First Appearance: Ghost Rider III#87 (August, 1997)
Powers/Abilities: Wallow existed as a ghost,
able to alter his density and form at will, often traveling in a
semi-liquid form before reforming his humanoid shape upon stopping or
floating above the ground by lowering his density. By altering his
form, he could entrap others in tendrils extended from his body. He
was also able to thrive and feed off of human misery and generate
intense depression and suicidal thoughts in others, never truly able to
be destroyed as long as there was misery and despair to feed on.
Eyes: None (originally green)
Hair: None (originally black)
History: (Ghost Rider III#87 (fb)) - After killing his wife Maria, Max held his two children hostage in a police standoff. When the police exclaimed that he didn't have to kill his children as well, Max replied that he did, as he would be wallowing in self-pity for the rest of his life. He then explained that he had no choice and asked what kind of father he would be if he left his children behind to suffer. Before he could kill his children and himself, Max was shot by the police. The police rescued his two children but Max fell to his death, Melissa's doll landing on him.
(Online comments from creator Ivan Velez, Jr. - BTS) - In the afterlife, Pressman was transformed into an agent of sorrow by the demon Blackheart. (see comments)
(Ghost Rider III#87 (fb) - BTS) - Nearly fifteen years later, Max Pressman
returned to life as the ghostly entity Wallow, determined to kill his
children. After Wallow reappeared on Earth in New York, the number of
suicide attempts increased. Many of the victims were taken to the
Central Bronx Hospital.
(Ghost Rider III#87) - Riddled with guilt, Pressman's daughter Melinda contemplated jumping off a roof to her death. When she decided instead to seek help, Wallow appeared and coaxed her into jumping. Ghost Rider happened to be taking down thugs nearby and sensed the evil of Wallow. Determining that the evil had left, Ghost Rider found the still-living Melinda and scooped her up to save her life while Wallow watched from a distance, promising to himself that Melinda would achieve true freedom. Wallow next appeared at the Central Bronx Hospital, where Ghost Rider had taken Melinda. Traveling through the Hospital, Wallow induced suicidal depression in all those he passed, almost smiling while thinking about helping Melinda kill herself. When Max's son Michael contemplated suicide in an effort to rid himself of the memories of his father's insanity, Wallow appeared after Michael decided there might be hope for himself and commented aloud that he would like to see his sister again. Wallow attacked Michael, dangling him over the edge of his roof before dropping him. Fortunately, Michael managed to grab a hold of a window on the way down and pulled himself inside the building, where he continued to run from Wallow. Running to a church, Michael was pulled away from the door by Wallow, who prepared to kill Michael until Ghost Rider showed up. Ghost Rider reminded Wallow of the sins of his original life and warned that those who sinned after death must be destroyed. Insisting that no one touch him, Wallow split himself apart to avoid the Ghost Rider's chain and slithered away. Ghost Rider then demanded to know everything there was to know about Wallow from Michael, who explained that Wallow was his father and had come back to kill both he and his sister, Melinda. While Michael continued telling the story to Ghost Rider, Wallow appeared again at the Central Bronx Hospital as Melinda thought to herself about why her father could not have stayed dead. Wallow replied to Melinda's thoughts, stating that he couldn't leave his children in such a cesspool of a world. He then offered to help Melinda "help herself" by giving her a pair of scissors. As Ghost Rider and Michael rushed into the Hospital, Melinda stabbed Wallow in the face with the scissors, exclaiming that she hated him for killing her mother and himself, and for ruining her life. Wallow attempted to explain to Melinda that he realized that she and Michael were in pain and he had come back to rid them of their pain. Ghost Rider stormed in and prepared to battle Wallow, calling him an abomination. Wallow commented that it was family business but Ghost Rider reminded Wallow that he had spilled innocent blood and that he was the vengeance of innocents. Ghost Rider then used his penance stare ability on Wallow, causing him to crumble into ashes. Deposited into Hell, Wallow was met by Blackheart, who announced himself a fan of Wallow's work and Wallow's new lord and master. Blackheart then offered Wallow a deal.
(Ghost Rider III#89 - BTS) - Blackheart transformed Wallow into one of his Spirits of Vengeance, which he planned to unleash on Earth to subjugate it in Blackheart's name.
(Ghost Rider III#90) - Blackheart sent Wallow, along with his other Spirits of Vengeance, to Earth, where they were ordered to bring Blackheart the soul of Ghost Rider. When the Spirit of Vengeance Doghead went after the woman who blamed his dog for killing a man she had killed herself, Wallow appeared before the woman and entrapped her in his tendrils. As Doghead battled the Ghost Rider, Wallow carried the woman into the air and threatened to drop her if the fighting did not cease.
(Ghost Rider III#91) - After the Spirit of Vengeance Pao Fu obtained Ghost Rider's soul, Wallow appeared with the other Spirits of Vengeance to deliver the soul to Blackheart, who was taunting the near-lifeless Ghost Rider. Wallow then watched as Blackheart offered the Ghost Rider a deal in which Ghost Rider would become leader of Blackheart's Spirits of Vengeance. Ghost Rider attempted to tell the Spirits of Vengeance that Blackheart was only toying with their souls but each of the Spirits of Vengeance explained that Blackheart had given them something they had always wanted or needed, righteousness in Wallow's case. After Blackheart sweetened his deal for Ghost Rider by allowing him to control his original human Noble Kale body and offering Pao Fu as a bride, Ghost Rider accepted Blackheart's deal on the condition that he would also get Black Rose as well as Pao Fu. Blackheart agreed and then introduced Wallow and the other Spirits of Vengeance to their new leader: Noble Kale.
(Ghost Rider III#92) - Wallow and the other Spirits of Vengeance remained by Blackheart's side as Blackheart taunted Noble Kale about the deal he had made with Blackheart. Wallow later accompanied the other Spirits of Vengeance when Blackheart held a toast in honor of Noble Kale. When Blackheart reminded Noble of his new role as trainer of the Spirits of Vengeance, Wallow commented that Kale was weak garbage and that he should be leading the Spirits. Noble quickly pulled a dagger on Wallow and reminded him that he had agreed to train them and if he found any of the Spirits wanting, he would destroy them. Kale then asked if Wallow understood.
(Ghost Rider III#93) - While preparing for the wedding of Noble Kale to both Pao Fu and the Black Rose, Wallow visited the dressing room of Verminus Rex, exclaiming that he would not allow Noble to order him around. Verminus Rex reminded Wallow that Noble Kale was now in his mortal human body and commented that Noble would not survive his own wedding night. Later, as the wedding began, Wallow stood watching the proceedings next to Verminus Rex. Following the wedding, Wallow, Doghead and Verminus Rex appeared when Black Rose failed to kill Ghost Rider on Blackheart's orders. Blackheart then presented a sword and announced that the sword was the only thing capable of killing a Spirit of Vengeance. Blackheart then explained that the last Spirit of Vengeance standing would take the sole privilege of the title. Wallow immediately announced his plan to kill Ghost Rider, who stabbed Wallow through the head with the sword.
(Ghost Rider: Finale/2) - Wallow watched as the new King of Blackheart's Hell-realm, Noble Kale, who had destroyed Blackheart, freed all of Hell's demons and the Spirits of Vengeance on the condition that they do no more evil, commenting to Verminus Rex that Noble was a condescending imbecile. After the angel Uriel tried to convince Noble not to free the demons and was banished from the Hell-realm, Wallow watched as Noble announced his departure from the Hell-realm and left Vengeance in charge. Noble also nominated Wallow and the other Spirits of Vengeance to become governors, policing the Hell-realm as they saw fit as long as it did not involve committing evil acts.
(Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch#1 - BTS) - Danny Ketch thought about Wallow and the events that led to Noble Kale marrying Black Rose and Pao Fu.
(Marvel Comics Presents III#6/3 (fb) - BTS) - Returning to the Earthly plane in a new form, Wallow appeared in Cypress Hills Cemetery, where he began affecting the attendees of a funeral being held there, driving many into a deep, suicidal depression.
(Marvel Comics Presents III#6/3) - Transforming into the Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch was drawn to Wallow's activities at Cypress Hills Cemetery and found the depressed funeral goers begging him for death. Upon seeing Ghost Rider, Wallow whispered that he expected misery at a funeral but had not expected all of the "sweet morsels" and secrets he found in the funeral goers' minds. He then surrounded Father O'Hallaran and informed Ghost Rider of O'Hallaran's secret tryst with the wife of a man that had sought O'Hallaran for marriage counseling. When Ghost Rider replied that he thought he had killed Wallow, Wallow explained that as long as there was grief and misery for him to feed on, he would never die. Ghost Rider then ordered Wallow to release the funeral goers but Wallow just informed Ghost Rider of more of his victims' sins, such as a woman who stole her mother's pain medication and became so addicted to them herself that she stole from her children to continue the habit. Ghost Rider quickly snatched the woman from Wallow's clutches but Wallow warned that Ghost Rider couldn't save all of the funeral goers as he moved on to an eighteen-year old boy who had been involved in a drunken hit and run
Ghost Rider insisted he would defeat and send Wallow back to Hell with his Penance Stare, as he done once before, but Wallow gloated that Ghost Rider could not even physically touch him. Wallow then decided to leave Ghost Rider to the Cemetery and he drifted onto a passing bus, feeding off their misery as well. Ghost Rider pursued and ordered everyone except Wallow off the bus. Tired of his own life, Ghost Rider transformed back into Danny Ketch and bade Wallow into feeding off his personal misery and suffering. Happy to see Danny seemingly give into to his own misery, Wallow approached the human Danny Ketch and suggested he could allow Danny to finally be at peace. As Wallow solidified long enough to feed off Danny's misery, Danny transformed back into Ghost Rider and announced that he had only allowed Wallow to feed off him enough to be able to physical harm the spirit. Ripping off Wallow's mask-life face to reveal a corpse-like human face beneath it, Ghost Rider subjected Wallow to the Penance Stare, again burning Wallow to ashes that drifted away in the wind. Ghost Rider then drove off, leaving behind Wallow's burning cloak and mask-like face.
Finding himself in Hell once more, Wallow proclaimed
that he couldn't be back in Hell, as he had plans to continue, but the
Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider, at that point the King of Hell, assured that
things had changed in Hell since the last time Wallow was there. As a
surprised Wallow stared at Blaze, Blaze remarked that he wasn't so sure
Wallow would like the new management.
Comments: Created by Ivan Velez, Jr., Karl Kerschl and Al Milgrom.
Melinda Pressman was called "Melissa" for the first half of Ghost Rider III#87 but then "Melinda" in the second half of the issue. I chose to go with Melinda for the purposes of this profile, as she seemed to be referred to as Melinda more often than Melissa in her one appearance.
Wallow's real name was first revealed in the Spirits
of Vengeance entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel
Universe A-Z#10 (2006).
When Wallow returned to Earth in
Marvel Comics Presents III#6, the "eyes" on his mask-like face were
blue despite having been solid white in his original form.
Wallow's creator Ivan Velez, Jr.
confirmed that Max Pressman was transformed into an agent of sorrow by
Blackheart. He also said that Max committed suicide after killing his
wife Maria but the flashback in Ghost Rider III#87 only hints that Max
was suicidal (such as his statements to police that he couldn't leave
his children behind to suffer, which suggested that he intended to no
longer be there). However, he was shot by police and fell to his death
before he could kill his children and actually commit suicide. Perhaps
what we were shown and what Velez has stated could both be true in the
sense that perhaps the suicidal Max Pressman intentionally provoked
police into shooting him by going after his own children or something
to that effect.
Profile by Proto-Man.
Wallow should not be confused with
Melinda Pressman was the daughter of Max Pressman, who became Wallow. As a child, Melinda was held hostage along with her brother Michael by her father Max, who planned to kill them and himself. Max was subsequently shot by the police and both Melinda and Michael were rescued. Years later, Melinda suffered from severe depression and contemplated suicide. Insane and wishing to rid Melinda of her pain (not caring if he caused the pain or not), Wallow appeared and affected Melinda's mind, causing her to jump off of a roof. Found by Ghost Rider, Melinda was taken to the Central Bronx Hospital, where Wallow once again attempted to drive her to suicide. When Wallow gave her a pair of scissors, Melinda stabbed Wallow in the face with them, expressing her years-long hatred towards her father. Ghost Rider arrived shortly thereafter and used his penance stare on Wallow, causing Melinda to turn away and Wallow to crumble to ashes.
--Ghost Rider III#87
Michael Pressman was the son of Max Pressman, who later became Wallow. As a child, Michael was held hostage along with his sister Melinda by her father Max, who planned to kill them and himself. Max was subsequently shot by the police and both Melinda and Michael were rescued. Years later, Michael had become a homeless wino, drowning his troubled past in alcohol. Briefly contemplating suicide to calm his bad memories, Michael instead decided that there was still hope and that he would like to see his sister again. Wallow then appeared and attempted to kill Michael by dropping him from the roof of a building but Michael caught an open window on the way down and swung inside the building. Running to a nearby church, Michael was grabbed by Wallow, who was forced away by the arrival of Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider then demanded that Michael explain everything he knew about Wallow and, learning of Michael's sister Melinda, Ghost Rider and Michael rushed to the Central Bronx Hospital, where Melinda was recovering from an earlier encounter with Wallow. Michael stayed by Melinda's side as Ghost Rider used his penance stare on Wallow, causing Wallow to crumble to ashes.
--Ghost Rider III#87
images: (without ads)
Marvel Comics Presents III#6, p24, pan3 (Wallow, main image)
Marvel Comics Presents III#6, p23, pan2 (Wallow, headshot)
Ghost Rider III#87, p10, pan1 (human Max Pressman holding the young Michael & Melinda)
Ghost Rider III#93, p5, pan1 (Wallow, original spirit form)
Ghost Rider: Finale, p52, pan7 (Wallow, headshot of original spirit form)
Marvel Comics Presents III#6, p27, pan5 (Ghost Rider holding Wallow with mask-life face ripped off)
Ghost Rider III#87, p1, pan2 (Melinda Pressman)
Ghost Rider III#87, p14, pan2 (Michael Pressman)
Ghost Rider III#87 (August, 1997) - Ivan Velez, Jr. (writer), Karl Kerschl (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider III#89 (October, 1997) - Ivan Velez, Jr. (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider III#90 (November, 1997) - Ivan Velez (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider III#91 (December, 1997) - Ivan Velez (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Andrew Pepoy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider III#92 (January, 1998) - Ivan Velez (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Mark Texiera (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider III#93 (February, 1998) - Ivan Velez (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Mark Texiera (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider: Finale (January, 2007) - Ivan Velez, Jr. (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils, inks), Mark Texiera, Klaus Janson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch#1 (December, 2008) - Simon Spurrier (writer), Javier Saltares (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents III#6 (August, 2019) - "Fadeaway" story - Ed Brisson (writer), Juan Frigeri (art), Chris Robinson (editor)
First Posted: 08/28/2014
Last updated: 10/30/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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