Ghost Rider has a surprise advantage over the phoenix

In Jason Aaron and Luca Maresca’s Avengers # 42, the phoenix reveals that it can be injured by a team member, a hero who may only subdue the cosmic unit.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for avenger # 42 by Jason Aaron, Luca Maresca, David Curiel and Cory Petit from VC, now on sale.

In the “Enter the Phoenix” story of the Avengers title, the Phoenix Force has captured several heroes and villains and competes against each other to determine the next human host. Most of the story is dedicated to these characters, who are transported around the world and given new, Phoenix-inspired costumes for their respective battles. However, Avengers # 42 also briefly shows us the efforts of the remaining Avengers to contain the Phoenix Force.

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While Black Panther, Captain America, and She-Hulk have all been taken by the Phoenix, Thor, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, and Ghost Rider are all out trying to battle the cosmic unit so it can release its captives. And during this confrontation, the phoenix shows a surprising vulnerability to Ghost Rider.

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The Phoenix Force is a primal force in the universe. It is a cosmic entity as old as time itself, and it is one of the most destructive and powerful forces to roam the great depths of space. Their power is unmatched and for the most part unstoppable. But in Avengers # 42, the remains of the most powerful heroes on earth still do their best. Outside of his nesting site, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Thor and Ghost Rider unleash their power on the phoenix.

While Tony and Carol both know this is a fight they cannot win, the latter makes a fascinating remark about the phoenix: he appears to be affected by the ghost rider’s hellfire chains. It’s easy to miss while all the action is on the issue, but it’s still noteworthy. The phoenix cannot really be fought or defeated, but it looks like the Spirit Rider’s attacks are proving to be one of the weaknesses of the cosmic unit. It’s still not enough to beat it, but it could turn out to be an important advantage over the phoenix.

As a spirit of vengeance, Robbie Reyes’ power comes from hell itself, a magical dimension full of fire. While the phoenix itself is fire, its origins are cosmic, while the spirit rider’s flames are mystical in nature. It is therefore possible that this difference could have an impact on the Phoenix Force. Furthermore, this connection could actually go back millions of years. After all, the first host of the phoenix and the very first human ghost rider in prehistoric times as part of the Avengers were 1,000,000 BC. In the same team.

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There’s still much to be revealed about the original Avengers’ era as a superhero team, and further flashbacks may show that the Spirit of Vengeance has some power over the Phoenix Force. But it is also important that the ghost rider’s hellfire also comes from a realm inhabited by Mephisto. The version of the devil from the Marvel Universe was recently revealed as the ultimate Avengers villain, an enemy who has tried to defeat it since the beginning of time. If there is a connection between the Phoenix and the Ghost Rider, Mephisto may also be involved.

The villain wants to burn the entire universe, and we know he manipulated Namor to find the phoenix. Bringing the phoenix to earth has always been part of his plan, and now we may know why: if Mephisto also had the power to influence the phoenix, he could use it to unleash fiery destruction throughout the cosmos.

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About the author

Ian Cardona
(3261 articles published)

Ian Cardona has been writing for CBR since 2017. He is a feature, comic breakouts, and news writer. He has been in love with comics for a very long time and believes there is something good to be found even in the difficult times of the industry. His favorite Avenger is Captain America, and that was long before the character appeared in a hugely successful film franchise. He’s an avid statue and Funko Pop! Pay collectors, and they quickly run out of space on the shelf. With CBR, he was able to write about his favorite subjects, from MCU to Doctor Who. You can follow him on Twitter @ ian_c1701 (yes, that’s a Star Trek reference) for discussion, debate, or pictures of really cool collectibles that he probably doesn’t have a place for.

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