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Comic Book / Ghost Rider 2099

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In Transverse City, where Detroit once stood, there is a ghost cast in steel. Dead hacker Zero Cochrane, his mind plucked form the net by subversive computer intelligences and placed in a fearsome chromed shell, is still searching for something to place faith in. Until he can find something worth spit in this world, the Ghost Rider will continue to haunt the streets of the future...
2099 Genesis (1996)

Ghost Rider, as told by the Marvel 2099 universe. It was part of the "second wave" of 2099 titles, created by writer Len Kaminski and artist Chris Bachalo (in what was only his second job for Marvel, though he left after the first three issues to devote all his time to Generation X.) Out of all Marvel 2099 titles it leaned most heavily into the cyberpunk elements. The title character starts out as a stereotypical outsider to society as a gang member and a hacker. There were very little supernatural elements and A.I.s and cyberspace were central to the main story arc.

When a rival gang attacks Kenshiro "Zero" Cochrane and his hacker pals, his physical form bites the dust and his consciousness ends up in the Cyberspace. In there, he meets the Ghostworks, a group of artificial intelligences who offer him a second change. Zero accepts, receives a robot body modelled after the original Ghost Rider and soon rides the streets, righting wrongs and battling villains.


Ghost Rider 2099 provides examples of:

  • Anti-Villain: The Ghostworks A.I.s are foremost concerned with their own survival. Since this is dependent on there being a physical computer network where they can exist and hide, it is ultimately in their best interest that the entire mankind survives in a form where it maintains its level of high technology.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Thanks to 2099 being a Crapsack World.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Zero takes charge of the Internet itself in the end. Also he eventually allows the A.I.s at Ghostworks access to code which they believe will allow them to do so in a more esoteric sense, though Zero himself doubts that's how it works.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Or in this case, a retractable chainsaw on his right arm.
  • The Cameo: Death from The Sandman appears on a computer screen in the second issue.
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  • Catchphrase: Along with the rest of 2099's Future Slang, Zero gets extensive mileage out of calling people "pusbags".
  • Chainsaw Good: Ghost Rider has a retractable chainsaw on his arm.
  • Cloning Blues: Averted. At the end of the series it turns out the Ghost Rider we have been following holds a copy of the original Zero's personality after it was stored as pure data in the Ghostworks. The original Zero is quite pissed about the situation, and switches places into the Ghost Rider body. The copy-Zero stays at Ghostworks and manages to take over the place. After the initial surprise he is perfectly fine with being a copy, and he doesn't worry about lacking a physical body either.
  • Cyberpunk: Zero starts out as a stereotypical outlaw hacker pitted against a megacorporation.
  • Cyberspace: Where most of his adventures take place.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Used as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. Our cybernetic protagonist is confronted by a squad of corrupt police, and opens the beatdown with, "Bad cop. No donut."
  • Eye Beams: One of the many weapons built into him were high-power lasers emitted from his eyes.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Kenshiro is dying while connected to the Net, and willing to "upload" his brain patterns as a device to delete information he doesn't want to be collected postmortem. Uber-AIs catch him instead and rebuild as a robotic anti-hero.
  • Flaming Sword: In this case, it's a hellfire chainsaw hand.
  • Futuristic Superhighway: Transverse City is essentially one gargantuan road with countless lanes going all the way from Chicago to Detroit, and every kind of building that a city could conceivably need exists in vehicle form. And nothing ever stops, because to stop is to die.
  • Haunted Technology: What he is in the original and 2019 edition. For the 2019 edition, the Hotwire Martyrs were trying to jack power cells from a SHIELD transport, there were no batteries. Instead there was a combat robot that's going to D/Monix corporation from streetsweeping the homeless. When the Hotwire Martyrs were blown up along with Kenshiro, Johnny Blaze the King of Ghostworks (the Hell of this timeline) puts Kenshiro's spirit inside of the robot.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Was a member of the Hotwire Martyrs, a street gang who, in the future world of 2099, use hacking to commit most of their crimes.
  • Holographic Disguise: His robotic body has a hologram projector that could make him look like anyone, including his old flesh-and-blood body.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The main antagonists are members of the board of a megacorporation named D/Monix (try saying that out loud).
    • One villain is a devil-themed computer virus named L-Cypher.
  • My Hero, Zero: His nickname in the Hotwire Martyrs. The others' nicknames were appropriately "90's".
  • Mythology Gag: Len Kaminski seemed to enjoy giving Ghost Rider foes who evoked demons or other supernatural creatures in name and/or appearance but had nothing magical about them.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: 2090's!
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Issue six has Ghost Rider holding Kylie in his arms in this manner.
  • Shapeshifter: Due to his cybernetic nature, he could reshape his body at will. This includes changing his fingers into blades Sharpened to a Single Atom. Ghost Rider could reconfigure his physical frame to contract to the size of a regular human and project a holographic disguise on top of that.
  • Shape Shifter Weapon: Ghost Rider's left hand is a "morphable nanomer alloy" with "monomolecular" edges, capable of shredding pretty much anything it came into contact with when he shifts it into battle mode.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: See above.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A leather-clad Japanese guy who seeks revenge in a post-apocalyptic land, and his name is Kenshiro? Now where have we heard that one before...
    • The AI at Ghostworks who does most of the talking has on its avatar a TV for a head which switches between showing different recognizable television and film characters, which include Jean-Luc Picard, Scotty, Don Corleone and Elwood Blues among many, many others. Its manner of speaking also changes accordingly, such as the Don using the famous "an offer you can't refuse" line or Scotty speaking in Scottish accent and calling Zero "laddie".
    • At one point Ghost Rider needs to get his hands on a rare synthetic chemical named 2-4-5 trioxiclorizide, which sounds remarkably close to 2-4-5 trioxin from Return of the Living Dead.
    • The last issue namedrops Ono-Sendai and Zik-Zak corporations.
  • Skelebot 9000: His robotic body looks like a T-800 from The Terminator.
  • Title by Year: Like every other 2099 book.
  • Too Many Belts: Ghost Rider's outfit under his leather jacket is a criss-cross of belts.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Ghost Rider does well for a while with a simple mixture of riding, slicing and dicing until he meets the mercenary Coda, who defeats him with ease with his better fighting skills. Afterwards he notes that GR could've been better if he didn't use his robot body like "a big hammer".

The 2019 reboot provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Kylie manages to defeat three members of the Artificial Kidz by herself in no time at all.
  • Chainsaw Good: Zero grabs a random chainsaw from Kylie's workshop, coats it in what may or may not be Hellfire, and dubs it "Hellsaw". Now that's cool.
  • Deal with the Devil: In this version, Zero cuts a deal with Johnny Blaze, who has become the King of the Ghostworks, a.k.a. Hell.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Zero protests loudly against being called by his real name.
  • Get Out!: After Zero is revived in a robotic body, he tries to go to his girlfriend's truck to grab his stuff. She spots him and, obviously not recognising him, she tells him to get out.
  • I Have No Son!: Zero's father disowns him for becoming a criminal.
  • Logical Weakness: Since Zero is now a robot, an electric blast is enough to put him out of commission for a while as it disrupts his circuits.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: While in the original everything was clearly technological, things here are significantly more vague. Hell has turned into an artificial land but it's still Hell, Zero appears to possess Hellfire and there's no indication that the droid could set itself on fire - or objects it holds, for that matter - but it's unconfirmed. There's no Spirit of Vengeance along the ride, but Zero did make a Deal with the Devil like his predecessors. Finally, unlike the original where Zero couldn't speak of the Ghostworks because it was programmed into him, here there's no such problem.
  • Mythology Gag: Zero is back to using his old Future Slang insults like "jackboot fascist".
  • Offing the Offspring: Zero's father has him and all his friends killed to cover up the transportation of the android they were moving, as it was supposed to be top-secret.
  • Only One Name: While it's obvious who he is, the King of Hell introduces himself as "Blaze".
  • Passing the Torch: The original Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, makes a deal with Kenshiro, even lampshading how he was once in the same place as he.
  • Patricide: Zero kills his father because he's become the kind of person who ordered the death of his child.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Zero's reaction once he saw that his new body is the android that just got him killed.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: According to Johnny Blaze, Hell changes its form depending on people's beliefs.
  • Shout-Out: Zero is less than pleased with the results of his deal with Blaze:
    Zero: Shoulda known that creepy dude was gonna Twilight Zone me on the deal.
  • Straight for the Commander: Zero decides that D/Monix probably has several gangs and the like on their payroll, so they'll just keep sending people until he gets captured. Therefore, he decides to "cut the head off the snake" and goes straight to D/Monix's headquarters, killing his father and everyone involved in the decision to kill him.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: After becoming the Ghost Rider, he tries to explain to Kylie what happened but she doesn't believe a word of it. He asks her what he needs to do to convince her.