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The Cosmic Ghost Rider fires his guns while chains envelop him on the cover of Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (2023). Image: Valerio Giangiordano/Marvel Comics

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The best version of the Punisher returns to Marvel Comics in 2023

All you have to do to make Frank Castle fun is give him the powers of Ghost Rider and the Silver Surfer. Simple!

Through the multiverse of Marvel Comics, there are many different versions of Frank Castle. He’s been a pacifist monk, a fishman, and Wonder Woman’s husband — but among all these Franks, there’s one who is the most. Just... the most. And that’s the Cosmic Ghost Rider.

And Polygon is excited to announce, courtesy of Marvel Comics, that the dumbest, best version of Frank Castle will ride again, in Cosmic Ghost Rider, a new ongoing series from writer Stephanie Phillips (Harley Quinn) and artist Juann Cabal (Guardians of the Galaxy).

Technically, Cosmic Ghost Rider is a version of Frank Castle who was the only human survivor in a universe where Thanos ruled who made a deal with Mephisto to get revenge and later teamed up with Galactus’ herald, collecting all the powers of a serial killer, the Ghost Rider, and the Silver Surfer. In practice, he’s an absolute idiot in an over-the-top outfit, who uses his abilities to do things like go back in time and try to raise Thanos to be a nice person.

“I love the humor and absurdity of Cosmic Ghost Rider, and because he’s a newer character I feel like there’s lots of potential space (pun intended) to push him in new directions,” Phillips told Polygon via email. “I’m excited to play with Marvel’s cosmic characters and write something that feels really new for me and for Frank Castle as well.”

“VENGEANCE REAWAKENED!” begins Marvel’s official summary of the series’s first issue, with appropriate bombast. “In a far-flung corner of deep space, Frank Castle has eked out a quiet existence, his days as Cosmic Ghost Rider finally behind him. But across the universe, a vicious bounty hunter is leaving a trail of bodies in his wake and his name is… Cosmic Ghost Rider?! When Frank’s peaceful existence is shattered, he must suit up once more and face his most savage enemy yet — himself! Be there for the start of a sprawling space adventure with shocking twists and turns in the saga of Cosmic Ghost Rider!”

“Working on Cosmic Ghost Rider means blending absurdity and realism in ways that I don’t think my previous work has allowed me to do,” Phillips said. Cosmic Ghost Rider, along with the upcoming Rogue & Gambit series, will mark Phillips’ debut at Marvel comics. “I also love the chance to explore Marvel’s cosmic side and push Frank Castle in ways we haven’t yet seen.”

You can check out three unfinished pages of Juann Cabal’s art for the series, and a full look at Valerio Giangiordano’s issue #1 cover, below:

Cosmic Ghost Rider blows one guy’s head off and watches another flee in black and white art from Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (2023). Image: Juann Cabal/Marvel Comics
Cosmic Ghost Rider stands on top of a craps table and executes an alien guy in black and white art from Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (2023). Image: Juann Cabal/Marvel Comics
A guy wearing a broad hat skids a motorcycle to a halt menacingly in black and white art from Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (2023). Image: Juann Cabal/Marvel Comics
The Cosmic Ghost Rider fires his guns while chains envelop him on the cover of Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (2023). Image: Valerio Giangiordano/Marvel Comics

Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 will hit comics shelves sometime in March 2023.

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