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Can Ghost Rider Beat Thanos? With a Stare & in the Comics?

Can Ghost Rider Beat Thanos? With a Stare & in the Comics?

Ghost Rider and Thanos are two of the most powerful characters in Marvel. Both possess supernatural abilities, and they each have a track record of defeating some of the strongest villains and heroes in the Marvel Comics.

So if they faced off against one another, who would win? Can Ghost Rider use his lethal Penance Stare to defeat the Mad Titan?

In the comics, Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare has yet to affect Thanos. The move forces opponents to suffer for the sins they brought onto others; but Thanos, who believes he has done no wrong, enjoys the Stare. The Mad Titan could also be too powerful for Ghost Rider, regardless.

Who is Ghost Rider?

ghost rider in a fire

Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze, as we will call him in this article) once made a deal with Mephisto to cure his adoptive father, Crash Simpson, of cancer. While Mephisto granted Blaze his wish, he let Crash die in a stunt accident shortly thereafter.

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During this time, Mephisto melded Blaze with Zarathos, transforming the mortal into Ghost Rider. Since Blaze has bonded with Zarathos, he’s basically become a supernatural hero who could take on most villains, but an Eternal like Thanos could be too much for him to handle.

Who is Thanos?

Thanos wipe out world

Thanos is called the Mad Titan because he proposed destroying half of his home planet’s population given the issues they were facing. While Thanos could never carry out his proposal thanks to other Titans not taking it seriously, the planet collapsed and the Titan race became extinct.

Thanos survived the catastrophe, but he also believed other planets could meet the same fate as Titan. This prompted him to execute a plan to kill off half the universe in a non-discriminatory fashion, allowing the other half to live in rich abundance.

While he built armies and ravaged half the population on other planets during his initial crusades, Thanos discovered the Infinity Stones. Once he realized they existed, he wished to collect and use them to carry out his plan.

Ghost Rider’s Strengths and Weaknesses


Against someone like Thanos, Ghost Rider would immediately look to invoke the Penance Stare, as it causes his opponents to fall victim to the pain and suffering their sins caused another.

Ghost Rider - The Penance Stare Scene (5/10) | Movieclips

Ghost Rider is fast, but his best bet is to use his Hellcycle to outmaneuver Thanos. Blaze also has occult knowledge, he possesses supernatural awareness, and he can even regenerate himself.

ghost rider riding his hellcycle

Against a powerful god-like Eternal like Thanos, any supernatural power he has will be Ghost Rider’s go-to. Two other strengths that jump out in this battle would be soul manipulation and sin manipulation, allowing Blaze to either consume one’s soul, or consume their sins.

Soul manipulation could be Ghost Rider’s best bet in a fight against Thanos.


Ghost Rider in black leather biker jacket engulfed in flames standing and screaming fire

While the Penance Stare is powerful, it doesn’t always work against supervillains, and Thanos could be one of those beings unaffected by the powerful maneuver.

He would also have a tough time facing the Mad Titan since Thanos is an Eternal. And Ghost Rider, powerful as he is, does not always fare well against anyone with god-like abilities.

Further, Blaze is nothing more than a host to the Spirit of Vengeance, Zarathos. Because of this, Ghost Rider’s powers are limited, something he couldn’t afford against Thanos.

Thanos’ Strengths and Weaknesses


Without the Infinity Stones, Thanos is still powerful, as he boasts normal supervillain traits of near-immortality, super strength, speed, athleticism, and endurance.

Thanos wearing his armor and holding his double-sided sword

He is also an Eternal, so his strengths extend to force field generation, teleportation, advanced intellect, and flight. His intellect goes a step further given his experience in combat, allowing him to strategically plan attacks even against the toughest opponents like Ghost Rider.

Materiokinesis lets him control matter. This lets him transfigure an opponent into anything he pleases. If he wanted to turn them into a rock, he could, which once occurred when he used the maneuver on an affiliate of his named Skragg.

Thanos also has a high level of invulnerability, and combined with his background as an Eternal, the Mad Titan can survive almost any attack against him.

He also boasts telepathic powers, which can force his strongest opponents to attack themselves. This would be the case in a one-on-one battle against Ghost Rider.

Thanos is powerful with his organic powers. But when you throw in the Infinity Gauntlet, his powers increase.

Thanos wearing his armor and his infinity gauntlet

With them, he can control time, snap someone out of existence if he has all six Infinity Stones (or Gems), increase his strength, create alternate realities, and even manipulate one’s essence.

Thanos is also remorseless, and he believes his raids across the universe were done in good faith. This thought process could protect him from the Penance Stare.


The Avengers and Thanos are doing a reconstruction of the scene in the End Game movie, when Iron Man manages to grab the infinity stones and snap his finger

On the surface, Thanos looks as though he boasts zero weaknesses. However, this isn’t the case, as he has a massive ego that can lead to his ultimate defeat if he underestimates an opponent or attempts to win a fight strictly on his terms.

One reason for his big ego is that he’s one of the most insecure beings in the universe. He is a self-loathing person, and in the comics, he once relinquished the Infinity Gauntlet because he didn’t feel he was worthy of winning.

Thanos could also rely too much on the Infinity Gauntlet. And while the relic is powerful, we’ve also seen quicker characters snatch it from him. Ghost Rider is fast and powerful enough to take the Gauntlet. And if he does, Thanos must use other means to defeat him.

Ghost Rider vs. Thanos – Side-By-Side Comparison

Hero/Villain Ghost Rider Thanos
Biggest Strength in This Fight Soul Manipulation Remorselessness
Biggest Weakness in This Fight Weak Against God-Like Beings Arrogance

Can Ghost Rider Beat Thanos With a Stare?

Ghost Rider riding his hellcycle vs Thanos

Since this article focuses mainly on Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare, let’s talk about it. In case you’ve never heard, the Stare is Blaze’s deadliest move, allowing him to force opponents to experience the pain of every sin they brought onto another individual.

Against an opponent like Thanos, who relentlessly killed to achieve his goal of destroying half the universe, the Penance Stare should destroy the Mad Titan thanks to the pain and suffering he brought onto perhaps billions of people throughout the universe.

However, in the comics, the Penance Stare did not affect Thanos. The Mad Titan even once stated that he enjoyed having the Stare used on him.

One reason behind this is that Thanos believed he was called upon to kill half the universe. Since the Mad Titan believed he was in the right, the Stare did not work.

However, just because the Penance Stare did not work on Thanos in the comics, it doesn’t mean the Mad Titan is completely immune to it. The Stare has defeated the likes of Starbrand and Galactus, and the latter has defeated Thanos in the past.

So if we’re going by the times Ghost Rider and Thanos faced off in the comics, then the answer is no, the Penance Stare cannot beat Thanos. However, it has defeated more powerful characters like Galactus who were every bit as remorseless as Thanos.

Therefore, you can make the argument that the Penance Stare could defeat Thanos–it just hasn’t yet occurred in the comics.

Can Ghost Rider Beat Thanos in the Comics?

Cosmic Ghost Rider vs Thanos

Ghost Rider and Thanos possess supernatural ability, but since Thanos is an Eternal, he has god-like abilities whose powers are a cut above Ghost Rider’s.

One reason behind this is because the latter limits the Spirit of Vengeance’s powers, whereas Thanos basically has no limit. We also established that Ghost Rider’s ultimate move, the Penance Stare, has yet to work on Thanos.

Ghost Rider is also weaker than Thanos, capable of lifting between five and 25 tons, while Thanos’ strength can surpass 100 tons.

Speed-wise, Thanos can hit 700 miles per hour with ease, and this doesn’t include how fast he can move when in a battle. Ghost Rider can’t reach such great speeds.

Thanos, having been around combat for so long, is a master strategist, and this too would give him a huge advantage over Ghost Rider.

Overall, if the two dueled in the comics, Ghost Rider, powerful as he is, could not keep up with the Mad Titan.

Would there be a way for Blaze to overcome Thanos? Ghost Rider’s only chance to defeat the Mad Titan would be if he caught him off-guard with soul manipulation.


While the Penance Stare could affect Thanos since it may or may not work against someone who is remorseless, it has yet to defeat the Mad Titan in the comics.

Thanks to his god-like abilities and Ghost Rider’s overall limitations despite the Spirit of Vengeance residing within him, Thanos would win if the two fought in the comics.

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