|First appearance||Ghost Rider vol. 4 #19 (by name only)
Ghost Rider vol. 4 #27 (full appearance) (November 2008)
|Created by||Jason Aaron|
|Notable aliases||Angel of Vengeance, The New Morningstar, He of the Ineffable Sefiroth, Chief of the Order of Dominions, Lord of the Black Host[volume & issue needed]|
|Abilities||Unknown, but briefly possessed the powers of God.|
Fictional character biography
Zadkiel was an Archangel in God's army in charge of overseeing the Spirits of Vengeance. Over time Zadkiel had developed a hatred towards humanity as God favored the sinners more than the Angels of the Kingdom of Heaven.[volume & issue needed]
Because Zadkiel's view is askew he has come into conflict with God. In order to overpower and dethrone God, Zadkiel realized he needed the powers of the Spirits of Vengeance. Zadkiel revealed to John Blaze that in actuality Roxanne, had made a deal with him in order to protect Blaze's soul from Hell. As Blaze was a candidate for the powers of a Spirit of Vengeance because of his lineage Zadkiel endowed him with the powers of the Ghost Rider.[volume & issue needed]
As a backup plan Zadkiel used Blaze's brother, Daniel Ketch. Danny was once the host for the Ghost Rider entity, and after he had exorcised the spirit he went into withdrawal. Falling off the wagon Danny soon found himself once again host to a new variation of the Ghost Rider. Zadkiel had tricked Danny into believing that by killing other Spirits of Vengeance he would be freeing the human hosts. What Danny did not realize was that by destroying the Spirits of Vengeance he was fueling Zadkiel making him all powerful.
Danny blindly led Zadkiel's army the Black Host into war with Blaze and the last remaining Ghost Riders. Danny and Blaze soon came into conflict, only Danny with Zadkiel's army was able to overpower Blaze and his combined forces of Sister Sara and the remaining Ghost Riders. When Danny ascended to Heaven to deliver the last of the spirits, Zadkiel turned on him and cast him back to Earth. Before being cast out of Heaven Danny took as much Ghost Rider entities with him as he could, but it was not enough to prevent Zadkiel from overthrowing the kingdom of God.
With his enhanced abilities, Zadkiel was able to apparently usurp the throne from God and instill himself the new ruler of Heaven, but was not omnipotent. According to Zadkiel when asked by Daniel Ketch that if God was all-powerful, how the Spirits of Vengeance could ever pose a threat to him, Zadkiel responds, "You're right. God is all-powerful. But His creations are anything but. Trust me, the Celestial City is assuredly most vulnerable."
However, his reign was short lived as Danny and Blaze had arrived in Heaven to challenge his reign. With the assistance of the deceased Ghost Riders of the past Danny and Blaze were able to overthrow Zadkiel and return the kingdom of Heaven to God; Zadkiel realized that though he might have been able to shift the power that fueled the Ghost Riders from its hosts, and even leech it from them, he could neither control nor destroy it, as only the one true God possessed that power, and he was not God, only, as Blaze tells him shortly before he and the other Spirits of Vengeance overwhelm him, "just another power-mad wannabe who desperately needs to get his ass kicked." Zadkiel is currently imprisoned in Hell, condemned by an enraged God for his treachery to be tortured for all eternity for his horrific crimes against Paradise and Creation.
Powers and abilities
Zadkiel has not revealed the full extent of his powers, but is essentially immortal. The sole ability he has demonstrated so far is that he can mutilate and destroy human souls, such as when he did with Caretaker's. He did have a semblance of what seemed to be the Creator's power briefly and used the power to create havoc on Earth, though it is ultimately revealed that while he may have able to drain a portion of the power of the Spirits of Vengeance from them temporarily, he was not and never would be the one true God, and could thus never truly claim dominion over Heaven for long, much less all Creation. He demonstrated this ability by erasing people on Earth from existence, but upon being defeated has since reverted to his normal self.
- Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #1 (2009)
- Ghost Rider vol. 3 #32
- Ghost Riders #30 "Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance"
- Ghost Riders #6 "Heaven's On Fire" (2009)
- Ghost Rider vol. 6 #26
- Zadkiel is, incorrectly, named after the real-life angel, Zadkiel, the Angel of Mercy, benevolence, and freedom. The real-life Angel of Justice is Raguel.