Can Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare Kill Thanos?

Featured Video

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is home to some really bad dudes. But none of them can have come even close to wrecking the amount of cosmic havoc that Thanos has. The Mad Titan came the closest to actually beating the Avengers in their own game. It took the Earth’s Mightiest heroes two movies, a round trip through the time stream, and an entire army of superheroes and sorcerers to beat him. Some Marvel fans are of the opinion that one Marvel hero could have single-handedly done the job. Johnny Blaze aka Ghost Rider has an ability called the Penance Stare. The Penance stare, according to fans, could have easily taken down the Titan.

Ghost Rider - Johnny Blaze
Ghost Rider – Johnny Blaze

How much of this theory is actually true? Is the Ghost Rider capable of defeating Thanos on his own? Will the Penance Stare be enough of a punch to kill him? Let’s find out if that is even possible.

What Is The Ghost Rider’s Infamous Penance Stare?

Ghost Rider Penance Stare
Ghost Rider Penance Stare

The Penance Stare is an ability bestowed upon the host of a spirit of vengeance. Heroes like Johnny Blaze, Robbie Reyes, and Danny Ketch have used this ability plenty of times in the comic books. The ability works only on sinners and evil doers. And it gives such an insurmountable amount of pain that the target would rather wish he or she were dead.

Ghost Rider - Damnation Stare vs King In Black
Ghost Rider – Damnation Stare vs King In Black

The magnitude of the pain may vary. But the one constant feature in this ability is that it makes a sinner experience all the pain he has inflicted upon others in his life. The pain from the Penance Stare may vary from knocking the target out to outright agonizing death. The Ghost Rider also uses it as a form of torture in the comic books. Everyone, no matter how strong, eventually breaks when pitted against the Penance Stare.

Why Fans Think Thanos Should Be Scared Of Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider vs Thanos
Ghost Rider vs Thanos

It was actually possible for Marvel Studios to bring in the Ghost Rider to the MCu given the rights reverted back to them after 2013. It was such a shame that we could not see the Spirit of Vengeance riding on his flaming bike besides the Avengers during the Battle of Earth. But the Marvel overlords clearly had other plans.

Ghost Rider - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Ghost Rider – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Ghost Rider debuted in Agents of SHIELD in his Robbie Reyes avatar. It has had three live action appearances so far, twice in the Nic Cage movies and once in the show. For some reason, Marvel Studios is keeping Ghost Rider out of the MCU loop. This has got fans thinking that Marvel knows that if Ghost Rider enters the battlefield, it is more or less game over for the big bad wolves. Not even Thanos would be safe.


Can The Rider Beat Thanos – Marvel Comics Has The Answer

Thanos - Endgame Armor
Thanos – Endgame Armor

Thanos has been nothing but a tyrant in the MCU, decimating entire planets and spearheading mass genocides of whole civilizations. All in the name for his ‘noble’ cause of restoring universal balance. So the Penance Stare does have some footing. The pain and suffering the Mad Titan has caused could easily be used against him if Thanos stares into the Rider’s eyes.

Thanos #15 gives us definite proof. In this timeline, Thanos decimates all of the universe’s heroes and makes a Power Cosmic enforced Ghost Rider his servant. One fine day, he decides to look deep into the burning sockets of the Cosmic Ghost Rider as he uses his Penance Stare on him. And his only remark is:


Thanos #15 - Thanos calls the Penance Stare 'Beautiful'
Thanos #15 – Thanos calls the Penance Stare ‘Beautiful’

This proves that Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare does not work on Thanos. For the ability to work, the sinner must acknowledge his past evil actions as sins. But Thanos remembers his past actions as not moments of sins but as fond memories.

Ghost Rider (2007)
Ghost Rider (2007)

Long story short, the Penance Stare will not work on Thanos because the guy, in some twisted fashion, truly believes what he is doing is right. Thanos actually thinks that his actions are noble, not evil. So the stare is ineffective against him.


Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

Articles Published: 1230

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.