Right now, Johnny Blaze is the King of Hell and Danny Ketch is a Spirit of Corruption - and at the center of it all is Lilith, a longtime Ghost Rider villain whose roots go all the way back to the biblical Old Testament.
Spinning into her own Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons one-shot, Lilith will once again rise through Hell to attempt to seize the throne that once belonged to Mephisto.
Regular Ghost Rider series writer Ed Brisson and artist Roland Boschi will bring Lilith to the forefront delving into how she reached her latest incarnation - and what she has in store for the Ghost Riders through her machinations.
Newsarama spoke with Brisson ahead of Mother of Demons' February 12 release to find out all about the diabolical plans unfolding, including how Lilith's schemes will directly influence what's currently happening in the ongoing Ghost Rider series.
Newsarama: Ed, Mother of Demons focuses on a classic Ghost Rider enemy – Lilith. What does her return mean for the Spirits of Vengeance?
Ed Brisson: Nothing good. Lilith believes that, now that Mephisto is gone, Hell should be hers and much of this issue is her building her case and plotting a takeover. We get to a broader tease here of what sort of schemes she's up to - some that relate to Danny and his new status as the Spirit of Corruption.
Nrama: Lilith has been away for a while and this story explores where she’s been. Obviously you can’t give that away – but how has this absence and what she’s been doing affected her attitude toward Ghost Rider and the plan she’s been carrying out?
Brisson: While she's maybe been absent from the books, she's definitely been around and she's been waiting. She's furious that Johnny is currently king of hell - he's got no right to the throne. He's a servant to the throne, while she's been a large part of Mephisto's history. So, not only does she feel jilted because she's not on the throne, but she's angry about who is on the throne and she's going to do everything in her power to make his reign as miserable as possible.
Nrama: Lilith is a villain who goes way back – and has some big Marvel ramifications on everything from vampires to the Darkhold and beyond. How does that long history play in here?
Brisson: We do an overview of who Lilith is and where she's been, from the dawn of man right up until the present.
Nrama: You’re working with Roland Boschi on this story, who has his own Ghost Rider pedigree. What makes him the perfect collaborator for Mother of Demons?
Brisson: I mean, Roland is great. He's a top-notch artist who's done some incredible work on one of my favourite Ghost Rider runs of all time. His linework is just fantastic, he's bringing his history with the characters to the table, while adding a whole lot of new and exciting stuff to the lore.
Nrama: What’s your favorite thing he drew for this one-shot?
Brisson: Oh man. It's really hard to pick. There's a splash with Ghost Rider fighting some familiar faces that is just incredible. Another page where we're going through all the levels of hell that is particularly heinous (in the best way imaginable). Also, there's a two page sequence where we show readers how Lilith's appearance changed from the old design to the new that is...well, it needs to be seen.
Nrama: In #4, Danny Ketch bonded to the Spirit of Corruption. How does the rise of the Lilith threat work with this?
Brisson: That's a tough one to get into without spoiling what's to come. There are a lot of players who are maybe aren't being 100% honest with their motivations and Danny's change is a big part of that. Now, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for Lilith, I'm not saying.
Nrama: Bottom line, what can Ghost Rider fans expect from Mother of Demons?
Brisson: They can expect an action-packed 30 pager that fills in a lot "how we got here" info while also pushing the story forward, showing just how hig the stakes are for Danny and Johnny.