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Supervillain Origins: Ghost

VO: Adrian Sousa
Written by Thomas O'Connor Ghost has lurked in the shadows of the Marvel Universe for decades, but it’s time for this mysterious figure to get some time in the spotlight. Welcome to Supervillain Origins, and today we’re giving you the inside scoop on the enigmatic hacker known as The Ghost, who first appeared in Iron Man #219, created by writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Ghost has lurked in the shadows of the Marvel Universe for decades, but it’s time for this mysterious figure to get some time in the spotlight. Welcome to Supervillain Origins, and today we’re giving you the inside scoop on the enigmatic hacker known as The Ghost, who first appeared in Iron Man #219, created by writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton.

Unlike almost every other character in comics, this Ghost’s past remained a closely guarded secret for quite some time. While we now know more about his origins, crucial details like his real name remain a complete mystery.

Thanks to the GhostTech lacing his body and the suit that conceals his true face, Ghost has the ability to turn invisible as well as intangible, allowing him to live up to his name. Even without his ability to control any computer just by touching it, he’s also an incredibly skilled hacker. In the physical and digital worlds, there’s no way to keep him out.

The man who would become Ghost began as an up and coming programmer and engineer working for a major computer company called Omnisapient. After years of climbing the corporate ladder, the young wunderkind was given the chance of a lifetime when he was put in charge of Omnisapient’s new make-or-break project: GhostTech. This new form of processor could actually become partially intangible as a way to avoid overheating, allowing it to process more information than any other chip on the market.

He dove headfirst into this project, invigorated by the responsibility placed upon him by Omnisapient’s head honchos. He even struck up a relationship with a fellow employee. But as is often the case in stories like these, tragedy struck when his new girlfriend perished in an explosion caused by a gas leak.

Despondent, the young man threw himself even deeper into his work, integrating GhostTech computer chips into his own body. This allowed him to link mentally with information systems, an ability he used to escape the real world. But this only brought more misery. His deep-dives into cyber-space revealed that his girlfriend was not only paid by Omnisapient’s CEOs to pursue a relationship with him but was murdered by a hired killer when she started distracting him from his all-important work.

Before this realization could sink in, a similar attempt on his own life took place. In the ensuing explosion, the intangibility function of the GhostTech chips in his body kicked in, granting him intangibility powers himself. Newly dubbed The Ghost, he took revenge on the corporate bigwigs that wronged him, swearing vengeance on big business at large for good measure.

Since his fiery origin, The Ghost has menaced multiple Marvel heroes as a corporate saboteur for hire, though he’d gladly do it for free. He first encountered Iron Man after being hired by the ruthless Roxxon corporation to sabotage a deal between Stark Enterprises and a tech company called Accutech. Later on, he re-emerged working for another of Tony’s old enemies, fellow industrialist Justin Hammer.

Eventually, The Ghost came into the employ of none other than Norman Osborn, when Osborn was running the latest incarnation of a team called The Thunderbolts. Ghost was one of several characters who rebelled against Osborn, staying on when leadership of the team was taken over by Luke Cage, who steered the group in a slightly more heroic direction.

But don’t let that fool you, even after his seeming change of heart, Ghost remained a cold, reclusive and downright spooky member of the team, never taking off his suit or revealing his true face. It was only when he was questioned by teammate Moonstone that Ghost revealed his origin. But for all we know, he was either lying to throw his teammate off, or his years of exposure to GhostTech have scrambled his memories.

Even after haunting comics pages for 30 years, this sinister foe and occasional hero is still surrounded by questions. For all we know, his true origin has yet to be told. We know one thing for sure, and that’s that any hero or villain who crosses this anti-corporate crusader needs to keep both eyes open.
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