A few weeks ago, The Marvel Report took you through a brief history of the early Ghost Riders. Now that journey continues as we unravel what happened when Johnny Blaze’s demonic cyclist powers fell into the hands of one Alejandra Jones.
It was July of 2011 and the creative team of Rob Williams and Matt Clark just launched a new Ghost Rider series in the midst of the Fear Itself crossover event. The Ghost Rider at the time, Johnny Blaze, had had about enough of his curse. No longer able to trust that anyone in the world was willing to help him without a price, he made a deal with a mysterious stranger named Adam to rid him of the Ghost Rider mantle. Even that deal had a catch, of course. The Ghost Rider would attach itself to another unsuspecting person, and the curse would transfer to them. Which brings us to…
Alejandra Jones was an eighteen year old Mexican-American girl sold by her own father into a Nicaraguan temple meant to train potential Ghost Riders. The same Adam who convinced Johnny Blaze to give up his curse ran the temple, and resurrected the Seeker in order to help him select the new Ghost Rider. It is thus that Alejandra inherits the fire, vengeance and handlebar that will make her the first female rider in the series.
Little does Alejandra know, Adam has a plan of his own to rid the world of sin through her. Which may sound like a good idea in theory, but in practice it’s rather apocalyptic. Because of this, Mephisto seeks Johnny out once more and asks for his help in getting Alejandra and her Ghost Rider power out of Adam’s clutches.
Turns out Alejandra is already wising up to Adam’s ways before Johnny comes to her rescue. Once he orders to eliminate the sin from her fellow students, the boys and girls she’s grown up with in the temple, she is quick to turn on him instead.
Though she fights against her teacher to protect her fellow students, is she willing to trust the help of a stranger when Johnny Blaze arrives? Adam quickly has her back under his spell. Johnny wants to take her away, but she would rather stay and follow her divine (or demonic?) calling.
Since the words of a stranger aren’t going to get through to her, the Seeker tries his hand at calming her instead. Unfortunately, Adam’s hold on her is too strong and Alejandra’s power soon rises to the level of a nuclear bomb that engulfs the whole country. The new Ghost Rider rids humanity of its sin by turning human beings into living zombies with no desires or aspirations. And so it is up to Johnny Blaze to step up and be the hero once more, which is an unfortunate way to introduce the first female protagonist in the series.
It’s heartbreaking to see a young woman like Alejandra Jones duped into believing that she’s saving the human race when in reality she’s about to destroy it. For once it may be a blessing that the demon Zarathos is still a part of her, whispering to her that the humans she’s freed from sin seem to no longer exist. And, more importantly, that Adam himself is filled with more sin than everyone else.
Before Alejandra can be used against her will to nuke humanity from space, Johnny Blaze arrives in his own space motorcycle to plead with her to take her power back.
In the end, it may not be Johnny’s words that convince Alejandra to fight back. Rather, it’s her own realization that she’s not responsible for Adam’s Original Sin (hmm, sounds very familiar and biblical…). She still goes nuclear, but it’s Adam she directs the explosion at. And then she’s left with the need to atone for her mistakes, assigning herself the mission of returning the souls of the men and women she unwittingly “freed” from sin.
Though Johnny offers his assistance, Alejandra Jones knows she needs to do this on her own. No longer will she be shackled by the orders of other men, whether they are well-intentioned or otherwise. The only help she’ll accept the is voice of Zarathos and the power of the Ghost Rider, which opens up doors to her that Johnny never knew about because at the time he had not reached his full potential.
If you’d like to read more of her adventures, check out Ghost Rider Vol 7, #1-9. Suffice it to say, Alejandra Jones ends her arc with her power being mostly being transferred back to Johnny. But by 2013, another Latino character takes on the Ghost Rider curse. Stay tuned for more backstory on Robbie Reyes prior to his debut in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season four premiere on September 20th.