- Caretaker (comics)
debut="Ghost Rider" #28 (Aug 1992)
Howard Mackieand Andy Kubert
Fictional character biography
Caretaker is a member of The Blood, a mystical organization dedicated to fighting evil. Caretaker himself is the guardian of the family line associated with the ancient Medallion of Power. He watches over the "Salem Fields Cemetery" in Cypress Hills,
Brooklyn, New York.
The cemetery has been the site of much magical evil, partly due to an ancient race of evil beings trapped beneath it.
Caretaker has his own system of secret tunnels leading throughout the place, many that go in visual range of the bodies. Well before becoming involved in the lives of both Ghost Riders, Caretaker meets and befriends
Ghost Rider, very weakened from an attack on his human host, Daniel Ketch, was being pursued by Lt. Badalino through the cemetery. Caretaker knocked out the police officer with his shovel. With the assistance of Johnny Blaze, Ghost Rider is able to escape capture. At a later time, Caretaker informs Daniel that he need not wait until innocent blood had been spilled before transforming into Ghost Rider.
Caretaker later works with Seer, a younger, 'rookie' member of his race, who sometimes fails to listen to orders.
In one incident, when Lilith returns from a seeming death, the result is a mist seeping from the cemetery. Where it touches, death literally follows. A group of "Midnight Sons" associates gather, including
Hannibal King, Victoria Montesiand the two Ghost Riders. They enter the cemetery in an attempt to save lives but are quickly overwhelmed. They rescue the reporter Linda Wei but all seems lost. Caretaker appears and saves their lives by leading them through one of his secret passages but even then they are almost overwhelmed. Later, well outside the cemetery, he declares he will take those involved with the 'Medallion of Power', Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze and Vengeance, well away from the city. If the forces of Lilith get the Medallion as a whole, they would be unstoppable. The heroes resist leaving, even to the point of Blaze drawing his gun on Caretaker. This is enough to convince him, though he still believes the group is being foolish.
Powers and abilities
Caretaker is part of the ancient race called 'the Blood'. He is seemingly immune or resistant to aging and conventional disease. He possesses a degree of superhuman strength and is a skillful fighter, mainly using his shovel. When needed, he has shown he can overpower Ghost Rider and Vengeance (a similarly powered being) at once. He can break the connection users have with the Medallion of Power; he can turn Ghost Rider back to Daniel Ketch at will.
Caretaker also rides an "ancient motorcycle," which possibly refers to its being an older 1960s-era model.
Sam Elliottportrayed the Caretaker in the 2007 film based on Ghost Rider. This version of the character, however, was not a member of the Blood, of which there is no mention in the movie, but in fact was Johnny Blaze's predecessor to the Ghost Rider title, having been subjected to the same curse 150 years before. In the film, the Caretaker turns out to be Carter Slade, another character owned by Marvel Comicsthat was originally named Ghost Rider, but later changed to Phantom Riderto make way for the new version. But Sam Elliot's depiction of this character is more along the lines of the Caretaker, in terms of emotion, or lack thereof. At one point, he even transforms into a Ghost Rider-style version of Carter Slade, complete with a flaming skull, nearly-charred clothes and a mystical horse on fire, as the Phantom Rider.
Caretaker appears in the "Ghost Rider" video game voiced by "
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