If you caught a glimpse of the eerie looking hooded figure in the new Ant-Man and the Wasp trailer, you just met the newest villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Ghost. That name may sound familiar or may mean nothing to audiences, but while she may be a lesser-known villain, the character has a fascinating and storied comic book history.
Marvel Comics fans know Ghost as the superhuman anarchist from the pages of Iron Man, a supervillain with a shady and violent past. He (yes, he) first appeared in a storyline that spanned Iron Man #219 and Iron man #220 (written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, art by Layton and Julianna Ferriter) in which he attempted to sabotage Tony Stark’s business as he was hired to do by Roxxon Corporation. This is where the first hint that he wasn’t your typical hired gun appeared; even when Roxxon attempted to terminate its contract with him, Ghost insisted he would finish the job regardless.
Ghost’s technology allows him to turn invisible and become intangible, but not simultaneously. The suit (which he basically never removes, and yes, it’s as gross as you might imagine) allows him to connect and interface with all sorts of technology, even if he doesn’t come into physical contact with a device. These abilities make him a highly sought after hacker and assassin, though would-be clients often find that he’s a lot more than they bargained for.
As for Ghost’s origins and what turned him into the untouchable corporate saboteur he is, the short answer is, no one really knows — and that’s just the way he likes it. After all, he was the one that eradicated all trace of his former existence prior to his life as the Ghost.
He did reveal in Thunderbolts #151 (written Jeff Parker, illustrated by Kev Walker and Frank Martin) that he was once a brilliant programmer and engineer working for Omnisapient, an IT company. He accomplished a lot for that company, such as creating a processor capable of handling massive amounts of data by becoming intangible. Ghost’s innovative technology was given the name “ghost tech,” which ended up saving his life when Omnisapient’s board of directors hired a hitman to eliminate him and make it look like an accident. Thus, Ghost embarked on a violent and lethal rampage that stole the lives of each member of the board that tried to manipulate him, sparking a deep-seated loathing for corporations and the greedy, heartless people running them.
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Throughout his history, Ghost’s main, if not only, motivation is to tear apart symbols and figures of capitalism, which is why he has gone after figures such as Tony Stark, Justin Hammer, Peter Parker and even the Roxxon Corporation. However, while very little is known about him, there’s clearly more to him than just anticapitalist motivations.
For example, although he once joined Norman Osborn’s Thunderbolts and aided the former Green Goblin in his conquest of the world, Ghost revealed that he did so only so that he could later act as a virus and tear down Osborn’s empire from the inside, a goal he eventually achieved.
Clearly, there’s something almost noble in him, which is why– after the “Dark Reign” storyline– Ghost was invited to join the New Thunderbolts. During this time, he revealed a bit of his past to Moonstone, though we’re never told how much of that is completely true.
A female version of Ghost will appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp this July, played by Hannah John-Kamen. Keeping Hank Pym’s company in mind, and presuming that most every other aspect of the character remains faithful to the comics, we’re likely to see the character trying to commit some form of industrial sabotage, though the target here seems to be Pym Technologies rather than Tony Stark’s holdings.
Ant-Man and the Wasp premieres July 6, directed by Peyton Reed, starring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne, Laurence Fishburne as Bill Foster and Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost.