Rise Of The Midnight Sons (1992) Reading Order

Due to the unexpected popularity of 1990’s relaunched Ghost Rider relaunch, Marvel Comics saw fit to tap in to the renewed interest in the darkest corners of the their universe. Bringing Johnny Blaze (the previous Ghost Rider), Morbius the ‘living vampire’, some supporting characters from Tomb of Dracula and a handful of new characters into the mix, we ended up with the Midnight Sons. Together, they’re anti-heroes who tackle supernatural threats, despite some of them being supernatural threats. So, yes, they mostly hate each other.

But nothing brings people together quite like mutual contempt. And Lilith is the most contemptible creature of all. If she can kill just one of the Midnight Sons (referred to in-story as The Nine), then she can break the barriers between dimensions and bring hell to Earth. Because why wouldn’t you?

SCROLL DOWN to the bottom for the KEY COLLECTED EDITIONS for this event!

Crossover: Officially, ‘Rise of the Midnight Sons’ is a standard six-part crossover, but you can read the additional Ghost Rider and Spirits of Vengeance issues to see the full story.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

Anthology Issues: When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example, [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Ghost Rider #28
  • Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #1
  • Ghost Rider #29 (tie-in)
  • Morbius: The Living Vampire #1
  • Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #2 (tie-in)
  • Ghost Rider #30 (tie-in)
  • Darkhold #1
  • Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #3 (tie-in)
  • Nightstalkers #1
  • Ghost Rider #30

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue & Synopsis
Ghost Rider #28
Since the death of Danny Ketch at Blackout‘s hands, the Ghost Rider has been dishing out harsher vengeance and showing very little mercy. In Cypress Hills Cemetery, the Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze are warned by a man calling himself the Caretaker that the cops have the place surrounded. The exhausted Ghost Rider enters the mausoleum and converses with Danny’s disembodied spirit on another plane where they meet Lilith who promises to return and rise to power with her Lilin. Others appear in the vision who Lilith swears will be unable to stop her. Lilith tortures Danny’s spirit while Ghost Rider’s body is attacked in the mausoleum by Blackout and Stern who turn their attention on the approaching police, especially Lieutenant Michael Badilino. Blackout and Stern escape and, when Caretaker gives Blaze a new flaming motorcycle, he and Ghost Rider head off on a new mission to stop the rise of Lilith, observed as they go by Doctor Strange
Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #1
Once Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze have escaped a whole cadre of cops, Ghost Rider uses his penance stare to show Blaze that his vision was real. Lilith is reborn from the corpse of the fallen angel, Leviathan, and begins gathering her Lilin. Pilgrim is the first to join his mother, followed by the reluctant Creed. Blackout is revealed to be a descendant of the Lilin and joins her, as well. Blaze returns to the Quentin Carnival in Rhode Island and immediately prepares to send his wife and kids away to safety to spare them from the war with Lilith. But the Lilin arrive and teleport away with Craig Blaze, Johnny’s son. They catch up with the Lilin, Blaze kills Creed and Craig is rescued. Carnival psychic Clara Menninger points the duo in the direction of New York to begin their search for allies by locating Martine Bancroft
Ghost Rider #29 (tie-in)
On their way through Connecticut, Ghost Rider senses the senseless murder of Penner Security Associates secretary by three rebellious mercenary employees, the Next Wave, who have decided to strike out on their own. Ghost Rider and Blaze are aided in bringing down Next Wave by Wolverine and the Beast of the X-Men. Wolverine senses something was different about Ghost Rider when they recently fought together in New Orleans (during BROOD FEUD). Ghost Rider reveals Danny is dead, but his spirit is still active…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue & Synopsis
Morbius: The Living Vampire #1
Ghost Rider and Blaze track down Martine Bancroft, the former girlfriend of Dr Michael Morbius, the living vampire. Lilith locates more Lilin – Fang and Nakota – who’ll help her find Morbius. But Martine’s scientist contact, Dr Langford, is also hoping to track Morbius down on behalf of his employer, Doctor Paine. Ghost Rider apprehends the out-of-control Morbius and Langford sneakily injects him with a ‘cure’, which is secretly intended to kill him. But Fang sabotaged the ‘cure’ with his Lilin blood which mutates Morbius further. Martine discovers Langford’s treachery, so he shoots her, leaving her corpse for Morbius to find and feast on. Ghost Rider and Blaze catch up with Morbius after he kills Langford. Morbius promises he’ll only feast on the guilty in his search for a cure for his mutation. Ghost Rider is fine with this. Meanwhile, Lilith punishes Nakota and demands she help her locate Victoria Montesi
Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #2 (pp.1-13) (tie-in)
Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze return to the Quentin Carnival to plan their next move. Ghost Rider’s flame turns out and his body collapses, leaving Blaze to protect the Carnival when Steel Vengeance (Steel Wind‘s sister) comes gunning for the Spirits of Vengeance, looking for a little vengeance of her own.
Ghost Rider #30 (tie-in)
Nightmare was behind Ghost Rider’s collapse, bringing the Spirit of Vengeance and Dan’s soul into his Nightmare Realm to kill them and allow Lilith to reign on Earth. With her in control, humanity would have even more nightmares and make Nightmare himself more powerful. Ghost Rider and Danny share a part of each other to combat Nightmare and save themselves from his manifestations of the Lilin. Ghost Rider prepares to return to his body, while Danny begins his journey back to the land of the living…
Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #2 (pp.14-22) (tie-in)
Steel Vengeance is brought down by Blaze and his fellow carnies, but she warns Blaze that her Master (who can only be Centuriuos) is coming. And that means Zarathos must also be free! Ghost Rider recovers and uses his penance stare on Steel Vengeance, only to discover she has no soul. She escapes, but drives off a ravine in what appears to be a fatal crash. Ghost Rider decides it’s time to search for the Darkhold Redeemers. Meanwhile, Lilith learns a she has a potential ally in the Master…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue & Synopsis
Darkhold #1
Victoria Montesi ends up in hospital when someone rigs her apartment to explode. Her father, Vittorio Montesi, believes the Chthon-worshipping Darkholders are responsible and Interpol provides Special Agent Sam Buchanan to act as her bodyguard. After dodging an attack by ninja, Vicky and Sam follow her newfound psychic instincts to America where she meets old family friend, archaeology professor Louise Hastings who’s advising the Long Island police with a murder involving a black envelope. They’re attacked by the killer, Donald Walsh, who accepted the envelope from the mysterious Dwarf and was turned into a murderous being made of worms after reading a page from the Darkhold. Both the Spirits of Vengeance, Darkholder ninjas and the Lilin arrive in the melee. Donald is killed when he’s eaten by birds and Johnny Blaze burns Lilith with hellfire before she escapes, leaving Nakota behind. Modred watches the formation of the Darkhold Redeemers from afar, while the Dwarf is busy finding his next victim…
Ghost Rider & Blaze Spirits of Vengeance #3 (tie-in)
Lilith brings another Lilin, Skinner, out of his idyllic life to fight by her side. Skinner kills his family rather than allow them to be used as pawns against him and sets off to kill Johnny Blaze for Lilith. While Ghost Rider is distracted chasing down Nakota, Skinner pursues Johnny Blaze through Dutchess County for the thrill of the hunt, only for Blaze to simply burn all his skin off with hellfire. Skinner’s talon-riddled skeleton rises from the flames. Ghost Rider arrives and helps Blaze bash and burn the bones apart before the pair head off, not realising Skinner still lives…
Nightstalkers #1
Doctor Strange puts Frank Drake‘s wife into a temporary trance, has Blade released from psychiatric care and encourages Hannibal King to accept the return of his vampiric tendencies to steer the three men back towards each other and re-establish their defunct Borderline Investigative Services business. Their first client is Lilith (in an almost pointless disguise) who begs for their help in dealing with their speciality – a supernatural threat – in the form of Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze. As the Nightstalkers, the trio set a trap for the Spirits of Vengeance and their battle is encouraged from the sidelines by Meatmarket, the latest reborn Lilin. Blade almost kills Blaze until he senses Meatmarket nearby and the Nightstalkers realise they’ve been played. Blade has Meatmarket’s head returned to Lilith and the Nightstalkers and Spirits of Vengeance form a shaky truce.
Ghost Rider #31
Lilith teleports the Nine (aka the Midnight Sons – Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Morbius, the Darkhold Redeemers and the Nightstalkers) to the Arctic Circle for their climactic clash. In order to nullify their power to prevent her from exerting her control over the Earth, she only needs to kill one of them. Pilgrim tears open a rift in Lilith’s chest, then the Lilin and the Nine go to war. Lilith pulls a mutated Danny Ketch from the space between the Nightmare Realm and Realm of Dreams through the rift and pits him against the Nine. But the creature is on no one’s side and attacks everyone. Ghost Rider chains Danny up and hurls him back through the rift before contorting Lilith and forcing her head into her own rift. With Lilin defeated, Doctor Strange reveals his presence and explains that he was unable to confront Lilith directly without great risk to the dimensional walls. But Lilith isn’t down. She consumes her remaining Lilin to gain the strength to fight again another day…

Must ReadsIssue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Morbius: The Living Vampire #2-4 (1993)
Before the battle at the Arctic Circle, Morbius and Spider-Man clash, then join forces against Doctor Paine and his agents.
Ghost Rider #32 (1992)
Doctor Strange helps save Danny Ketch’s soul and restores him to physical form.
Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #7 (1992)
The Next Wave next appear when they’re hired by Hydra to take down Silver Sable.
Darkhold #2 (1992)
Morty Thurnton uses his Darkhold page to summon a Hellhound, costing him his life.
Darkhold #3 (1992)
The treacherous Modred reveals himself to be the Darkhold Redeemers’ benefactor.
Darkhold #5 (1993)
Reverend Styge is killed by the Punisher.
Ghost Rider #34-36 (1993)
Caretaker starts revealing secrets and cryptic hints about Danny Ketch and the Ghost Rider’s true abilities and purpose.
Ghost Rider #37 (1993)
Stern pursues the Ghost Rider on behalf of the Firm, again; when he fails, Centurious turns Stern to ash.
Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #7 (1993)
Steel Vengeance returns with her sister, Steel Wind, and attack the Quentin Carnival again.
Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #9-10 (1993)
Lt Michael Badilino makes a deal with Mephisto to become Vengeance; Centurious is revealed for the first time.
Secret Defenders #1 (1993)
Lilith’s return weakens the walls between dimensions enough that it allows other supernatural creatures to break though, starting with the Viral Swarm.

Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #52 (1993)
When Doctor Strange and Morbius next meet, it’s as enemies rather than friends.
Nightstalkers #10 (1993)
Blade uses a page from the Darkhold to supernaturally empower himself with the means to kill other supernatural beings.
Darkhold #11 (1993)
Modred joins the Darkhold Redeemers.

Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #13 (1993)
As ‘Switchblade’, Blade murders numerous members of the Nine; Louise Hastings sacrifices her own sould to resurrect the Midnight Sons; Lilith decides it’s time to bring her Lilin back and make her final bid for power.
Morbius: The Living Vampire #13-14 (1993)
Martine Bancroft returns as a vampire.

Must ReadsIssue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Ghost Rider #41 (1993)
Blackout, Pilgrim, Meatmarket and Fang are reborn; Ghost Rider begins seeking the truth about his origins; Centurious and Lilith form an alliance.

Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #14 (1993)
Skinner returns.

Ghost Rider #42-43 (1993)
Caretaker reveals the origin of the Blood, a group who allied with the original Spirits of Vengeance and fought to keep the Medallion of Power from falling into the hands of Zarathos; when the Medallion was shattered its pieces were passed to two human families who have since been watched by the immortal Caretaker; Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch are revealed to be brothers, sharing Barton Blaze as their father; Zarathos returns, having escaped the Soul Crystal and been confirmed as a separate entity to the new Ghost Rider.
Ghost Rider #44 (1993)
Doctor Strange becomes one of the Midnight Sons himself, when he becomes directly involved in the war with Lilith.

Darkhold #15 (1993)
Louise Hastings is killed by Morbius while he’s possessed by one of the Lilin.

Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #17 (1993)
Nakota and Pilgrim (and presumably Doc and Fang) are sucked into a hell dimension when Zarathos rises again.

Darkhold #16 (1994)
Victoria Montesi is revealed to have been adopted by Vittorio Montesi and is, in fact, the daughter of Chthon the Darkhold Redeemers disband.

Marvel Comics Presents #146 (1994)
Meatmarket is killed by Devil-Slayer.

Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #61 (1994)
Doctor Strange places the pregnant Victoria Montesi in statis to prevent the rebirth of Chthon.

Midnight Sons Unlimited #4 (1994)
Ghost Rider is killed in the final battle against Zarathos, ending his partnership with Johnny Blaze; Lilith is defeated but spends her time waiting to give birth to the Lilin she made with Zarathos while she’s trapped in the Shadowside; the Midnight Sons alter their line-up after losing members in the war against Zarathos.Darkhold 11
Nightstalkers #16-18 (1994)
Hannibal King and Frank Drake appear to die in battle with Bloodstorm (the clone of Dracula) and Varnae, bringing the Nightstalkers’ partnership to and end.
Ghost Rider #50 (1994)
Roxanne Simpson dies at the hands of Anton Hellgate.
Ghost Rider #56-57 (1994-1995)
Fredrick Penner hires a group called the Posse to kill the Next Wave; Ghost Rider and Wolverine defeat both the Next Wave and the Posse.
Ghost Rider #62-64 (1995)
Skinner is revealed to have survived being sucked into a hell dimension and found himself a prisoner of a secret organisation; Skinner battles the Ghost Rider again.

Must ReadsIssue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Ghost Riders: Crossroads #1 (1995)
Johnny Blaze temporarily becomes the Ghost Rider again; Blaze’s kids – Craig & Emma Blaze – are revealed to have died.
Over The Edge #9 (1996)
Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze team up against Skinner when he returns for the final time.
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #89-90 (1996)
Victoria Montesi is awoken from stasis by an agent of Chthon; Doctor Strange used Victoria’s purity to prevent the rebirth of Chthon.
Ghost Rider #1 (2001)
Johnny Blaze is revealed to have become the Ghost Rider again.
Witches #1-4 (2004)
Lilith manages to escape the Shadowside and return to the Earthly plane, giving birth to the first of her new Lilin; Lilith is defeated by Doctor Strange.
Captain Britain and MI13 #3-4 (2008)
Having been imprisoned in a mystic vault, at some point, Lilith is among the demonic creatures freed by Pete Wisdom to defend England from the invading Skrulls.
Captain Britain and MI13 #12-15 (2009)
Lilith allies with Dracula and his Vampire Nation; Lilith is destroyed by Captain Britain and Meggan.
Marvel Zombies 4 #1-4 (2009)
Morbius forms a new Midnight Sons team (consisting of himself, Werewolf By Night, Jennifer Kale and Hellstorm (Daimon Hellstrom) to tackle Dormammu and a zombie invasion from Earth-2149.
Ghost Rider #26-27 (2008)
The Caretaker finally reveals the origin of the Ghost Rider and his true connection to Danny Ketch; Caretaker dies due to injuries suffered n battle with Death Ninja; Caretaker’s granddaughter, Sara, becomes the new Caretaker.
Amazing Spider-Man #622 (2010)
Morbius ends Martine Bancroft’s ‘life’ as a vampire by driving a stake through her heart.
Carnage #6-16 (2016-2017)
Victoria Montesi is revealed to have abandoned her chance of a normal life and joined the Children of the Midnight Sun who work to prevent the Darkholders from obtaining the Carnage Symbiote; the Darkhold Dwarf is among the antagonists working for Chthon.
Doctor Strange: Damnation #1-4 (2018)
Doctor Strange forms a new Midnight Sons team (alongside Blade, Ghost Rider/Johnny Blaze, Elsa Bloodstone, Doctor Voodoo, Iron Fist, Man-Thing, Moon Knight and the Scarlet Spider/Ben Reilly) to oppose Mephisto and some demonically-possessed Avengers.
Midnight Suns #1-5 (2022-2023)
Blade, Wolverine, Agatha Harkness, Magik, Nico Minoru, Zoe Laveau and Spirit Rider work together to take on Korrosion; the group are referred to editorially as the Midnight Suns, but don’t actually use the name themselves.

Collected Edition TitleCollects…
Spirits of Vengeance: Rise of the Midnight SonsDarkhold #1
Ghost Rider #28, 31
Ghost Rider & Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #1-6
Midnight Sons Unlimited #1
Morbius: The Living Vampire #1
Nightstalkers #1
Web of Spider-Man #95-96

Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Darkhold: Pages From The Book of Sins – The Complete CollectionDarkhold #1

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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