Leader of the Fallen, Cult of Zarathos; formerly Lilin
Zarathos can control the elements, engulfing his foes in rock spikes. He can generate an unholy, soul-consuming fire. When sufficiently empowered, he can generate energy shields or grow up to 30 feet, among other feats. Zarathos is also able to teleport.
Zarathos is immortal and superhumanly strong, he is unaffected by most non-magical weapons; he feeds off souls, belief and mankind's negative energy. He also has limited knowledge of magical lore, and possesses the ability to manipulate magical energies for a variety of effects. He is an excellent biker thanks to his merger with John Blaze.
2000 years ago, hearing the legends, the mage known as K'nutu led his starving tribe to find Zarathos' early remains. Against the chief's protest, they summoned Zarathos' essences back to Earth. Even though Zarathos was weakened due to part of him remaining trapped in the Medallion, he was still able to led the tribe to conquer their neighbors. In return, they for worshiped him and provided souls for him to consume, beginning with the protesting chief. This group became known as the "Cult of Zarathos." (To learn about K'nutu and/or the Cult of Zarathos, just click on their names above.)
After gaining more power and worshipers, Zarathos eventually challenged Mephisto for ownership of his realm. Mephisto, angered that Zarathos was destroying souls that might otherwise be his and regarding Zarathos as a potential rival, sent a man known as Centurious to confront Zarathos. When Zarathos tried to consume his soul, Centurious proved to be immune (his soul already claimed by Mephisto). Due to this, doubt began amongst Zarathos' followers. Eventually that doubt grew even stronger when Zarathos proved unable to defeat a manifestation of Mephisto, which allowed Mephisto to claim Zarathos' soul. (Click on the highlighted characters above to learn more about them.)
Over the next centuries, Mephisto bound Zarathos to various human servants, wielding his flames in Mephisto's cause--his memories wiped to make him compliant.
At one point, the Zarathos spirit fragment within the shattered Medallion possessed Max Parrish, who was trying to rescue his niece from the ancient sorcerer Comte St. Germaine. Zarathos would have kept his host stolen body, but a youthful Johnny Storm separated Max from the Medallion. (To learn about the characters above, just click on their highlighted names.)
Eventually, Mephisto merged Zarathos with carnival stunt rider Johnny Blaze (one of the Caretakers charges) transforming the Blaze/Zarathos entity into the vigilante known as the "Ghost Rider." Blaze and Zarathos remained bonded for years, their level of control over their shared form varying at times. Twice, Johnny Blaze and Zarathos were briefly separated. Once by the mage Azaziah hoping to usurp Zarathos' power, and another time by Mephisto as part of a wager with Asmodeus. However, they were rejoined both times. (To learn about the characters and/or others known as the Ghost Rider, click on the highlighted names above.)
At one point, Nightmare restored Zarathos' lost memories. Soon after this, Ghost Rider encountered Centurious again. When Centurious was sucked into his own Crystal of Souls, Zarathos willing followed seeking vengeances, breaking his bond with Blaze. (Click on the highlighted names above to learn more about Nightmare and/or the Crystal of Souls.)
Some time later, Centurious was freed form the Soul Crystal, unknowingly carrying Zarathos' essence within him; this allowed Zarathos to escape. After defeating Centurious, a confused Zarathos joined the demon Lilith and went after the Midnight Sons. However, they were easily defeated and thrown into the another dimension. (To learn about Lilith and/or the Midnight Sons, click on their highlighted names above. Note: Beware of the revealing outfit on Lilith's bio page.)
Once Zarathos and Lilith were able to escape that dimension, they planned to take over Earth by stealing the Medallion of Power. This time they received recruited Lilith's Lilin army (creating the Siege of Darkness). They once again went up against the Midnight Sons; however, once again the Midnight Sons defeated them and banished the Lilin. But, the Fallen arrived in time to save Zarathos. (To learn about the highlighted race and/or group above, click on their names above.)
Now as leader of the Fallen again, Zarathos commanded his followers to convert or kill the remaining Blood. Eventually, he comes up against the Midnight Sons and drains the essence of Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch), but it burned him from within. Taking advantage of Zarathos' weakening, Blade used a powerful weapon called the Justiciar and stabbed Zarathos with it, turning him to stone. Due to this, Zarathos' soul becoming lost between dimensions. The Midnight Sons left him in Cypress Hills Cemetery, unaware Lilith was carrying Zarathos' child. (To learn about the above highlighted characters and/or place, just click on their names.)
Recently, Mephisto's son Blackheart kidnapped Johnny Blaze. Using Blaze, Blackheart was able to draw Zarathos back, briefly remerging them as Ghost Rider. Although that bond was seemingly broken, Blaze has since become Zarathos' host again; how this happened remains unrevealed. (To learn about Blackheart, just click on his name above.)
To learn a little bit more about Zarathos, click on the following link, http://marvel.com/universe/Zarathos.
In the film Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the Ghost Rider is revealed to be an incarnation of Zarathos himself. In this version, Zarathos was an Angel of Justice sent to protect man. He was tricked into Hell by the Devil where he was corrupted and driven completely insane. His mission of protecting the innocent turned into punishing the guilty; thus, he became the Devil's Spirit of Vengeance. Due to this, the Ghost Rider is covered in yellow flames as he is a corrupted spirit. By the end of the movie, Zarathos finally remembers what his original mission was and the angel inside him finally reawakens. At the end of the movie, the Ghost Rider is shown to be covered now in blue flames.