Vengeance is a fictional American comic book character owned by Marvel Comics. He was initially introduced as the an antagonist for the Ghost Rider. Lt. Michael Badilino was the first known person to be host, now the entity is attached to Deputy Kowalski. Since his debut he has taken on the role of villain, hero and antihero, but he is usually portrayed as the latter. Like Ghost Rider, Vengeance is a Spirit of Vengeance, an entity sent from Heaven to punish sinners. He is one of the last Spirits of Vengeance in existence. Vengeance prefers using corporal punishment on human sinners where Ghost Rider takes a more pacifist approach. It is these different modus operandi that usually places them in conflict.
Vengeance has a more demonic demeanor then Ghost Rider or any other known Spirit of Vengeance. Although this has never been explained entirely there is a working theory from Ghost Rider lore. It is known that when the Spirits of Vengeance were sent to different parts of the world, they evolved into forms that closely resembled the myths, religion, culture and traditions they were to protect. It is believed that the entity that would become Vengeance was assigned a region where devil worship or some other ungodly faith was part of the belief system. Not only would this account for his appearance but may explain his more aggressive behavior.
When Zarathos' hellfire (the source of the mystical flames that encompass the bones of both Vengeance and Ghost Rider) caused serious psychological damage to a police officer named Badilino, he went on to kill his wife, daughter and himself, leaving only his young son, Michael Badilino, alive. With his sister's death, Michael inherited both quarters of the "Medallion of Power" that had been entrusted to his family millennia ago by the Blood. During his twenties, Badilino joined a special task force in the army but left to join the New York City police force, after the "death" of Anton Hellgate. Eventually, Badilino was promoted to lieutenant.
When Daniel Ketch became the new Ghost Rider, Michael Badilino believed him to be the same demon that had destroyed his family. He led a task force to destroy Ghost Rider, but failed repeatedly to do so. In frustration, he turned to Mephisto, trading his soul in exchange for the power to destroy the Ghost Rider. Mephisto made the deal, but unknown to Badilino the power was the dormant portion of the shard of Medallion of Power that was bound to Badilino (one of four shards) and only awakened by Mephisto's actions.
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Official Site: Marvel Entertainment
Researched by: razorback