Fictional character biographyEdit
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 and only awakened by Mephisto's actions. In his superhuman form, Badilino was called Vengeance, and originally attempted to kill Ghost Rider, believing him to be Zarathos. Around this time he became involved in a demonic attack on the Quentin Carnival, a battle that left many innocent people dead.
Side of GoodEdit
Eventually, Vengeance was won over to the side of good when Ghost Rider was proven not to be the demon Zarathos, the one truly responsible for Badilino's hatred. This is spurred on when three demonic entities, children of the demi-goddess Lilith, attack Badilino's police precinct. Frozen with indecision, Badilino sees a young boy in danger of being killed by Blackout. He transforms and saves the child. As part of a plan to combat the forces of Lilith (and in retreating, protect the innocent), Vengeance then teams up with the Nightstalkers, both Ghost Riders, Victoria Montesi and other heroes. Vengeance would also take on the role of the Ghost Rider and even semi-seriously referred to himself by the name when confronted by Spider-Man. This is shortly after the apparent death of Ghost Rider in battle with Zarathos and his acolytes, The Fallen.
Vengeance became involved with Eddie Brock/Venom during the latter's involvement with a group of underground homeless in California. Several of the homeless people had been taken hostage by a group of mercenaries called 'Stalkers'. The mercs had merged with ancient alien technology and were soon overcome by the alien's desires to hunt for sport. In order to save the lives of two hostages (the others were released to facilitate the sport), Vengeance and Venom were forced through a technologically-created portal; it was set to a random spot on Earth. The two ended up in a South American jungle. Vengeance summons his mystical bike but since the two were so far away from where they had been, it would take some time. The two cooperated, using tricks and teamwork to destroy all but one of the aliens. An unlucky group of drug smugglers were caught in a literal crossfire and were seemingly killed, not that Venom or Vengeance actually cared. The bike finally arrived and the two headed back to America to rescue the hostages, who had been temporarily freed by other means, only to get into more trouble.
Upon the return of Ghost Rider, Vengeance leaves New York and re-joins a special governmental task force. One of their first missions is stop a group of terrorists and rescue their hostages. Badilino finds the hostages are all dead. Badilino transforms into Vengeance and suffers a mental break, setting out to kill anyone who had done but the smallest of sins. Vengeance's actions are brought to the attention of Ghost Rider and Blaze and they immediately set out to show Vengeance the error of his ways or destroy him. Badilino however, realizing that his alter ego Vengeance is out of control, kills himself, along with the villain Hellgate, by triggering a massive explosion through his hellfire. Badilino's suicide meant he was damned to Hell for all eternity, where his punishment is eternal stinging by scorpions. Vengeance is later discovered by Daniel Ketch and Naomi Kale in Hell. After being freed, Vengeance reappears in the last four issues of Ghost Rider, where he is involved in Blackheart's plans to kill Noble Kale. He aids the Ghost Rider in the ensuing battle, resulting in Blackheart's destruction. Noble Kale, now the new ruler of Hell, then asks Vengeance to aid him in governing it. Vengeance's current status is unknown, although in a recent issue of Ghost Rider's newest run, Badilino's name is seen among a pile of books in a sacred library holding the secrets to the Spirits of Vengeance. He has recently been seen in issue #30 of the most recent run of Ghost Rider giving the Hellfire shotgun to an ex-cop named Kowalski. He claims to have obtained it from the Caretaker's burnt down shack where it wasn't even singed. He states that someone with a conection to the Ghost Rider can use the gun but he can't, he then witnesses Kowalski accidentally destroy his wall when he pulls the trigger. At the end of issue #32 Kowalski is transformed into the new Vengeance sporting green flames and a hook for his right hand after Daniel Ketch returns the powers of the spirits of vengeance to earth.
Powers and appearanceEdit
Being a Spirit of Vengeance, he possesses the exact same powers as Ghost Rider. He was characterised by his skull being deep purple, and multiple spikes protruding from his skeleton. He can detach some of these and use them as weapons. Vengeance has a slightly different appearance in the Ghost Rider video game. His Skull is no longer purple but still retains the protruding spikes. He has a more demonic look with his rib cage popping out of his chest. His Cycle is slightly different in that it has a dragon head skull instead of a normal skull. His Bone Chain is also a little different. Vengeance's powers come from a shard of the "Medallion of Power" that has been bound to him since his birth. It is a common misconception that Badilino possesses half of the medallion (two parts of the existing four, both his own and the one originally belonging to his sister). In replies to reader letters in one of the issues of the second volume of Ghost Rider, it was explained that Vengeance only possesses a single part of the artifact (i.e. one fourth).