It’s official. Ghost Rider will ride with the Agents of SHIELD in Season Four. AOS, not Doctor Strange will open up the flood gates of mysticism in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in case the head ninja of The Hand in Daredevil Season 2 turns out to be a vampire, the credit goes to them. However, this is not the Ghost Rider everyone outside of comics is used to. Don’t expect Crazy Cage to pop out anytime soon.
“Season 4 will unquestionably be the series’ biggest, most ambitious story yet, and it all begins with the introduction of one of our greatest legacy characters in Ghost Rider… When the Spirit of Vengeance rides into SHIELD, it’ll change everything,”
— Jeph Loeb, Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television
Agents of SHIELD hinted at tapping into the Spirit of Vengeance through their SDCC trolley that shows the SHIELD Logo above a large flaming chain. Fans immediately associated the flaming chain to Ghost Rider fanning rumors that he’ll be showing up on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD instead of having his own Netflix series. It wasn’t immediately confirmed because AOS has its own flaming-chain wielding character in the form of Inhuman JT Slade aka Hellfire who was an agent of Hive. Coincidentally, his surname points to Marvel Comics’ first published Ghost Rider character named Carter Slade.
As mentioned, the Ghost Rider who will be joining AOS won’t be who we’re used to. He won’t have a flaming skull nor will he ride a flaming motorcycle. This new Ghost Rider will be wearing a flaming skull-stylized helmet, and he’ll be riding a flaming Dodge Charger. This new Ghost Rider will be based on the All-New Ghost Rider character first published in 2014. He won’t be named Johnny Blaze or the 90s Dan Ketch. He’s LA-based Latino teenager Robbie Reyes.
In the comics, Robbie is a workshop mechanic who does street racing on the side to support his paraplegic younger brother Gabe. On the night, he borrows his client’s car for a race, unaware of its hidden stash of drugs. He’s intercepted by a rival gang and gets killed but gets possessed by a spirit inside the car and becomes a new Ghost Rider. That’s his comic origin anyway as AOS might twist it a bit or won’t show it immediately. The All-New Ghost Rider comic series is great with some stylized art and a great plot. Also, unlike what was told in the previous Ghost Rider films, this one isn’t possessed by a rogue angel from heaven. The possessing spirit is that of a murderous Satan worshipper. Interesting.
TV’s Gabriel Luna of True Detective has been announced by Marvel to take the Ghost Rider mantle. Wouldn’t it be fun if they actually got Zayn Malik since Robbie’s character design was based on Zayn? It would be interesting to know how Ghost Rider will figure in the season’s overall story. With the ending of Season 3, the show is probably done with the Inhuman angle for a while. It would be hard to imagine how this Ghost Rider would be an Inhuman. To get a car to flame up and work with you, powers from fish oil won’t cut it. Will he be in just a couple of episodes or in several as part of a half-season arc since the team will also be dealing with a new director, Daisy going rogue and potentially using live-model decoys. Will we also be seeing Kyle McLachlan again as Mr. Hyde since he’s Robbie’s main antagonist in the comics? Grab the series since it’s a good starting point for the character as he’s not burdened with the convoluted, complex history of the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider.
Traditional Ghost Rider fans needn’t worry. There are several Ghost Riders in the Marvel Universe and as rumored before, Johnny Blaze or Daniel Ketch might find themselves in the Netflix universe along with Moon Knight and Blade especially if the reception for Robbie is overwhelmingly positive. If so, we might have two Ghost Riders produced by two studios.