I have always been a Marvel Comics devotee, and my favorite Marvel character is Ghost Rider, the #1 hero of my childhood. I was beyond hyped when Ghost Rider received his own film back in 2007, and that first GHOST RIDER movie came close to delivering what I wanted to see, it just went too heavy on the cheesiness and too light on the fights. The 2012 reboot/sequel GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, on the other hand, was a mess that got pretty much everything wrong.
Following those two poorly received films, which were released by Columbia Pictures/Sony, the Ghost Rider screen rights reverted to Marvel, and fans have been wondering how Marvel Studios might use the character. Would they give him his own film? A Netflix series?
We now have the answer, as Ghost Rider is set to enter the Marvel film and television universe very soon, and in an unexpected place: the character is going to be featured on the fourth season of the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Ghost Rider who will be reaching the small screen isn't a version of the character I grew up with. It's not Johnny Blaze, the character who was played by Nicolas Cage in the Sony films, or his successor Danny Ketch. It's Robbie Reyes, a character created by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore in the pages of All-New Ghost Rider in 2014. "Robbie Reyes is a young mechanic living in Los Angeles possessed by the Spirit which he uses against the local gangs and to win street races."
Jeph Loeb, executive producer of the series and the head of Marvel Television, had this to say: "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 S.H.I.E.L.D., it’ll change everything."
Reyes will be played by Gabriel Luna, who joins the established Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast; Clark Gregg as Director Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Agent Daisy Johnson, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Agent Lance Hunter, Adrianne Palicki as Agent Bobbi Morse, Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie, and Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell.
Season four of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will begin airing on ABC on Tuesday, September 20.
The fact that Ghost Rider is going to be on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is quite surprising to me, and Robbie Reyes isn't the version of the character I was hoping to see enter the MCU, but I will definitely be watching the Reyes Rider bring vengeance to S.H.I.E.L.D. with a big smile on my face.