The Ghost Rider is a popular Marvel Comics character who has had several incarnations over the years (There have been four so far.) Now that the rights to the demonic character are finally back at Marvel, he may be riding into the MCU, albeit on TV, not film. He may show up as part of season four of Agents of SHIELD this fall. There are several clues to indicate this.
The first clue was a San Diego trolley painted for this year’s Comic-Con, which had an image of the Ghost Rider’s famous flaming chain over the Agents of SHIELD emblem, and the slogan, “Get fired up!” Secondly, ABC has put out a casting call for two actors to appear on Agents of SHIELD season 4. Specifically, they are looking for actors to play “two Latino brothers”, one of whom will be “the most dangerous guy in the room” and the other will be in a wheelchair.
This description could fit the newest incarnation of the Ghost Rider, AKA Robbie Reyes. Introduced in the Ghost Rider series from the Marvel Now rebranding, Robbie is a mechanic and street racer who was trying to win enough movie to help his wheelchair-bound brother Gabe before he was gunned down by a henchman of Daisy’s dad Mr. Hyde (Who has also appeared on Agents of SHIELD, played by Kyle Maclachlan). However, Robbie returns, bonded to a vengeful spirt and develops the power to become the new Ghost Rider, hunting down evil-doers in his 1969 Dodge Charger (instead of a motor cycle as earlier versions have used; which we saw in the Cage movies.)
Before this casting news came out, many thought that the flaming chain ad referred to Hellfire, who appeared on the show last season, but this new info has begun speculation that the Ghost Rider is on the way. Although he might be an expensive character to create on TV, he doesn’t need to be in his flaming skull form very often. If he’s used sparingly in his demon form (the way Firestorm is used on Legends of Tomorrow, spending most of his time as Stein and Jefferson) he is doable.
Until this point, there has been very little in terms of demons, magic or the supernatural in the MCU, either on TV or in film. However, with the Doctor Strange film due out later this year, the MCU could be taking a turn toward including more mystical elements in their universe. If so, the Ghost Rider fits into that mold. Also, using Reyes instead of Johnny Blaze is a good idea for two reasons; it adds two more ethnic characters to the series, and it distances the character from the memory of those embarrassing Nick Cage flicks.
Expect to hear more about this at San Diego Comic-Con. Agents of SHIELD year four will debut on ABC on Tuesday September 20th, at its new time of 10pm. So get fired up.