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Marvel’s Agents of Shield: What Ghost Rider’s Addition Means For Show

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Things just got a bit more interesting for Marvel’s television property, “Agents of Shield”. At the shows panel at Comic Con 2016 yesterday, it was confirmed that Ghost Rider, one of Marvel’s more iconic and legendary characters, would be coming back to life on the small screen.

Rumors had been swirling for about a week after Marvel unveiled a trolley in San Diego, home of Comic Con, that featured a flaming chain. Some shrugged it off saying it was related to Hellfire, an inhuman character who was introduced last season, who was portrayed by actor Axle Whitehead. But there was a large group of fans who were hoping it meant Ghost Rider, also known as the Spirit of Vengeance would be showing up.

And fans who were hoping for the latter got their wish granted. Actor Gabriel Luna will be playing the role of Robbie Reyes, who is not the most well-known version of the character. But Ghost Rider is set to appear none the less. Reyes is a young Latino mechanic who usually goes up against local gangs in Los Angeles. The show will likely beef up the back story quite a bit.

So what does the character’s addition mean for the show? Well first things first, it gives the show a much-needed comic book presence. Up to this point it was a Marvel show that really did not feature any comic book characters as main players. Sure Mockingbird had a run on the show, but she was written off during this past season. And even though she was on the show, she never really felt like her superhero alter ego. She was simply Bobbi, as that is what most of the characters would call her.

But Ghost Rider should be different. He is one of the more recognizable comic book names, and his flaming skull should give the show the comic feel it deserves. With the rise of in humans over the course of last season, it is a safe bet we will see a good amount of superpowers going forward. Ghost Rider should fit right in to the mix, while becoming one of the shows more recognizable characters.

Reyes will also be bringing a different kind of tone and feel to the show as well. The character is usually seeking vengeance of some kind, and this version of the character should be no different. He will be dark. He will be gritty. And he will bring an edge. Therefore the show as a whole should be featured with a bit of a darker tone to it. It will bring some grit, and have a more similar feel like the Netflix shows.

Now I do not expect it to get as dark as the Netflix shows, but Ghost Rider does have a very similar tone to the Punisher, who was recently introduced on “Daredevil”. I would expect a clash or two between Ghost Rider and Hellfire, which should bring plenty of intrigue. Those battles will feature plenty of fire and likely some of the shows more intense combats.

This overall change in tone does not come as a total surprise. Given the end of last season saw Daisy go rogue and have a much more goth look, the direction of the show was set to change. I would venture to guess we are first introduced to Reyes through Daisy somehow. The two characters have a chance to form some form of bond.

It is certainly an interesting pairing. Given Daisy’s former love interest from the very early days of the show, Grant Ward, is now gone, Reyes may step into that role in some fashion. I can see the two pairing up and doing some good in  a vigilante type style at the beginning of the season. Coulson and the team will eventually hunt the duo down.

Ghost Rider will likely be hesitant to join the team at first. And given Daisy is currently on the run, she will not be eager to join back up either. So it will be interesting to see how the show goes about bringing them together with everyone else. Maybe some form of tragic event will trigger Ghost Rider into realizing it is the right move.

At the end of the day, the introduction of the character is set to bring a darker feel to the show. The dynamics between characters are set to change. A hunt for vengeance will be at the forefront for Reyes and Daisy. Season four is setting up to be a bold change of pace for the successful Marvel show. But it is a welcome change that is set to keep the show fresh.

“Agents of Shield” is set to return to television screens on Tuesday, September 20th. It will air an hour later than normal at 10 pm ET.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com