Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 debuted last night, and the biggest item on the agenda was the first appearance of Ghost Rider on any television show. Ghost Rider has a history in cinema, though, and it is not pretty one. Depending on who you ask, prior to Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. picked him up for its fourth season, Ghost Rider was not much of a marketable commodity.
As this writer has pointed out in a prior Monkey’s Fighting Robots article, Ghost Rider’s two big screen debuts were mostly consider cinematic flops, before the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D pickup.
However, fan love and demand was still strong, as rumors of a Netflix show loomed, enter Marvel’s All-New Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes.
The irony of it all is that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and All-New Ghost Rider both did not seem to have as much success as other show or characters. So, it is interesting to see them together, but how did Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4’s Ghost Rider turn out? Were the effects top-notch? Accurate portrayal? Was he merely used as menial plot device? Lets discuss.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4’s first episode held more hints of Ghost Rider than the actual character(Granted, the show isn’t called Ghost Rider, but still). Ghost Rider was not fully seen until a little over halfway through the episode. He was portrayed as a serial killer by the A.O.S. character Quake, who was the only one who actually met the rider the whole time.
Robbie Reyes’ was conflicted like any rider before him, but he was not completely psychotic, and there was positive reverence of the Ghost Rider in Robbie’s neighborhood. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be over playing the horror factor.
Robbie Reyes is obviously about ten or more years older, and Gabe is a little older too. These were not, it seems so far, to be the only changes from the titular comic book the All-New Ghost Rider hails from.
Robbie Reyes was unique in that his rider was not based on the “Spirit of Vengeance.” A Russian mobster that had a deeper web within the story, and connection to Reyes, was the possessing spirit. Though it wasn’t specifically spoken in the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, the previews are name-dropping the “Spirit of Vengeance.”
Gone is Dr. Zabo and his super pills, and now there is some darker, ghost story that is the subplot of the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ghost Rider arc.
With not much more to go on, those are the differences, but has anything been brought over from the Marvel comic book he came from?
All-New Ghost Rider Plucked From The Old Comic book
His name is Robbie Reyes, he has a brother named Gabe, and he appears to also have some special needs. The car, the skull, and even the jacket look super cool, and are spot on from the All-New Ghost Rider‘s comic book. Anything more is yet to be seen in one of the next 21 episodes of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The cool factor carried over into Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., and this Ghost Rider incarnation is certainly darker than the previous on-screen portrayals, but will it be enough to keep the Ghost Rider in the Marvel cinematic and TV universe? Only time and fan reaction will tell, but it is a serious take on the character with what seems to be a good actor.
The “All-New” comic book had a smaller following, so Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. might get away with some changes, but hopefully they won’t take too much license with an already shaky, troubled character. Though, it is only the first episode to contain the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D Ghost Rider after all.
Also, the effects could use a little work on the skull, but it is still, over all…cool.
[Images Via ABC/Marvel Entertainment]