While I am excited for the character to make his appearance two things bother me. First, it's not on the darker and more mature themed Netflix roster. Their shows have handled the grimmer and grittier material- notably the Punisher story through Daredevil season 2. Whereas the ABC shows Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been handled with less trustworthy hands- resulting in less appealing shows overall. Don't get me wrong, I really liked Agent Carter, but the show devolved quite rapidly from a show about a powerful female character into a romantic drama. They lost sight of what made her so special in the Captain America films, and thus lost their way in the show. So hearing that Ghost Rider is coming to the more limited-in-scope Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I'm very hesitant to immediately support it.
Secondly, it's neither stuntman Johnny Blaze, nor badass biker Danny Ketch- it'll be the more modern Marvel NOW incarnation of Robbie Reyes and his '69 Dodge Charger. That in itself isn't bad. Back in 2013 I wrote about this, it's a great idea- it's just after reading the series I wasn't impressed. I think Marvel could've done a much better story with his character. And the heavily robotic design wasn't too great either. I was thinking it would've been more like the highly under-appreciated film The Wraith. So, for now I'll be crossing my fingers that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can make the Ghost Rider someone worth liking again.
Just revealed at the #MarvelSDCC booth: Ghost Rider's wheels, coming this fall to #AgentsOfSHIELD! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/O2GkKirq1a— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) July 22, 2016
On the good side of things, he'll be played by Gabriel Luna. I've personally seen him in the movie Bernie, and the downright amazing show True Detective. In both cases he did quite well, so I think he'll pull it off well. He'll be an older and more mature version of Robbie Reyes, he hopefully won't be playing the part of the Spirit of Teen-Angst, so that's a good start.
In better news about this, Marvel's Executive Producer and Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb has said:
"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."(CBR)Loeb has been a consistently good voice in comics for a very long time, so I will take his word for it and return to see how they handle Ghost Rider on the show. It also makes sense to link the show to the astral planes and supernatural with Doctor Strange hitting theaters November 4th. It's simply plain, old-fashioned, good marketing.
While I'm not too thrilled that Ghost Rider's re-emergence is on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as opposed to the much grittier Netflix shows such as Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but they've officially snagged me again as an "on-and-off" fan. When the show started I was very unimpressed with how poorly it was handled. I was urged by people to give it another try, and I returned and Agents did indeed get better, and then it swiftly grew unappealing again. I hope they can maintain the momentum and keep things interesting with one of my all time favorite characters finally coming to television.
For now, Marvel has regained my viewership and lured me in for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4. Now if they could only recapture the magic that made Agent Carter so amazing, they'd snag me for good. Please let this turn out awesome.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC on Sept. 20 at 10pm.
Sources [ Marvel Twitter 1 ] [ 2 ] [ ComicBookResources ]