One of the biggest talking points around Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the layover between season 3 and the currently airing fourth season was the possibility of Ghost Rider coming to the show. Although it seemed like a long shot initially, Ghost Rider was eventually confirmed to be coming to the series, but in a different way than many expected. Marvel TV made the decision to introduce the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider, a character that starred in the All-New, All-Different Ghost Rider comic run that began in 2014.
Gabriel Luna was announced to have landed the part at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 - and through five episodes of this season, he has played a major role in the overall story. While some fans may still be upset that Johnny Blaze or even Danny Ketch were skipped in favor of Robbie, the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. features a few references to Blaze.
During the opening of the season 4 episode, "Lockup", Doctor Lucy Bauer (Lilli Birdsell) and her husband Joseph (Kerr Smith) are out looking for the fabled dark magic book known as the Darkhold, which was introduced in a prior episode. As pointed out on Reddit, it appears that Johnny Blaze could have been the previous owner of the Darkhold. As the couple look through the basement, items such as an old motorcycle and a leather jacket can be seen - both of which are staples for Ghost Rider's classic look. If that was not enough, Joseph mentions that the previous occupant of the home killed the former owner of the Darkhold. Furthermore, the following poster is a direct reference to Blaze's origins:
In the comics, Quentin Carnival is where Johnny Blaze was raised as a child. He grew up as a member of the carnival and eventually learned to be a stunt man that used a motorcycle for his events. While the poster itself does not outright say that Johnny Blaze is the man on the pictured cycle, the appearance of flames in the background is just another way of illustrating the potential of this being the case and his future as Ghost Rider.
This post isn't necessarily a sign that Johnny Blaze will be making his way to the small screen in the future, but it's not outside the realm of possibility either. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. demonstrating how the Ghost Rider character can be done on a TV budget, these references could signal that Blaze will still get his chance to ride. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done very well with one Ghost Rider, but introducing a second would be that much more challenging to manage.
Regardless, the possibility of Blaze existing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe already and being a former owner of the Darkhold is an interesting Easter egg. Now, fans will have to wait and see if it leads to anything else, in the future.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues with ‘The Good Samaritan’ Tuesday, November 1 at 10pm on ABC.