[SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 ahead.]
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has thus far kept both of its feet as firmly planted in the realm of science-fiction as any franchise can - when it includes such things as Norse mythological figures who are really aliens or people with psionic abilities gained from being exposed to cosmic-powered scepters. However, the MCU is starting to openly embrace the concept of magic and the supernatural, between this fall's theatrical release, Doctor Strange, and the upcoming fourth season of the Marvel/ABC TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- with the addition of one Roberto "Robbie" Reyes (Gabriel Luna), a.k.a. the star of the All-New Ghost Rider Marvel comics run that debuted in 2014.
Reyes, as the S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 synopsis puts it, is a junkyard mechanic who possesses the powers of the Ghost Rider and "will roar into the lives" of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the rest of his squad, the rogue Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) among them. It sounds as though viewers won't have to wait long to get their first look at the new Rider in action either, provided that the S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premiere title isn't misleading.
Spoiler TV is reporting that the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premiere is titled "The Ghost": a clear reference to the appearance of Ghost Rider on the TV show. However, that title presumably has a double-meaning and could also refer to Daisy, who is essentially operating off the grid (like a "Ghost") when the season begins. Bennet has also confirmed that Daisy is still dealing with the traumatic effects of everything that happened in S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 (the death of Lincoln especially) when "The Ghost" picks up, indicating that - in that sense - the character is a "ghost" of her former self too, emotionally.
Leaked videos from the S.H.I.E.L.D. set suggest that Daisy's initial encounter(s) with Robbie in season 4 doesn't go too smoothly, but it makes sense for the two to eventually set their differences aside. Robbie's struggle to contain the Spirit of Vengeance within him and his desire to be on his own (lest he fail in his efforts to contain the Spirit and harm others), should allow him to better connect with Daisy: someone who has reason to be wary of her own super-powers, having nearly killed some of her closest S.H.I.E.L.D. teammates in season 3 while using them. In that respect, Ghost Rider shouldn't feel out of place in a time and place where Inhumans continue to (inadvertently) discover their own incredible powers and yet find themselves on the run, hunted down by members of the public and the governments of the world alike.
Much like Doctor Strange won't explain away its namesake's magical abilities using science, S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon have confirmed that their MCU TV series shall attempt to seamlessly blend the supernatural capabilities of Ghost Rider with the more sci-fi grounded powers of Inhumans. If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is successful in its own efforts to do that, then Robbie Reyes and the Ghost Rider story thread in general should come off all the more as being an organic addition to the show - and not just an attempt to mix things up by tossing Ghost Rider into the series, now that Marvel owns the film/TV rights to the character again.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premieres Tuesday, September 20 @10pm on ABC.
Source: Spoiler TV