Hulu recently announced two new series focusing on Ghost Rider and Helstrom that has Marvel fans buzzing, especially with the reveal that Gabriel Luna would be reprising his role as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider. Fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were hoping to see the return of Luna to the small screen, though the loose connection to his original appearances might turn some fans off.
However, freeing the character from the confines of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will allow the series to further explore the mythology of the Ghost Rider and his unique roster of villains. While the Reyes version of the character doesn't have as many memorable villains, chances are good we'll see a few pulled from the comics for the series. So today we are going to explore 10 Ghost Rider villains we hope to see in the upcoming Hulu series.
10 STEEL SISTERS
Given that the character of Ghost Rider is most commonly associated with his flaming motorcycle (despite Robbie Reyes' use of a Dodge Charger), it would make sense for other motorcycle-themed characters to make an appearance in the upcoming series. There were a few biker themed villains in the comics, but the most interesting to see adapted would be the Tsumura Sisters, Steel Wind and Steel Vengeance.
Cyborg biker assassins seem like the obvious choice to bring to the small screen, and their grudge against the Ghost Riders (Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch) would provide the opportunity to introduce aspects of the former Riders into the series as they resume their vendetta with Reyes.
While Ghost Rider famously made a deal with the devil to get his powers, The modern Ghost Riders (Blaze, Ketch, Reyes) weren't the only ones to make a deal with Mephisto. Centuries ago, the man who would become known as Centurious bargained with Mephisto for the power to fight the demon known as Zarathos (more on him soon).
Centurious became a soulless immortal with centuries of magical knowledge to add to his powers, which he used to empower a number of other enemies to combat Zarathos. This brought him and his various powered flunkies (like Steel Vengeance) into combat with the various Ghost Riders. Centurious would make a great alternative to the Mephisto concept if adapted for the Hulu series.
While we've seen three live-action appearances of the Ghost Rider in movies and on TV, there hasn't been a lot of time devoted to the origins of the Riders' powers. We know that a deal with the devil makes the dealer a spirit of vengeance, but what does that actually mean? In the comics, that meant possession by Zarathos, a powerful demon who served Mephisto in Hell.
As part of their agreement that bound Zarathos to Mephisto, he would occasionally be sent to Earth to be bound to a human and become a Ghost Rider, allowing Zarathos to feed on souls. Zarathos would possess many of the Ghost Riders over the years, though occasionally fought against them in his own giant stone and fire body, which would look great in live-action if done well.
7 ELI MORROW
Robbie Reyes has only been a Ghost Rider for a short period of time, and he made a few enemies of his own like the monstrous Calvin Zabo AKA Mr. Hyde, who played a large unconnected role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While the Hulu version of Reyes is said to only be remotely connected to the AoS version, it's unlikely we'll see a new take on Mr. Hyde.
However, while the character of Eli Morrow was somewhat explored on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Hulu series gives that character another chance to shine. Since Morrow served as the possessing spirit of vengeance (à la Zarathos) in Reyes' original comic introduction, it would make sense for the series to re-explore Morrow's character and connection to Ghost Rider.
An ongoing threat to the various Ghost Riders has been the half-demon villain known as Blackout. He is a member of the Lilin, a brood of demonic children who all serve their mother (more on her soon), and Blackout used his enhanced strength and ability to create a lightless void around him to become one of Ghost Rider's most dangerous enemies.
We did see a version of this character in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance played by Johnny Whitworth, though that version was only loosely based on the comic version, with slightly different powers and no connection to the Lilin, who would provide an ongoing threat along with Blackout for Reyes to deal with in the Hulu series.
5 DARKHOLD DWARF
While Ghost Rider often works alone as the spirit of vengeance, he occasionally finds himself working alongside other supernaturally-themed heroes. During his time with the group known as the Midnight Sons which included characters like Blade, Morbius, and Doctor Strange, the Ghost Riders (Blaze and Ketch) found themselves dealing with the danger of the Darkhold.
The Darkhold was a powerful mystical book that factored into Reyes' introduction in AoS. During the "Midnight Sons" era, the Darkhold Dwarf was introduced as a dangerous schemer powered by stolen pages of the Darkhold that he would deliver to people in sealed black envelopes to enjoy a sick game of corruption and death. His inclusion in the series would be a great throwback to the threat of the Darkhold introduced in AoS.
Ghost Rider has always had a connection to Hell, but when writer Jason Aaron took over the title Ghost Rider became more involved with the agents of heaven, though that proved to be just as problematic. Zadkiel was rogue Agent of Vengeance who attempted to take control of all of the Ghost Riders in order to take the throne of Heaven.
While Ghost Rider has largely been a street-level supernatural hero, Zadkiel and his Black Host of corrupted humans would provide a huge new threat and direction for Ghost Rider to take in the new series, which might be just what the character needs after the last few live-action attempts.
Of course, while Zadkiel and his ties to Heaven are an interesting direction to take, there are still a number of street-level supernatural threats to keep Ghost Rider busy in the Hulu series. One of those threats is the character of Deathwatch, who first appeared during Danny Ketch's time as the Ghost Rider, though he would go on to become an enemy of Johnny Blaze as well.
Deathwatch is technically from another demonic dimension, though he used the human alias of Stephen Lord to become a crime boss. Deathwatch was able to summon Deathspawn from his home dimension while also consuming death energy from those in pain or dying around him. His powers intensified after he was killed by Ghost Rider and resurrected by Centurious.
We've already discussed a few of the different Ghost Riders that have appeared in the comics over the years, but the Ghost Riders weren't the only Spirits of Vengeance created by Mephisto. In the 90s, after the appearance of Danny Ketch as the new Ghost Rider, Lt. Michael Badilino struck a bargain with Mephisto to gain the power to help him defeat Ghost Rider.
Badilino became Vengeance and sought revenge against Ketch's Ghost Rider, who he mistakenly believed to be Zarathos, the demon who had destroyed his family. Eventually, Vengeance would learn the truth and become something of an anti-hero before taking on the role of Ghost Rider himself, making Badalino's inclusion in the series in some from likely.
One of Ghost Rider's biggest enemies and continuing threats is Lilith, Mother of All Demons. Lilith was a centuries-old demon and sorceress who gave birth to demons known as the Lilin, who would plague the Ghost Riders over the years while Lilith was imprisoned. Eventually, Lilith would be freed and set her loyal Lilin against the Ghost Riders and the Midnight Sons.
Lilith is basically the best type of villain for the small screen, in the fact that she can create an endless supply of connected villains through her Lilin while also serving as the larger series villain. While her connection to Robbie Reyes is practically non-existent in the comics, Lilith's eternal life would offer a number of opportunities to further explore the mythology of the Ghost Riders.