Posted by Tom Bacon @TomBacon
I'm a British guy who has a particular love of superhero movies - and I'm having a great time writing for Movie Pilot! Feel free to foll...
Tom Bacon

At SDCC 2016, we learned what many fans had already suspected — that Marvel would be introducing a whole new Ghost Rider to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Now, Marvel has given us our first glimpse of the new character - take a look!

Meet the new Ghost Rider! Image: ABC
Meet the new Ghost Rider! Image: ABC

What's more, this has been supported by a tremendous new video that shows #GhostRider in action! Ostensibly captured by a mobile phone, it's an intriguing glimpse of how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. intend to use their newest character...

Who Is This New Ghost Rider?

Gabriel Luna is playing the part of Robbie Reyes, the latest character to take up the mantle of Ghost Rider in the comics. This version of the superhero is pretty new, which gives Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a lot of room to manoeuvre without angering comic book fans; there simply aren't that many stories featuring the character.

That said, the design is remarkably faithful to Felipe Smith's original concept for the character.

Felipe Smith's original concept art. Image: Marvel Comics
Felipe Smith's original concept art. Image: Marvel Comics

Although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps the smooth, techno vibe of the costume, I suspect that the flaming skull will be done in a more traditional 'Ghost Rider' style. Executive Producer Jed Whedon told Entertainment Weekly:

“We are staying true to the comics in the places where we feel like it’s really important — we love the character’s family dynamic and the East L.A. kid in him.”

The series looks to be taking exactly the same approach with the costume, sticking as close as possible - but with the flexibility to tweak the design for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

When Will We Meet Robbie Reyes's Ghost Rider?

We now know that Ghost Rider will make his #MCU debut in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 episode 1. According to ABC's synopsis:

"Gabriel Luna Guest Stars as Robbie Reyes – aka Ghost Rider. In the season premiere episode, “The Ghost,” Ghost Rider is coming, and S.H.I.E.L.D will never be the same."

That episode has a lot going on. The 'six months later' teaser at the end of Season 3 revealed Chloe Bennett's Agent Daisy is now a fugitive from S.H.I.E.L.D., and gave us a tantalizing hint of Life Model Decoys (android doubles, a staple of S.H.I.E.L.D. lore over in the comics). What's more, the official synopsis for Season 4 suggested that Robbie Reyes's role wouldn't be cut-and-dried:

"Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna) will roar into the lives of Agent Coulson and the team as a junkyard mechanic who can turn on a dime into the terrifying Ghost Rider. Will Robbie be a friend or foe to S.H.I.E.L.D. – as well as the world, itself?"

Robbie Reyes confronts the darkness! Image: Marvel Comics
Robbie Reyes confronts the darkness! Image: Marvel Comics

Whether friend or foe, it looks like that Ghost Rider will "roar into the lives" of our favorite secret agents in Episode 1. Traditionally, Ghost Riders have been bound to the spirits of vengeance demons such as Zarathos. Robbie Reyes's Ghost Rider is different; his character is tied to the spirit (or 'ghost') of a wrathful murderer named Eli Morrow. Robbie ultimately made a deal with Morrow, insisting that he'd only kill those who were guilty and deserved punishment.

We don't yet know how Season 4 will introduce Ghost Rider; it's possible that Reyes will have been operating as Ghost Rider for some time before he crosses paths with S.H.I.E.L.D. That said, the episode title 'Ghost' hints that we may be getting an origin story, with Episode 1 showing Robbie's first encounter with Morrow. Marvel Entertainment has made no secret that the story will be slightly different, with more homages to the wider Ghost Rider mythology than the comic book arc, so it's going to be interesting to see how things play out...

Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics

See also:

Fans of Robbie Reyes can be excited, though, to see just how faithful Marvel has been in recreating Robbie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What's more, with an opening episode that immediately embraces the supernatural, I reckon we're in for one seriously spooky season...

Are you looking forward to seeing Ghost Rider? Let me know in the comments!