Last night's episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Lockup," saw the S.H.I.E.L.D. team reunited briefly — with the exception of Agent Simmons, who was busy helping S.H.I.E.L.D. director Jeffrey Mace with his live broadcast interview. They were accompanied by one new member: Robbie Reyes a.k.a. Ghost Rider.
Robbie Reyes has been featured throughout most of the episodes aired so far this season, and "Lockup" was no different. We actually witnessed Robbie struggling with control over the Ghost Rider spirit inside of him while on a mission with S.H.I.E.L.D., which was a big departure from what we've witnessed of Reyes's Ghost Rider so far.
Initially, when the official plot synopsis for "Lockup" was released, the indication of Reyes struggling to control the Ghost Rider was interpreted as the Ghost Rider attempting to take control of Reyes's entire body, but that wasn't the case; the struggle was over Reyes's own inability to restrain himself from enacting vengeance on one of the gang members responsible for the shooting that left Robbie's brother Gabe in a wheelchair.
Of course, in familiar Ghost Rider fashion, Reyes eventually gave into the urge for vengeance and left his victim burning in a cell of flames.
Is Another Ghost Rider On His Way To Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Beyond Robbie Reyes's moments displaying his Ghost Rider alter-ego, last night's episode hinted at another Ghost Rider's existence within the Marvel Cinematic/Television Universe.
Lucy Bauer and her ghost comrades made another appearance, as their quest for the Darkhold reached a head. After learning that her husband, Jeffrey Bauer, stashed the Darkhold in the basement of his old home, Lucy was on her way to find the book. Upon arriving, Lucy's walk through the basement subtly displays a poster for the "Quentin Carnival" on one of the stone pillars in the basement.
The mere appearance of a Quentin Carnival poster indicates that the attraction was live at one point. That, in itself, says one of two things. Either someone who lived in the abandoned Bauer home visited the Quentin Carnival or was a part of the attraction. Regardless of who lived in the house, the existence of the poster is much more important to the Marvel Universe, since it implies that Johnny Blaze exists (or existed) within the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point in time.
Origin Of The "Quentin Carnival" In Marvel Comics
The Quentin Carnival poster teases a connection to Johnny Blaze's Ghost Rider since, in the comics, Johnny Blaze participated as one of the main attractions.
Performing death-defying stunts was Blaze's job until he became the Ghost Rider. The Quentin Carnival advertised a variety of attractions, but Blaze's performance as a motorcycle stuntman was the main one. Blaze remained around the Quentin Carnival for some time after becoming the Ghost Rider, since his help was needed in protecting the attraction.
Then there's also the matter of the motorcycle and leather jacket seen underneath the "Quentin Carnival" poster.
Those two items may seem insignificant, but when attached to the Quentin Carnival poster, it appears as if all those Quentin Carnival mementos belonged to Johnny Blaze at one point. Blaze is known for riding his motorcycle and wearing a leather jacket. So, it's very probable that the residence once belonged to Johnny Blaze or someone very close to him. And there's also a metal link chain hanging from the ceiling, which appears to be out of place. Johnny Blaze's weapon of choice is a flaming metal chain; could that be where Blaze hung up his chain for good?
If you're still not convinced, Agent Phil Coulson made another mention of Johnny Blaze's Ghost Rider in Episode 4, "Let Me Stand Next To You Fire," which went overlooked as well.
Coulson Has Heard Of Ghost Rider Before, But Was Is It Robbie Reyes Or Johnny Blaze?
In Episode 4, Robbie and Agent Coulson finally meet; Coulson states that he assumed Ghost Rider was only a myth. That drives the question of when Coulson first heard of Ghost Rider.
Coulson couldn't be referring to Robbie Reyes, since Robbie recently became the Ghost Rider; Coulson's mention of a Ghost Rider myth implies that an account of Ghost Rider took place in the past. This places Johnny Blaze as the suspected host.
When Will Johnny Blaze Make His Appearance In Marvel Universe?
Regardless of what's been hinted at, we won't know if the Johnny Blaze easter eggs are leading to Johnny Blaze actually joining the Marvel universe — at least, not until Blaze's existence is confirmed on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Marvel TV makes an official announcement.
As of now, anything is possible in terms of what can be done with Johnny Blaze. For all we know, there may be some small connection between the Quentin Carnival mementos and the property they're found in. It would also make sense for Johnny Blaze to own the abandoned building, having purposed the basement as a makeshift safe for the Darkhold.
For now, we can only speculate on how and when Johnny Blaze might receive an on-screen appearance. And considering that Marvel hasn't outright said they're pursuing multiple Ghost Riders, we have no idea if Johnny Blaze will ever make an appearance.
It's possible Blaze will be introduced as a normal, non-possessed stuntman who winds up in the midst of supernatural entities. Still, we'll have to wait until more information is released for Johnny Blaze to be officially confirmed as canon in the Marvel Cinematic/Television Universe.
Are you excited to hear of Johnny Blaze potentially joining the Marvel universe?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC. Episode 6 "The Good Samaritan" airs Nov. 1, 2016. Official Synopsis is as follows:
Robbie’s shocking story on how he became Ghost Rider is finally discovered as Coulson and his team’s lives hang in the balance.