Ghost Rider has officially appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Wait, this is old news you say? True, Robbie Reyes – Mexican-American, muscle car enthusiast – is the current Ghost Rider on the show and in most of the comics after 2014. But… spoilers ahead.
When Robbie Reyes was remembering his origin story, he recalled a “devil” giving him that power. That devil? None other than the original (well, original flaming skull version) Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze! We were lead to believe that the spirit / demon possessing Robbie came from this unnamed person. But did it? Or is Johnny Blaze still running around somewhere?
For those unfamiliar with the comics or the awful movies, Johnny Blaze is the original Ghost Rider and the one most fondly remembered. He rides a flaming motorcycle, projects hell fire, wields a chain, and has the Penance Stare – basically forcing people to relieve all their most awful moments. On Agents, Robbie doesn’t have, or hasn’t used, the Penance Stare yet. This leads us comic nerds to one of two conclusions: either the current Ghost Rider only has some of the powers of the true Spirit of Vengeance because Johnny Blaze is still running around, or a different entity was passed into him from Johnny.
Why do I say it’s Johnny Blaze and not another one of the folks to be possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance? Johnny Blaze’s clothes don’t traditionally change when he becomes the Ghost Rider, whereas some other version grew spikes, chains, and other accouterments. Johnny also typically wears kind of a vintage biker look, much like this quick few seconds of character. Oh, and this Ghost Rider had a hole in his head. In one of the many long, convoluted plots in Ghost Rider lore, Johnny was shot in the head. This seems like a big, obvious callback to my favorite hell-born vigilante.
So, why even include this Easter Egg? Will we see Johnny Blaze and maybe some of the other Ghost Riders, like Danny Ketch or even Carter Slade, show up? If I were a betting man, I’d put this inclusion as a backdoor pilot for a full Johnny Blaze show somewhere. Netflix? Johnny Blaze’s Ghost Rider would be a fantastic jumping off point for the darker, demonic side of Marvel Comics… Son of Satan, anyone?