We’ve all heard that Marvel’s TV series aren’t allowed to have an impact on its Cinematic Universe, but last night’s Agents of SHIELD may have proven otherwise. There’s seems to be at least one pretty major ramification for the MCU tucked into the origin of Robbie Reyes’ incarnation of Ghost Rider.
Most Ghost Riders become Ghost Riders after making a deal with the devil to become a spirit of vengeance on Earth. However, in the comics, Reyes was resurrected by the soul of a Satan-worshipping serial killer named Eli who brought him back to kill people, and the flaming skull and vengeance powers somehow came along for the ride, so to speak.
But in the MCU, he becomes a spirit of vengeance in a third way:
Yes, a previous Ghost Rider—on top his traditional motorcycle—drives by and passes on his powers. This raises a bunch of questions.
• What that original Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze? Or Danny Ketchum?
• Doesn’t that mean that least one of the original Ghost Riders is part of the MCU?
• Did the mysterious rider truly pass on the spirit on vengeance, meaning he’s no longer Ghost Rider?
• Did he die when he passed on his powers, or are there two Ghost Riders in the MCU?
• What does this mean for Marvel’s other Ghost Rider plans? Does this basically mean there aren’t any?
• Or was this thing that looks like O.G. Ghost rider an elaborate ruse, and Robbie was still resurrected by that bloodthirsty Satan-worshipping serial killer?
• Has Uncle Eli performed the same role in the show, and given Robbie his vengeance powers? If so, how and why? (Also: Does he worship Satan?)
• If an original Ghost Rider didn’t show up last night, does that mean Johnny Blaze can still get a movie or a Netflix show?
• Finally, has Ghost Rider’s appearance this season been a very long set-up to maybe make a full Ghost Rider TV spin-off on ABC? Because I’d watch the heck out of that.
Most of these questions needed to be answered by Marvel, which I don’t think will be complying anytime soon. They honestly might not even know the answers yet, as things are relatively open-ended enough for Marvel to decide whatever it wants about Robbie’s past (and future). I will say as much as I like the idea of a spin-off, Ghost Rider has been the best part of the season of AoS by far; I’d hate for the show to lose him.
Anyway, the episode ends with Robbie, Coulson, and Fitz getting zapped into the Dark Dimension courtesy of Eli, just in time for the show to have a small hiatus. Whatever the future of Ghost Rider is in the MCU, I think we can safely say that we won’t be seeing him, Coulson or Fitz cameo-ing in Doctor Strange when it opens this weekend.