The big Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. news that came out of San Diego Comic Con this year involved a certain beloved Marvel character whose head occasionally turns into a fiery skull.
The reveal that the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider would be making his debut on Marvel’s flagship television show immediately caused people to speculate. Is he this season’s villain? What impact will he have on our favourite agents? Will his head or car be more fiery?
While cast and producers alike remained coy about the role that Ghost Rider will be playing in S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s fourth season, there was the repeated tease that he could potentially be an ally or an antagonist to Coulson and Co.
The pseudo-reveal isn’t really a surprise considering the fact that the Robbie Reyes that people have grown familiar with through the comics is all about vengeance. And, based on the teaser art for this season, so is the live-action Robbie.
Which really doesn’t mean much in terms of determining whether he will serve as an antagonist or ally. Nearly every character on S.H.I.E.L.D. has avenged something or someone over the past few years and, most, are still firmly thought of as good by avid viewers. Considering the fact that many of our favorite characters have gladly followed the, “end justifies the means,” route, the fact that he’s seeking vengeance doesn’t necessarily mean Robbie will be going head-to-head with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Having said that, while old characters might be somewhat understanding of certain actions, or at the very least forgiving, new faces are coming into the fold who might not be as lenient or willing to view Robbie as anything other than a potential threat.
The recent casting of Jason O’Mara as S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s newest Director, along with the press release for Season 4, might be indicative of where Ghost Rider will fall on the, “friend or foe,” scale when we are first introduced to him.
As a Director, Coulson tended to be far laxer than most when it came to dealing with any issues regarding powered people. This was due large in part to the paternal relationship he had with Daisy Johnson and the general familial vibe within the organization itself. With a new Director in town, it’s likely that S.H.I.E.L.D. will lose much of the informality that we’ve seen over the seasons. There will no longer be a father-figure in the main position of power and will instead be a (presumably) government or military individual who is set on bringing order to the organization and world as a whole.
…which could mean trouble for anyone who might find themselves on the wrong end of the Sokovia Accords.
While vague about what kind of relationship will exist between Daisy and Robbie, many of the interviews coming out of SDCC allude to the fact that one certainly exists. Series star Chloe Bennet has already confirmed that Daisy will be interacting with Robbie in the series premiere, and the EP’s seemed to give the, “wink-wink, nudge-nudge,” non-answer whenever the two were brought up.
This potential alliance, romance, or random interaction will likely play a similarly large role in the initial perception of Reyes. While Daisy’s seal of approval would have previously meant an all-but guaranteed alliance with S.H.I.E.L.D., the fact that Coulson’s former protégé is now rogue, robbing banks and quaking up a storm, might mean something different where Robbie is concerned.
Coulson is no longer the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, which subsequently means that Daisy no longer has the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. looking out for her.
The S4 press release’s statement, “With the world believing that Daisy is a dangerous outlaw who has taken down banks and bridges, the new Director has no qualms about taking her down for good,” seems to be a pretty clear indication of what might be in store for Quake and, by proxy, anyone associated with her. It seems that anyone perceived as a threat will be taken out without much fanfare, which could spell trouble for hot-headed individuals who are looking to raise a little hell.
Which brings us back to the question of how Ghost Rider might be classified where S.H.I.E.L.D. is concerned. Since the core of the organization itself has changed, its perception of certain people likely has as well. The fact that Daisy herself now seems to be an antagonist, at least in the government’s and S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0’s eyes, most likely means that Robbie will be as well. Their potential alliance could very well mean that Reyes will be instantly labeled a threat or foe to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Interestingly, in the comics, Doctor Zabo plays a rather pivotal role in the story of Robbie and Ghost Rider… something that, if touched upon on S.H.I.E.L.D, could theoretically have serious implications considering Daisy is Zabo’s daughter. While S.H.I.E.L.D. tends to take bits and pieces of certain characters and comic book storylines, rarely if ever doing an exact translation of the source to television, should it take this facet of Robbie’s origin story… there could be some serious repercussions for anyone who might have any connection to Cal.
While Daisy’s angsty rebellious phase looks as though it will last awhile, I very much doubt that she’ll be away from S.H.I.E.L.D. for too long (My guess is that the break-up won’t last past the midseason finale). The inevitability of Daisy’s reunion with S.H.I.E.L.D. could have a drastic impact on the perception of Robbie. My gut-feeling is that the two will both be foes to S.H.I.E.L.D. before Daisy gets back in the organizations good graces, tries to bring Robbie into the fold, and then some sort of betrayal cause Ghost Rider to break all ties and seek vengeance against everyone… including his former Inhuman ally.
As is always the case where Marvel productions are concerned, we won’t actually know anything until the show actually premieres in September. Until then, we just have to continue speculating and dissecting each and every miniscule tease that Marvel and ABC will dangle in front of us.
What do you think? Will Ghost Rider be friend or foe come fall? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below and be sure to tune in to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it returns to ABC September 20th at 10/9c.