What's Next For Ghost Rider In Marvel's Agents of SHIELD?
I'll be the first to admit when Ghost Rider was announced for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD I had my doubts, which was mainly due to the fact that the Ghost Rider in question was not Johnny Blaze or Dan Ketch, but the car version. In addition, Marvel TV/Comics runs the show and really none of their stuff for the past few years has been any good. So I am happy to say I was caught off guard when I did watch Agents of SHIELD and this Ghost Rider was pretty damn awesome (credit to Gabriel Luna).
I think Marvel TV and Agents of SHIELD finally gave fans what they expected and wanted from the series all along: a popular character/superhero. To date, their hasn't been any character on Agents of SHIELD that's really been worth watching or following. None of the characters on the series are that popular in the comics or even existed prior to the series. There is also the bitterness fans feel due to the fact that Marvel TV/Comics is force-feeding the Inhumans into the series as a result of Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter's resentment against Fox Studios over the X-Men.
So Ghost Rider in Agents of SHIELD, though not an "original," managed to fill in that gap quite nicely. And you want to know why? Because Marvel didn't butcher the character, but gave us a high quality and respectable bad ass version of Ghost Rider (and Johnny Blaze!). How could you not like this Ghost Rider, and even the special effects (though limited they were), looked really good for a TV series. Another plus was the story, which I might even go so far as to say rivaled the Marvel Studios Doctor Strange movie in terms of horror and supernatural aspects.
Tonight's mid-season finale was another good one, which saw the Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider story come to a head when Ghost Rider battled Uncle Eli. I know I couldn't have been the only one thinking we were going to get a bad ass nod to the comics when Coulson threw Ghost Rider the chain, but instead, we got something totally different and cooler: Ghost Rider saves them all. Ghost Rider lets go of the chain and holds on to Uncle Eli as they are both sucked into another dimension (watch the clip below).
Now this is where things go downhill.
A problem I've found with Agents of SHIELD is that it's really predictable, at least up until Ghost Rider; however, I found myself rolling my eyes and saying to myself, "Here we go again," at the end of tonight's episode. It's been telegraphed for weeks that Aida is going to pull an Ultron. I think that is pretty lame, and if the entire second half of Agents of SHIELD deals with Aida as an "Ultron," I won't be watching because we already seen the movie (which wasn't that good, either). Another eye-roller was Quake flying. Gimme a break. I've never been a fan of the character, and I know the only reason Quake is in the series is because she was created by Brian Bendis, who is a part of the Marvel Comics Creative Committee; so similar to the Inhumans, Daisy is another shoe-horned character that I could live without. I will say just about all of the other current Agents of SHIELD characters have been doing a fine job: Mack is definitely a favorite, and Fitz and Simmons have come light years since season 1. I'm also not missing Bobbie Morse or Lance Hunter one bit.
I hope Marvel TV has plans for more Ghost Rider. As I touched upon above, I'm not a fan of the Marvel TV Netflix series (bad dialogue and bad fight choreography among other things), but having Ghost Rider on Netflix would be the perfect place for Marvel's Spirit of Vengeance. I think Ghost Rider would have a bit of a higher budet on Netflix than ABC, and Marvel could go a much more darker and mature route. In addition, I wouldn't mind seeing Ghost Rider kicking the crud out of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, etc. (more Marvel Comics Creative Committee shoe-horned characters).
Let Ghost Rider ride again, Marvel!