Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: S4:E1
Ghost Rider makes his debut in the premier episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Season 4. On the heels of PR shots and numerous articles posted around the web regarding the introduction of the Ghost Rider coming to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, we finally get to see him in all his glory and as a pretty big Marvel and DC fan, I have to say, I was quite surprised and mildly impressed with their rendition of this iconic character.
I can't say I was exactly over awed but, credit where credit's due, he wasn't as bad as I thought he would be!
On screen the Ghost Rider looks pretty good and I was quite surprised at just how much screen time he was actually given. I liked the long drawn out introduction to his appearance, showing the dread that he instills and the one scene where he looks in to 'Quakes' soul was particulary good, but I'm afraid that's where I finish with the compliments as I thought Gabriel Luna, the actor playing Ghost Riders alter ego, Robbie Reyes, is a bit, well... dull! There was no charisma there, I just didn't connect with his character!
I still think they should have gone with Johnny Blaze, rather than the lesser known Robbie Reyes, I just hope Marvel have bigger plans for the real Ghost Rider.
To me, the Ghost Rider will always ride a motorbike and NOT drive a car, the hint is in the name! After all those that fear him, refer to him as the 'Rider' and not the 'Driver'. Plus, having a flaming motorbike coming straight at you leaving a trail of 'Hell Fire' with a 'Flaming Skulled' rider staring at you is far more fearful than a car with blacked out windows! There's no fixation there ... on the bike, once the 'rider' has you in his sights, there's no turning back!
But I have to keep in mind that this is TV and NOT the movies, so that being said, what they have created is... OK!
It remains to be seen just how much of the budget they have given over to the 'Rider' and exactly how many times we see him transform!
Have to say though, the transformation from Robbie Reyes to Ghost Rider was not to bad and thankfully they didn't go with the helmet idea from the comics, so I suppose you could say they've kind of combined the best of Jonny Blaze with the newer Robbie Reyes version.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 1 synopsis:
Former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson, now the vigilante "Quake", is hunting gang affiliates of the terrorist group Watchdogs in Los Angeles when Aryan Brotherhood members are murdered by the fiery "Ghost Rider". Agents Phil Coulson and Mack, who were forbidden from searching for Johnson by new S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Jeffrey Mace, are tipped off to her location by Agent Melinda May. Agent Leo Fitz discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. ally Holden Radcliffe has created the android AIDA, and agrees to help perfect her. He keeps this from his girlfriend Agent Jemma Simmons, who is in the Director's inner circle. Simmons discovers that Coulson and Mack are investigating Johnson, and orders May to stop them. She arrives to find them surveilling Chinese gangsters who bought a weapon off the Brotherhood: a mystical figure, who turns the gang members berserk, and secretly infects May as well. Johnson tracks down the Ghost Rider, but he defeats her. She later sees his human form, Robbie Reyes, looking after his disabled brother.
The introduction of the Ghost Rider character has certainly spiced things up for the TV Series and even though I've watched every episode right from the beginning I've got bored of the story lines and the slow build up to certain reveals, only to find out they weren't very interesting after all!
Glad the 'Hive' story line is over and done with, although I have to say I'm sorry to see 'Ward' go. Didn't so much like him as 'Hive' just wish they'd kept him as an agent! One character I shall miss is Lincoln and especially his powers.
For a Season Premier, this was a superb episode, it had it's down sides in places but mostly pretty good overall. No one can argue that the main point of this episode was to introduce Ghost Rider and speaking for myself I think they did a good job. The anticipation was there, the dread and fear from the victims was shown, just wish Gabriel Luna had shown more of the fear, the turmoil and the pain that Robbie Reyes goes through with the fight to keep the 'Rider' at bay... maybe he wasn't directed well enough! That's the one emotion I thought Nicolas Cage got right in the films and yes I know the majority of people hated those films, but I liked them, especially the second one.
It'll be interesting to see how the 'NEW boss of SHIELD' plays out and I wonder just 'how far' they're willing to let the character go?
If indeed he is who his name refers to in comic lore!