For a guy who quite literally sold his soul to an immortal demon and became a half-demon hybrid himself, Ghost Rider has quite a few people pulling for his redemption arc in the realm of Marvel’s cinematic efforts. Indeed, everyone and their dog will be happy to forget about the pair of live-action Nicolas Cage films sooner rather than later, and with Robbie Reyes’ role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. apparently being not quite satisfying enough, eyes have long been peeled for any and all signs of a Ghost Rider appearance in the Disney-era Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And just as well, there have never been more reasons to believe; the Multiverse Saga has seen an exponential amount of more mature, supernatural characters enter the fray, so it’s only natural to assume that Ghost Rider is on track to join that table sooner than we may think.
But which MCU characters double as these Ghost Rider stepping stones exactly, and how might they hold at least part of the key to integrating him into the franchise?
The earliest and most major domino has to be Doctor Strange, who’s far and away the most prominent MCU character on this list, and who also happens to be the man responsible for covertly assembling the Midnight Sons superhero team, of which two iterations of Ghost Rider are the co-leaders, in the comics.
Now, thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we know that Strange is no novice when it comes to going to-to-toe with the more morbid side of the multiverse, and the horror shades we’ve seen in his adventures thus far could lead him to more demonic territory, where Ghost Rider could easily rear his head.
He is, however, still somewhat finding his feet in the world of multiversal navigation, so it may be some time until he feels authoritative enough to secretly bring together an elite, spooky superhero team in the MCU, assuming that path is even on the table for the franchise’s over-arching narrative. However, with Robbie Reyes technically being part of the canon already, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if Marvel used the multiverse to pull in a new version of the character for the sake of a more mainstay Ghost Rider (perhaps one or two of the future leaders of the Midnight Sons that Strange has a comics history with). And, with Doctor Strange floating between universes at the moment, he could very well be the one to bring the Spirit of Vengeance to Earth-199999.
Sidebar; buckle up, because we’re going to be talking about the Midnight Sons throughout.
Realistically, you could put the entire cast of Agatha: Coven of Chaos down for this one; thanks to Agatha Harkness and her posse of witches and familiars — to say nothing of those Mephisto rumors — there’s innumerable connections to the Ghost Rider ethos here.
But none are quite so prominent as Jennifer Kale, who, despite not being as nearly as prolific as a character like Doctor Strange, probably has the best chance of roping Ghost Rider into the MCU.
Reason being that Kale — a sorceress who one Sasheer Zamata will be portraying in Coven of Chaos — is the cousin of Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch — both of whom have taken up the mantle of Ghost Rider and, as mentioned earlier, subsequently led the Midnight Sons — in the comics. And with Kale having once boasted Midnight Sons membership in the comics, the plot only thickens.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine Kale’s familial ties to Ghost Rider getting ignored by Marvel Studios, and while it’s probably wishful thinking to assume that he’d show up in Coven of Chaos, Kale will certainly be laying most of the groundwork for his arrival if this hunch is even a bit accurate.
Werewolf by Night
The MCU’s undisputed king of horror at the moment, Werewolf by Night’s gore-soaked splash into the franchise made quite the impact; an impact whose tenacity is only matched by the dubiousness of where he and Werewolf by Night‘s other surviving champions may show up next.
Narratively, Werewolf by Night’s comics history as a once-member of the Midnight Sons gives him at least a faint tie to Ghost Rider, but given how disconnected his television special was from the rest of the franchise, it’s hard to say how he himself will get roped back into the MCU, let alone how he might have a hand in bringing Ghost Rider in.
Nevertheless, the presence of a character as horror-tinged as Werewolf by Night points to a certain direction for the MCU that would welcome Ghost Rider with open arms, and with both characters being afflicted by a monstrous curse that causes them to transform into terrifying entities, their potential to form a bond over that makes for a delectable team-up possibility down the line (perhaps as part of a larger Midnight Sons team-up movie).
His solo film may be trapped in the development hell to end all development hells, but Blade could still end up being one of Ghost Rider’s greatest conduits for an MCU debut.
Like everyone on this list, Blade is a member of the Midnight Sons in the comics, but the vampire hunter bears the extra-special distinction of being one of the co-leaders of the team alongside Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch, and — don’t panic — Morbius.
Indeed, outside of Jennifer Kale, the biggest boon for Ghost Rider’s potential arrival in the Feigeverse are the many Midnight Sons seeds that have, deliberately or not, been planted throughout the Multiverse Saga, and Blade – the only MCU character whose Midnight Sons presence could match Ghost Rider’s – has to be the most fruitful of them all.
Of course, Blade hasn’t even shown his face yet, but once he gets a bit of spotlight time of his own, he’ll no doubt end up having a huge presence in whatever Ghost Rider stories Marvel decides to pursue.
Beyond the four listed above, the stage has been subtlety set by the presence of other characters as well. Moon Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, and Man-Thing have all been a part of the Midnight Sons in the comics, with the former having already gotten his own solo series and the latter two sporting a further connection to Werewolf by Night.
Scarlet Witch — a brief Midnight Sons member in the comics — meanwhile, has her ties to Agatha and company to bolster her presence in the supernatural side of the MCU, and as the second most-prominent character in that realm behind Doctor Strange, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see her cross paths with Ghost Rider at some point.
Finally, the upcoming Disney Plus series Ironheart will be the MCU debut of The Hood, a newcomer to the mystic arts and another brief member of the Midnight Sons in the comics; he’s a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the characters mentioned, but every fiber of the Ghost Rider puzzle is a welcome one.