First Official Photo And Footage Of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’S Ghost Rider

In the past, many viewers have expressed concern with the lack of big name superheroes appearing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I completely understand where they’re coming from. While it may be cool to see guest appearances by characters such as Sif, Mockingbird, and even Nick Fury, it seems like we may never see the likes of an Iron Man or Captain America.

What got the attention of many a comic book fan – including my own – was when it was officially confirmed that Ghost Rider would be appearing during the show’s fourth season. Sure, he’s not part of the cinematic Avengers lineup, but he is an icon that brings a darker element to the series.

Undoubtedly raising some eyebrows, the Robbie Reyes version of the character (played by Gabriel Luna) is set to ride his flaming hot rod into your living room, as opposed to a motorcycle. Sure, this change may take a moment for some to get used to, but it actually makes a bit of sense considering that Ghost Rider’s two cinematic appearances came via Nicolas Cage’s Johnny Blaze and this allows the show’s producers to chart new territory.

Plus, Reyes is the one currently operating as Ghost Rider in the comics, so if fans like what they see on TV, they can go down to their local comic shop or bookseller and read about him. It’s a smart move by Marvel, to say the least.

According to executive producer Jed Whedon, there may be a few surprises in store for us as well (via Entertainment Weekly):

“As always, we are going to put our own spin on the character. We are staying true to the comics in the places where we feel like it’s really important — we love the character’s family dynamic and the East L.A. kid in him.”

As I said earlier, the inclusion of Ghost Rider opens up a world of possibilities, and this is something that’s not lost on Whedon.

“It started out with a guy building a suit using science, and then we met aliens that are the origin of the myths behind some of our gods, and this year Doctor Strange comes out. We’re opening it up even further to the world of things we don’t totally understand, or as Thor says, ‘Magic is science that we don’t understand.’ Well, we’re getting into some very, very fancy science.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Tuesday, September 20 on ABC. While you wait, take a look at the first photo of Reyes above as well as this freshly released cellphone footage-style teaser below.