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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been more of a spy series than straight-up superhero series, but within the past couple years, they've been introducing more powered crimefighters into the organization's ranks. When the show returns this fall, they'll be throwing at least one more hero into the ranks, as it was officially today that Ghost Rider, a.k.a. the Spirit of Vengeance, will be joining the series.
This news comes straight out of San Diego Comic-Con, where Ghost Rider's presence was finally confirmed at the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel after weeks of rumors and speculation. Along with the announcement came a brief teaser video showing a man with a flaming skull. However, rather than go with Johnny Blaze, the original Ghost Rider who led two movies in 2007 and 2012, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Ghost Rider will be Robbie Reyes, the latest incarnation of the hero who was introduced in the Marvel NOW! imprint. He will be played by True Detective actor Gabriel Luna, and while his exact role on the show wasn't disclosed, it sounds like viewers will be seeing a lot of him.
Speculation about Ghost Rider joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. began when a light rail train advertising the ABC series also featured a flaming chain, the hero's weapon of choice. However, because the Inhuman James, a.k.a. Hellfire, also used a flaming chain during Season 3, that led to some confusion. Then a casting report came out for two brothers who have a similar dynamic to what Robbie Reyes and his brother Gabe have in the comics. Robbie's comic book counterpart gained his powers when the soul of a dead man bonded to him after Robbie was injured in a street race, but it's unclear whether the show will retain that origin or find another way to turn him the demonic being, like make him an Inhuman. However, he will still be riding around in a snazzy car, as seen in the video below.
Gabriel Luna's recent TV credits include NCIS: Los Angeles, True Detective and Wicked City, and movie-wise, he most recently appeared in Transpecos. He's the first new actor to be announced for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, but with a few more months to go until the the show returns, more casting information should be coming in soon.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 will premiere Tuesday, September 20 at its new 10 p.m. EST timeslot. Let us know what you think about Ghost Rider joining the series in the comments below.