Thursday, September 22, 2016

Can Ghost Rider Save Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?


With the return of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D this week, let's take a look and see if the arrival of Ghost Rider will be what turns the public's perception around on this divisive show.  Minor spoilers below.



People have complained about Agents of Shield (AOS) non stop since it's arrival in 2013.  They complained about the lack of connection to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.  They complained about the lack of super powered known characters.  When they did include actual comic characters, people complained about the look of them (Deathlok).  When they did tie in to the movies, people complained that it was only passing at best and fan lip service.  Basically, this show was always dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.  


The sad thing is, when people tuned out in season one, they missed out on what has become a fantastic comic book show that has gotten progressively better each season.  With the arrival of Ghost Rider in this season's premiere episode, it looks like AOS is gearing up to delve more into it's comic book roots.  


The traditional Ghost Rider.

When Marvel announced that Ghost Rider was coming to AOS, some fans were ecstatic while others were irritated that he was going to be "wasted" on ABC instead of going to the much darker and grittier Netflix platform.  While this would have been pretty awesome as well, the premiere episode of season four proved that AOS can handle darker and grittier.  Especially in it's newer later timeslot.  


Fans were also confused on why this Ghost Rider was driving a Charger instead of his traditional motorcycle.  People familiar with only the Nicolas Cage version of the character aren't aware that there's been multiple Riders and the one featured on the show is Marvel's newest incarnation Robbie Reyes.  However, the version that appears on AOS seems to be a combination of Johnny Blaze and Robbie Reyes as the Reyes version doesn't have the spirit of vengeance inside of him.  At least from the first episode, it appears as if they've definitely included that aspect of the character into this new version.  And I'm ok with that!


I don't have a problem with the AOS and the MCU in general changing up aspects of the comics.  This is an alternate universe.  It's no different than the Marvel Ultimates universe or any of the other alternate universes that already exist in comics.  As long as they get the basic essence of these characters right (and they haven't missed yet), we shouldn't complain.  


The Robbie Reyes Version of Ghost Rider

The debut episode also brought Quake into her own as a former agent disregarding the Sokovia Accords.  There was also far more mysticism involved in this episode then we've ever seen before on the show.  From Life Model Decoys to ghostly witches (or whatever that was), it's pretty obviously embracing it's comic roots while also building to the next movie to be released in the franchise, Dr. Strange .  


If you're one of those folks that gave up AOS, now is a good time to jump on board.  The tone is leaning more towards the beloved Netflix approach than it's PG-13 cinematic companions.  



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