The Marvel Cinematic Universe is headed towards some mystical places in the next few months, most notably with the next MCU film, “Doctor Strange." But with this week’s introduction of Ghost Rider on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” the ABC series is setting the stage for an evolving Marvel Universe that can’t be explained by science.
The premiere episode not only introduced the Robbie Reyes version of the possessed anti-hero, but also a mysterious box that appears to contain a demonic spirit. Based on an interesting hint dropped by Ghost Rider actor Diego Luna, it now seems possible that the spirit could lead to one of Ghost Rider's chief adversaries from the comics -- Mephisto.
“That is a huge part of the books themselves and the entire Marvel universe and the canon of Marvel’s assortment of characters. What we haven’t touched on are things that can’t be explained perfectly by science,” Luna told Collider in a recent interview. “It’s a lot of really fun stuff that starts to lean into the world of Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider and Mephisto, and all of these other elements that also exist there, like ghouls and goblins and all sorts of cool things. We’re happy to be the ones to break the ice on that."
Most notably about the quote, Luna casually dropped the name Mephisto. A classic comics villain, Mephisto is essentially the devil of the Marvel Universe, known in recent years for erasing the public's memory of Spider-Man's secret identity, in exchange for nullifying Peter Parker's marriage with Mary Jane Watson from continuity. Peter Fonda played a version of Mephisto in 2007’s “Ghost Rider” which starred Nicolas Cage as the Johnny Blaze version of the character.
Luna also spoke about playing Reyes, the newest version of Ghost Rider, who has a bit more control over the “other” side of him than previous Riders. “It’s basically just the goodness in him, and his duty to his brother and his family, that gives him the strength to be able to keep the cap on and to keep the monster at bay.”
Famous for their intense secrecy, Luna said that when Marvel initially approached him for the role, they didn’t say who it was for. “They kept that one for a couple of months, and then finally, they let us know and I was, of course, immediately thrilled,” he said. “The moment you hear the words ‘Ghost Rider,’ the flights of fancy in your imagination starts to run amuck.”
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.