It's official: Ghost Rider will burst onto "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." this fall. However, his arrival seems like a complete change of direction for the series, which introduced Life Model Decoys (LMDs) at the end of Season 3. At Comic-Con International in San Diego, executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen tackled the subject and discussed their approach to these two disparate topics.
"You'll see this in the movies that are coming," Whedon shared. "In 'Thor,' they famously said, 'Magic is just science we don't understand.' The MCU started with 'Iron Man,' who is a guy who built a suit -- a smart guy built a suit. And then when you put Thor into that world, it started to be like, 'How are these things going to work?' And they worked! So they started to open up into the world of the fantastic, and we will be doing that this year in terms of sort of trying to blend the two and trying to see if there are things we don't understand, why, and then meanwhile we're building things that we do understand, that maybe we start to lose our understanding of them."
"[How to blend these subjects] is exactly what our team may be asking as they encounter something like Ghost Rider. We'll basically be trying to science why," Tancharoen added.
"It's the question we were asking in the room of writers on day one," Whedon agreed.
"I think that we're going to slowly start to develop some very advanced technology this season, and maybe -- as that becomes more advanced and we have strange people... possessed people -- those things somehow merge down the line," he continued.
"We've dealt with normal people who want to... be more than just a man, like Mike Peterson. With Coulson, he has a robot hand," Tancharoen explained. "Then we meet [Holden] Radcliffe, who's definitely into body modifications. This is just sort of a progression and extension of that."
Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb also addressed the "Squadron Supreme" Easter egg in the Season 3 finale, where Holden Radcliffe named his LMD AIDA, after Tom Thumb's AI in the cult classic comic series.
Asked if Season 4 would include any other elements from the 1985 miniseries by Mark Gruenwald, Bob Hall and Paul Ryan, Loeb offered an uncharacteristically brief response: "Let's just say nothing is off the table."
While Loeb played coy about the future of "Squadron Supreme" in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", CBR has a few ideas about where the show could take these concepts.