By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the season four premiere of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
The New SHIELD
After the various teases and setups last season, SHIELD is back to being a legitimate government agency. The effects of this development were immediate; Coulson is no longer the director and the team is broken up with each going to different departments. The new director, who we haven’t met yet, seems to be as paranoid, if not more, as Nick Fury. In addition to breaking up the old team, he has implemented daily lie detection methods on his inner-circle. According to Simmons, this is the new director’s way of avoiding another Hydra-like situation, but I have to wonder if he feels more threatened by a secret criminal organization or Coulson. It can’t be easy having your predecessor still working for you, especially when he has a group of deadly special agents and superpowered people that are loyal to him, to say nothing of some people already being wary of Coulson because he literally came back from the dead. Whatever the reason, the new director has made some changes and some people aren’t happy about it.
Welcome back, Ghost Rider. After a couple of lackluster films starring Nicholas Cage, Ghost Rider is back in the MCU. There are a few changes. Instead of Johnny Blaze, we’re getting the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider. This is a fairly new character that only premiered in 2014. In the comics, he’s a high school student who was gunned down by a group of mercenaries. The car he was driving, a 1969 black Charger, was possessed by the spirit of Eli Morrow. Eli brought Robbie back to life and possessed him with the powers of Ghost Rider. We don’t know the live-action character’s backstory yet, but the writers seemed to have tweaked some of the details while mostly staying true to the comic. This Robbie is not a high school student, but he’s still a mechanic who cares for his wheelchair-bound brother. The writers have also made some moderations to the look of the character. The show’s version has more of a flaming skull akin to the look of the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider while in the comic it looked like more a mask with flames coming out of the sides and top. The characterization and jacket are all Robbie Reyes though, which is great because is my preferred Ghost Rider.
Daisy has definitely gone rogue. The new director thinks she’s a villain but she’s developed into more of an anti-hero. She started off on a mission to hunt down the Watchdogs and that turned into going after gang members and white supremacists. After three years of trying to find her place in the world, Daisy is lost again. It’s hard to say how long this will last; this new director seems hell-bent on capturing her, but we don’t know for sure what Daisy has done. Unless the writers having her going all Grant Ward and becoming the next big bad villain, I can’t imagine she’s done anything she can’t come back from. She kept repeating, “Everyone is attached to something,” and we all know she’s attached to SHIELD. I think her rogue streak will be short-lived.
That ending was a definite tease for November’s Doctor Strange. I’m pretty sure the spirit that floated out of the box was actually a person traveling on the astral plane, a power that Doctor Strange and other mystics have. The biggest easter egg though was the eyes of the people after the form was released. The skin around the eyes cracked and turn black. You probably recognized it if you saw Mad Mikkelsen’s character Kaecilius in the Doctor Strange trailer:
Here is a set photo of Mikkelsen that gives a closer look:
I’m not sure how this will all fit together but right off the bat it looks like Agents of SHIELD will tie-in with Doctor Strange more closely than it did with Age of Ultron or Civil War.
Thanks for reading!