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What Ghost Rider Means For 'Agents Of SHIELD'

As Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. enters its fourth season on ABC this fall, it's apparently going to be doing so with a bang ... and also a burst of hellfire, as the powers-that-be at Marvel announced during San Diego Comic-Con that they're bringing Ghost Rider into the series. What does this mean for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Glad you asked.

We'll be learning a lot about Ghost Rider's portrayer, Gabriel Luna

It's hard to say whether or not you'll recognize Gabriel Luna, the gentleman who's been hired to play Robbie Reyes, AKA the human beneath the flaming skull of Ghost Rider. His biggest TV roles to date have either been one-off appearances (Prison Break, NCIS: Los Angeles) recurring roles in single-season wonders (Matador, Wicked City), or his role in True Detective, a series going through a highly publicized sophomore slump. While it was probably Wicked City that put Luna on ABC's radar, as someone to salvage from the dregs of that quickly-canceled series, it was Matador that probably earned Luna his strongest reviews. Either way, he's an actor who's shown that he's got action chops, so he'll no doubt do well as a superhero.

The Secret Warriors won't be the only proper superheroes on the scene

Skye Johnson – or Daisy, if you prefer – started out on the series as a top-notch hacker turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-in-training. After being exposed to the Terrigen Mists and unlocking her Inhuman abilities, she started utilizing her newfound earthquake-starting powers under an appropriate new moniker: Quake. In addition, she joined forces with three of her fellow Inhumans – Lincoln Campbell, Joey Gutierrez, and Elena Rodriguez – as the Secret Warriors.

It remains to be seen if Ghost Rider will be one of these Warriors, or more of a one-man operation, but one thing's certain: he's seriously upping the superhero quotient of this series.

Coulson won't be the only one with a sweet ride

Since the pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson has been known for his ownership of a red 1962 Chevrolet Convertible called Lola (Levitating Over Land Automobile). It's such an awesome car, Coulson only has three words for anyone who comes within close proximity of it: "Don't touch Lola." Now that Ghost Rider's going to be around, though, Lola's going to have some competition, since Ghostie's mode of transport is a badass black '69 Dodge Charger, which was unveiled at Comic-Con to much rejoicing.

There's never been this type of superhero in the S.H.I.E.L.D. mix before

We've seen plenty of Inhumans on the show thus far, plus a cyborg (Deathlok), an Asgardian (Sif), and any number of super-powered individuals working on the sides of good or evil. With Ghost Rider, howver, we're getting something completely different: a spirit of vengeance. Or possibly a Satanic serial killer. Here's the thing: Marvel is doing its typical slow roll-out with details about the character's TV incarnation. They've clarified that yes, this is the most recent incarnation of Ghost Rider, the one who made his debut in 2014, as opposed to any of the earlier motorcycle-riding versions. They have not, however, clarified just how close to the comic book they'll be hewing with his origin, so we don't know exactly what we're going to be dealing with. No matter what, though, it's clear that Ghost Rider is unlike anyone who's been on the series to date.

We're one step closer to a Champions series

Okay, it's probably not actually going to happen, because the 1970s super team was never all that popular to begin with. That being said, between Black Widow being in the Avengers movies, and Angel and Iceman having turned up in various X-Men films, all we really need at this point is for Marvel to get off its butt, introduce Hercules, and – bam! – you've got The Champions. (Look, just let us have our dream, okay?)