From Daredevil to Wong, the violent streets to the mystic arts, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hasn't hesitated to pull from the deepest depths of the Marvel universe. The latest episode was no exception as Doctor Strange's Wong recruited Jennifer Walters' help for a magical legal case, delving once again into the mystical world.
That same mystical world of Marvel has only increased its presence in the MCU through Phase 4 with the introduction of Moon Knight, Blade, and Werewolf by Night, but there's one supernatural hero that fans are still desperate to return to live-action: the Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider.
Nicolas Cage once brought Johnny Blaze, the original Ghost Rider, to the big screen across two blockbuster solo movies. But in more recent times, Gabriel Luna already played an iteration of the character, Robbie Reyes, on ABC's Agents of SHIELD. Nonetheless, many are eager to see either version of the character back.
In the midst of The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus' campaign for the role, Ghost Rider has become the latest Marvel legend to be referenced on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
She-Hulk's Ghost Rider References
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 4, "Is This Not Real Magic?," included three eyebrow-raising references to Ghost Rider - specifically Johnny Blaze - who many have been waiting to see join the MCU for some time.
A Blaze by Any Other Name
Firstly, the former student of the Mystic Arts who sits at the forefront of the magical legal tale, Donny Blaze, has his name inspired by the original Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze. Nicolas Cage first brought Blaze to life in 2007's Ghost Rider before the character made a cameo, played by an unknown actor, in Agents of SHIELD.
The poster for Donny Blaze's magical show was first spotted in a previous trailer for She-Hulk when many confused the name on the blurry sign for Johnny Blaze, leading many to speculate a Ghost Rider Easter egg or cameo could be on the way to the Disney+ series.
She-Hulk head writer Jessica Gao previously confirmed that while Donny Blaze "is not Ghost Rider," he did "pick a stage name that he thought was going to get a lot of attention."
A Pact with a Demon
After Donny Blaze sends Patty Guggenheim's Madisynn through a portal, she ultimately ends up with Wong in Nepal, but she had her own adventure first.
The confused girl explained that Blaze sent here to a "diff dimensh" where there were goblins and a "talking goat" helped her escape:
"He sent me to a diff dimensh and a talking goat helped me escape a lava pit in exchanged for six drops of my blood."
During the Blaze vs. Wong trial, Madisynn goes on to testify that she made a "pact with a demon that [she] cannot discuss:"
"I made a pact with a demon that I cannot discuss. Otherwise he said he would reap my soul and the souls of all I love. The demon, I think his name was Jake, opened a portal that dropped me off at Wongers' house, and that's how we became besties."
The reference to Madisynn's pact with a demon to escape the other dimension serves as a nod to Ghost Rider's classic origin. After making a deal with Mephisto to save the life of his father, Blaze gave up his soul to the demon, causing him to be consumed by hellfire during the night and become Ghost Rider.
During Wong and She-Hulk's fight with the Goblin-like demons from another dimension, the Sorcerer Surpeme conjures a magical chain that he uses as a weapon to catch the creatures and throw them through a portal to a snowy region.
The magical chain serves as a reference to Ghost Rider's iconic Hellfire Chain, a weapon able to create and control mystical fire. The chain has been used by multiple iterations of Ghost Rider and is among the most famous details of his classic look.
When Will Ghost Rider Join the MCU?
MCU enthusiasts have been waiting to see Ghost Rider entry the fray for a long time now, and speculation of his debut has only been heating up recently. The Spirit of Vengeance almost showed up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as a member of the Illuminati, but that never came to be.
Insider Daniel Richtman claimed back in 2020 that Ghost Rider was being developed for the MCU, and reports spread recently that an actor was in talks. So, if Marvel Studios has begun searching for an actor, then there are clearly plans for him to show up in the near future.
Perhaps his solo project will finally slot into the Phase 6 slate, or maybe he will appear in Blade or another supernatural outing. Whatever the case, the MCU clearly has plans for Ghost Rider, and they may already be teasing his imminent arrival - could Donny Blaze be Johnny's brother?
Whatever the case, Marvel Studios has a tough task ahead with Ghost Rider's introduction, especially if they want to avoid conflicting with Agents of SHIELD. While the canon status of the Marvel TV series remains up for debate, any conflicts with Ghost Rider could be the nail in the coffin for Agent Coulson's solo story.
For those looking to enjoy some of Ghost Rider in the MCU for the time being, Gabriel Luna's Robbie Reyes stars in Season 4 of Agents of SHIELD, which is streaming now on Disney+.