Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes)
Ghost Rider (Roberto "Robbie" Reyes) is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the fifth Marvel character to use the name Ghost Rider, after Carter Slade (the Western comics hero later known as the Phantom Rider), Johnny Blaze, Danny Ketch and Alejandra Jones.
|First appearance||All-New Ghost Rider #1 (March 2014)|
|Created by||Felipe Smith |
|Alter ego||Roberto Reyes|
|Notable aliases||Skeleton Driver |
When Marvel Comics was getting retooled as All-New, All-Different Marvel, editor Mark Paniccia approached writer Felipe Smith on creating a newer and younger Ghost Rider. Among Paniccia's suggestions were that this new Ghost Rider drive a car instead of a motorcycle, an idea that excited Smith. Another big difference between this Ghost Rider and its predecessors is that Reyes doesn't have a floating head, or a human skull, Smith says. "He's an amalgam of a flaming car and a human being. He's not wearing a helmet, and his head isn't a skull: this Ghost Rider is designed so his look simulates the lines of the classic muscle car he was racing the night he died." Tradd Moore was brought in to sketch ideas based on Smith's concept. He also, more recently, appears on Ghost Rider (2016), Marvel Legacy and Avengers (2018) #1. 
Fictional character biographyEdit
Robbie Reyes is a high-school student working as a mechanic at an auto body shop who lives with his developmentally disabled brother Gabe and seeks to get away from the dangerous, gang-riddled streets of East Los Angeles. To that end, he enters a street race, hoping to use the prize money to move themselves away. He is gunned down by mercenaries trying to retrieve pills that caused the transformation of Calvin Zabo into the supervillain Mr. Hyde, which had been left in the trunk of the 1969 Dodge Charger he "borrowed" from the auto body shop for the race. He is revived as a demonic being with a flaming, helmet-like head. He drives off in the car, now similarly ablaze.
Later, the spirit bound to the car introduces itself to Robbie as the ghost of a man named Eli Morrow, who says he had been killed by gang members. Eli offers to help Robbie clean up his neighborhood in exchange for Robbie helping him avenge his death. Robbie becomes a local hero whose fame catches the attention of Johnny Blaze, who travels to Los Angeles to confront the new Rider. Eli is later revealed as Robbie's estranged uncle, a Satanic serial killer who kidnapped and murdered at least thirty-seven people in rituals before being fatally shot by police in 1999. A possessed Robbie later encounters Johnny Blaze, who uses the Penance Stare on Eli's spirit.
Eli was also the one who pushed Robbie's mother down the stairs while she was pregnant with Gabe, causing Gabe's disabilities.
In addition to confronting Mr. Hyde and his criminal underworld, Robbie and Eli fight for dominance over Robbie's body. Robbie eventually permanently bonds with Eli and agrees to sate Eli's thirst for murder, but only by killing people with evil souls.
He appears in The Unbelievable Gwenpool along with Hawkeye, both working to stop a ceremony being held by dwarves using a mystical space rock. Gwenpool appeared in his trunk's portal via her friend Sarah "The Terrible Eye" and the police arrived, prompting them all to flee. He had claimed the gem with Gwen's ghost friend Cecil inside and left it in his car, where his possessing spirit was apparently attempting to turn Cecil on Gwen. When that fails he shrugs it off and decides to just go back to corrupting Robbie.
Following a vivid nightmare involving an ancient gathering of heroes that include a previous Ghost Rider, Robbie awakens in South Africa with no memory of how he got there. He is attacked by Star Brand, who seeks to keep him from finding a buried Celestial. Robbie defeats Star Brand by using the Penance Stare, an ability he previously had no idea he possessed, but somehow accidentally kills Star Brand as well. Star Brand's death somehow reaches Odin's ears, the long-time ally of the original pre-historic Star Brand thought Robbie killed the current Star Brand purposely, and Robbie explains to the All-Father of Norse Gods about his accidental murder of the latter Star Brand when his Penance Stare first awakened, thus easily being forgiven and become friends.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Robbie differs from previous Ghost Riders, mainly because he is not possessed by a Spirit of Vengeance or any similar demonic entity. Rather, he is possessed by the spirit of Eli Morrow, a deceased serial killing Satanist who worked for the Russian mob as a hit-man. Despite this, he can still perform abilities similar to his predecessors; he possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina and durability potent enough to challenge Thor or Captain Marvel. Alongside the natural rider's capability of conjuring natural and hellish flames. He wields a supernaturally strong chain weapon, and can banish people to Hell or outright consume their souls. Unlike previous Ghost Riders who rode on motorcycles, Robbie drives a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T which he refers to as the Hell Charger. The Hell Charger is linked to the Ghost Rider, allowing Robbie in his Ghost Rider form to instantly teleport to and/or merge with the car. It also acts as a warp hub through which he can shadowmeld with in order to warp things (himself or others) over varying distances using shadows. The Charger can also be driven remotely, and Robbie's Ghost Rider form can pass harmlessly through it, allowing it to drive into foes. The car's trunk, when opened, acts as a portal through Hell, allowing the Ghost Rider to transport anything, including people, to any location. Robbie, through his Hellcharger, can create portals out of hellfire in order to take himself anywhere he can think of while Eli can change the shape and appearance of their ride. Eli is shown to able to take control of Robbie's body whenever he feels that he isn't up to the task or when Robbie gives into negative emotion, which is signified in his human form by a pallid skin tone and both of his eyes turning orange. During his battle with Star Brand, Robbie discovers that he possesses the Penance Stare, which allows him to force anyone who makes eye contact with him to experience all of the pain and suffering they have ever inflicted on others. His Ghost Rider form can also evolve into a stronger, more demonic form when Robbie is sufficiently angered, though this transformation is harder to control and more destructive. Recently while battling corrupted Celestial's Robbie later realized he'd entrenched a simple tractor with his rider properties. Similarly to Daniel Ketch; Robbie's rider transformation changes everything within reach alongside him as well. The vehicle can also contact the spirits of the deceased as it was able to enlist the aid of Tony's dead father Howard Stark to ask for information.
During the 2015 "Secret Wars" storyline, a variation of Robbie and his brother Gabe live south of Doomstadt on Battleworld. Robbie and several of his friends are arrested by the Thor Corps when patrol bots discover that Robbie possesses an "igniter spirit." He is taken to the Killiseum and forced to participate in Arcade's Ghost Races. Dubbed "The Hell-Charger" to distinguish himself from other Ghost Riders, Robbie loses his first race, but makes a deal with his spirit Eli to win every race onward becoming popular with audiences. Robbie later kills a monster that was created using his friends. Realizing the severity of his new life, Robbie escapes as Eli could not be controlled by Zadkiel. Robbie discovers that Gabe was kidnapped by Arcade and forced to race in the races. Robbie returned to the Killiseum where he defeats Zadkiel and frees the other racers. Afterwards, Eli kills Arcade and the Ghost Riders decide to become the Spirits of Vengeance.
During the 2017 "Venomverse" storyline, a symbiote version of Reyes appears, calling himself Host Rider. This version is now little more than a puppet being controlled by Morrow and the symbiote, who had united against him, and has been recruited into a resistance against a species that take over symbiotes and their hosts called Poisons. He is eventually assimilated by the Poisons, who is then killed by an alternate version of Carnage.
In other mediaEdit
- Robbie Reyes appears as a recurring character during the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., portrayed by Gabriel Luna. Reyes drives with his younger brother Gabe when they are gunned down by a street gang called Fifth Street Locos, who mistook Reyes for his uncle Eli Morrow. Gabe is rendered a paraplegic by the event, while Reyes' injuries are fatal. A "Good Samaritan", Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider, rescues Gabe and brings Robbie back from the dead by giving him the powers of the spirit of vengeance. As Robbie only saw Johnny in his Ghost Rider form, he believes that he sold his soul to "The Devil", so Robbie hunts down members of the gang to exact vengeance upon them, then later other people who "deserve it". He later comes into conflict with rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson / Quake, but eventually allies himself with her and S.H.I.E.L.D. against the supernatural problem of Lucy Bauer and her fellow ghosts, as it is revealed that he is able to exorcise the ghosts. During the season 4 episode "Deals with Our Demons", Reyes is knocked into a parallel dimension, and the Ghost Rider spirit moves to Agent Al "Mack" MacKenzie to continue its quest for vengeance, but returns to Robbie after he makes a new deal with the Rider. Robbie later confronts his uncle over his own crimes. As Ghost Rider, Robbie drags him into the Darkhold dimension. Reyes returns from the Darkhold dimension, to help the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. defeat AIDA / Aida Ophelia / Madame Hydra and her Life Model Decoys (LMDs). Finally, he takes possession of the Darkhold to keep it away from those who would endanger others with it, and leaves Earth to find another dimension to hide the evil book.
- In October 2016, Luna discussed that there are plans for Reyes to feature in his own television series, following his introduction in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In later interviews, the actor stated he hopes Norman Reedus would portray Johnny Blaze in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On May 1, 2019, it was announced that a television series based on Robbie Reyes's incarnation of Ghost Rider will premiere on Hulu in 2020, with Luna reprising his role. On September 25th, 2019, Deadline reported that the series was no longer moving forward with Hulu citing a "creative impasse".
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