Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is a highlight of New York Comic-Con, this year was no exception. Season 4 takes advantage of it’s later time slot with a darker edge and a horror/occult twist with the addition of the Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) I was able to interview (Chloe Bennett) Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) and Marvel’s TV Head Jeff Loeb and full interviews below.
This season finds the original team split up and healing the best they can from the wounds and loss of last season under a new Director Jeffery Mace (Jason O’ Mara) with Quake/Daisy/Skye (Chloe Bennett) still AWOL and on the run.
Quake is in chronic pain as her powers take their toll on her body. She’s mourning Lincoln Campbell/Sparkplug self-sacrifice and dealing with the overwhelming guilt of betraying the team while under Hive /Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) influence. She’s gone back to familiar territory, in a van on the run, but still being the hero she is, following the trail of the Anti-Inhuman group The Watchdogs. While following a lead, she catches wind of an East LA urban myth, a serial killer called Ghost Rider.
Ms. Bennett was charming and reflective as she explained the shows darker edge as a result of Season 3 fallout, her (Daisy’s) trials and after encountering Ghost Rider adversarial at first, finds they have much in common –
“They’re both on their own, they’re both fighting people at night and they both wear really nice outfits for homeless people! He’s holding up a mirror to Daisy and she’s asking herself are we the same? Is what I’m doing for vengeance or for penance?” And, she finds her character growing sympathetic – “Daisy is able to look past the Ghost Rider in Robbie the man and see at the end of the day a good person and I think that’s all that really matters to her.”
She broke down the dark place Daisy is in right now – which of course led to her character’s family drama and questionable boyfriend choices. She described filming the first awesome fight scene with Ghost Rider, and how real that cabinet that fell on her was. Chloe’s interview is a must see:
Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) finds himself chafing at his demotion to field agent. His boss is a “company man” more motivated by Politics & focus groups then SHIELD history. While Coulson’s singular motivation is to find Daisy and bring her back to the fold. “Coulson felt he brought Hive into the mix and caused all those deaths because he murdered Grant Ward. I don’t think he loses sleep over Grant Ward, but he loses sleep over what that it caused. The fact that it led to Daisy being gone. I think the most important thing in his heart right now is getting Daisy back.” said Gregg. I asked if there were a decision between wanting Daisy back and the Director saying she’s got to be cataloged and squirreled away, which way would he fall? Clark had a really thoughtful answer –
I think Coulson would have been really torn between the “Team Cap & Team Tony” of it all, just because there’s a good reason why you might want to register some of these people. But, that said, who’s registering them? Who’s keeping that information? The idea of Quake being registered by this new SHIELD and this new Director? You know it didn’t go so well. I think he felt the old SHIELD was pretty safe and buttoned up and it turned out to be riddled with HYDRA! So it’s one of the smart things our writers have done and Jeph Loeb and Joe Quesdada have done is make it very very personal. Sure he could be for registering people, how would you feel if it were your daughter essentily?
Clark is also a geek after my own heart! As it turns out he’s a HUGE Iron Fist fan! When asked about it he had this to say- “I haven’t seen anyone from the cast of Iron Fist, have you? are they here? Some of my favorite comics are the NETFLIX shows they’ve tapped Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and now Iron Fist! I was asked who’d you like to see come on your show? And they’re ALL on NETFLIX in a different television universe. I’m pretty excited about Iron Fist! I’d love to tell you I’m the one that goes to Kun Lun and finds Daniel Rand but I’m pretty sure I’ll be dealing with a guy with a flaming skull in Los Angeles!” Check it out below!:
Speaking of the guy with a flaming skull, Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) the latest host to the spirit of vengeance Robbie Reyes struggles to keep control and take care of his disabled younger brother. Gabriel a newcomer to the cast this year was super enthusiastic about the role. He was even playing with a remote model of his sweet custom black 64 Charger during our interview! When asked about joining the cast of this well-established show Mr. Luna had this to say-
“It was more seamless then I anticipated. Fourtunatly, they came full circle on a lot of the story line and it was an interesting place to jump in, because all the agents are scattered to the wind, everybody’s dealing with something. Daisy’s gone rouge. Phil’s made a lateral move within the organization. Then you ad my characther who’s mystical and dangerous so that just added this really sweet horror element to the first episode that carries through. If they [the cast] hadn’t been so loving and all been such great dedicated performers to the show? It may had been more difficult. But it really wasn’t, since day one each and everyone came up to me and welcomed me with open arms it’s a real family atmosphere.”
I asked Gabriel if he read the new incarnation of Ghost Rider before he took the role and Gabriel talked about the steps Marvel has been taking to reflect the diversity of their fans:
“I had just come off a show called Harley & the Davidsons it’s from a hundred years ago we just did the first thirty with the origin of the machine and the company itself. I had been getting calls from my agent that they had a recurring part on Agents of SHIELD. While I loved the show and I love everything Marvel I didn’t want to be taken off the table for anything else. I wasn’t aware the Ghost Rider was a Mexican American kid from East LA who becomes this legend! But it’s so funny man everybody’s like Gabe you should be in a Marvel show! And things happen! I was in Martha,Texas at a film festival and my agent says, so that part I keep calling you about it’s The Ghost Rider..! I was like WHAT?! He said they’re going another route with Johnny Blaze and he said just look it up and it was Robbie Reyes! There were all these synchronicities with the character. I just come off a show with Robert Rodriguez and his initials are the same, Robert used to drive around this Dodge Challenger when were doing this show called MATADOR and the Challenger is the updated version of the Charger and [Robbie] has a little brother his name is Gabriel! I have a little brother who I love dearly everything just kinda lined up, it was incredible, man! I didn’t think there was a part in the Marvel Universe for me but thankfully they created one! And that’s the reality of our world and diversity is being shown more through television and films and I was just the right guy at the right time.”
That’s an understatement! Gabriel KILLS this role! I was grateful for Gabriel’s candor and though he had a tight schedule, made a point to stay and chat with me a bit and pose for selfies along with Chloe & Clark! Thanks a lot Bro! Good luck with the new role!
Check his full interview below:
Jeph Loeb is Head of Television of Marvel Television he and publisher Dan Buckley, create both live-action and animated shows based on Marvel’s catalog of characters. I’m also a fan of his earlier work on Smallville (he introduced Red Kryptonite) and he is an Eisner award winner for one of my favorite Batman stories The Long Halloween. He’s comic book royalty, the real deal. it was delightful to get his perspective on the new season, time slot, darker tone and the future of Marvel Television, He spoke a bit about adapting The Patriot SHIELD Director Mace:
One of the things that Marvel does really well is we have this incredible catalog and there are characters that pop out for us in some cases we need to share with the other divisions in some cases they’re all ours [Marvel Television] we take a look at each character. I think Jeff Bell said it best, one of our shown runners “There’s no point in taking any character unless they’re generating story.” When we first started talking about Director Mace and where he’s headed and what story was going to come out of it and whatever ties may or may not be to The Patriot we hope you’ll stick around and watch and enjoy.
Here’s Mr. Loeb’s full interview (he gives a shout out to All Things Geek!)
We did manage to get interesting insights on the new season and his perspective on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the possibilities of crossover between NETFLIX and other TV properties. This was a dynamite showing for Agents of SHIELD and I’m super excited for all to be revealed season 4!
Don’t miss Marvels Agents of SHIELD on its new time Tuesdays at 10pm est
Watch the latest episode on ABC GO
photo credit -author