What Does Marvel Legacy #1 Mean For…Ghost Rider [SPOILERS]

Marvel Legacy #1 has now hit the shelves and given readers old and new a look at what is to come for the Marvel Universe, as well as a number of character returns and one character death.

We’ve looked at what the comic means for various aspects of the Marvel Universe, like Spider-Man, Secret Empire and more, but there’s perhaps another fairly significant change for a character that we haven’t yet discussed, and that may in fact be a fairly big retcon.

Beware, spoilers to follow.

secret empire

Marvel Legacy involves Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes a fair bit, as he gets locked in a tussle with Starbrand in South Africa.

Ghost Rider
Marvel Legacy #1 artwork by Esad Ribic and Matthew Wilson

Robbie Reyes, like several other characters linked to the legacy of the 1,000,000 BC Avengers such as Iron Fist and Doctor Strange, is even seen to be having strange dreams of the ancient Ghost Rider who rode a flaming mastodon.

Ghost Rider
Marvel Legacy #1 artwork by Esad Ribic and Matthew Wilson

And then as the fight between Reyes’ Ghost Rider and Starbrand reaches its climax, Robbie Reyes unleashes the Penance Stare.

Ghost Rider
Marvel Legacy #1 artwork by Esad Ribic and Matthew Wilson

Which he has never been seen to use before, and which Robbie Reyes even comments in the context of the story is new and unusual for him.

Ghost Rider
Marvel Legacy #1 artwork by Esad Ribic and Matthew Wilson

So yes, there’s a change, isn’t it.

Except really, it’s a fair amount more than that because it is especially unusual. After all, Robbie Reyes is a Ghost Rider in name only, and should technically have little connection to the ancient Ghost Rider and certainly not have the Penance Stare, as Robbie Reyes is not possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance.

Rather, Reyes was possessed by Eli Morrow, the ghost of his Satanic serial killer uncle, that haunted his home and the car that he now drives too. After at least 37 brutal, ritualistic murders, Morrow was shot down by police in 1999, but became a demonic ghost. And yes, while Morrow promised Robbie Reyes vengeance when he took possession of him, he is not the Spirit of Vengeance, and actually initially only sought his own revenge.

So technically, Robbie Reyes doesn’t have that link to the Ghost Rider legacy, beyond the demonic nature and being accepted and given advice by the original (in the comics) Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze.

In fact, this could be seen as a fairly major retcon – one which puts the origins of Robbie Reyes’ Ghost Rider a lot more in line with how he appeared on the Marvel and ABC TV show, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, where Robbie Reyes was indeed possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance. This wouldn’t be the first time of course, as Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake was also retconned in the comics to have once gone by the name Skye and to be an Inhuman, just as she is in the TV show.

So perhaps that is something that Marvel Legacy is showing us – that there’s a significant change to the mythos of Robbie Reyes and his Ghost Rider on the horizon. But where will we find it?

About Joe Glass

Joe Glass has been contributing to Bleeding Cool for about four years. He's been a roaming reporter at shows like SDCC and NYCC, and also has a keen LGBTQ focus, with his occasional LGBTQ focus articles, Tales from the Four Color Closet. He is also now Bleeding Cool's Senior Mutant Correspondent thanks to his obsession with Marvel's merry mutants.

Joe is also a comics creator, writer of LGBTQ superhero team series, The Pride, the first issue of which was one of the Top 25 ComiXology Submit Titles of 2014. He is also a co-writer on Stiffs, a horror comedy series set in South Wales about call centre workers who hunt the undead by night. One happens to be a monkey. Just because.

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