Every fall, a new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season — the fourth starts Tuesday — satisfyingly, neatly, lines up with the debut of a Marvel feature film, and this year, it’s Doctor Strange. A new interview with S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Gabriel Luna gives us a glimpse of how the two storylines will mix this fall, and it’s literally evil.
Luna, who plays Ghost Rider on S.H.I.E.L.D., has emerged as the story’s anti-hero, a protagonist whose possession by a ghost when evil is near has long been a hint at the more magical and mystical direction in which the ABC series might one day venture. With Strange — a story that’s got weird magic baked into its DNA — hitting theaters on November 4, we should expect the TV series to finally delve into mystical themes this fall.
In an interview with Collider, Luna hints that the new season of S.H.I.E.L.D. might touch on things that “can’t be explained perfectly by science.”
It’s a lot of really fun stuff that starts to lean into the world of Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and Mephisto, and all of these other elements that also exist there, like ghouls and goblins and all sorts of cool things. Were happy to be the ones to break the ice on that.
Wait, did he say Mephisto?
Mephisto features prominently in the backstories of Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange, and the demon-like character could be the connection between the television series and the film. That’s our guess, anyway. Here’s why:
Mephisto is a long-running character within the Marvel Universe. While he often calls himself Satan, he is actually an extra-dimensional demon who just really enjoys being mistaken for the devil. He even rules over his own domain he calls “Hell” — but it isn’t actually the same one from religious texts. Essentially, Mephisto is the closest approximation Marvel has of the Judeo-Christian tradition’s ideas of Satan. Also: Mephisto offers wayward humans deals in exchange for their souls.
While his description makes him sound like a wannabe devil poser, Mephisto is in fact very powerful, and it’s his magical prowess that gives him such leverage over Marvel’s mystical characters. Mephisto is the reason Ghost Rider exists in the Marvel universe, often choosing a human host to fuse with the vengeful spirit and collect souls on his behalf.
Mephisto also had several run-ins with Doctor Strange, often as enemies. Mephisto could be the connection between S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Ghost Rider origin story and Doctor Strange’s story in theaters. Considering both Ghost Rider and Strange will be introduced for the first time, it’s unknown what role exactly Mephisto will play as neither are established characters in the Marvel universe yet. However, you can be sure that any magical weirdness in the Marvel Universe can definitely be traced back to Marvel’s Mephisto.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. begins its fourth season at 10 p.m. EST Tuesday.
How long until Mephisto gets its/his own movie is another matter.