MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@ The Comic Blog
Rumor has it that Nicolas Cage is revving up his phantom Harley for a return as Ghost Rider, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s Johnny Blaze. Maybe it’s time to dust off those Cosmic Ghost Rider keys.
The Ghost Rider brand is back in action, and there are several rumors pointing to him arriving in the MCU via Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Between Spider-Man: No Way Home and Professor X’s confirmation in the MOM trailers, it’s apparent that Marvel Studios is banking on the nostalgia of past comic book film franchises to carry its superhero future. That has many theorists wondering if the Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider films are about to be MCU canon.
Instead of recasting all those former Fox properties, it would seem that Marvel is resurrecting the old films and tying them into the greater story with the most convenient plot device ever created, the Multiverse. Cage has added fuel to the speculative fire with his comments defending the cinematic credibility of the Marvel box office behemoth.
The simplest explanation is to put two and two together and assume that Cage is preparing to return as Johnny Blaze from two of the most underwhelming supernatural superhero movies ever made. However, there could be more happening than at first glance. Don’t forget that the MCU already has a Ghost Rider in Gabriel Luna’s GR from Agents of SHIELD. A couple years ago, Marvel nixed the development of a Ghost Rider live-action series for Hulu, creating further speculation for the character. Prior to Cage’s name being thrown into the MCU mix, the word on the internet was that Daryl Dixon himself, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, had signed on to play an all-new Ghost Rider.
After seeing No Way Home, it is clear that Marvel is writing their own rules for superhero franchises. It’s not out of the question for the studio to incorporate three different Ghost Riders into the Multiverse. It worked for Spider-Man, and it can work for GR.
Let’s assume that Luna, Reedus, and Cage are all under contract with Marvel. What could the studio do to make sure they don’t feel like carbon copies of one another? Luna has already appeared in the MCU as Robbie Reyes, so he is as close to a lock as anyone else. That leaves Reedus and Cage. Instead of the obvious choice of having Cage as Blaze and Reedus as Danny Ketch, how about we play a bit of fan casting? Reedus could be the perfect fit for either Blaze or Ketch, who are almost the same characters. Where does that leave the enigmatic Cage? He could make for the perfect Cosmic Ghost Rider.
Instead of the MCU CGR being a futuristic Frank Castle who went insane, change the story to a mentally unstable Johnny Blaze who lost his sanity in the Multiverse, which would put a double meaning on Multiverse of Madness.
While in the realm of possibility, the odds are against this happening. Still, it could be worth adding Thanos #13 to your collections on the off chance that Nic Cage roars through the sky on his space Harley.
Five years ago, this was one of the hottest comics around. Collectors and investors were falling over themselves to get their hands on Thanos #13 and the first appearance of Cosmic Ghost Rider. The issue was so popular that it warranted a total of five printings, not to mention all the variants. By the fall of 2018, the graded 9.8 was routinely selling for $200-$300. For a couple of years, prices plateaued only to jettison into the $300-$450 range in 2021. So far this year, it’s held steady in the $350 range.
NICOLAS FREAKING GHOST RIDER
In many ways, Cosmic Ghost Rider fits the current MCU mold better than the traditional Spirit of Vengeance. These days, Marvel Studios almost exclusively makes PG-friendly action-comedies for the whole family. Mainstream audiences love the heavy doses of irreverent humor that have become Marvel’s calling card. Instead of watering down the traditional Ghost Rider to fit the PG comedy act, Cosmic Ghost Rider is tailor made for the MCU. He’s quirky, he’s silly, and he has the cool aesthetic to wow moviegoers worldwide. At this point, don’t put it past Marvel to find a way to fit him into the movies.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.