We’re on day three of catching up with the rumoured predictions of Roger Wardell! You can catch up with what the acclaimed scooper with apparent links to the Marvel Cinematic Universe had to say about the future of the X-Men and Fantastic Four, as well as Disney/Sony’s plans for their Spider-Man properties, but today we’re tackling some of the most interesting claims made by Wardell over the last few months.
The upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness already had us chomping at the bit just for that super-cool title alone (not to mention Sam Raimi directing!), but since being announced, there have been several hints that it was going to be key to the future of the MCU. And according to Wardell, Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular Sorcerer Supreme won’t be the only major supernatural comic book superhero in that film. We’re also getting Ghost Riders. Yes, plural.
Okay, history lesson time! In the comics, Johnny Blaze was the original Ghost Rider (well, not the original in the Marvel Comics universe timeline, but that’s a whole other story). A motorcycle stunt rider who sold his soul to the devil Mephisto to save the life of his surrogate father, Blaze transformed into the flaming skull Ghost Rider when in the presence of evil – he would later discover that his soul had actually been bonded to the demon Zarathos, whose hunger for vengeance he would need to sate regularly. Eventually, after 20 years of stories, Blaze was replaced by new character Danny Ketch in the 1990s. Ketch’s Ghost Rider was very similar to Blaze in powers and appearance, right down to his biker garb and flaming motorcycle, which makes sense as he eventually learned that he was also bonded to Zarathos who had managed to escape Blaze’s body. Eventually, Ketch died… but with this being comics though, he got better, but without his Ghost Rider powers.
Blaze would become Ghost Rider again but the character fell out of prominence for a long time. In 2013, as part of its “All-new, All-different” initiative, Marvel would introduce a brand new Ghost Rider in the form of Robbie Reyes. Unlike the biker bros Blaze and Ketch, Reyes becomes Ghost Rider when he “borrows” a 1969 Dodge Charger to win enough money in a street race to get him and his physically disabled younger brother out of their gang-ridden neighbourhood. Unbeknownst to him, the car is actually possessed by the spirit of Eli Morrow, a serial killer who was gunned down by local gangsters. Morrow’s spirit transforms both the car and Reyes into a new Ghost Rider in order to exact revenge for his killing.
Nicolas Cage infamously brought Johnny Blaze to life in two live-action pre-MCU Ghost Rider movies while Gabriel Luna put in a fan-favourite performance as Robbie Reyes in Agents of SHIELD. With AoS’s shaky links to the rest of the MCU, it’s unclear if Luna’s Reyes will be one of these Ghost Riders popping up in Doctor Strange 2 or if we’re getting a new actor entirely. It has to be noted though that when revealing his origin story on the show, Reyes was visited by another unidentified biker whom many assumed was Johnny Blaze, so there’s leeway to tie it all together.
There were many others that have held the mantle of Ghost Rider, but Blaze, Ketch, and Reyes without a doubt make the most sense to be the trio Wardell is talking about. As for the rest of it, the Midnight Sons were a team of supernaturally attuned superheroes of which Doctor Strange and both Blaze and Ketch’s Ghost Riders were members. Other members included Hellstrom, Morbius, and Werewolf by Night among others. Interestingly, there’s a Hellstrom show in production for the Disney-owned Hulu, Sony’s Morbius is already shot and has links to Marvel’s Spider-Man, and a Werewolf by Night Disney+ series has been rumoured for a while now.
As for Nightmare, he is an immensely powerful universal entity shrouded in mystery. He possesses all kinds of mystical demonic powers and has been a major foe of Doctor Strange for decades in the comics. Rumours had been swirling for ages that he would be in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie sequel, which led many to assume he would be the primary villain. If he’s not the baddie as Wardell claims, then we’re probably going to see Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo take that role. In fact, it looks like Mordo is going to become a key player in the MCU, apparently even popping up in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Speaking of key players… It’s been strongly rumoured that along with the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision, the film will lay the groundwork for huge aspects of the MCU’s future. Marvel boss Kevin Feige has clearly said that the events of WandaVision will lead directly into Doctor Strange 2 with Elizabeth Olsen even reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch in the latter. And it would appear that whatever reality-altering adventures they get up to together, it will eventually give us our first live-action adaptation of another iconic Marvel doctor!
Yes, Doctor Doom! For those of you’re wondering how WandaVision and Doctor Strange could tie into arguably the greatest Marvel villain ever created, while Doctor Doom is a genius scientist in high-tech armour who has traditionally faced off with the Fantastic Four, he is also one of Marvel Comics’ most powerful sorcerers. That’s an aspect of the character that has not been touched on at all in previous (rather terrible) on-screen adaptations in the two early 2000s Fantastic Four movies and the failed recent reboot. Wardell’s claim would imply that Feige and co are actually going to realize Doom fully and this makes me extremely happy. If you needed a big bad successor to Thanos, Doctor Doom would definitely be it. What he lacks in raw cosmic power, he makes up for with incredible intelligence, supreme confidence, and an indomitable will. Doom is basically the Scarlet Witch with Reed Richards’ brain and Iron Man’s armour, with dreams of godhood and the resourcefulness to actually achieve it.
Looking at the rest of that tweet, I’ll tackle the Darkhold first. A mysterious supernatural grimoire of immense power, the Darkhold featured heavily in Agents of SHIELD during the Ghost Rider story arc (it actually played a substantial part in granting Robbie Reyes his powers). Am I going crazy or are Feige and co finally going to actually acknowledge the events of AoS in the greater MCU?
As for Captain Britain, he is another superhero with strong supernatural links. Born into British aristocracy, Brian Baddock is the twin brother of Betsy Braddock (aka Psylocke in the X-Men). When mortally wounded while trying to intervene in a terrorist attack, Braddock is approached by the wizard Merlin who offers him his life back in return for him becoming Britain’s great champion. Accepting, he is offered a choice: the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Believing himself to not be a natural warrior, he chooses the amulet and is magically transformed into Captain Britain.
Eventually, Braddock would learn that he’s just one of many Captain Britains, all members of an inter-dimensional corps of magical protectors, each assigned a different alternate universe in the Marvel multiverse to watch over. And seeing as how Doctor Strange 2 (and probably WandaVision, based on what little we know about it) will be dealing with the multiverse, it’s easy to see how Captain Britain could tie into everything and set the scene for his own movie some time down the line.
Currently, after one hell of a decades-long identity crisis that would take another week of articles to untangle, Brian’s sister Betsy has split from her Psylocke persona and is the new Captain Britain. However, Marvel will definitely want to keep her in her X-Men role for as long as possible on the big screen first.
Last Updated: July 8, 2020