How 'Marvel's Helstrom' may be setting up anti-hero Ghost Rider to introduce Midnight Sons supernatural crossover
The show has laid the ground for crossover potentials with Marvel's lesser-used supernatural anti-heroes like Morbius, Blade, Ghost Rider and more
Spoilers for 'Marve's Helstrom' Season 1
Ever since Samuel L. Jackson showed up as Nick Fury at the end of 'Iron Man' to talk about the Avengers Initiative, there hasn't been a single live-action Marvel property that's not working its crossover potential. The movies led to the Avengers, the Netflix shows built up to 'The Defenders', even 'Runaways' and 'Cloak & Dagger' crossover with each other. Though it's been done subtly, Hulu's first season of 'Marvel's Helstrom' might just be building towards a shared universe as well, claiming the supernatural corner of the Marvel Universe, bringing in the Ghost Rider and leading in all the way up to the Midnight Sons.
The supernatural side of the Marvel Universe remains relatively unexplored. Despite the fact that the superhero movie boom started with 'Blade', Marvel's cinematic experiences have all leaned decidedly science fiction. Even the magic-based 'Doctor Strange' placed more of its focus on multiversal theory as opposed to leaing into a more eldritch horror aesthetic. Marvel's closest flirtation with its horror propert has been the appearance of Ghost Rider on 'Agents of SHIELD' - but that Ghost Rider was Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna), which leaves Hulu free and clear to bring the Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch Ghost Riders into its canon.
Though Helstrom has already teased the fact that it shares a universe with 'Runaways' and 'Cloak & Dagger', a lot of its deep-cut references are taken straight from the pages of 'Ghost Riders: Spirits of Vengeance.' The Caretaker (Robert Wisdom) is based on a character from that run, who worked for a group of demons known as the Blood. In the comics, the Blood are not demon-hunters so much as they are a brood of demons birthed by the Mother of All Demons, Lilith. With the last scene of 'Helstrom', it's revealed that Mother (Elizabeth Marvel) lied about her identity as Kthara, claiming that her true name is "Lily" - a clear reference to Lilith. Additionally, in the comics, the Blood were also responsible for the separation of powerful siblings at birth - only they separated future Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, as opposed to Daimon and Satanna.
This could simply be a matter of the show's writers deciding to mix and match Marvel properties given the limited stories that Daimon Helstrom has been involved with. However, considering the fact that Marvel is always working towards a crossover, this is probably an indication that a Midnight Sons story might be in the works. The Midnight Sons are a comic book superhero team that unite Marvel's supernatural anti-heroes to fight against the forces of Hell. The team has included Morbius, Blade, several Ghost Riders, and yes, the Helstrom siblings.
For the moment, 'Marvel's Helstrom' is testing the waters for supernatural storytelling, but if the show's a success, the show has already set the ground for the Midnight Sons to come to the small screen. After all, as strong as the Helstrom siblings are, it's going to take more than just the two of them to take down their real father - the Devil himself.
All episodes of 'Marvel's Helstrom' are now available to view on Hulu.