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From high school to grad school, no one believed in me! They thought I was cheating. They thought I wasn't capable! Shut me out. Well, guess what ... guess what I'm capable of now. I can create a city out of nothing, or I can cover it in volcanic rock. Robbie, I am becoming a god.
~ Eli explaining his motives to his nephew, Robbie Reyes.

Eli Morrow is the main antagonist of the Ghost Rider arc in Season 4 of the TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

He is the maternal uncle of Robbie and Gabriel Reyes, and the mastermind behind an experiment accident at Momentum Labs that involved the Darkhold, in which he plotted to use it to become a god-like being.

He is portrayed by José Zúñiga.

Biography

Past

According to himself, Eli was a prodigious young man back in his high-school years, but was transferred several times because his teachers and/or schoolmates accused him cheating due to not believing in his high intelligence. He eventually became an outcast, causing him to become vengeful against society.

Eli then became an engineer who was assigned to work with Joseph and Lucy Bauer at Momentum Labs after becoming aware of an ancient book known as the Darkhold. After the Bauers built a matter-generating machine in Los Angeles inspired by the Darkhold, Eli was seemingly concerned that Joseph had become obsessed with the machine and tried to warn Lucy, but when Lucy dismissed Eli's concerns, Eli realized that Lucy was just as insane as her husband was. Joseph hired the Fifth Street Locos, a street gang, to kill him in the middle of the night; however, they went after Robbie and Gabriel instead, which resulted in Robbie being turned into the supernatural villain-hunter known as the Ghost Rider and Gabriel being put in a wheelchair.

After Eli revealed that he'd gone power-hungry, trapping the rest of his team in strange boxes and turning them into ghost-like beings, he told Lucy, who'd witnessed him at the moment, that he wanted the book's power for himself. He locks Lucy in the laboratory chamber and traps her inside one of the boxes. He later tracked down Joseph and beat him repeatedly in an attempt to find out what had become of the book, seeking to find it and use its power for himself, but was arrested later on for attempted manslaughter and sent to prison. Joseph was rendered comatose.

Seeking to get the power of the Darkhold and the Momentum Labs technology, he began orchestrating events to lead up to his eventual escape from prison. He tipped-off the Chinatown Crew, a local gang, about the location of one of the boxes he trapped his partners inside of, leading to them finding it and opening it, releasing the incorporeal form of Lucy from it.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire

He first appears when Agent Phil Coulson visits him in prison to alert him of Lucy's return and reign of terror, but he doesn't believe Coulson at first, but when Robbie visited him on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s behalf, he told him everything that happened with Joseph and warned Robbie to steer clear of the Darkhold.

Lockup

Later on, Lucy arrived at the prison and kidnapped Eli and took him to the long-abandoned Momentum Labs. She then forced him to read the Darkhold while she finished building the machine.

The Good Samaritan

Once the machine was built inside an underground lab, as S.H.I.E.L.D. was onto them, Eli talked to Lucy and learned from her that Joseph sent the Fifth Street Locos after his nephews. S.H.I.E.L.D. arrived at the scene to rescue Eli and stop Lucy, as the amount of power from the Darkhold experiment could potentially result in the deaths of thousands of people in Los Angeles. Lucy was later burned to death when Robbie, as Ghost Rider, grabbed her and used his supernatural powers to reduce her to a pile of ash. Eli, having replicated the matter-generator from Momentum Labs, enters it as Phil Coulson arrives on-scene to "rescue" him. He had the Darkhold taken away, but Eli had already gotten what he needed. Coulson, realizing that Eli was the one who was after the power all this time, gets him to admit that he nearly killed Joseph to learn where the book was. Eli entered the matter-generator chamber, sealing himself inside. The machine turned on and a blast wave was sent through the base, hitting Coulson, Fitz and Robbie and sending them into a pocket reality. Eli exited the chamber and gained the ability to create matter from nothing, generating a rock-like solid from his hand and standing victoriously.

Deals with our Devils

Eli walks through the base with his newfound powers, eventually confronted by four S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the halls, who aim at him with their machine-guns. Robbie, having been sent into a pocket reality by the shockwave, tries to talk to Eli, but he doesn't hear him, and watches helplessly as Eli kills the agents by making spikes of pure carbon protrude from the agents' bodies. Eli forms a carbon wall in the hallway to block off the rest of the advance and escapes from S.H.I.E.L.D. with ease. While in the other plane of existence, Robbie offers the Devil the chance to stay bonded to him for as long as he wants if he is allowed to use the power to find and kill Eli; they both return to the physical world through a portal made by the android AIDA and go with Agent Mack to find Eli and stop him from using his powers for further evil.

The Laws of Inferno Dynamics

Eli began using his newfound powers to create a machine called the Quantum Battery, powered by a Demon Core of his own making, in order to wipe away all life on Earth and replace it using his own powers of matter generation, and had help from the Chinatown Crew. One of his goons told him that S.H.I.E.L.D. was coming, so he proceeded to speed up the machine's development. The goon asks for more pay for this job, so Eli responds by killing him, spawning diamonds in his lungs that he coughs up, and tells the others to cut him open to get the rest of them. To keep the agents away, he set up a trap using a highly-flammable liquid that would ignite when contact is made with the water in the hallways. Agent Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez tried using her Inhuman super-speed powers to enter, but is almost burned alive in the process.

Meanwhile, Robbie, having escaped the dark realm that he'd been sent to, enters the building, walking through the flames and not feeling a thing. He enters the Quantum Battery and sees the Demon Core powering it, but is stopped when Eli uses his powers to impale Robbie on a carbon blade. He realizes that Robbie isn't a normal person, given that the plutonium, the flames and the carbon should've killed him on the spot; he declares that justice will be served, revealing himself as the Ghost Rider. Eli, horrified that his own nephew was this monster, tries telling him about his plans, but he doesn't want to hear them. Eli explains how he'd been shunned by everyone he knew all his life, and was called a cheater and a fraud, but with his powers, he could prove the world wrong, now being a god. Robbie warns him that the Devil is after him, but he dismisses this.

The Chinatown Crew brings Phil Coulson into the room, having been captured, as he explains that his powers are actually sourced from Hell. He is not pulling matter out of nothing, but is actually pulling it out of the dark realm he'd been sent to before, and the more he uses his powers, the more tremors in the area happen. He warned that he should stop using his powers before the quakes build up and destroy Los Angeles, but Eli believes that using the Demon Core, he can wipe out all life on Earth and replace it, having gained the Darkhold's knowledge on mastering life and death. In that moment, Coulson summoned the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. to save him, swiftly-defeating the Chinatown Crew. Elena manages to save the team and send Eli into the Quantum Battery with Robbie, trapping him inside. Below the room, Fitz, AIDA and Simmons manage to build a gateway to the dark realm, hoping to send the Quantum Battery there and save the world. Robbie transforms into Ghost Rider as the gateway opens. Coulson throws a chain to hopefully pull Robbie out to safety, but he instead stays and burns Eli alive with the flames of Hell engulfing them both. The gateway opens and the Battery, with both Robbie and the now-screaming Eli being engulfed by the gateway, which promptly shuts on them and traps Robbie there.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Matter Creation: After using the Darkhold in conjunction with the Momentum Labs machine, Eli discovered that he could generate matter at will. He has been shown to be able to make formations out of pure carbon, from sharp icicle-like blades to a pure-carbon wall that blocks off pursuers. He is also able to create ice at will even in room temperature, suggesting a connection with the elements. It was originally believed that he could create matter from nothing, but it was later revealed that he is channeling demonic energies from Hell to fuel his powers.

Abilities

  • Master Engineer: Eli was able to successfully run the Momentum Labs experiment to generate matter with the help of Lucy Bauer and several other collaborators.

Trivia

  • In the comics, Eli's angry spirit fused with his nephew Robbie, turning him into Ghost Rider. Before this, he had been a Satanist and a serial killer.

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