Mephisto (comics)

Mephisto (comics)
Or see Mephistopheles.
OMD Mephisto-Final.PNG
Mephisto, as seen on the variant cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #545 (Jan. 2008).
Art by Marko Djurdjevic.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Silver Surfer #3 (Dec. 1968)
Created by Stan Lee
John Buscema
In-story information
Team affiliations Six-Fingered Hand
Notable aliases Satan
Abilities Superhuman physical attributes and intelligence

Mephisto is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears in Silver Surfer #3 (Dec. 1968) and was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema, loosely modeled on Mephistopheles - a character from the Faust legend.

Debuting in the Silver Age of comic books, the character has appeared in over four decades of Marvel continuity. The character has also appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, feature film, toys, trading cards and video games.


Publication history

Mephisto debuted in Silver Surfer #3 (Dec. 1968), and was established as a perennial foe for the cosmic hero, also appearing in Silver Surfer #8 - 9 (Sep. - Oct. 1969) and #16 - 17 (May - Jun. 1970).

Writer Mike Conroy stated

Mephisto was the tempter who could offer the endlessly soul-tormented Silver Surfer the world, even dangling the Surfer's off-limits long-distance lover in front of him. As always the case with Lee's heroes, the Surfer's goodness and nobility won out, but Mephisto was only stymied, not defeated, and the pattern was set.[1]

Mephisto also becomes a foe for the Thunder God Thor, appearing in Thor #180 - 181 (Sep. - Oct. 1970), Astonishing Tales #8 (Oct. 1971) and reappearing again in Thor with issues #204 - 205 (Oct. - Nov. 1972). He was later revealed to be the being to whom Johnny Blaze had sold his soul and had been cursed to become the Ghost Rider by,[volume & issue needed] a retcon placing him in the role originally played by Satan during Johnny Blaze's first series. This was later retconned back to Satan,[volume & issue needed] though Mephisto's influence is still felt in the 1990s by the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider.

Other notable appearances included posing as Satan in Marvel Spotlight #5 (Aug. 1972); tormenting the titular superhero team in Fantastic Four #155 - 157 (Feb. - Apr. 1975) and Thor #310 (Aug. 1981) and #325 (Nov. 1982). Mephisto also guest starred in two limited series: Vision and the Scarlet Witch vol. 2, #1 - 12 (Oct. 1985 - Sep. 1986) and Secret Wars II #1 - 9 (July 1985 - March 1986), before starring in the self-titled limited series Mephisto vs. #1 - 4 (April - July 1987), battling several of Marvel's super teams.

Mephisto continued to torment the Scarlet Witch in Avengers West Coast #51 - 52 (Nov. - Dec. 1989); created a new adversary for the Marvel heroes in Daredevil #270 (Sep. 1989); and appeared in the graphic novel Triumph and Torment: Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom (1989). Additionally, he was featured prominently in the One More Day storyline in The Amazing Spider-Man #544; Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24; Sensational Spider-Man (vol. 2) #41 and Amazing Spider-Man #545 (Oct. 2007 - Jan. 2008).

In 2009, Mephisto was ranked as IGN's 48th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[2]

Fictional character biography

Mephisto is a perennial villain in the Marvel Universe, and is responsible for a number of evil acts, including capturing and holding the soul of Cynthia von Doom — the mother of Doctor Doom — until Doctor Strange and Doom free her to ascend to heaven.[3] He was jealous of the worship of the fire demon Zarathos, so, posing as Satan, Mephisto creates the Ghost Rider by bonding Zarathos to Johnny Blaze.[4] In one story where he battled Thor, he was shown to have various historical villains in his realm, such as Adolf Hitler, Blackbeard, and Attila the Hun.[volume & issue needed]

Mephisto acted as servant of the mad titan Thanos during the War of the Gems, seeking to attain that power for himself. He is also responsible for capturing the souls of heroes Mister Fantastic (whose intelligence was also stolen by Mephisto), the Invisible Woman, and Franklin Richards due to a botched summoning by an exorcist;[5] furthermore, he creates his 'son' Blackheart, a demonic entity that plagues many of Earth's heroes;[6] and manipulates the sorcerer Master Pandemonium into gathering the five scattered fragments of his soul.

When the Scarlet Witch attempts to use magic to conceive children with her husband, the android Vision, she unknowingly summons two of the soul fragments which are born as her infant twins. The revelation of her children's origin, followed by their loss when reabsorbed into Pandemonium, drives the Scarlet Witch insane.[7] Mephisto also tries to destroy the Avenger Hawkeye when he enters Hell to try and save the soul of his deceased wife, Mockingbird.[8]

Mephisto also heals May Parker in exchange for changing the personal timelines of Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Mary Jane Watson so that they never married, claiming he did so only because he hated their happiness (also adding that he has no interest in taking Spider-Man's soul because such a deal results in him tormenting a soul that is willing to accept the punishment because their sacrifice saved another, a righteousness which disgusts him). He also, at Mary Jane's request, erases knowledge of Peter's identity.[9]

Following the Siege storyline, Mephisto's minions worry that Mephisto would barter off a part of his realm. He has given part of it to the Asgardian death goddess Hela for 1,001 years as her new realm in exchange for the Disir for 101 days, as Loki had defeated 13 of them with swordsman skills and made them submit to him, as part of a plot to make Hela erase him from the books of fate. The Dísir leader Brün tries to negotiate with Mephisto in order to invade Hela's Hel. Mephisto tells her that he has no interest in Hel and allowing the Dísir to invade Hel would not break his agreement with Hela.[10] Thor later meets with Mephisto who wanted to talk to Thor before he enters his domain. He tries to make a bargain, promising to give him the Eir-Gram and a "happily ever after" for Asgard if he agrees. But Thor remains silent the whole time. Seeing that he wants to do this the hard way, Mephisto grants him entry to Hell.[11]

During the Fear Itself storyline, Mephisto appears before a de-powered Johnny Blaze during the attack by Sin in the form of Skadi and states that he has damned the human race. Mephisto then states that he will help Johnny save the human race from the Serpent and the Worthy.[12]

Powers and abilities

Mephisto is an extremely powerful immortal demonic entity possessing magical powers and abilities gained by manipulation of the forces of magic. Mephisto is capable of using his power for a variety of uses, including superhuman strength, shape and size shifting,[13] projecting illusions,[14] manipulating memories,[15] altering time,[16] and is highly resistant to injury.[17]

The character has been shown to be energized by sources of evil in the human realm, such as the alien Dire Wraiths.[5] Like other demons, Mephisto is symbiotically linked to, and considerably more powerful within, his own realm, and the character is able to transform the structure at will.[18] Within it he has threatened a galaxy, and stalemated a nourished Galactus until the latter threatened to consume his realm.[19] If Mephisto's physical form is destroyed, the character will regenerate and reform in his domain.[20]

Mephisto is known for acquiring souls, but cannot subjugate the will of another being without the victim's permission. This is usually some form of pact.[21]

Other versions

Guardians of the Galaxy

In the Guardians' 31st century timeline he has a daughter named Malevolence.[volume & issue needed]

Universe X

In the Earth X sequel, Universe X, Mephisto is the force behind Pope Immortus (secretly Kang) and his extermination of Reed Richards's Human Torch to assume mutant dominance.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Marvel

Mephisto (as Satan) appeared in Ultimate Comics: Avengers as the man Johnny Blaze sold his soul to avenge his love Roxanne, and to punish the guilty as a "bounty hunter for Hell." [22]

Marvel Mangaverse

The demonic Mephisto created Galactus in Marvel Mangaverse.[volume & issue needed]

In other media


  • Mephisto makes a cameo appearance in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The Prison Plot". He is featured as an illusion caused by Mastermind.
  • Mephisto was due to appear in the proposed second season of the Silver Surfer with the demonic nature toned down and made acceptable for children.[23] He makes a cameo at the end of episode 21, "Down to Earth, Part 3".[24]


  • Actor Peter Fonda plays Mephisto (as Mephistopheles) as one of the two main villains alongside his son Blackheart in the 2007 film Ghost Rider. Mephisto appears, as with Blackheart, in his human form throughout most of the film, only showing glimpses of a horned, goat-like demon. Peter Fonda has expressed interest in returning to portray the character again for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.[25]

Video games

  • Mephisto appears in the Silver Surfer video game for the NES.
  • Mephisto appears as a secret character in the game Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter as a palette swap of Blackheart.
  • Mephisto's voice is heard in a bonus mission in the 2005 Fantastic Four video game.
  • Mephisto appears in the game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Fred Tatasciore. He is a lieutenant of Doctor Doom's Masters of Evil, though he doesn't appear in the cutscenes. Doctor Doom uses Nightcrawler combined with the Mutant Amplifier to teleport to Mephisto's Realm in order to gain a Twilight Sword to use on Odin. When Nightcrawler escapes them, Mephisto has Blackheart and some demons recapture Nightcrawler and capture Jean Grey. When the heroes find Ghost Rider trapped, he tells the player that he will release Ghost Rider when the one who touches the Book of Despair takes his place for the remainder of the level. After Blackheart is defeated, the players engange Mephisto who uses the astral energy to resurrect the X-Man that was dropped into the Infinity Vortex. The resurrected X-Man when defeated will sacrifice their life to help defeat Mephisto. When it comes to the future part revolving around finding the damaged Ultimate Nullifier at Castle Doom, Uatu mentions that Mephisto will one day seek to conquer Earth. If the player successfully finds the damaged Ultimate Nullifier, Mister Fantastic will repair it and use it to prevent Mephisto from invading Earth before all is lost. If the damaged Ultimate Nullifier isn't found, the team of heroes will be forced to band together once again to fight Mephisto with the resulting battle causing a tremendous amount of destruction. Mephisto has special dialogue with Thor.
  • Mephisto appears in the Ghost Rider video game voiced by Kirk Thornton. He brings Ghost Rider to Hell and has him fight the demonic forces that plan to resurrect Blackheart.
  • Mephisto appears in the ending of Morrigan Aensland in the video game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.


  1. ^ Conroy, Mike. 500 Comicbook Villains, Collins & Brown, 2004.
  2. ^ Mephisto is number 48 , IGN.
  3. ^ Astonishing Tales #8 (Oct. 1971) and Triumph and Torment: Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom (1989)
  4. ^ Marvel Spotlight #5 (Aug. 1972)
  5. ^ a b Fantastic Four #277 (Apr. 1985)
  6. ^ Daredevil #270 (Sep. 1989)
  7. ^ Vision and the Scarlet Witch #1 - 12 (1985–1986); Avengers West Coast #51 - 52 (Nov. - Dec. 1989)
  8. ^ Thunderbolts Annual (2000)
  9. ^ One More DayAmazing Spider-Man #544; Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24; The Sensational Spider-Man #41 and Amazing Spider-Man #545 (Oct. 2007 - Jan. 2008)
  10. ^ Thor #611
  11. ^ Thor #612
  12. ^ Ghost Rider Vol. 7 #1
  13. ^ Thor #310 (Aug. 1981) and Daredevil #279 (Apr. 1990)
  14. ^ Thor #310 (Aug. 1981)
  15. ^ Silver Surfer vol. 3, #1 (Jul. 1987)
  16. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #545 (Jan. 2008)
  17. ^ Infinity Gauntlet #5 (Nov. 1991)
  18. ^ Silver Surfer #3 (Oct. 1968)
  19. ^ The Silver Surfer: Judgment Day (1988): Written by Stan Lee, the creator of both characters.
  20. ^ Mephisto vs. Fantastic Four #1 (April 1987)
  21. ^ Triumph and Torment: Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom (1989)
  22. ^ Ultimate Comics Avengers 2 #2 (Aug 2010)
  23. ^ "Interview with Larry Brody". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  24. ^ "Silver Surfer Script 21". 1998-05-29. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  25. ^ Arya Ponto (16 August 2007). "Peter Fonda Talks About Working with Russell Crowe and 'Ghost Rider 2'". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 

External links

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