The evil, demonic Hell-Lord Mephisto comes from eons ago. The Elder Gods, immensely powerful, ruled Earth ages before The First Celestial Host stepped foot on Earth. The monster Atum drove them off, but their mystical energies remained and became the Hell-Lords. Mephisto was the first and is one of the most powerful. Mephisto is a massive demon, an evil lord who steals people's souls and tortures, kills, and attacks the other world. He is obviously modeled after the devil in Christianity, which fits, as he rules over his own Hell-like dimension and steals souls. He steals souls using contracts with mortals, which are often misleading or unfair. He particularly enjoys stealing souls of powerful or very good people. Legend has it however that Mephisto was actually the first Deviant to have been created by The Celestials on Earth during The First Host and was never a demon to begin with.
Mephisto rules over his own dimension, which he calls Hell or Hades. It's a horrible place, where demons are tortured and torture others, and fiery pits of smoke and lava. Mephisto is nearly unstoppable while in his dimension, possessing power rival to a hungry Galactus. It has it's own demon army which frequently wages war against other dimensional creatures and armies, including Earth's heroes. Mephisto's Realm also is home to Mephisto's Castle, an imposing palace in which Mephisto dwells in, and the Arena of Tainted Souls, where tainted souls are forced to wage war in eternal combat for the demons' amusement.
Mephisto made his first appearance in Silver Surfer volume 1, #3 in 1968. Stan Lee and John Buscema created the character.
The earliest known event concerning Mephisto was centuries ago when Prince Wayfinder (the creator of The Microverse and wielder of the mighty Enigma Force) and his people travelled back in time from the distant future to escape a God-like race of Xenophobic Immortals called The Haamin and built a massive city in a valley at the heart of what would one day become India, from the day they met Mephisto and Wayfinder became bitter rivals and constantly fought each other until the elemental creatures known as The Whirldemons (who sought to kill both Mephisto and Wayfinder and take the Earth for themselves) ignited the events that would lead to Wayfinder merging with The Enigma Force and creating the sub-atomic Microverse for his people to escape to while he imprisoned The Whirldemons in another dimension, leaving the Lord of Lies without anyone to oppose him for Centuries to come.
Major Story Arcs
An undetermined amount of time later, Mephisto got an engagement with the lover of one of his former soldiers, then got the demon to murder the lover. He turned this demon into Darklove, who must always perform the opposite of love. Darklove is still around, performing his dastardly feats and hating it. That is a typical Mephisto case-using lies, deception, manipulation, trickery, and evil to achieve horrible ends and curse someone.
Mephisto also enjoys taking spiritual souls or mystical mortals. He corrupted an ordinary sea captain into the Flying Dutchman. He duped German scientists into giving up their souls trying to find a magical race. One of his most heinous was corrupting a group of mystics, then giving them immortality for a yearly payment of souls. They later became the Mys-Tech. He also fought a man for centuries to gain his soul, utilizing innocent Puck in his plan. He also transformed a man who wanted to commit suicide, into Suicide. Suicide could only be killed by Ghost Rider ( Dan Ketch). This was Mephisto's plot to force his enemy into committing murder.
Many of his rivals were other demons. Mephisto got into a rivalry with Zarathos, a demonic creature of equal power. He bargained with a prince (later Centurious) and managed to catch Zarathos's soul. This was eons ago. Mephisto has been torturing Zarathos since, bonding him to mortals over and over. This contributed to the creation of Ghost Rider. He cursed the Kale family because they held parts of the Medallion of Power in their souls.
Mephisto has become interested in the heroes of Earth, including Silver Surfer, Thor, and, surprisingly, Daredevil. He has spent a lot of time trying to capture the Silver Surfer's absolutely pure soul. He even offered him unlimited time with his love from his home planet, wealth and power, but Norrin Radd was able to resist. He hates him as a shining example of humanity's capability and his pure soul. He tried on several occasions to force the Surfer into becoming his servant or offer his soul, but they continually failed. Eventually, he no longer wanted the soul of the Surfer, but hated him none the less. He eventually captured the Surfer's soul anyway by pretending to be Frankie Raye. He also showed the Surfer that he had possession of both of this parents souls. The Surfer was able to free them Mephisto allowed the Surfer to think he was killed in battle, knowing that the Surfer was tormented over the events and would be for haunted forever.
Mephisto also fought the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Fantastic Four in a limited series, " Mephisto vs...".
His wars with The Avengers have been more personal now, as Mephisto murdered one of their own. Mephisto was warring with Satannish, a fellow demon, over a group of souls. One version of the Lethal Legion had been murdered-and both Lords wanted them. Their war took on epic proportions and did great damage, so the Earth's Mightiest Team interfered, stopped the war, and caused Mephisto to lose the souls. Mephisto attacked them. As he was about to destroy Hawkeye, his lover Mockingbird stepped in and saved him, losing her life in the process. The Avengers escaped-but Mephisto had taken one of them with him.
Ties To Characters
Mephisto has contributed greatly to the creation of two major characters- Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) and Doctor Doom.
The Kale family had been cursed by Mephisto, the firstborn son would turn into a ghostly, deathly creature at night, a Ghost Rider. Naomi Kale sold her soul to Mephisto so her descendants would not become "the Ghost Rider". When she had signed the contract, Mephisto revealed that although they couldn't become "the" Ghost Rider, they could become "a" Ghost Rider.
Johnny Blaze was the son of Naomi Kale and Barton Blaze. They both were motorcycle stunt riders. Naomi left because of the curse she thought would be on Johnny. She took his siblings too. This hurt Johnny inside, and Barton later died in a motorcycle stunt. So Johnny went to Crash Simpson (who worked as a stunt rider with his parents) and his wife Mona. Mona was killed, and Crash later got cancer, so Johnny summoned Mephisto and made a deal-he would serve him if Crash was saved. Crash died about a week later, and Mephisto almost procured his soul, except for Roxanne Simpson (his girlfriend), who saved him with the purity of her emotion. Mephisto had enough time to bond Johnny Blaze to Zarathos-turning him into the ghostly Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider is one of Mephisto's major enemies-but he hasn't ever won yet.
Victor Von Doom's mother was a powerful witch that wanted more power. So she turned to a powerful source, Mephisto. She invoked a spell to steal his power-but a fraction of it drove her crazy before she was killed. Her soul was then acquired by Mephisto. As Victor grew up, he schooled himself in sorcery, and every Halloween, he would try to get his mother's soul back. Every attempt failed. When Victor traveled to America, he met Reed Richards (later Mr. Fantastic), who was also a genius and wanted to be friends. Victor had a petty rivalry with him over intelligence and rejected Reed's friendliness. He created an amazing invention that he believed would be able to steal his mother's soul back. Reed warned him of a flaw, but Doom tried it anyway and it exploded in his face. This made him think he was hideous, so he created a suit of armor, took over Latveria, and became Doctor Doom. Doom continued his fights, every year, on Halloween, trying to steal his mother's soul back. Finally, when he cut a deal with Doctor Strange, who helped him, he managed to steal Cynthia Von Doom's soul and send it to heaven. It remains one of the few times that Mephisto has ever been thwarted.
After Aunt May was shot by an assassin during the Civil War, Spider-Man contacted several superheroes and supervillains who could help him. All those he spoke to told him that there was nothing they could do as it was indeed her time to die. However Mephisto came to Spider-Man in the form of a young girl saying he could heal her. After showing him different realities in which he didn't become a hero he went to MJ and Peter and told them the deal. Instead of Spider-Man's soul he wanted his and MJ's marriage as it was pure love and made holy by God. After discussing it the two agreed with MJ adding that he be given his secret identity back but she also added an unknown part of the deal. He agreed and altered the personal timelines of both and saved Aunt May.
Even More Power
Mephisto has often tried gaining amazing power in a large event. The Dire Wraiths (who were amazingly powerful) increased Mephisto's power by nearly 300%! He wreaked some havoc, but a hero from space ( ROM) banished the Dire Wraiths and Mephisto lost the power, being destroyed by the son of Reed and Sue Richards, Franklin Richards (who can manipulate reality itself). Mephisto captured the Invisible Girl/Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Elspeth Cromwell and young Franklin Richards in FF 276. He tortured Franklin's parents in FF 277 and Mephisto seemed to especially delight in tormenting Susan Storm Richards. Finally, poor little Franklin Richards could take no more. He showed that he is truly one of the most powerful characters in the entire Marvel Universe. Franklin shot a power blast at Mephisto which defeated him. However, Mephisto came gradually back to life, partly by manipulating Master Pandemonium. Him coming back to life killed Scarlet Witch's sons, and he called a vendetta against Asgardian death goddess Hela (who stole some of his souls). He manipulated many heroes and stole powerful souls (even getting Invisible Woman and, most importantly, Thor). Thor soon escaped, but he called a vengeance against Hela (thus completing Mephisto's plan). In the short run-heroes won. In the long run, Mephisto.
The Beyonder, who was nearly all-powerful (he instigated both Secret Wars and Secret Wars II), came to Earth-616 to try and better understand humans and how they work. This gave Mephisto a golden opportunity. He tried to sway the godlike being by giving him warped or misleading views of humans. For instance, he sent his demon Zarathos to sway Spider-Man to show Beyonder the evil. He also used Nova to try and mislead him, deceiving her into becoming more violent and bloodthirsty in her duties as the Herald of Galactus. This brought two powerful enemies against Mephisto, however-the Sentinel of the Space ways, Silver Surfer, and the big man himself, Galactus. Mephisto did fight a well-nourished Galactus, and the fight took place in Mephisto's own realm, where he was at his strongest. Mephisto was able to stalemate Galactus, until Galactus ran out of energy and threatened to consume Mephisto's realm, and Mephisto decided to call the fight to an end to protect his realm. Mephisto's plot failed-as plots often do when they collide with Galactus. However, after the fight Galactus acknowledged that Mephisto was one of the most powerful beings in the universe, and that his death would affect the balance of the universe.
He then allied himself with Thanos, who had been resurrected by Death to kill half of the universe. Mephisto also tried to sway Thanos, who was all-powerful with the Infinity Gauntlet at the time, and take the Gauntlet for himself. He tried on two separate occasions to take the gauntlet from Thanos, but failed. He allied himself with Thanos once more when the threat of the Goddess came to the universe. He gave him valuable information regarding the Cosmic Cubes she possessed in exchange for just one Cosmic Cube in return. After the Goddess' defeat, Thanos did give him a cube, but it was depowered. Thanos told him he should have specified that he wanted the power also. He also used the Vril to invade Earth. Both times, he failed.
Children of the Devil
Mephisto wanted a legacy-and partners. So he created two children for himself Blackheart and Mephista.
Blackheart was created from the combined evil of a certain area. He was trained by his father in evil, but eventually resented him and turned on him. They warred to rule Hell, but Mephisto won and cast Blackheart out. Blackheart went about his own misdeeds (including fighting Ghost Rider) before surprising his father and stabbing him. Although he seemed dead, Mephisto survived. Although he was dead, he was stuck in a state of limbo since he could go to neither heaven or hell. Even in this state, Mephisto was able to gather an army of souls who feared the afterlife.
Blackheart ruled Hell for a short time before Ghost Rider defeated him. Mephisto then cast out Ghost Rider and took his dimension back. Blackheart survives today, doing evil and attacking his father in hopes of ruling the dimension that he believes is his.
Mephista was not nearly so noteworthy. She did not turn on Mephisto, but instead waged war upon Doctor Strange. She was defeated several times and has not been heard from for a while now.
After defeating Blackheart and regaining his dimension Mephisto continues his ways-capturing souls and spreading evil. He has many enemies-but his power ensures that he's got more than a sporting chance at victory. Blackheart has come closest-but still failed. Will anyone ever destroy Mephisto? The universe should hope so.
Past Soul-Stealing Activities
Mephisto has stolen the soul of the Fantastic Four, Thor, The Silver Surfer, Mr. Fantastic, Black Panther, Invisible Woman, Franklin Richards, Daredevil, and more. He murdered Avengers member Mockingbird and held Dr. Doom's mother's soul for several years. Although this looks impressive, it is worth mentioning that Mephisto no longer possess ANY of these souls, not even Mockingbird who had somehow escaped Mephisto's grasp only to end up being held captive by The Skrull Empire for many years until their plot to overthrow Earth during Secret Invasion was thwarted, it has yet to be explained how she escaped Mephisto and could still be alive despite the fact that she was a member of the last known incarnation of The Legion of the Unliving and was encountered by both Hellcat, her husband Hawkeye and Dead Girl in the afterlife at various points in recent history.
Mephisto had often put Shalla Bal in danger to tempt the Silver Surfer into giving him his soul. He always failed but eventually came into possession of Shalla's soul. But by this point he no longer wanted the Surfer's soul after he realized it was not as pure as he once believed. He planned to torment Shalla's soul forever in order to hurt the Surfer. The Surfer was helped by Adam Warlock, who in possession of the Soul Gem was able to soundly defeat Mephisto. He was forced to give up her soul and they returned it into her body and resurrected her.
Mephisto was able to obtain the soul he had long sought - the Silver Surfer. He did so by taking the form of a resurrected Frankie Raye. When the Surfer pledged his love and soul to her, he was really pledging it to Mephisto. In his realm, he shows the Surfer that he also possesses the souls of his parents, Jartran and Elmar, for they both committed suicide. The Surfer was able to get the souls released as well as him own by killing Mephisto, something he vowed to never do. But this was all Mephisto's plot, and he was quite pleased at the emotional damage he had caused the Surfer.
Powers and Abilities
Mephisto possesses vast supernatural power, which is apparently inherent within him. He is energized by sources of evil in the human world.
Superhuman Strength: Mephisto possesses some degree of superhuman strength. He is capable of using his magical powers to augment his strength, enabling him to lift well in excess of 100 tons.
Superhuman Speed: Mephisto is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Stamina: The various mystical energies flowing through Mephisto's body augments his musculature so that it generates virtually no fatigue toxins during physical activity. As a result, Mephisto possesses almost limitless superhuman stamina.
Superhuman Durability: The tissues of Mephisto's body, while similar in appearance to a human's, are considerably tougher and more resistant to injury than the tissues of a human being. Mephisto's body is virtually invulnerable to conventional injury. He is capable of withstanding great impact forces, high caliber bullets, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury.
Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his superhuman durability, it is possible to injure Mephisto. However, his unique physiology and mystical energies enable him to rapidly recover from almost any form of injury. He is capable of regenerating almost any damaged or destroyed tissue, even missing limbs.
Immortality: As a demon, Mephisto is functionally immortal. He is immune to the effects of aging and is immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections. Mephisto is also beyond the need of food, water, or oxygen.
Magical Manipulation: He can use this magical energy for various effects, among which are the augmentation of his own physical strength, levitation, teleportation, the projection of mystical energy as force blasts, invisibility, matter manipulation, image projection, size transformation of his body or other objects or beings, the creation of temporary inter-dimensional apertures, and so on.
- Ensnare Astral Bodies: Mephisto also possesses certain powers enabling him to capture and detain the astral bodies (sheaths of the soul) of recently deceased human beings. Mephisto does not have jurisdiction over all the souls of humanity's recently deceased. It is not yet known what the prerequisite conditions are for him to be able to manipulate a human soul, nor are the precise means by which he accomplishes the feat known. Apparently these conditions require that the human being in question willingly agree to submit to Mephisto's will. It is not known how a human being may free himself from bondage to Mephisto (although Johnny Blaze apparently did), nor whether Mephisto will forever retain control of the souls he has obtained. Nor is it known whether or not Mephisto "feeds" on the psychic energies of such souls as other demons do.
- Dimensional Entrapment: Apparently Mephisto can entrap a living human being within his realm through sheer physical force, even if the person did not submit his or her will to him. The woman named Topaz was thus entrapped until her recent escape.
- Netherworld Dimensional Power Tap: Among the demons of various extradimensional netherworlds adjacent to Earth, Mephisto has few rivals in terms of personal power and scope of influence. Only Thog and Satannish come close. Mephisto's power seems to be connected to his extradimensional domain and diminishes over time spent away from it. Therefore, he usually sends demonic agents to do his bidding.
- Reality Manipulation: Mephisto was able to create the realities Earth-7161 and Earth-71241 by creating a small alteration in the Earth-616 reality. As part of a deal with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, Mephisto wove the Earth-81545 reality into Earth-616.
- Shapeshifting: Mephisto is more a force than a being per ser, but he can take any form that he wants. His "normal" appearance is that of male, red skinned humanoid with vampiric aspect and attire. However, Mephisto can appear in any form imaginable, having turning himself into animals, humans of any gender, or more commonly into other demoniac forms, ranging from a stereotypical image of Satan to a giant reptilian monster. During his confrontation with Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange, Mephisto briefly turned into a inconceivable incarnation of evil with numerous misshapen images within him.
Height: 6'10" (Variable)
Weight: 550 lbs (variable)
In this reality, Mephisto plots to gain control of the soul of the incredibly powerful Protege, a child with the power to learn any power or ability he sees. He carefully manipulates situations for the Guardians of the Galaxy in his favor, including separating Starhawk, the most powerful of them, into Stakar and Aleta. He commands his daughter Malevolence to become the Matriarch of the boy in order to corrupt him, thus guaranteeing their control over him and his power.
When Malevolence and Protege are kidnapped by the Beyonder, Mephisto tracks them to the Beyonder's universe under the guise of The Tracker. He frees them from the Beyonder's captivity, enabling Protege to replicate much of the Beyonder's great power. He continues to amuse and manipulate Protege to his ends.
In the Marvel Mangaverse (Earth-2301) Mephisto was the ruler of one of twelve planets with sentient life on it. He would spread the forces of Anti-life and disease across the Universe. He quickly found the Skrulls and molded
them into violent and hateful warriors to destroy civilisations and planets.The Skrulls tapped into the substance of Mephisto's world to create the anti-life virus called Galactus, which then went on to devour the life forces of many worlds.
In Earth X (Earth-9997) Mephisto was never a demon to begin with, but a Deviant created by the Celestial's First Host ... After Captain Marvel killed Death, Mephisto began mortally wounding victims so that they could suffer for eternal life. He was killed in a ensuing battle with X-51, Black Bolt, Medusa, Ransak the Reject and King Britain after being stabbed by Excalibur.
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. He makes a cameo at the end of episode 21, "Down to Earth, Part 3".
- Actor Peter Fonda plays Mephisto (as Mephistopheles) as one of the two main villains alongside 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.
- Mephisto appears in the Silver Surfer video game for the NES
- Mephisto appears in the background of Thanos' stage in Marvel Super Heroes as well as Blackheart's ending.
- 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. 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.