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Mephisto

Real Name: Unrevealed. "Mephisto," which is short for "Mephistopheles," is a name given him by human beings who mistakenly believed him to be a legendary devil.
Occupation: Ruler of an extradimensional land of the dead, sometimes called "Hell" or "Hades." Identity: Mephisto's existence is unknown to the general populace of Earth. Most Earth people who know of him erroneously believe him to be the Biblical Satan or another legendary devil.
Legal Status: None on Earth. Ruler of his extradimensional land of the dead.
Other Aliases: Satan, Mephistopheles, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Devil
Place of Birth: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Unrevealed, perhaps inapplicable
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Former member of the Six-Fingered Hand, a coalition of demons
Base of Operations: An extradimensional land of the dead, sometimes called "Hell" or "Hades"
First Appearance: SILVER SURFER #3

History: Mephisto is an extradimensional demon whose origin is unknown. He rules a fiery pocket dimension that he calls "hell" or "Hades" although it is neither the hell of the Christian religion nor the Hades ruled by Pluto, the Olympian god of the dead. Mephisto calls his extradimensional realm "hell" in order to exploit Earth human beings' belief in a single being of absolute evil, who is often referred to as Satan, who rules such a realm. Mephisto resembles the traditional visual conception of the devil. (It is not known whether this is Mephisto's true appearance, or one that he has adopted in order to resemble the devil.) He also allows himself to be called names that human beings give to their conceptions of devils, such as Mephisto, a shortened form of Mephistopheles, the name given to the devil in the Faust legends. Indeed, Mephisto has allowed people to believe him to be Satan himself. However, Mephisto is not the Biblical Satan, nor is he an actual devil such as those depicted by Judaism and Christianity. The "real" Satan, if such a being exists, has yet to be seen in any account.

Mephisto's domain is inhabited by himself, by lesser demons who serve him, and by the astral forms of certain deceased human beings, which have been trapped in the bodies of demons. These demonic bodies imprisoning human spirits have been magically altered to resemble the deceased's mortal human forms.

Mephisto is continually seeking to add more spirits of sentient beings to his realm by inducing living sentient beings to submit their wills to his. Mephisto apparently seeks primarily to enslave human souls, although he will go after those of extraterrestrials on Earth as well. Indeed, he has made repeated unsuccessful attempts to break the will and enslave the soul of the noble alien known as the Silver Surfer. He has also made attempts to take possession of the soul of the Asgardian god Thor.

The human stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze once made a pact with Mephisto, whom he believed to be Satan, exchanging his soul for Mephisto's saving his stepfather "Crash" Simpson from dying from cancer. But then Mephisto allowed Simpson to die instead from injuries suffered in performing an unsuccessful motorcycle stunt. However, before Mephisto could take possession of Blaze's soul, Simpson's daughter Roxanne arrived and recited a spell of banishment she had read in one of Blaze's occult books. Mephisto was forced to flee without Blaze's soul, but not before he had grafted the essence of the demon Zarathos to Blaze's body. Roughly two thousand years ago Mephisto had taken control of the living flame that was Zarathos's soul. Since Zarathos was too powerful to use as a mere lackey, Mephisto amused himself over the centuries by placing the essence of Zarathos in a human host. Mephisto employed him in that form to claim human souls. After Mephisto grafted Zarathos's essence onto Blaze, Zarathos would continually take control of Blaze's body. The composite Zarathos/Blaze entity became known as the Ghost Rider. (This Ghost Rider is not to be confused with the gunslinger heroes of that name.) Eventually, however, Blaze was freed from Zarathos and Blaze is now free from any bond to Mephisto.

Mephisto has sometimes been impersonated by lesser demons who imitate his form. Such demons are defeated far more easily than the virtually invincible Mephisto. Mephisto has also bound demonds to actor Martin Preston, creating the entity called Master Pandemonium.

At another time, Mephisto initiated a complex plot that in the end would cause Hela (the Asgardian death goddess) trouble in the far future. Hela had recently stolen some twentieth century souls that rightfully belonged to him. Knowing of Hela's curse against Thor, he wished to demonstrate to Thor the horrors of living on a plane of the dead.

First of all, Mephisto transported the Fantastic Four and Franklin Richards physically to his plane. There he tricked Sue Richards into believing that he had made a deal with Reed Richards years earlier. Mephisto then apparently took away Reed's intelligence, making Reed a drooling idiot. Sue agreed to stay in Mephisto's realm if he returned Reed's intellect and returned the Fantastic Four and Franklin to Earth. A desperate Reed thought that the clue might mean the X-Factor team.

He contacted them and asked for their help. X-Factor agreed, and ultimately confronted Sue Richards, under Mephisto's control, and Mephisto, who appeared in a waterfront warehouse. Mephisto tried to get them to bargain with him, but Iceman refused and broke Mephisto's seductive spell. They attacked but he was able to use his illusion powers to confuse them. He then got Jean Grey to agree to sell her soul, in return for the release of Sue Richards and X-Factor. The X-Men then tried to rescue Jean Gray, and Mephisto tricked Rogue into believing he was susceptible to her power to absorb other people's memories and powers.

Wishing to save the X-Men, she used her powers to absorb their personalities. Rogue then found out that Mephisto had been pretending that her powers could affect him. He then drained her soul, plus the personalities of all the X-Men she had absorbed. Mephisto then transported himself and Rogue to where the badly beaten Thor lay, after battling the Migard Serpent. Hela arrived, claiming Thor's soul as her own. Mephisto somehow used Rogue's powers to release Thor's soul from his body. Mephisto captured Thor's soul and then sent Rogue back to the X-Men. Hela arranged for the Avengers to arrive to fight Mephisto, while she tried to free Thor's soul. Mephisto was able to beat the Avengers while Hela was unable to free Thor's soul from Mephisto's mystic mylar.

Mephisto tried to break Thor's soul, with temptation and pain, but he was unable to. Realizing that such a soul on his plane would cause nothing but trouble, Mephisto returned Thor's soul to his body and conceded defeat to Hela. Mephisto then revealed to the Living Tribunal that he had been shamming his weakening power, and that he never really had any claim over Thor's soul anyway. The whole plan had been to give Thor a small taste of what it was like on a plane of the dead. When Thor's soul finally arrived on Hela's plane, Thor would be more determined than ever to cause Hela as much trouble as possible.

Height: 6ft. 6 in. (Mephisto can magically alter his height.)
Weight: 310 lbs. (Mephisto can magically alter his weight.)
Eyes: White
Hair: Black
Skin: Red

Strength Level: Unknown. Mephisto does not engage in hand-to-hand combat. He can magically augment his physical strength to unknown levels.

Known Superhuman Powers: Mephisto possesses vast supernatural power, which is apparently inherent within him. 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 interdimensional apertures, and so on. There seems to be no single feat beyond Mephisto's capabilities, with two exceptions: the subjugation of any sentient being's will to his own without that being's deliberate submission, and the "reading" of a sentient being's thoughts.

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.

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.

As a demon, Mephisto is functionally immortal and beyond such human needs as food, air, and sleep. His body appears to be composed of some supernatural substance that is more durable and resilient than human flesh and tissue.

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.

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