I hope you didn’t miss me too much this last week. Family issues called me away. It’s the holiday weekend and I hope you are all out enjoying family and friends (if you celebrate). Immortal Monday will be here for you when you are ready. Live life first. 😀 Now on to today’s post…
Mephisto may be a bad mofo, but I still took a shining to him when I read Christine Ashworth’s Demon Soul.
Mephistopheles is an agent of Lucifer, a demon to the Devil himself, charged with the task of collecting souls. Having fallen from Heaven into the House of Hell, Mephistopheles serves and performs his task, but not without remorse for the loss of God and the joys of Heaven. He is a demon with a conscious.
Picked up by Marvel, he became a large character in the comics where he is known as Mephisto and is the ruler of a fiery nether realm. He is neither Satan nor the Olympian Hades. Although he has been known to impersonate one when it served his purpose. He’s just the kind of snarky demon you’d expect to see on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel. Mostly self-serving, with a touch of heart to throw you off balance in your distaste for him.
I mentioned in the Ghost Rider post that he harbored an infatuation with the Medallion of Power, and as a result, the Kale family. This sprouted from a long-standing rivalry with the fire demon, Zarathos. They really didn’t like each other. It was this that eventually lead to the creation of the Ghost Rider, a little something he achieved through tricking Johnny Blaze into signing over his soul. Mephisto is a collector of souls. That’s his thing. Of course, he is required to obtain the victim’s permission before capturing their soul. So he must be convincing, conniving. It doesn’t change from the traditional to the Marvel version. Through various stories over time it’s brought to light that he holds villains such as Adolf Hitler, Blackbeard, and Attila the Hun in his realm.
An extremely powerful immortal demon, he possesses many magical powers and abilities. Cunning, he knows how to use these gifts in a variety of ways to his advantage. He can shift in shape and size, show superhuman strength, manipulate memories, and project illusions all while remaining rather resistant to injury. If his physical form is somehow destroyed, he will regenerate within his own domain. Makes him sound pretty invincible, doesn’t it?
Maybe the way to defeat Mephisto is not through strength and weaponry, but through reason and emotion.
The force that created him saw fit to give him emotions and desires. He has wants. Human wants. And occasionally he has been known to date.
Let me leave you with a short insert from Christine Ashworth’s Demon Soul…
…Mephisto rubbed his chest absently. “My heart was broken a thousand times before your great-grandfather walked the earth.” He let the pain swim through him and managed to give her a smile.
I find a demon with emotions and desires much more interesting than a cold hard calculating one. The humanization adds depth to their character. How about you? Weigh in and give us your thoughts on the subject.
24 thoughts on “The Hell Lord, Mephisto – Immortal Monday”
Maybe it’s mostly from the pictures, but he reminds of me of the demon that Cole was on Charmed. I don’t remember the demon’s name, but it was red with horns and seemed very devilish. They are cool to watch or read about, as long as it’s during daylight. 🙂
Oh, yes. I so dug Cole Turner – a.k.a. Balthazar that I followed the actor to NipTuck for a few years. Mephisto also reminds me of the demon in the musical Buffy episode. I don’t know why. They don’t look alike. Maybe it’s something about the way I imagine his personality.
Ah, Debra. What a sweetie! Yeah, Mephisto was fun to write. I was trolling through demons on the internet, and fell in love with Mephisto…I hope to give him his own story at some point. Thanks for the shout-out!
You’re welcome! A story with Mephisto would be fun. I read he had more than one date with the same lady. 😉 Someone was maybe pulling at his heart strings. Hmmm? You could have a lot of fun with him.
Take a look at the statue Eternal Silence by Lorado Taft at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. While not a demon per say, he may well be the Grim Reaper. It is said, that to look into the eyes of Eternal Silence’s hooded figure, you would be shown a vision of your own death… maybe he is Mephisto.
I agree… a demon with emotions is much preferable to a cold hard calculating one.
I especially like Christine’s image… He let the pain swim through him. Nice.
That sounds freaky, Ted. I don’t know if I want to know about my death. No, I know I don’t. But you have me very curious about the statue now. 🙂
So can the devil be redeemed? That is an intriguing theme to explore. As Luke Skywalker said, “No, I know there is good in him!” I haven’t read Demon Soul, so will have to check it out. I do enjoy stories that can pull off turning a bad guy around, or show that maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. And bad is such fun to write! Have you read Job, A Comedy Of Justice by Robert Heinlein? One of my favorite portrayals of the Devil!
That’s a very good question Serena. I would say that the Bible leads us to believe he can’t be. But Mephisto is not The Devil but a devil. Is there a difference in redemption between the distinction? Something to ponder. I believe there is always forgiveness for those who truly seek it and are worthy of it in their heart. I have not read that book. Are you recommending it?
It’s one of my favorite Heinlein books, funny and thought-provoking. I re-read it for fun every few years. Regarding redemption and evil, I had a story idea a few years ago on just that theme, still working on developing it. Will have to let you know how it goes. 😉
Definitely keep me posted. I would love to hear about your new story idea when you get it worked out.
great post Debra. I can tell from the comments that I am in the minority in that I read almost exclusively romance. LOL still love these Immortal Mondays
That’s alright Louise. That just means you look to put your heart and thoughts in warm comfortable places. 🙂 Thats a good thing.
I mostly read romance…and lightweight vampire novels, so I don’t know much about it either. But I think I have to agree with you that a demon with a heart would be more interesting. I think that’s why I prefer the lightweight vampire novels…present day authors are taking a demonic creatures and giving them heart, conscience and the ability to control their evil natures. 🙂
Now you’re making them sound not so evil. Good demons believed to be bad. 🙂 I like the inner struggle. Desire in conflict with conscious. That’s interesting.
i’m learning ;P
I’m so glad I could add to your vast well of knowledge. 🙂
Whether human or otherwise, IMO the best villains are those with enough humanity that we feel a little sorry for them, maybe identify with them a little, if not approve of the lengths they go to to achieve their goals! Mephisto’s a fascinating character, one I had never heard much about. Thanks for another great installment of IM!
Sounds like we agree on that measure. Thanks, Jennette!
I totally agree since they become a bit vulnerable that way!
Have a terrific week Debra! I still won’t use ‘awesome…”
Oh! Thank you so much, Susie.
Ooh, Christine’s story sounds really promising. A bad guy trying to redeem himself is a compelling theme when done well. It worked really well in the first seasons of Angel TV series.
You say Angel and I think of Lorne. Loved that demon. So fun! So bummed that he died. But I digress. I really enjoyed Mephisto in Demon Soul, but he is not the focus of the story. Be warned should you pick up the story expected it to be as such.
Great passage, and an intriguing post. Definitely I prefer a complex antagonist.
Thank you, Naomi. Complex antagonists are definitely much more interesting. That’s for sure. Thank’s for stopping by!