Marvel’s upcoming Ironheart TV show could finally bring Mephisto to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
According Deadline (opens in a new tab), the demonic being will debut in the Marvel Phase 5 project. Marvel is said to have used Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Trial of the Chicago 7) to play Mephisto, whose potential appearance as a devil himself would be fascinating. For the famous leaky Marvel MyTimetoShine Hello (opens in a new tab)Marvel initially met with Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) to play Mephisto, but reportedly turned down the role.
The report comes days after the first rumors of Cohen’s employment spread on the Internet. Many MCU insiders, incl MyTimetoShine Hello (opens in a new tab) and MCU state (opens in a new tab), claimed that Mephisto Cohen will appear in Ironheart. Given MyTimetoShineHello’s track record, it seemed likely that it would, and Deadline’s own report only adds fuel to the fire.
If Mephisto makes his MCU debut in Ironheart, it will be a long time coming. In early 2021, when WandaVision – the first MCU TV show – aired on Disney Plus, viewers were increasingly convinced that Mephisto was the one pulling the strings in the show’s background. The fan speculation grew so great it fueled WandaVision’s online theory mill for weeks – not to mention growing Disney Plus subscribers.
Unfortunately, it has never been revealed that Mephisto is the main antagonist of WandaVision. This job fell on Agatha Harkness, who will be getting her own Disney Plus or Marvel Special Presentation show in 2023.
However, when Ironheart is about to explore the battle between technology and magic – the Hood of Anthony Ramos, the show’s main villain, is another magic possessor in the Marvel universe – it seems Marvel is ready to finally bring Mephisto to the MCU. Let’s just hope this isn’t another mystical mistake.
Analysis: Who is Mephisto, the Marvel version of the devil?
Mephisto is a version of the devil from the Marvel universe who was introduced to the comic book giant’s sizable gallery of bullies by Stan Lee and John Buscema in December 1968. Mephisto made his comic debut in The Silver Surfer # 3 and is largely inspired by Mephistopheles – a demon of German folklore that originally appeared in the legend of Faust.
As an immortal being, Mephisto is an extremely powerful supervillain with numerous abilities. By manipulating the forces of magic, Mephisto can provide himself with superhuman strength, the ability to change shape, project illusions, change time and manipulate human memories. It also can’t get hurt by most weapons, which isn’t good for most Marvel heroes. If Mephisto’s physical form is destroyed, he will eventually change in his realm as well, so there is no way to really defeat him. Oh, and it is known to collect the souls of interested parties by trading with them. Hey, he’s a devil after all.
While he was mostly a thorn in The Silver Surfer’s website and Johnny Blaze’s iteration of Ghost Rider, Mephisto also battled with other famous Marvel superheroes. He also fought Thor, the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strang, Vision and Scarlet Witch – hence the WandaVision links – and Daredevil. He also appeared in the 1985 comic book series Secret Wars II, as well as the Avengers West Coast.
However, Mephisto is perhaps best known for his appearance in Spider-Man’s controversial comic book story titled One More Day. Here, Mephisto agrees to save Peter Parker’s aunt, May, after she was fatally wounded by a stray bullet. To save her, Peter and Mary Jane are forced to give up their marriage to Mephisto in return – a decision that changes their personal timeframe causes Mary Jane to completely forget who Peter is in his everyday and superhero characters, restores Harry Osborn to life after his death in Spectacular Spider-Man # 200, and results in their daughter never being born. Talk about a unilateral contract.
The four-part comic book series by J. Michael Straczyński and Jose Quesada from 2007 was so divided that to this day it is considered the most polarizing Spider-Man story ever created. This was seen by fans and critics alike as “utterly disrespectful” and “undermining” the character of Spider-Man as a whole.
Still, from Mephisto’s perspective, it was the perfect comic book series. The controversy surrounding One More Day catapulted Mephisto back into Marvel’s limelight, and the villain has since appeared in numerous comic book series including War of the Realms and Sinister War.
Mephisto has previously appeared in non-comic Marvel projects such as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, the 2007 Ghost Rider movie and many video games. Ironheart will make its debut in the MCU, however – and it will be very interesting to see if it will appear in other magical or supernatural MCU productions in the future, such as the Doctor Strange 2 sequel, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, The Blade, What If …? season 2 and the two Avengers movies coming to Phase 6.
For more MCU-based content, check out our Marvel Videos in the Order Center. Alternatively, read our ranking of all the MCU villains so far, or find out what happened in the She-Hulk season 1 finale.