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Spoilers for Marvel-related content, in general.
Should Mephisto eventually make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Well, for those of us old enough to remember, we were introduced to our first cinematic live-action incarnation of Mephisto in the much-maligned 2007 Marvel film, Ghost Rider, with the character being played by Peter Fonda. To everyone’s surprise, this widely-panned film spawned a sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, in 2011, once again featuring an appearance by the hellish antagonist, this time portrayed by Ciarán Hinds.
Peter Fonda as Mephisto
Ciarán Hinds as Mephisto
To not come across as complete fools, we are well aware that the atrocious Ghost Rider duology is, in fact, not part of the MCU at the time of writing, although the exploration of the multiverse could make it canon; food for thought.
Nevertheless, after remaining dormant for nearly a decade, it would appear that there is widespread chatter across the interweb regarding the resurgence of the character in the MCU, the first of which considers the fan theory of Mephisto’s character appearing in WandaVision, which could have arguably made for a much better story.
Regardless, that dream of seeing Mephisto materialize as the main villain in the show turned out to be a bust, as it has since been confirmed that WandaVision’s showrunner, Jac Schaeffer, had no idea who Mephisto was prior to performing press releases for the show itself; this is why reading comic books are important.
After many months of near silence regarding the issue, the recent release of the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer appears to have sparked renewed hope of seeing Mephisto debut in the MCU once more. Fans have been quick to meticulously dissect the various moments in the trailer that allude to Mephisto’s inclusion, such as Doctor Strange’s uncharacteristic eagerness to perform such a dangerous spell for Peter Parker.
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Of course, this could most certainly be attributed to fans’ experiencing a case of apophenia, as Stephen Strange is shown to have performed dangerous magic before, way back in 2016’s Doctor Strange when the superhero used the Eye of Agomotto to turn back time and save the fallen sorcerers during the battle with Kaecilius, subsequently utilizing the relic once more to trick Dormammu.
While the above theory does not hold much merit, it would be wrong for us to deny the credibility of the second theory put forth by well-read comic book fans, who took to Twitter to explain that the premise of No Way Home bears a suspicious resemblance to another reviled Spider-Man storyline in the comics, One More Day. In it, we see Spider-Man striking a bargain with Mephisto to save Aunt May from a gunshot wound, causing Peter Parker to sacrifice his marriage to Mary Jane as payment.
While it remains to be seen if Mephisto does or does not make an appearance in No Way Home, it should not take away from the sheer passion that we have perceived from the Marvel fanbase. After all, it is admirable to witness their grasps of the comic lore that inspire the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for, without their support and dedication, the franchise itself would cease to exist.
Here is to hoping they are right.
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