Monday, October 5, 2009

1987 - Mephisto Vs …

Mephisto Vs #1-4
April-July 1987
Writer: Al Milgrom
Artists: John Buscema/Bob Wiacek

#1 vs the Fantastic Four
#2 vs X-Factor
#3 vs the X-Men
#4 vs the Avengers

Mephisto’s initial motives was revenge, as he was humiliated by Franklin Richards in Fantastic Four #277. He exploited each member’s fears in an attempt to win Franklin’s soul. However, by the end of the issue, he has tricked Susan Richard into giving up her soul.

Early in issue #2, Mephisto’s “true” motive arose; he sought the soul one truly noble spirit, like the Silver Surfer. He manipulated Susan Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four into drawing X-Factor into mix and tricked Jean Grey into giving herself up.

In issue #3, Mephisto moves on to the X-Men where he tricked Rogue into becoming another pawn in his great game.

And finally in issue #4, Mephisto’s “real” motivation was made clear. Hela, the Norse goddess of Death, has been moving in on his territory and he has been unable to push back her advances. Only the soul of a god can turn the tide in his favor. Mephisto tried to get his hands on Thor’s soul.

Every time I read this series, I can’t help but chuckle at Mephisto using “mystic mylar” to capture souls. It just seemed silly to have Mephisto put these giant mylar bag around the souls when he can easily use his powers to contain them.

Milgrom shouldn’t have waited until the final issue to unveil Mephisto’s true motivation. I can understand hiding it from the heroes, but since this story is taken from his point of view, it seems rather confusing to keep switching his motives. And while I’m on the Mephisto point of view thing, usually the protagonist of the story has to undergo some kind of change. Unfortunately, Mephisto doesn’t learn anything from these events and doesn’t change in any fashion. I’m not expecting to have a radical character change, but there just seemed to be little reason for this series other than to create a crossover.

Buscema’s pencils are classic Buscema. Bob Wiacek’s inks on John Buscema’s pencils are strong and sometimes seem a bit overpowering. Milgrom’s inks in issue #3 seemed rushed, but Wiacek’s return for issue #4 is welcome. The coloring is terrible in this series; check out Rogue’s hair throughout issue #3. This series was printed on a higher quality paper and unfortunately did nothing but make the colouring stand out that much more.


  1. As I seem to recall from Marvel Age around that time, the purpose of the mini-series was to return Mephisto to the rank of villaindom who could take on anybody and everybody. Before this, Mephisto had grown watered down by too many appearances (as is often said of Dr. Doom). Of course, this was long before Mephisto started slumming as a reverse marriage counselor...

  2. I just started a comic collection and got my hands on Mephisto vs The Avengers

  3. What makes this series unique is the Paper it was printed on , I have the entire Series and I bought it in 1987 and the Print and paper is still Vibrant and perfect , This is because it was printed on Baxter Paper .

  4. I would like to see a remastered version of this series, with today's digital colouring like the remastered x-Men #1...



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