On Monday, Bleeding Cool got the word – and Marvel later confirmed – that Avengers #38 would be a bit of a gamechanger for Marvel Comics – and so it seems to be, retelling the history of the Marvel Earth going back to its very beginnings. Four billion years ago, with the arrival of the Celestials.
Meeting at a crossroads often signifies a deal with the Devil. In recent years, Bleeding Cool catalogued just how big a player Mephisto was becoming. Last year we noted major simultaneous appearances in Doctor Strange, Champions, War Of The Realms, Avengers, Deadpool, Damnation and a collection of his early appearances published.
Whether that was in Avengers #19, helping our Roxxon take Antarctica in The War Of The Realms.
In Champions, he had been making deals with Spider-Man, Miles Morales, and Amadeus Cho, the Hulk.
And even Deadpool.
Right now, his handiwork in Spider-Man's life is coming back into play, with One More Day, Kindred being a condemned version of Harry Osborn, and Doctor Strange digging out the truth in today's Amazing Spider-Man #51.LR.
While the Avengers has been battling multi-dimensional versions of Mephisto, with Tony Stark making a key observation in today's Avengers #38.
Much longer than that. And the comic book lays out some of that timeline. And with that Celestial, we see Mephisto's first form.
As a fly. It may be worth recalling that Beelzebub literally means Lord Of The Flies, and is where that novel got its name. And that teased image from Monday gets some major play.
And so we see Mephisto as the Serpent of the Garden Of Eden, whispering in so many people's ears over the billennia.
Whether that be L'il Thanos – or a Thanos ancestor – visiting Earth a million years ago, seeking Death, inspired by Mephisto to fight the Avengers 1,000,000BC
Or getting involved with Apocalypse – currently the main instigator in Krakoan politics – in his battles with the Avengers 1000AD, with Thor, Hellhawk the Ghost Rider, Bodolf the Black, a Phoenix host and Tanaraq of the Great Beasts, from King Thor.
The very first battle between the Avengers and The Hulk – that adds Mephisto's trickery to that of Loki, and forming the modern-day Avengers for the very first time. And then into the far-flung future.
The Future Avengers with Old Man Logan Phoenix and the daughters of Thor and more, all continually fighting threats, and all inspired by Mephisto. He's playing the long game, has been for so very long, and will continue to do so as well. Throw into that One More Day, Champions, Damnation – and with Helstrom on the TV as well, Mephisto has rewritten the Marvel Universe and placing himself at its centre, as the principal instigator for the existence of the Avengers, the Krakoan nation, the corruption of Spider-Man and so much more…
(W) Jason Aaron (A/CA) Ed McGuinness
The Avengers have saved Earth from the god of the Moon, but the return of a certain planet-burning cosmic firebird isn't going to give them much time to catch their breath. Plus: The devil may be dead, but the threat of Mephisto lingers on, with a legacy interwoven in heretofore untold chapters of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
32 PGS./Rated T+In Shops: Nov 04, 2020