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Mephisto

Marvel Select
by yo go re

Satan wasn't always evil. No, really. And we're not even talking in a "he was an angel but fell from heaven" way. We mean that literally. Satan was a good and faithful servant of god. "Satan" was a title, a job description for the one God sent to test the faithful. It wasn't until the Jews came into contact with Zoroastrianism, the world's first monotheism, that the satan started to be viewed as evil. That interpretation has been the overwhelming majority ever since, and is really pervasive in pop culture - anywhere Satan appears, he's a force for evil. Often, as in Marvel Comics, the ultimate evil.

Dread ruler of an other-worldly dimension, Mephisto Mephisto has spent eons as the dark lord of the damned. Drawing his immense power from the innocent souls he twists into his own demonic image, Mephisto's ranks swell with those he has bargained with and betrayed. Offering them power or material wealth, he entices the weak-hearted into his realm where they are tricked into an eternity of servitude, condemned for all time. A being of supreme power and darkness, Mephisto always keeps his word...but a demon is still, after all, a demon.

It's important to note that this is not Satan or the devil - he's not even a devil. He's the powerful ruler of another dimension, not the ruler of hell or hades. He allows people to think of him as the devil, but only because it suits his purposes and helps his legend grow. He does collect human souls (or astral bodies, at least), but just so he has more subjects to rule, not to punish them or anything. He's no more Satan than the Watcher is God.

Originally just a Silver Surfer foe, Mephisto has made trouble for just about everyone in the Marvel Universe, both heroes and villains alike. Fantasic Four, Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, Dr. Strange, KISS... he even screwed with Dr. Doom. For years. So no matter what your collection focuses on, Mephisto fits right in.

The figure is about 7½" tall, truly demonic counting his wild hair and his tattered disco collar. He was sculpted by Paul Harding, and is looking darn good. Or darn bad, as the case may be. He's muscular, of course, and you can tell that's a red suit, not red skin, but what really counts is the twisted, frightening face, which looks typically demonic: blank eyes, pointed ears, sharp fangs, all that. It's no wonder people mistake him for Satan. Amazingly, for a guy who can shape-shift and appear like anything at all, he has a receding hairline. Oooo, shadowy! You'd think he'd want to change that, if only to torment the sinners who have male pattern baldness.

Mephisto's paint apps complement the sculpt nicely. His body is dark red, with an even darker wash that pools in the crevices. His boots, gloves, loincloth and cape are slightly darker, while his face is a ruddy pink. Articulation is fairly standard for a Marvel Select figure, with swivels at the gloves, boots and waist, pins at the elbows, knees and ankles, and balljoints at the hips, shoulders and neck. Sure, you can think of more points that would add to the figure, but this is still better than the average DC Direct offering.

ostentatious! Rather than a display base, Mephisto's pack-in is more of an accessory. He's the lord of hell his own personal hell-like dimension, and every lord needs a throne. Mephisto's throne is huge, the same height as he is, but with a deep bucket seat that he can really sink into. The throne has the texture of cooled lava, but built upon a frame; there's a "spine" running down the center, skulls down the sides and the wailing faces of the damned solidified into the surface of the seat. Creepy! Mephisto's cape and loincloth are soft rubber I don't see why anyone would mistake this for hell so they'll flex and allow him to sit down (mostly) realistically. He looks absolutely wicked with Blackheart standing next to him and the backdrop from ML13 behind.

Mephisto is one of those characters that would probably never have been made as a Marvel Legend - a former Nazi and a guy with the word "dead" in his name were bad enough, and you know there was no way Wal*Mart would ever deign to carry a figure of the devil in their stores. Thankfully, size isn't such an issue with this figure, so like the Watcher and Thanos, Mephisto is a Marvel Select figure that will blend seamlessly into your ML collection. Really, for a Marvel fan, there is no reason not to own this guy.


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