Ghost Rider’s decision to return allow Mephisto to return to ruling Hell may have serious consequences down the line for the Avengers!
Spoilers for King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 ahead!
Ghost Rider recently helped Mephisto gain regain control of Hell – a move that may have doomed the Avengers in the long run. In King in Black: Ghost Rider #1, the titular antihero and Mephisto fight their way through the King in Black’s hordes, and the adventure ends with Mephisto once again sitting on the throne of Hell.
Mephisto is Marvel’s equivalent to the Devil and has been a thorn in the side of many Marvel heroes, most notably the Silver Surfer and Spider-Man. In the case of the latter, Mephisto actually brokered a deal that erased Spider-Man’s marriage from history. He is also responsible for the creation of Ghost Rider, who recently usurped Mephisto as the Lord of Hell, and readers have learned that Ghost Rider has not had an easy go of it. He has tried to be a fair and equitable ruler but has been met with opposition from not only the demons of Hell but also from characters like Lilith, who is leading an insurrection against him.
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The issue, written by Ed Brisson with art by Juan Frigeri and colors by Jason Keith, opens with Ghost Rider dragging Mephisto through the streets of New York – just as the King in Black invades. Ghost Rider now has two fights on his hand: Lilith and Knull’s symbiote dragons. Knowing that Ghost Rider will continually be torn between being Hell’s ruler and a hero, his allies, including his brother Danny Ketch, convince him to let Mephisto return to rule Hell. Their logic is that Mephisto is a known quantity, and therefore easier to deal with, whereas Lilith is wild and unpredictable, making her harder to defeat.
While Ghost Rider and his allies’ logic may seem sound, recent revelations throughout the Marvel Universe, particularly in Avengers, call this move into question. Marvel has made it clear Mephisto is planning something. He was directly responsible for resurrecting Agent Phil Coulson, corrupting him, and then putting him in charge of the hyper-nationalistic Squadron Supreme of America, a team that is a direct rival to the Avengers. Mephisto’s hold on Coulson also gives him unprecedented access to the American government and military, which he could then use on the Avengers. Whatever he is planning, it was bad enough to scare Konshu, Moon Knight’s god-like benefactor, into action as well – a move that also led to an attack on the Avengers. Clearly, Mephisto has an axe to grind with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and now Ghost Rider has enabled him to carry out his plans.
Ghost Rider’s decision to abdicate the throne of Hell and return it to Mephisto may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it may have serious and dire ramifications down the road, particularly for the Avengers. King in Black: Ghost Rider #1 is on sale now in print and digital.
Next: Marvel Theory: Mephisto is the Next Big Villain in the Comics
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