Spider-Man lost almost everything to Mephisto for one more day
Spider-Man’s very first confrontation with Mephisto was a disaster and cost the web-slinger almost more than “One More Day”.
One of Spider-Man’s most controversial storylines was “One More Day,” in which Peter Parker, in an effort to save his Aunt May’s life, makes a deal with Mephisto to save his aunt in exchange for her marriage. with Mary Jane. However, this was not the first time that the hero and the devil have met. Previously, Spider-Man lost almost everything to Mephisto, all in an effort to save Christmas.
Taking place in the 1993 Marvel Holiday Special (by Steven Grant and Pat Broderick) Peter and Mary Jane were finishing their Christmas shopping when Peter realized he had neglected to buy a Christmas tree for their house. Separating, Peter began to wonder where on Earth he was going to find a tree on Christmas Eve. But his laments over poor planning were interrupted by what looked like a comet heading straight for the city. Throwing aside his many shopping bags, he dressed and attempted to intercept the comet. But to Spider-Man’s surprise, he found out that what he thought was a comet was actually an angel falling from the sky.
The angel collided with the ground and buried itself deeper under the Earth than its speed should have allowed. Spider-Man pursued the angel to hell where the celestial being had been captured and placed in a medieval death trap by Mephisto. The devil explained to the wallcrawler that the angel was the embodiment of the Christmas spirit and without him Christmas would cease to exist.
Obviously, Spider-Man had moral objections to killing an angel and by extension the vacation. Mephisto made a bet with the hero that he would not be able to save the angel even without the direct intervention of the devil. If Peter lost, however, Mephisto would claim his soul. Spider-Man accepted the challenge, underestimating the devil’s ability to indirectly obstruct him.
Mephisto started Spider-Man’s countdown without warning, forcing him to move quickly to reach the angel before he was crushed. But even with his super strength, Spider-Man couldn’t stop the machine from destroying the angel. Mephisto then trapped Spider-Man’s soul in an orb, and the web launcher begged to be released. Surprisingly, the demon nodded, deeming the wall-crawler a crybaby, but also figured that Spider-Man wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate the villain’s victory without having his soul intact.
Mephisto then flew them over the New York City skyline to watch Christmas wilt on the vines, but to his horror, people around the world were still partying. His confusion was only compounded when the angel believed to be destroyed reappeared. The angel explained that, contrary to what Mephisto believed, the Christmas spirit did not come from him. Instead, the opposite was true, it came from the spirit of Christmas. The angel owed his existence to human capacity for kindness and generosity, just as the evil wicked existed because of his capacity for greed and corruption.
The angel even pointed out that Mephisto had shown mercy to Spider-Man by setting him free without demanding a toll, which he would normally never do. The demonic villain claimed he just wanted Spider-Man to suffer, but his actions seemed to validate every word the angel spoke, prompting him to return to hell in a fit of rage.
Even though Mephisto technically won his first battle against Spider-Man, he’s been denied the soul by his own misunderstanding of his relationship with humanity. Although he ultimately gave up on claiming the soul of Peter Parker, the evil villain had the opportunity to inflict much greater damage on Parker than what the hero suffered in “One More Day”, if not for the unlikely intervention of the Christmas spirit.
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