Warning: Contains spoilers for New Fantastic Four #1!
Marvel has finally explained Spider-Man’s highly controversial deal with the demon Mephisto and why the Prince of Darkness wanted Peter Parker to marry, and not his immortal soul. “Spider-Man: One More Day” is one of the most hated narratives in the history of Wallcrawler because of the numerous holes in the plot, unusual moments and an ending that regressed rather than promoted the main character. But one of the most pressing questions raised in One More Day is finally answered in New Fantastic Four #1, thanks to Ghost Rider and the greatest weaknesses of Marvel demons.
In 2007, Spider-Man was happily married to Mary Jane; their marriage had its ups and downs, like any other married couple, but in general they enjoyed life together. This changed in the movie Spider-Man: Another Day, written by J. Michael Strazynski and Joe Quesada, in which Aunt May is shot by a stray bullet (the shooter intended to kill Peter). After being denied help from Iron Man and Doctor Strange, Peter is approached by Mephisto, who offers a deal: Aunt May will escape death in exchange for Peter marrying Mary Jane. Peter agrees, and the marriage is erased along with his memories of the whole event.
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In The New Fantastic Four #1, written by Peter David and illustrated by Alan Robinson, Spider-Man accompanies Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider on a mission in Las Vegas (each team member was thinking about the city and wanted to go there, and Ghost Rider believes that a supernatural element is at work because of this). On the ground, the four are immediately attacked by an angry mob of city residents, and the Ghost Rider later explains that the entire crowd was possessed by demons. “Most demons don’t like it,” the Ghost Rider explains, “because it brings them too close to human souls, which are anathema to them.”
The demonic revelation finally sheds light on exactly why Mephisto decided not to ask for Peter Parker’s soul. It is clear that even the mere presence of human souls causes harm to demons of all kinds, and his marriage allows Mephisto to punish Peter, and also allows himself to be as far away from souls as possible. Previously, it was noticed that Mephisto acquires souls, so either Mephisto became weaker over time, or the human soul became stronger in the Marvel universe.
“Spider-Man: Another Day” may be hated by the Marvel fan community, but at least one oddity of this story makes a little more sense. Peter’s soul has never been in danger, because even demons like Mephisto cannot be near human souls. Thus, even when Spider-Man suffers a complete defeat, his humanity saves him.