WARNING: Spoilers ahead to Fantastic Spider-Man # 74
As one of the greatest sources of evil in Marvel Comics universe, the demon Mephisto has access to all sorts of secrets that like to bring other characters to their knees – including the truth about the Marvel Universe’s truly sacred timeline and what it means for his fascination with Spider Man. Alternative futures are always present in comics, but the true future of the Marvel Universe has always been unclear. Now, readers may have finally gotten a confirmation of which fan-favorite timeline is canon.
This revelation comes from the pages of That Fantastic Spider-Man # 74 by Nick Spencer, Mark Bagley and more as Spencer concludes his three-year saga with the world-famous Webslinger. But just because Spencer is done with Spider-Man does not mean that Mephisto is. And the devil’s interest is never a good thing.
The Amazing Spider-Man # 74 brings “the Kindred Saga” to an end with a healthy dose of revelations and surprises, without any shocking as the motivation for Mephisto’s commitment to Peter Parker’s life goes all the way back to “One More Day.” While the threat of Genealogy is over, Doctor Strange is still not done with the demon. And when Strange questions Mephisto about his fascination with Peter Parker, the villain reveals a vision he has had since before Peter was even born – a vision of Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s adult daughter that came to an end during his reign – which he have spent years trying to prevent.
While Mephisto’s vision explains why he has been interfering in Peter’s life for years, it also gives fans an insight into Marvel Universe’s primary future timeline. Spider-Man’s daughter is far from the only hero fans can see as the wreck of Mephisto’s future is filled with devastated bodies of Brian Michael Bendi’s future X-Men from the timeline introduced in “The Battle of the Atom.” Eagle-eyed fans can also catch a glimpse of Captain America’s upcoming son, James Rogers, which also implies the existence of fan favorite Next Avengers.
Especially in comics, the future is always in flux, but the fact that Mephisto has spent years trying and failing to prevent this specific timeline could very well signify how inevitable it really is. Mephisto’s manipulative efforts should make it easy to avoid a future. But if this timeline is the set path for the Marvel Universe, or at least the path protected by the Time Variance Authority, which recently became popular by Loki on Disney +, then that would mean that even a device like Mephisto is powerless to stop it.
It’s very unlikely that the comics will ever reach this point in the timeline, but it adds an interesting layer to the current Marvel Universe as well as to the limits of Mephisto’s abilities. Despite all his infamous power as the king of hell, even he cannot withstand the inevitable flow of time. And for a being like Mephisto, there is no feeling worse than powerlessness.
Though Spider Man fans will probably not see this future come to pass anytime soon, it’s very existence that changes what they thought they knew about Marvel Comics timeline. The future is always changing, but it is rare to see such a seemingly inevitable. After all, if even Mephisto not being able to stop it, things can be a little more rocky than anyone had ever realized.
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