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Take 10

Take 10: Devils & Demons

Take a trip to the underworld and check out 10 of Marvel’s most potent purveyors of evil

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas.

This week in DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #892, Wade Wilson's love life went to Hell as he walked the aisle with Satana. But it's hard to fault the Merc With a Mouth for getting involved with the daughter of the devil in a place like the Marvel Universe, where you seemingly can't walk around a corner without bumping into a demon.

Take Secret Cabal convened to summon up their list of the 10 creepiest and coolest demonic creatures Marvel has ever conjured.

For each character you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!


10. S'YM
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #160 (1982)
Why He Makes the List: Despite impressive power, S'ym has never been much more than a lackey to the lords of Limbo, from Belasco to Magik, and often against his will. Attempts to grow beyond his station by teaming with outsiders such as The Magus have only led S'ym to beatings at the New Mutants' and X-Men's hands. Still, who doesn't love a demon with a cigar penchant?
Spotlight Comic: NEW MUTANTS #14 (1983)-Magik leads the New Mutants against S'ym!

First Appearance: VAMPIRE TALES #2 (1973)
Learn More About Her...here
Why She Makes the List: Daughter of the demon Marduk Kurios, Satana initially embraced her birthright and became a succubus, tempting men and taking their souls. However, forming bonds with various humans, Satana would eventually strike out against her father at great cost to herself. She has since become a frequent ally of Doctor Strange, not to mention the object of Deadpool's dubious affections.
Spotlight Comic: WITCHES #1-Satana teams with Topaz and Jennifer Kale to undertake a dangerous mission for Doctor Strange!

First Appearance: X-FACTOR #32 (1988)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: The most cunning and ambitious of the demons to labor under Belasco in Limbo, when his master chose a human apprentice, N'astirh rebelled, stealing a book of spells and forming strategic alliances to spearhead a demon invasion of Earth. Utilizing human pawns like Cameron Hodge and Madelyne Prior, N'astrih helped to spearhead the Inferno event, nearly conquering New York City while also augmenting his own abilities with the transmode virus. While that particular gambit didn't pay off, the crimson demon has reared his nasty head once more of late, crafty and relentless as ever.
Spotlight Comic: EXCALIBUR #6 (1988)-Meggan is plunged into N'astirh's Inferno!

First Appearance: MARVEL TEAM-UP #68 (1978)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: A creation of the Dweller-in-Darkness, D'Spayre seeks out beings at their lowest point and encourages their negative feelings, reinforcing his strength with their fear. He has preyed on both Cyclops and Doctor Strange following the loss of their respective loved ones, but both proved too resilient to succumb. More recently, D'Spayre took advantage of residual depression over Captain America's death in an attempt to seize a Cosmic Cube, but was thwarted by the Avengers, led by the deaf Echo, whose handicap rendered her immune to his powers.
Spotlight Comic: UNCANNY X-MEN #144-On leave from the X-Men, Cyclops faces D'Spayre!

First Appearance: DAREDEVIL #270 (1989)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: When Mephisto desired a son, he created one whole from the accrued energy of decades worth of murders in a cursed area of rural New York. Knowing nothing but pain, Blackheart manipulated the emotions of Daredevil and his friends in his first campaign against humanity, and would later possess an entire town with the goal of getting Wolverine, Ghost Rider and The Punisher to murder innocents. Eventually Blackheart's goals turned towards supplanting his father, a goal he has achieved temporarily, but never for long.
Spotlight Comic: GHOST RIDER #93-Danny Ketch's climactic battle with Blackheart!

First Appearance: KA-ZAR THE SAVAGE #11 (1982)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: The demonic tormentor of Dante's work, Belasco was banished to Limbo by Ka-Zar of the Savage Land. Quickly seizing control of his new surroundings, the evil sorcerer would ensnare Colossus' innocent young sister Illyana when the X-Men mistakenly entered his realm. As time passed differently in Limbo, Belasco subjected the girl to years of torture before she became powerful enough to escape, returning to her brother as a teenager. The demon's power has ebbed and flowed since those days, but Illyana would not be his last victim.
Spotlight Comic: MAGIK #1-In the heart of Limbo, Belasco torments Illyana Rasputin!

First Appearance: STRANGE TALES #110 (1963)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: With his lanky figure, wild hair, chalk white skin and eerie green get-up, Nightmare certainly stands out amongst a crowd, even when it consists of horned devils and slithering creatures. A necessary evil, the Dream Dimension's sinister ruler feeds off humanity's collective need to dream, and should he cease to exist, so will sanity as we know it. Nightmare has sought to expand his realm of influence in overt campaigns as well as leech off the pain of heroes like The Hulk and Doctor Strange. The good guys have always managed to turn him away, but they can never truly banish this boogeyman.
Spotlight Comic: INCREDIBLE HERCULES #118-En route to battling the Skrulls, Hercules and the God Squad must best Nightmare!

First Appearance: GHOST RIDER #1 (1973)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: There is probably no more unlikely hero in the annals of Marvel than Daimon Hellstrom, the literal Son of Satan. Despite his dark roots, Daimon has struggled to be a champion for good, as a member of the Defenders and on his own battling supernatural threats. Sadly, Hellstrom's lineage and inner turmoil has often come back to haunt not only him, but others, like his ex-wife Hellcat. Still, the Son of Satan perseveres in his attempts to walk the straight and narrow, most recently aiding the Ghost Riders against an invasion of rogue angels and Doctor Voodoo against the power of Nightmare.
Spotlight Comic: MARVEL ZOMBIES 4 #1-Daimon Hellstrom joins the Midnight Sons!

First Appearance: STRANGE TALES #126 (1964)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: The first true and consistent mystical threat Doctor Strange encountered during his tenure as Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Dormammu dreams of possessing our realm as he does his own with power and deviousness to back it up. Seeking to expand his rule, the lord of the Dark Dimension has been thwarted time and again by Strange as well as his own penchant for making alliances with unreliable or treacherous partners like Baron Mordo, Loki and his own duplicitous sister Umar. But setbacks be damned, Dormammu will not curb his ambition, most recently attempting a more subtle invasion of Earth with The Hood as his unknowing pawn.
Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS #118-Dormammu teams with Loki against the Avengers and Defenders!

First Appearance: SILVER SURFER #3 (1968)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: There may be other creature more ambitious, more powerful or more clever in the Marvel Universe than Mephisto, but at the end of the day, none more purely evil. In his first appearances, the malevolent one tormented The Silver Surfer, desiring to possess the soul of one so noble he would sacrifice his freedom for the good of a people he never knew. In times since, Mephisto has menaced and tempted nearly all of Marvel's great champions, from Thor and the Fantastic Four to Spider-Man and even Doctor Doom, whose mother's soul he kept captive. Powerful beyond nearly all limits with an agenda that amounts to nothing more than spreading darkness and despair, Mephisto is a terrifying force to be reckoned with.
Spotlight Comic: SILVER SURFER #16 (1968)-Mephisto against The Silver Surfer on the streets of New York City!


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That Nightmare image is from the DOCTOR VOODOO: AVENGER OF THE SUPERNATURAL #4


Nightcrawler isn't a demon, or a half-demon, so...no.


Where is that image of Nightmare from?


Shouldn't Ghost Rider or Nightcrawler (half demon) be there?