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|“||A deal's a deal.||„|
|~ Mephistopheles trying to take back the curse of the Rider.|
|“||You! Worst f-cking deal I ever made!||„|
|~ Mephistopheles/Roarke's last words to Ghost Rider in Spirit of Vengeance before his ultimate defeat.|
Mephistopheles, also known as Mephisto and Roarke, is the main antagonist of the Ghost Rider film duology, appearing as the overarching antagonist of Ghost Rider and the main antagonist of its sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
He is the Devil who corrupted the Angel of Justice Zarathos so he could create the Ghost Rider, a human possessed by Zarathos' vengeful spirit and contracted to carry out his deeds on Earth. He is also the archenemy of Johnny Blaze, the current Ghost Rider who rebels and becomes the one being stopping him from taking over the Earth.
In the 2007 film, he was portrayed by the late Peter Fonda. In Spirit of Vengeance, he was portrayed by Ciarán Hinds, who also played Steppenwolf in the 2017 Justice League film, Bill Maplewood in Life During Wartime, Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones, Jonathan Reiss in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, Botticelli Remorso in The Tale of Despereaux and Henry Burke in Race to Witch Mountain.
During Wild West times, he had a Ghost Rider named Carter Slade ride to the town of San Venganza and retrieve a supernatural contract that contains 1,000 mortal souls, supposedly to bring them to Hell. However, Slade discovered how powerful it was and he couldn't let the Devil get it. So he runs off with it and does what no other Rider before had done; he outran the Devil himself.
In the film's actual events, Mephistopheles appears before Johnny Blaze whom he tricked into giving up his soul in return for saving his father from cancer, yet have him killed in a motorcycle accident. He ordered Johnny as an adult (now as Ghost Rider) to hunt his reluctant son Blackheart and destroy him before he finds the Contract of San Venganza that will give him the power to even overthrow his own father.
Johnny succeeded in defeating Blackheart and destroying the thousand evil souls of San Vengeanza that Blackheart consumed. In happiness, the Devil appears at the church in San Venganza, where Blackheart's body laid and where Johnny stood. Mephisto offers to give Johnny his soul back and let someone else be the Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, claiming that he shall "own" this curse and use it against the lord of evil that deceived him.
Mephisto proclaims that he will make Johnny pay for this, then is given the response "You can't live in fear". Mephisto yells out "NO!!!" and turns into smoke, taking Blackheart's body back to Hell with him. He returns to Earth later on.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
In the sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Mephisto is now going by the name "Roarke" and is the main antagonist. It is revealed that while he walks the earth in human form, he is weak and must send people to do his bidding by using what Johnny calls his greatest power; the power of "the Deal", where he takes a mortal's soul away and enters their body, or has them become his Ghost Rider minions. He attempted to transfer his soul into the body of a boy named Danny, whose mother made a deal with him to save her life. This transfer would make him powerful, since Danny is literally the spawn of all evil. As Mephisto put it, it's a pain to stay in human form, as his various bodies throughout the centuries were never made to do the things he could do, but since Danny is a hybrid of demon and human, entering his body will allow him to use his powers on Earth.
He sent a drug dealer named Ray Carrigan to capture Danny for him, but Carrigan was mortally wounded by Johnny. However, Roarke transformed Carrigan into Blackout, allowing him to decay whatever thing he touches. He eventually gets Danny and brings him to a ruined Colosseum, where his wealthy followers arrive one at a time. He reveals his plan to enter Danny's body and must hold a ceremony where his followers must dress in black robes and chant Latin while Roarke and Danny sit at the Colosseum center. Johnny, Nadya and monk Moreau arrive with their guns and disrupt the ceremony. Moreau is decayed, but smashes his head into Blackout's face. Johnny is brought before the audience by Blackout, now about to decay him. Danny approaches him, then roars fire into his face, turning Johnny into the Ghost Rider and sending all Satan's present followers to Hell with his fiery chain. Roarke tries to flee in a car with Danny, now unconscious, while his minions drove in armed trucks to stop Ghost Rider from following him.
Even still, all of the trucks were destroyed, and Blackout was attacked by Ghost Rider's Penance Stare power, killing him. The Rider then throws his chain and rips a part of Roarke's car out from the bottom, sending it tumbling off the road and into the desert, where Danny had been wounded but Roarke was unharmed (likely because he was not really human). Johnny then ties his chain around Roarke's waist, throws him way up into the air and brings him smashing down to the desert ground, where he falls into the planet's crust and is burned alive. Roarke was now back in Hell and Johnny heals Danny, foiling the villain's plan. Being immortal he most likely survived and surely reformed in his field, waiting for the next opportunity to take revenge on the Ghost Rider.
- In the comics, the character has a more demonic appearance, while in the movie, he only appears in his human form. His shadow, anyway, appears more similar to the comics' form.
- In the comics, the full name of the character, Mephistopheles, is used rarely, while in the movie his "nickname", Mephisto, common in the comics, is never used.
- It was Nicolas Cage's idea to cast Peter Fonda as Mephisto.
- Johnny Blaze's Harley Davidson, in the movie, is identical to the "Captain America", Peter Fonda's motorcycle in Easy Rider.
- There are two deleted scenes featuring Mephistopheles: in the first one, he confronts Blackheart at the very moment he leaves Hell, but his lack of power in the human world prevents him from bringing him back with him. In the second one, he shouts to Johnny Blaze for having killed his son, while he wanted him back alive (the scene was pointless, since, either alive or dead, Blackheart has to come back to Hell).
- In Spirit of Vengeance, it is said that Mephisto can walk among humans only if he finds a human body as a host, thus weakening his own powers, explaining his different appearance from one a movie to another. In the comics, Mephisto can walk on Earth without a host body and with all his powers at disposal.
- In the comics, Mephisto and his realm of demons were actually cosmic/dimensional entities assumed to be the inspiration behind of their biblical counterparts. Mephisto was also the advisor to Thanos in the Infinity Wars storyline.