Since I doubt I’d even be able to propose this to Marvel I figure I may as well lay out my idea on how to put the character of Master Pandemonium to rest.
Why do I want to get rid of him? Well, I don’t… not really. However, he is a character that has lived longer than he has needed to. He is outdated and nowhere near relevant anymore but my idea would make him (along with a few other characters) relevant one more time.
If you don’t know the history of Master Pandemonium he was an aging actor who veered off the road one night, lost an arm and made a deal with Mephisto. The deal allowed Mephisto to take five shards of Martin Preston’s (Master Pandemonium’s real name) soul. The missing shards of his soul ended up becoming a portal to Mephisto’s realm, allowing Pandemonium to remove his limbs (of which Mephisto had ripped off the remaining ones) and a legion of demons were under his command for combat.
My idea takes place after a few moments in Marvel history:
- Quentin Beck (Mysterio) has committed suicide during Kevin Smith’s run on Daredevil (Guardian Devil) and came back from hell on orders from Mephisto. My little retcon (if needed) is that subsequent Quentin Beck appearances are the Ultimate Universe version/that version’s robot avatars, which plays into that storyline.
- Guido (Strong Guy) is the lord of hell, not Mephisto, as shown in the end of the long running X-Factor series by Peter David.
- Stanley Carter (Sin-Eater) is in hell after killing Jean DeWolff.
It starts out in hell, with a room constructed like a police station interrogation room. Guido and Beck are inside. Guido is talking about how he is trying to be a different hell lord from Mephisto and allowing certain souls to plead their case for purging a sin from their soul. Guido snaps his fingers, asking for the file on Master Pandemonium after Beck states that is the first sin he wants to purge. Stanley Carter pops up, dressed in police uniform, handing the file over to Guido. Carter’s penance for killing Jean DeWolff being eternal desk duty, the leniency due to being remorseful at the end of his life.
Beck tells Guido (and we flashback to see it) his role in creating Master Pandemonium. Beck, a former special effects wizard on movie sets, was working on the same movie as Preston. (The movie would be Dr. Strange just to be a little meta.) Preston is the drunken aging actor, only caring about people who can further his career, which he knows is coming to an end as prime roles are drying up. Beck talks to Preston in his trailer, showing off the first cube that creates his illusions. Preston is impressed with how realistic everything is within the illusion (as he has been financially backing Beck) and decides to show it to the director of the Dr. Strange flick as a way to save money on special effects. The director brushes it off, saying the unions wouldn’t go for it, and Preston returns to his trailer angry. He berates Beck for being a failure (unjustified, obviously). Beck turns it around and says that they should film a sequence themselves, specifically the one where Dr. Strange crashes his car and loses the use of his hands, while using the cube and show it to the producers instead of the director. Preston agrees.
Later that night Beck returns to Preston’s trailer. Preston is even more sloshed than before, making Beck want to back out of doing the scene, but Preston forces him with the threat of pulling funding. Beck acquiesces and they go to an empty lot. Beck sets up the cube and creates a perfect roadside cliff and car. They do a few takes done and Beck wants to call it. Preston, still sloshed, decides he wants one more take. Again, Beck acquiesces, and Preston goes back to start. This time he messes up his mark and loses his arm. Beck tries to turn off the cube but it is not responding. He goes to get his car so that he can take Preston to the hospital.
Preston, being so drunk and stuck in the illusion, believes it all to be real. Mephisto shows up and offers the deal that turns him into Master Pandemonium. When Beck gets back Preston is gone and the cube is functioning correctly again.
With Preston gone and not showing up Beck tinkers with the cube then uses it to take over the part in the film, hoping that he shows up. His acting isn’t noticed to be any different than Preston’s and the film gets completed. Beck, thinking he has a chance at acting, gets a few roles in films but eventually, as with his origin, turns into Mysterio when he realizes no one wants his tech nor his acting.
We go through a history of Master Pandemonium fighting The Avengers (both East and West), including thinking that Scarlet Witch’s children are two pieces of his missing soul, as well as the Ghost Riders (Blaze & Ketch). We also travel through his time with the new Hellfire Club. Throughout we have a narration from Mephisto (again brought by Carter), via an “audiotape journal”, that Guido is playing back. Mephisto is telling how he continually is messing with Pandemonium’s life because it amuses him and gains him “two souls for the price of one”.
(Via all of this we learn that Pandemonium bought Anvil Pictures, the studio that made the Dr. Strange flick, because he learned of Beck’s taking over the part and Pandemonium not being able to finish the “role of his career”.)
We learn of other endeavors of Pandemonium to find the missing shards of his soul.
At the end, Guido decides to grant the purge to Beck but only for the creation of Master Pandemonium, not killing himself after messing with Daredevil. Guido agrees to change that little bit of time so that Preston never becomes Master Pandemonium, but puts Beck in Pandemonium’s place during all of the events (using his cubes), just as he was during the end of the Dr. Strange filming so as to not upset the balance of the universe. Preston finishes the filming of the flick and buys Anvil Pictures as his career enters its zenith.
Beck thanks Guido and they walk back to hell. As they’re walking, Beck tells Guido that the purge idea is a good one and should be done more often. Guido agrees, stating he’s happy that he can help damned souls turn another page. Beck, speaking the last words of the whole thing, says “Speaking of Pages….”
(An obvious nod to Karen Page and what he did during Guardian Devil.)
In the background, Mephisto has been listening in.
And that’s the overview. Of course there would be a lot more detail in an actual script/comic, but that’s how I’d retcon some stuff while putting the character to rest.
Oh, and I thought of all of this myself. No stealing it, because….. (read the blurb to the top right on this site)