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Created by: Maurice Limat (1914-2002)
"I am hatred... I am evil... I am death... I AM MEPHISTA!" Mephista is originally a fictional character, a female embodiment of evil, created for a series of horror films, starring the beautiful actress Edwige Hossegor. But Mephista acquires a unholy life independently of Edwige, and embarks on a killing spree. At first, the process is the result of a mad scientist who has created wax duplicates of Edwige, but later on Mephista uses Edwige as a medium to manifest on the physical plane. The private detective Teddy Verano becomes her arch-enemy.
The MEPHISTA series was created by writer Maurice Limat for the "Angoisse" imprint of Editions Fleuve Noir in 1969.
1. Mephista (FNAG 166, 1969) (was also adapted in comics form in Aredit's magazine Hallucinations, Series 2, No. 4, 1982)
2. Mephista contre Mephista [Mephista vs. Mephista] (FNAG 171, 1969)
3. Mephista et le Clown Ecarlate [Mephista And The Scarlet Clown] (FNAG 183, 1970)
4. Mephista et la Lanterne des Morts [Mephista And The Lantern Of The Dead] (FNAG 190, 1970)
5. Mephista et la Croix Sanglante [Mephista And The Bloody Cross] (FNAG 197, 1971)
6. Danse Macabre pour Mephista [Macabre Dance for Mephista] (FNAG 203, 1971)
7. Mephista et la Mort Caressante [Mephista And The Caressing Death] (FNAG 210, 1972)
8. Mephista et le Chasseur Maudit [Mephista And The Accursed Hunter] (FNAG 219, 1972)
9. Mephista et le Guignol Noir [Mephista And The Black Puppet Show] (FNAG 227, 1972)
10. Mephista Belle à Faire Peur [Mephista Beautiful Enough To Be Scary] (FNAG 232, 1973)
11. Mephista contre l'Homme de Feu [Mephista vs. The Man Of Fire] (FNAG 239, 1973)
12. Ton Sang, Mephista [Your Blood, Mephista] (FNAG 246, 1973)
13. Mephista et le Chien Hurlamor [Mephista And The Howling Dog] (FNAG 252, 1974)
Maurice Limat (1914-2002) was an experienced writer who produced numerous genre novels since the mid-1930s, using a myriad of pseudonyms such as "Maurice d´Escrignelles," "Lionel Rex" and "Jean Scapin". In 1936, he launched publisher Ferenczi's imprint "Les Petits Romans d'Aventures" with La Montagne aux Vampires (Vampire Mountain). In 1954, he wrote the classic science fiction novel Monsieur Cosmos for "Serie 2000". In 1959, Limat began writing regularly for the "Anticipation" and "Angoisse" imprints of Fleuve Noir.
For the former, he penned the adventures of the cosmic super-powered avenger Chevalier Coqdor, who debuted in L'Etoile de Satan (No. 241) in 1964; Coqdor's adventures usually celebrated the power of love and tolerance, and a genuine belief in God, the Great Architect of the Universe. A recurring theme was that secrets that lay beyond mortal ken should not, indeed could not, be fathomed. In Ici Finit Le Monde (Here Ends The Universe, 1964), Coqdor reached the literal end of the universe, but could go no farther and the mystery of the white flashes that occurred beyond the final border were not solved. In Les Portes de l'Aurore (The Gates Of Dawn, 1967), Coqdor travelled into the dimension of Death but was stopped before he could reach beyond the eponymous Gates of Light. In total, he penned 107 for Anticipation between 1959 and 1987.
For Angoisse, Limat reintroduced the character of Teddy Verano, a detective investigating the supernatural, which he had crrated in 1936. Verano's adventures had continued after World War II in a number of thrillers featuring genre elements: deadly flowers in Meurtres en Serre Chaude (Murders in the Hot House, 1945), lepers and freaks in Le Club des Monstres (The Monster Club, 1948), man-eating plants in On n'a Jamais tué comme ça (We Never Killed Like That, 1955). Limat brough Verano back in Angoisse in Mandragore (1963), and continued his adventures, with a more horrific slant. Then, six years later, he introduced Mephista as a spin-off of the Verano series.