Do you think you are a good person? If hit series The Good Place has it right, your deeds on Earth might land you in a magical place where everything is catered to your deepest desires, and you get to meet your one true soul mate…or, if you aren’t quite worthy of all that, you might end up being tortured by Ted Danson! A devil pretending to be an angel, Danson’s Michael is a brilliant addition to the award-winning series, perfectly executing his diabolical plan to torment his victims by having them drive each other crazy in a fake "heaven." The show is sharp, funny, and eminently relatable as four people examine their wicked (and not-so-wicked) ways, and Michael is far from the only devil character that we want to watch again and again.
Crowley (Good Omens)
Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens puts a heavenly spin on the classic buddy comedy, as an angel and a demon have to team up to save the world…because really, as messy as this world is, it’s got a whole lot of stuff they like. Like second hand bookshops. And little corner restaurants where everybody knows your name. The novel is also being turned into a TV series set to air next year, with David Tennant playing the devilish Crowley, and it’s going to be incredible.
Tennant’s adaptation of Crowley isn’t the only one you can watch on the small screen, though. In the hit CW show Supernatural, it’s Mark Shepard who takes on the title as a crossroads demon turned King of Hell. Don’t expect this demonic character to be too much of a bad guy, though. Turns out, he quite likes the world too, and his love/hate relationship with the Winchesters is a thing of beauty, as he teams up with Moose and Squirrel to save the world at times (and try to take it over at others).
The Devil makes quite a few appearances across the pages of multiple comics, but one of the best adaptations of the character in a superhero context has to be Mephisto. Created by the late great Stan Lee, Mephisto first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four, looking exactly the way most people would picture Satan as a Supervillain. Since he joined the Marvel Universe, he’s caused all kinds of chaos, including retconning Spider-Man’s marriage as part of a deal to save Aunt May’s life.
Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada)
She may not literally be a devil, but this high fashion editor certainly lives up to the stereotype of the boss-from-hell. In both the book and the film adaptation, Miranda Priestly is the most intimidating woman in the fashion world, and it’s up to aspiring writer Andrea to cater to her every whim during a year as her junior assistant. Although the book focuses more on Andrea’s own path of self-discovery, Miranda is a brilliant character…and one that will take you from hating her to feeling sorry for her (but not that sorry) by the end.
The Devil (The Weirdness)
It seems that many of the devils in pop culture aren’t the soul-stealing, universe-destroying stuff of legend that we might expect. In Jeremy Bushnell’s The Weirdness, the devil is (once again) actually trying to save the planet, because he quite likes it here. This brilliant book centers on slacker Billy Ridgeway, who is convinced to help the devil by stealing the Neko of Infinite Equilibrium from a powerful warlock… in return for finally getting published.
What are you favorite devilish characters in pop culture? Tweet at @quirkbooks and let us know!