Martin Preston was born in Rutland, Vermont in 1950. By his early 30’s, he was a well known and influential member of the Hollywood elite, an actor without peer as well as a crowd pleasing leading man. But those who burn brightest burn fastest, and Martin Preston was no exception. Preston was always troubled by the spectre of addiction, alcoholism ran rampant through his family, and he was no exception. Reportedly taking his first drink at age 9 on set for “No Cure for Flamingos!” , his growing stardom gave many more opportunities to imbibe. was able to function, but the high-wire act was always on the verge of collapse.
One fateful night in December 1982, the collapse came. Martin Preston drank heavily at a party earlier in the night, and convinced those in attendance that he was able to drive home. He took a turn too fast and flipped over, impacting with a guard rail, and leaving him with his right arm severed, bleeding out quickly.
It was at this point that Mephisto, Lord of the Demons and Master of Lies, appeared. Mephisto offered to replace the recently severed limb. Martin hastily agreed to the deal, at which point Mephisto summoned a minor demon, ripped off its arm, and attached it to Martin. At this point, Mr. Preston passed out. Mephisto proceeded to rip off Martin’s remaining limbs and replace them with demon limbs. He also opened an inverted five-point star hole in Martin’s chest.
While many contend that this experience had a major negative impact on Mr. Preston’s acting ability, oddly enough it had little impact on his ability to manage Anvil Pictures, his former employer. He purchased the studio a few years after his demonic limb-graft.
He encountered the West Coast Avengers at some point 1986, apparently attempting to determine whether or not several of the members (Firebird, The Thing) were in fact fragments of his own soul, which had split into animate parts, believing he needed to gather them in order to become all-powerful.
After discovering that they were not in fact parts of his soul, Martin (now calling himself “Master Pandemonium”), clashed several more times for a variety of reasons with the West Coast Avengers before allying with them to fight the Cat People in the Land Within, regaining a soul fragment.
Martin Preston then became stranded on the planet Arcturus IV, leaving Anvil Pictures rudderless for almost a year. He fought alongside the Fantastic Four before returning to Earth.
Martin Preston’s true downfall came when he devised what he thought was an ingenious plan: replacing his arms with the children of the Wanda Maximoff (The Scarlet Witch) in order to complete his soul and become all powerful.
At this point, it is widely reported, he collapsed into a magical black hole, was absorbed into his own gaping chest cavity, and tortured by demons.
Anvil Pictures was bought out by Warner Bros within a month. Most employees were let go.