Spider-Man: Far From Home is bringing us our first live action version of Quentin Beck, better known as the villain Mysterio. Finally, the master illusionist will be on the silver screen next to the web-swinger himself. But who is Mysterio, and what is going on with that fishbowl helmet? We took a look into the character’s comic book history to see what he’s all about. So, without further ado, here is everything that you could hope to know about the villain.
Mysterio 101: The Basics
At first look you might laugh. The purple cape, reflective dome helmet, golden bracers with a green quilted jumpsuit are quite a statement. But don’t let the outfit fool you. Mysterio has been one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous foes for a long time. He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #13 in 1963, in which he is introduced as Quentin Beck. Mr. Beck is a special effects expert, and stunt man, who wants to be an actor. When his acting career fails to take off, he shifts his focus to crime, using his special effects skills to create illusions to pull off his dastardly deeds. His uncanny ability for producing tools that counter Spider-Man’s abilities has earned his place as one of Spider-man’s greatest adversaries since the beginning of his superhero career.
Mysterio: Powers and Abilities
As a one-time special effects artist, Mysterio is very skilled when it comes to creating convincing illusions that take heroes like Spider-Man off guard. That, and his knowledge of chemistry and hypnotism, are the reason that Mysterio is capable to crossing the line between fantasy and reality. His suit is also specially outfitted with a series of gadgets that help him in his constant battles with heroes, such as web dissolving acid, and an air supply in his helmet that help him avoid the gases that help create his illusions.
Mysterio: Origin and Background
Mysterio is another example of the greatness that came from the creative team of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He’s been a mainstay in Spider-Man comics since his debut, both alone and as a member of the villainous Sinister Six. He’s gone through changes throughout the years, but he remains a thorn in the web-swingers side to this day.
Major Story Lines
With such a long history in comic books it should come as no surprise that Mysterio would have some great story arcs under his belt. Here a just a few.
CAUTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!
THE MENACE OF… MYSTERIO!
In issue 13 of The Amazing Spider-Man Quentin Beck makes his big debut. It has everything you could hope for in a Mysterio story. From earning public support as a hero to framing Spider-man for crimes, Mysterio doe it all. Then, Spider-Man finds the truth and reveals the villain for who he really is. It’s a classic, and a must read if you want to know Mysterio’s origins.
The Sinister Six
One of the things that make Spider-Man such a great character is his impressive rogues gallery. Then came The Amazing Spider-Man #1 in which we got to watch him take on his six biggest enemies…all at once! This was the birth of the Sinister Six, which included: Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, Sandman, Electro, the vulture, and (you guessed it) Mysterio! This story doesn’t center on Mysterio specifically, but he plays a large part and it is this appearance that establishes him as one of Spider-Man’s great villains.
Mysterio is Deadlier by the Dozen!
This storyline shows one of Mysterio’s great talents: Illusions so realistic, they can emotionally traumatize the intended target. As a result of one such illusion, Peter Parker believes that he is responsible for the death of his beloved Aunt May. It is then revealed to be a trick of Mysterio’s making in an effort to find some hidden fortune. It is a great read, to say the least.
A more recent storyline involving Mysterio was the 2012 miniseries Spider-Men. This story introduced Miles Morales to the main Marvel Universe. In it we got to see the two together, with Peter Parker showing Miles the ropes. The two web-heads then discover that Peter’s Mysterio and Mile’s Mysterio are one and the same. Quentin Beck has been moving back and forth between the two realities and plaguing both of the Spider-Men with his tricks.
Old Man Logan
This isn’t a Spider-Man storyline, but it is an incredible example of Mysterio’s abilities. In Old Man Logan it is revealed that villains of the Marvel Universe have defeated the heroes and now rule the world. Logan lives a quiet life on the outskirts of society and will no longer resort to violence or use his claws. This is because when the villains took over the world, Mysterio cast an illusion on Wolverine, making him think that he was fighting, and killing all of his enemies. It turns out that he was killing his friends, The X-Men, instead. Through his powerful illusions, the villain had crushed Logans spirit.
Mysterio: Here to Stay
Whether casting illusions on the Web-Head or fighting alongside the Sinister Six, Mysterio has been a major player in Marvel Comic Books for decades. He shows no sign of slowing down either. With a major part in Spider-Man: Far From Home, we will soon see if the Master of Illusion can finally defeat the web-swinger. One thing is for sure, the master of illusion has definitely earned his place in the pantheon of great comic book villains.