Now that we’ve all dissected every inch of the first Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, it’s time to talk about the main villain of the film, Mysterio, as played by Jake Gyllenhaal. While the upcoming Sony/Marvel Studios project will be the first to show the character in live-action, Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s most notorious foes and one not to be trifled with. But why should we be excited to see a man wearing a fishbowl? Well, firstly let’s head back all the way to 1964.
Quentin Beck, AKA: Mysterio, was a stunt-actor and special effects technician who had higher ambitions of becoming an actor himself. When those dreams were dashed by Hollywood, Beck began to feel disenchanted by the industry and decided to use his expertise in illusions to become the career-criminal Mysterio.
Mysterio’s first appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #13 in which the villain set up Spider-Man as a bank robber and defeated the wall-crawler in battle, appearing as the hero. However, Spider-Man managed to end up defeating Mysterio by taping a confession out of the ex-special effects expert and had him arrested.
Powers and Gear:
While not possessing any superhuman abilities per se Quentin Beck is an expert with special effects, illusions, as well as having experience with robotics and chemistry. These skills are how Mysterio is able to appear as a mystical being, perhaps an attest to how good he was at his previous career.
The most significant part of Mysterio’s suit is his Fishbowl Helmet which is made out of two-way glass, preventing others from looking inside. His costume also consists of smoke effects and a multitude of other FX devices that are used to confuse any potential enemy.
Mysterio also has a sophisticated VR system and suit which allowed him to travel through and interact with the 1610 Ultimate Universe despite physically remaining on Earth 616, the main Marvel universe in the comics. It was with this suit that Quentin continued to be a nuisance for a younger version of Peter Parker and Miles Morales.
Comics and Onward:
If you’re looking for key comic-book issues that have helped define the character of Mysterio then make sure to check out Marvel Unlimited for some of his key appearances including ‘Amazing Spider-Man: Annual 1‘ in which Mysterio was one of the original members of Doctor Octopus’ ‘Sinister Six’, combining his malevolent skills with the likes of Vulture, Sandman, and Electro.
Daredevil Vol 2 #1 – #8, penned by the director, Kevin Smith, prominently features Mysterio messing around with Matt Murdock’s head after the 90s’ Clone Saga from Spider-Man. Beck ends the arc by ending his own life, before returning in Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man run, which featured the villain team up with the Maggia and his old pals – the Sinister Six, before escaping once again.
Finally, check out ‘Spider-Men’ in which Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli brought back Quentin Beck in the Ultimate (pun-intended) team-up of the 2010’s – in which Peter Parker finally met Miles Morales for the first time! It’s also revealed that Mysterio was responsible for the illegal transdimensional activity that had been plaguing Earth 1616 since ‘Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man.’ Also, shoutout to Spider-Man 2: The Official Videogame for the best use of a villain in the Raimi Universe, with one of the most intense battles in videogame history.
From a distance, Mysterio shouldn’t work, but he absolutely does – even down to the ridiculous fishbowl helmet which is quite frankly pretty neat. It’s no surprise that audiences are excited to see him in the MCU after all this time, perhaps we’ll see him make a big appearance in the comics soon too, we can only hope.