Now that we’ve had a chance to take a look at the new trailer of Spider-Man: Far From Home, it’s time to answer some fundamental questions about the film. Chief among those questions is who Mysterio is. The Spider-Man villain played by Jake Gyllenhaal may be old hat to longtime fans of Marvel’s web-slinging superhero. But his unique costume, complex power set, and lack of cinematic presence in the past may leave non-book-readers positively puzzled. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Who Is Mysterio
As is the case with many comic characters, Mysterio is a name shared by a handful of individuals in the Marvel comics universe. By far the most common one, however, is the original Mysterio: Quentin Beck. Beck’s Mysterio first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #13 as a special effects artist and stuntman in Hollywood. Beck regretted his behind the scenes career and longed for the fame and recognition that comes with being on-screen talent. Unfortunately, he lacked the proper skills and training to be an actor.
When a friend pointed jokingly pointed out that the quickest way to become famous would be to defeat a masked hero, Beck made a perfectly rational and not at all crazy decision: He would become a supervillain. Leaning into his strengths in special effects work, he became Mysterio.
Mysterio has one of the most exciting power sets in comics for one very particular reason: When it comes right down to it, he can’t do anything. Quinten Beck is a master of special effects, illusion, hypnotism, and magic. He’s a bit like a zanier version of Batman’s Scarecrow.
Using his powers over the mind, Mysterio can cause his targets, including Spider-Man, to believe anything he wants. He often uses his powers to warp reality, causing walls, floors, and even entire buildings to look like they’re shifting. He’s also used his powers to make himself seem more imposing. At times this has meant making himself seem gigantic or appearing to duplicate himself into an entire army of Mysterios. Most distressingly, his powers can even cause Spider-Man famed Spidey Sense to betray him: warning of dangers that don’t exist.
History of the Character
Quinten Beck has been a part of some famous moments in Marvel history. He’s the main villain in one, especially dark, Daredevil story. He came back from hell and defeated the new Mysterio to retake his place as Spider-Man’s nemesis. But his most noteworthy achievement is as a founding member of The Sinister Six.
The Sinister Six is a group of supervillains who teamed up after realizing they could not defeat Spider-Man alone. Their membership has changed over the years, but it has always been made up of Spider-Man’s most notorious members. It’s founding roster was Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman, and Vulture. Mysterio was the one who named the team The Sinister Six. He’s now also the second member of the team we’ve seen on screen in the MCU. If we assume Scorpian might substitute in for another member; we could be halfway to a cinematic Sinister Six for Tom Holland to square off against.
Beyond the Page
While this will be the first time that Mysterio appears on the big screen, he’s had an enduring presence off the page in other forms. In 2009 he was named #85 on IGN’s list of Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time. He also had a prominent role as a recurring villain in the Spider-Man animated series. His popularity and cinematic quality have caused long-standing rumors of a cinematic appearance for the villain, going back to the Toby Maguire days.
What do you think? Are you excited to see Mysterio finally appear on the big screen? Do you believe the rumors that he may begin the film as a hero? Or do you think he’s using his powers for fame? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.