Find out Mysterio’s comic book origin and how Mysterio from Spider-Man Far From Home compares to the comics.
WARNING: The following content contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man Far from Home
Mysterio a.k.a Quentin Beck was a former special effects artist that used his mind-bending art to make people see what he wanted them to see. He made his first appearance from a screen of smoke back in 1964, thank to the creative genius of our godfather Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Now let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at some of Mysterio’s greatest-ever performances!
Quentin Beck first made his debut in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13 that was published on 10 June, 1964 in which our beloved friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man robs a bank! The culprit, later discovered to be an imposter, put on such a convincing show that even Peter Parker himself thought if he might be committing crimes in his sleep. Mysterio quickly became the talk of the town when he beat Spider-Man in a fight that positioned him as a hero.
When Peter finally tracked him down, Beck admitted to being a stunt-man-turned-effects-artist-turned-villain who made it look like he had all manner of powers, specifically the wallcrawlers’. Ultimately, Spider-Man taped Mysterio’s confession, beat him on a film set and then dropped him off with the cops.
It was the start of a long relationship between the two.
Ah The Sinister Six – Spider-Man’s worst nightmare! For those of you who don’t know of this A-Team, in 1964 Stan Lee and Steve Ditko thought, “Hey! You know what will be fun? Let’s bring half a dozen of Spider-Man’s nemesis together and pit them against him!”, and so they did. Mysterio, Kraven, Electro, Sandman, Vulture along with Doctor Octavious formed the Sinister Six to defeat their common enemy, poor Spidey.
The A-Team obviously failed because each of them were too busy in taking credit for bringing down Spider-Man to actually achieve their goal. Since then, there have been many incarnations of the Sinister Six – and our dear Mysterio is usually one of them throughout the appearances of the group, as seen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #335-#339 and SPIDER-MAN #18-#23 among others!
DAREDEVIL INSIDE OUT
In 1998 when DAREDEVIL relaunched under Marvel Knights, the protagonist found himself fighting his difficult past with Karen Page as well as facing a kid who may or may not be the Anti-Christ!! Written by Kevin Smith and illustrated by Joe Quesada, the story eventually undiscovered a very twisted Mysterio as the orchestrator of Daredevil’s misery. However, when the Man Without Fear called out Mysterio on his lack of originality, Quentin enacted a classic Kraven tale, and ended his own life.
THE RETURN OF MYSTERIO
That wasn’t the end of Mysterio though, he made his return several years later. It was during the era of the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues #618 – #620, Mysterio got a shot at redemption when he joined the criminal organisation Maggia and got into a huge turf war with Mr. Negative. He nearly destroyed Spider-Man with his army of robots. During the last battle of the arc, the antagonist claimed to have been the one behind all of Spidey’s recent torment. Spider-Man didn’t buy the lies and won the battle…but Mysterio disappeared.
How Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home Compares to the Comics
Now to his movie counterpart…
Mysterio, brilliantly potrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, appears to be a non-hostile, inter-dimensional warrior/lone survivor of a parallel Earth; at first. Quentin Beck is a living example and an introduction to the theory of Multiverse in the MCU, except he’s not. Later discovered to be a fraud using state-of-the-art hologram technology (designed by him) to create and fight fake monsters called Elementals, Mysterio turns out be quite similar to his comics counterpart.
The character’s introduction to the MCU feels like a fresh start for the franchise. Here’s how the MCU Mysterio is similar to the Marvel Comics iteration.
MASTER OF ILLUSION
Although he initially presents himself as a hero, Quentin Beck is revealed to be the newest villain for Spider-Man (Tom Holland). This actually mimics the first Mysterio appearance in the comics. Even his “from another Earth” explanation is a reference to newer comics’ continuity. Ultimately Mysterio was revealed to be the mainline Mysterio, using an avatar in another universe to try and fake his place in that world. All of his abilities are also revealed to be just illusions, much like the original version of the character. Although the source of his illusions is different than in the comics, they have a similar effect over the course of the film to the kind of illusions he uses in the comics. Understand much?
While the MCU Mysterio isn’t connected to the film industry like his original version, he does act like he is. This version of Mysterio operates like a director of a major motion picture. He compliments his crew when they succeed, but he can be short-tempered and controlling. Although his comics counterpart wasn’t a film director, it’s still a nice way to reference his original origins without becoming too dated in the process.
*Source – cbr.com
FORMER EMPLOYEE OF STARK INDUSTRIES
Another casualty of Tony Stark. Unlike in the comics, Quentin Beck isn’t just a special effects guru, he’s a disgraced former employee of Stark Industries, fired for being too unstable. Beck was the original inventor of The Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing or B.A.R.F. (as seen in Captain America: Civil War) that despite its potential, was used by Tony Stark for therapeutic pursuits. Enraged by the fact that Tony Stark stole his life’s work, renamed it BARF and was selling it for $650 million a pop, Quentin Beck decided to steal Stark’s glory after his death in Avengers: Endgame along with formerly disgraced Stark employees.
In the comics, Mysterio never relies on a team, instead he hires thugs as and when he needs them. The MCU counterpart however, actually works with an entire support system, each of whom use their own expertise to sell Mysterio’s illusion. In the end Mysterio is caught in a crossfire when he turns off the safeguards on the Stark drones in an attempt to kill Spider-Man. EDITH confirms to Peter that his lifeless body isn’t an illusion.
SO….. IS MYSTERIO REALLY DEAD?
The comics version of Mysterio did, in fact, die after the Daredevil storyline “Guardian Angel,” after shooting himself in the head. The way the MCU Mysterio goes out references this with his apparent death here. But that seems like it would be a huge waste of potential. Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic in the part, and it would be a shame if he didn’t get more time to mess around as a hammy villain to Spider-Man.
He even proves to be consistently more threatening than his more dorky moments would suggest, at one point complaining about how he doesn’t want to do anything bad to anyone before literally leading Spider-Man into the way of an oncoming train.
This is Mysterio, though. Creating illusions to fool his enemies is his signature move. There’s always a chance that he could be tricking Peter one more time. He never technically lost admin powers over EDITH, so he could have instructed the program to lie to Peter in the event of his loss. Lying is, after all, his whole deal. This could easily just be Mysterio faking his own death, allowing him a possible return in a future Spider-Man story.
*Source – cbr.com