Who is Mysterio? // Comics to Cinema
With Spider-Man: Far From Homecoming out in less than a month, there are so many trailers on television, online, and in theaters. The current run of Avengers: Endgame has even added in the newest trailer as an after-credits sequence, replacing the movie's lack of one. With the movie trailers now setting up Spider-Man as the new premier hero of the MCU, it does bring up a solid question: who the heck is that Mysterio guy?
From the trailers, Mysterio is named Quentin Beck and seems to be a hero that's fallen through a crack in reality from his world to our own. He's a hero, setting up shop in Europe to try and fill in a few holes left behind by Avengers: Endgame. Indeed, he may even become a mentor figure for Spider-Man in the movie. However, what is Mysterio like in the comics, and what's his relationship been with Spider-Man?
Mysterio first showed up in June 1964 in Amazing Spider-Man #13. Mysterio was one of the first of what you could call the second wave of villains Steve Ditko made for the comic. With the Vulture, Doctor Octopus, the Sandman, the Lizard, and Electro all created characters (and with Vulture and Doc Ock being reoccurring ones), Ditko turned to a different avenue for villainy. Like a lot of his early villains, however, it does seem like Ditko didn't stray far from what he liked. Like Electro, Sandman, and the Vulture before him, Mysterio was very much a blue-collar worker. Except, he didn't work power likes like Electro.
He was a stuntman turned physical effects master, from both TV and movies. According to his rushed monologue over a stunned Spider-Man, he grew bored with his abilities being limited by stage and screen. Inspired by the time that Spider-Man worked in show business before Uncle Ben's death, Quentin Beck decided to turn becoming Spider-Man into a pet project. The one-way lenses for Spidey's mask, all the way down to a web shooter gun and near-invisible suction cups on his limbs all helped him imitate Spider-Man. With this mastered, Beck did the first thing that came to mind.
Having single-handedly turning New York against Spider-Man, Beck went one step further: become a superhero and stop Spider-Man for the money! Literally crafting his costume as an anti-Spider-Man weapon, Mysterio found a way to dissolve Spidey's webs, to jam his Spider-Sense, and even used his physical effects talents to make Spidey think he was going insane. Unfortunately, there was one small flaw to his plan.
...he told Spider-Man about it. So, of course, Spider-Man beat the crap out of Mysterio and won the day. From there, Mysterio became a regular Spider-Man villain, wanting revenge and money whenever possible. Mysterio would become a founding member of Marvel's first Super Villain team, the Sinister Six, and would often work with other villains to enhance their own plans. Different schemes of his include making Spider-Man believe Aunt May had died, that Daredevil was trying to protect a baby who was the Anti-Christ, and other downright bizarre antics that rarely make sense if you examine them. He also apparently committed suicide at one point, then dragged back from hell to keep "a balance" with Spider-Man for the forces downstairs.
Then he was alive again, with no explanation. Perhaps he faked it. What he hasn't faked, though, is coming into an alternate universe as himself!
Mysterio of the Ultimate Marvel Universe was first a drastically different mystery and showed up a few times before his exact origin was revealed. It was actually the central universe's Mysterio, who had found a portal to another world and was controlling an android body through the said portal. He was, of course, beaten by both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as Spider-Men.
So, what about Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio? Well, it's entirely possible that he's on the level, and that Mysterio for the MCU is going to be a full-on hero. However, with his history in the comics, it's entirely likely that this is a long con that Spider-Man will uncover during the movie. After all, there's good evidence that the MCU versions of long time Spidey foes Sandman, Hydroman, and the Molten Man are all in the trailer as the so-called Elementals that Mysterio fights.
No matter what, however, they have certainly made a fantastic version of his costume for the big screen. It's incredibly likely that Mysterio is going to be a crook, and I wouldn't be shocked if the Jake Gyllenhaal face was also an illusion.