Mysterio’s Marvel Comics History Suggests That The ‘Spider-Man’ Character Can’t Be Trusted
When the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home (out July 2) hit back in January, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans got their first look at Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. It wasn't clear from that first trailer whether or not Mysterio was a hero or a villain, but the, well, mystery, was part of the fun. After Avengers: Endgame brought Peter Parker back from the snap, the next Far From Home trailer could elaborate a little bit more on Mysterio's role in Spider-Man's trip abroad with his classmates. Still, fans aren't sure if they should trust the guy based on what that second trailer shows. Who is Mysterio, really? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? And what's his role in Marvel comics?
The second trailer, which dropped shortly after Endgame premiered, addressed some of the time travel paradoxes that the fourth Avengers movie presented. With all of the time travel and Infinity Stone-swapping that happened in Endgame, multiple universes and timelines were created. Mysterio, a.k.a Quentin Beck, Nick Fury tells Peter Parker, is from one of those other universes. "Beck is from Earth, just not ours. The snap tore a hole in our dimension," Fury explains. The rest of the trailer seems to suggest that Spider-Man and Mysterio are going to have to team up if they want to fight whichever villain does make an appearance in Far From Home. But Mysterio might not be the good guy that the Far From Home trailer wants us to assume that he is.
In the comics, Mysterio debuted in 1964, in The Amazing Spider-Man #13. According to Marvel.com, Quentin Beck was a successful special effects designer and stunt man in Hollywood, putting his skills to work creating the illusions that go into making movies. But he was frustrated with his career, particularly in the lack of fame that came along with his job.
As a result, he put on a purple cape and a bubble helmet and teamed up with a number of other villains in Marvel comics to take what he thought he was owed. He became a conjurer of fake disasters so that he could swoop in and save the day, taking in all the fame and praise that came with it.
In various stories, he partnered with everyone from the Tinkerer to Doctor Octopus to the Sinister Six. He was responsible for an elaborate alien invasion hoax, and he even dressed up like Spider-Man at one point and tried to frame Spidey for his own crimes.
Mysterio uses his knowledge of special effects to pull off his heists. As IGN writes, "Beck has a knack for designing illusions so convincing that even heroes like Spider-Man are utterly fooled. Coupled with his talent for chemistry, robotics, and hypnotism, Mysterio's illusions often blur the line between reality and fantasy, to the point where his work seems almost supernatural in nature."
SlashFilm points out that Quentin Beck's background as a magician and an illusionist should hint at his true intentions. Even though Mysterio looks like he may be helping in the Far From Home trailer, keep in mind that, the whole impetus of his comics character is that he creates situations where he can look like a hero, when he's exactly the opposite.
But comments from Far From Home director Jon Watts complicate things a little bit. "Mysterio is a hero in our world," Watts told Nerdist. He also told Entertainment Weekly that, "If Tony Stark was sort of the mentor in the previous films, we thought it would be interesting to play Mysterio as almost like the cool uncle."
We all know that Peter is grieving the loss of his previous father figure Tony Stark, after grieving the loss of his Uncle Ben. Peter might be desperate enough to try and look up to another mentor, even if the person he chooses isn't what he seems. Back with Nerdist, Tom Holland also alluded to "a scene in the film where audiences will feel like they’ve been punched in the face," which could mean that Mysterio might use Peter's vulnerability against him and ultimately betray him.
So don't let Jake Gyllenhaal's charm fool you. If the Mysterio in Far From Home is anything like the one in the comics, the character is not to be trusted.