Movies

Breaking Down the Mysterious Mysterio

Mysterio again (Marvel Comics) 600x360

Far From Home

I think every comic book fan was excited when it was announced that Mysterio would be Spider-Man’s main foe in his second solo outing in the MCU: Spider-Man: Far From Home. It got a little more exciting when Jake Gyllenhaal (of Bubble Boy fame) was cast as the villain. Then we actually got to see him in action in the Far From Home trailer! It was a whirlwind of excitement to see this odd villain in action. But who is Mysterio, actually? This guy that thinks he can wear a fishbowl on his head and go toe to toe with the Spider-Man?

Funny Book Origins

Mysterio monologuing without his mask (Marvel Comics)
Mysterio monologuing without his mask (Marvel Comics)

The original Mysterio debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man issue #13 in 1964, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Quentin Beck wanted to be in the movies as a child and, for a while, he kind of was. His career as a stunt man and special effects wizard did not last long, though. He wanted to be front and center, but that didn’t pan out well. So, like most people, he decided he could use his special-effects specialty for a life of crime! He still wanted the adoration of the people. And what better way to win people over than to frame Spider-Man for a crime and capture him?

Even though he decked out his suit with a nice cape and all kinds of gadgets, it obviously did not work out for Mr. Beck. Blaming Spider-Man for his downfall, he continued to seek his revenge on the wall-crawler. He would join the Sinister Six for a time or two and be a pain in Peter Parker’s side for a long time to come. Heck, he even died and came back a few times—now, that’s a trick!

There have been several other people in Marvel Comics who have taken up the mantle of “Mysterio” throughout the years as well. Daniel Berkhart “haunted” Spider-Man as the “ghost” of Mysterio. Francis Klum, a mutant, decided it was a good idea to don the fishbowl head. Somebody else even took on the identity of Mysterion! But the original Quentin Beck remains the most famous Mysterio.

You Are Only As Good As Your Rogues

Mysterio (Marvel Comics)
Mysterio (Marvel Comics)

Spider-Man is noted as a character with one of the greatest rogues’ galleries, only rivaled by Batman’s. So, what is it that makes Mysterio stand out? Obviously, first is the design. His odd fishbowl/crystal ball headpiece is an eye-catcher. It is such an odd thing to see, it makes him stand out immediately. You also have that magnificent cape, that flows elegantly and brings the dramatics! Then you have the classic green and purple color scheme used for him. Check out this link that breaks down the significance of color schemes! You also have all of the gadgetry and the cool special effects he can do! 

Mysterio is a lot like Iron Man, in a way. He is just a dude that used his smarts to build a suite full of gadgets. Where Iron Man uses more lasers and explosives, Mysterio opts for illusions. Oh, and gas, lots and lots of gas. You know, for the dramatic effect. I think that a major eye-catcher is that Mysterio makes these crazy illusions and tricks that look real to fool his opponents. He basically tricks them into believing he is a lot more powerful than he is. That is called acting, y’all! 

That is all cool and everything, but I think the main attention-grabber for Mysterio is his over-the-top persona. I remember watching him in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series cartoon in the ’90s and that over-the-top persona always got me. He wanted to be an actor so Mysterio has this kind of glamorous extravagant persona he tries to display that is great. It is also played up superbly well in The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon. He always wants to make an entrance and an exit—he wants to be remembered, and that is exactly what he does!

Mysterio Hits the Big Time

MCU's Mysterio, Jake Gyllenhaal
MCU’s Mysterio, Jake Gyllenhaal

The comic book character of Quentin Beck would be excited that he is getting his big screen debut, with none other than Jake Gyllenhaal playing him! But what can we expect from the character on the big screen? From the short glimpses we get of Mysterio in the trailer, the costume is pretty spot on. Marvel worked its big-screen magic and has seemed to make that costume look very cool in “real life”. There have been a lot of theories out there about what Mysterio may be planning. Is he going to try to frame Spider-Man and look like the good guy, just like in his comic book debut? Will everything he is doing be all illusions and special effects like the comic books? There is some speculation that the MCU might actually give him actual “magic” a la Doctor Strange.

We also do not know if Marvel will play around with his origins either. More than likely they will take bits and pieces from his comic book incarnations and add in some different elements for the film. So, we can’t say what exactly what the character will be like for sure. Marvel may take a little or a lot from his comic book stories throughout the years.

There is a lot of speculation going around and we won’t know all the facts until Spider-Man: Far From Home is released. I am personally hoping for some Sinister Six teasers to set up a third movie! Gyllenhaal does seem pretty excited to play the character. Marvel is almost always spot on with their casting as well. It will be interesting to see how he plays the character. Will he go for the over-the-top dramatics or will he downplay it a little more? We haven’t seen much of Mysterio in the MCU besides that short glimpse so, like everybody else, I am excited to see more of him in the future.

Conclusion

It is always exciting to see another comic book character make their big screen debut and Marvel will be delivering a lot this summer. Captain Marvel will be bursting on to the screens very soon and then Avengers: Endgame will come in like a wrecking ball! Then after all that chaos Spider-Man: Far From Home will launch Phase 4 of the MCU, with our fishbowl-headed bad guy Mysterio as the main antagonist to Peter Parker. What a time to be alive, to see Mysterio on the big screen! 

What elements of Mysterio do you hope to see transferred to the big screen? Are there any other villains from Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery you hope to see sometime soon? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments!


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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