Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is a far more compelling comic book character than his goofy domed fishbowl helmet makes it seem. Ahead of Spider-Man: Far From Home, out in theaters July 2, here’s all you need to know about Mysterio from the Marvel comics, and what his presence means in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Who Is Mysterio?
First and foremost, Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s oldest enemies. He appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #13, published in 1964. Real name Quentin Beck, Mysterio is a failed movie special effects wizard who, upon failing to succeed as an actor, uses his talents to resort to a life of crime.
Because it was the 1960s when Mysterio was imagined by comic writers, “movie effects” became “illusion magic,” thus giving Mysterio illusionary powers. He can trick Spider-Man into seeing anything he wants, though his knowledge in chemistry means he still weaponizes hallucinatory gases.
And because of his unique costume, a one-way domed helmet, he was one of the more exciting founding members of the Sinister Six, an alliance of Spider-Man villains who want nothing more than to crush Peter Parker like a bug.
What Are Mysterio’s Powers?
As a master illusionist, Mysterio has the power to trick Spider-Man into seeing and believing everything. There are, naturally, limits to Mysterio’s powers; it takes immense will from Spidey to see through the cracks. Depending on the comic, he is also a master magician, chemist, and roboticist, though all of that just stems from being able to create astonishing effects for Hollywood movies.
What Is Mysterio’s Personality?
Aside from being your usual nefarious villain, you should know that Mysterio is, above all, a complete bullshitter. From the viewer’s perspective, it’s usually not hard to see Mysterio lying through his teeth. But the residents of the Marvel Universe seem susceptible to being fooled every time.
Have There Been Other Mysterios?
Yes! Three others. Daniel Berkhart, a stuntman hired by J. Jonah Jameson, was the second to take up the Mysterio mantle and claimed that Beck bequeathed Mysterio to him. It was never determined if Berkhart was telling the truth.
Francis Klum, a mutant with the ability to teleport, became the third Mysterio. Later, an unknown man whose name has yet to be revealed buys the suit of Mysterio to become “Mysterion”. He then picks a fight with the Superior Spider-Man (Doc Ock, hiding his mind in Peter Parker’s body) and the Punisher. Under the mind control of Superior Spider-Man, Mysterion joins the “Superior Six” for a brief time before he’s freed from Doc Ock’s influence.
What Mysterio Means for the MCU
There’s a lot we can’t say about Mysterio in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just know that his presence not only means there’s potential for a Sinister Six formation, but that Peter Parker will have to learn what it actually means to be a hero even when he thinks the right choice is looking him in the eye.
And just finally, despite their similar names, Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is not related to Rey Mysterio. Gyllenhaal’s Marvel Cinematic Universe character in Spider-Man: Far From Home is not a five-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion, nor did the Donnie Darko actor win the 2006 Royal Rumble to capture the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 22. Would have been cool, though.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2.