Spider-Man: Far From Home – Who is Mysterio?

Jake Gyllenhaal's supervillain (or is he?) is revealed in the new trailer for the Spidey sequel. Here's everything you need to know

Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

So, the latest Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer gives us a much closer look at Jake Gyllenhall’s Mysterio. And while he seems to be playing a friend to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker (“He’s like Iron Man and Thor rolled into one!” his classmates enthuse), we’re not quite sold – Mysterio’s comic-book background suggests he’ll wind up being much more of a foe.

Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, is one of Spider-Man’s oldest and most iconic arch-enemies. He’s a Hollywood stuntman and FX technician who becomes disillusioned with the industry, and so decides to put his skills to good use as a supervillain instead. The latest trailer instead reveals Mysterio as someone from a parallel Earth, working with SHIELD to deal with weird elemental menaces. It’s probably a front.

Ahead of the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home this summer, here’s everything you need to know about the sequel’s most prominent new character: from his comic-book origins and villainous pursuits to his previous flirtations with the big screen and how he could fit into this particular Spiderverse.

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Spider-Man vs. Mysterio in the Comics

Mysterio and Spidey go way back

Ol’ fishbowl made his first appearance in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #13 in a story called “The Menace Of Mysterio”. Much like our fleeting glimpse of Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, Beck introduces himself as a hero. After framing Spidey for a spate of robberies – and even convincing Peter Parker himself that he might have developed a subconscious dark side – Mysterio vows to take down the webslinger on behalf of New York City. It’s not long before he’s revealed as the real villain, though, kickstarting a long-running conflict between the two. Basically, Mysterio is not one to be trusted.

He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve

Beck might not be gifted in the superpowered sense, but that hasn’t stopped him from throwing down with Spidey and other heroes over the years. His stage combat training makes him a skilled fighter, while his background in special effects and illusions helped him to engineer an innovative (and natty looking) super-suit, concealing tech such as holographic projectors, sonar tracking and hallucinogenic chemical weapons. Oh, and he does a mean (in both senses of the word) sideline in hypnosis, too. You don’t want this guy messing with your mind…

Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio

He’s no stranger to nefarious schemes

Don’t trust Gyllenhaal’s nice-guy act in the trailers, which sees him siding with Spidey to take on the monstrous Elementals. In the comics, Mysterio has hatched more than a few evil plots – most of which involve using illusions and mental trickery to manipulate and try to kill Spider-Man. He was a founding member of supervillain team the Sinister Six, and even had a major run-in with Daredevil (in Kevin Smith’s “Guardian Devil” arc) in which he played a key role in the death of Karen Page. Don’t be surprised if Spider-Man: Far From Home’s fantastic beasts have a lot to do with Beck’s scheming.

He’s nearly been on the big screen already

If Sam Raimi had had his way (and Spider-Man 3 hadn’t spiralled into the big-budget mess that stalled his Spidey franchise), it’s likely that Mysterio would have been one of the antagonists – alongside the Vulture – in the ultimately abandoned Spider-Man 4. It’s no secret that Raimi was a big fan of the Silver Age Spidey villains – hence his sympathetic takes on the likes of Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Sandman, and his…well, the less said about Venom the better.

Spider-Man arresting Mysterio in the comics

Illustrator Jeffrey Henderson unveiled Mysterio’s planned involvement through some beautiful early concept art, while it was heavily rumored that Raimi favourite Bruce Campbell (who had cameoed in each of the previous installments, and that concept art would seem to indicate this was indeed the case) would wear the fishbowl helmet in the film. “It would’ve been one absolutely kick-ass movie,” Henderson revealed. “We all really wanted to help Sam take Spider-Man 4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.”

He’s a perfect fit for this Spiderverse

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Thematically, Beck as a villain fits comfortably within the world of Holland’s Spidey and the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which Earth-bound threats are escalating just as fast as those from outer space. Take Michael Keaton’s Vulture, the main antagonist in Spider-Man: Homecoming – a hard-working average Joe who’s fallen on hard times and adopts fantastical technology to enact revenge against a society that idolises the Avengers. It seems like Spider-Man: Far From Home could see Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio build on this concept and take it to the next level.

Spider-Man: Far From Home opens on July 2, 2019. The full schedule of upcoming Marvel movies can be found here.