When Marvel announced Mysterio was going toe to toe with everyone’s favorite web head in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel MCU fans scratched their collective noggins. Why not Doctor Octopus? Or even Kraven the Hunter? If you don’t read the comics then you don’t know who Mysterio is. But the villain of Spider-Man: Far From Home is actually a great choice for the MCU. Not only is he one of the first Spider-Man villains, he’s also just a regular guy who’s been beaten down by the world. And yes, he has a weird helmet that looks like a fishbowl.
If you take a cursory glance at the history of Marvel comics, it’s clear Mysterio runs through its genetic code. Aside from constantly trying to drive Spider-Man crazy, Mysterio’s traded blows with Daredevil, served with the Sinister Six, and he’s even the catalyst for one of the most groundbreaking Wolverine stories ever written. If you can’t wait for Far From Home, the strange life of Mysterio will get you even more excited to meet your new favorite villain.
Mysterio is so hyper-focused on defeating Spider-Man, all his weapons are specifically designed to help bring down the web head. In his first appearance (The Amazing Spider-Man #13) Mysterio shows off his technical prowess by dissolving Spider-Man's webbing with "a fine chemical mist too small for the eye to see," and using a jammer to counteract Parker's spider-sense.
The stuntman turned villain also uses a pair of spring-loaded boots to help him jump from rooftop to rooftop while he sprays the city with a billowy fog. With abilities like these it's easy to see why Mysterio is such a nuisance.
In Mysterio's first appearance way back in 1964, the villain catches Spider-Man after the wall crawler follows him to his soundstage lair. After tying up Parker Mysterio explains his whole backstory in a few quick panels. Initially he just wanted to ruin Spider-Man's life by committing crimes while wearing a similar suit, but then he got the idea to create a separate character whose name could live on in infamy.
Mysterio hoped defeating Spider-Man would earn him world renown, cementing his place in the pantheon of villains. At the time, Spider-Man was still an up-and-coming hero, so offing him seemed like a quick way for Mysterio to make it big. His plan didn't work, and with each new appearance Mysterio grows angrier and more over the top.
Mysterio hasn't just fought Spider-Man, he's made it his mission to wreak havoc on most of New York City's heroes. In the Kevin Smith penned "Guardian Devil" storyline Mysterio finds out he's dying of cancer so he pulls out all the stops to orchestrate a wild plot to ruin Daredevil's life.
First, Mysterio tries to convince the blind hero a baby he saved is the antichrist. Then he frames Daredevil's best friend Foggy Nelson for murder, and worst of all he convinces the crusader's ex she's HIV positive. When Daredevil finally discovers Mysterio is behind the whole thing he refuses to kill the ailing villain, prompting Mysterio to shoot himself in the head.
Quentin Beck isn't the only person to take on the mantle of Mysterio. Because of his suit's anonymous nature it's easy for someone else to step in and throw a bunch of fog at the heroes of New York, all one really needs is access to Beck's tech. The first of the two lesser Mysterios is Daniel Berkhart, an ex-con who uses Beck's old gear after the former villain commits suicide to make Spider-Man think Beck is still alive.
Then there's Francis Klum, a mutant with the ability to teleport and influence others' actions, who wants revenge on Spidey for defeating him in their initial encounter. He buys Mysterio's costume off Kingpin and learns how to use the gadgets so he can lull Parker into a false sense of security before unveiling his mutant abilities. Klum's plan is waylaid by the original Mysterio returning to New York followed by Berkhart.
Not only do the two other Mysterios ruin Klum's plan, the employees of the school he's trying to blow up fight against him and a school nurse stabs him in the chest.