5 Must-Read Mysterio Comics
Look through a list of the Spider-Man villain's most mystifying mags!
With such a unique villain as that master of the macabre known as Mysterio, you might think we’d be a little crazy to try and pick the best illusions of his career... But with his name on the tip of everyone’s tongues lately, we wanted to give it a try!
Let’s start at the beginning and take a look at the early days of Quentin Beck…
Hero or Villain?
If you know anything about Spider-Man creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, you know they never stopped trying to top their prior achievements. That’s especially true of crafting baddies for the wallcrawler to battle and right there on the cover of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13 they proclaimed they’d “created the greatest villain of all for ol’ Spidey!” We’re they just blowing smoke at readers? Well, in a way, yes...
In the story, a puffed-up producer of special effects wanted to become a big hero in the eyes of the public and, calling himself Mysterio, set about setting Spidey up for crimes he didn’t commit. The web-slinger began to think he’d developed a split personality, but when he realized Mysterio stood behind the illusion, he pulled out all stops to stop him. Battle royale? You bet, and our hero blew away all the smoke and mirrors his new foe threw at him.
Mayday for May
After many subsequent battles with Spider-Man, Mysterio tried to retire. Alas, the lure of treasure got him back in gear and he instituted a complex scheme to create the horrific illusion of Aunt May’s death to get the rights to her house and what he believed was hidden within it. Finally, in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #199, he and Spidey launched into final conflict.
Mysterio left our hero in what appeared to be the mother of all watery death-traps, but of course, after struggling mightily to free himself, Spidey saw the truth of it: there was no water—not a drop to drink. Furious, he went after his enemy with renewed vigor, but Mysterio shot him full of chemical depressants—which temporarily robbed him of his powers—and left him for dead. The web-head got better, obviously, but he didn’t forget that beatdown for quite a while.
Running with the Devil
Believing Spider-Man was replaced by a clone and suffering from a terminal brain tumor and lung cancer, Mysterio decided to pay a call on the devil—Daredevil, in fact. Over the epic DAREDEVIL #1-#7, the master of illusion exceeded himself with a tour de force of crafty deviltry designed to drive the Man Without Fear out of his ever-lovin’ mind.
First off, Mysterio introduced Daredevil to a baby who may or may not have been the Anti-Christ and then injected the hero with a drug to heighten his temper. Then he convinced Karen Page she’d contracted a terminal illness and framed Foggy Nelson for murder. After that, the sky became the limit...or rather the fiery pit did. Throwing all the hounds of hell at the blind crimebuster, Mysterio tipped his hand and allowed Daredevil to see his cards which led to his downfall. Acknowledging his defeat, he took his own life.
What else was left for Mysterio then but to come back from the dead?
In fact, as seen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #619-#620, he seemingly brought some “friends” with him when he shaped illusions of the late good guy Captain Stacy and the deceased criminal Silvermane to vex Spider-Man and accelerate a gang war between the Maggia crime syndicate and the mysterious Mr. Negative.
It was going pretty well, and Spidey suffered through Captain Stacy’s supposed resurrection...but Mysterio, as usual, bit off a bit too much to chew. When he attempted to wrest control of the Maggia for himself, our hero swung in to knock him off his high perch. Questions still remained as to how the villain cheated the grim reaper, but for the moment, Mysterio slunk back into the shadows to lick his wounds.
The Ultimate Illusion
We really love this one: Not content with just one universe to play with, in SPIDER-MEN #1-#5, Beck managed to cross over into the Ultimate Universe and drive its inhabitants batty, too. Spider-Man stumbled onto the scheme, but when he made the crossing himself, his foe saw his opportunity and stranded the wallcrawler in a world he never made.
What to do? The Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales, lent a hand and together the two heroes teamed up to halt Mysterio’s plan to shut down the portal between their universe forever, and in a grand turn of events, the bad guy ended up on the wrong side of the door. He stayed there for a while and even helped the Ultimate Reed Richards against that ol’ world-devourer Galactus, but that’s a whole other story…
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