Get to know Mysterio's comic book roots with a look at his history with Spider-Man!
Who is Mysterio?
The character also known by the name Quentin Beck first appeared from a puff of smoke in 1964, thanks to the genius of creative duo Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Since then, the mind-bending marauder has used his past as a special effects artist to make people see what he wants them to...
Now it's time to peel back the curtain and take a behind-the-scenes look at some of Beck’s greatest-ever performances!
A Daring Debut
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13 kicked off with our hero apparently...robbing a bank!? The perpetrator, later discovered to be an impostor, proved so convincing for a time that even Peter Parker himself wondered if he might be committing crimes in his sleep. After positioning himself as a hero, and even beating Spider-Man in a fight, the newcomer, Mysterio, became the talk of the town.
When Spidey finally tracked him down, the villain admitted to being a stunt-man-turned-effects-artist-turned-villain who could make it look like he had all manner of powers, specifically the wallcrawlers'. Ultimately, Spider-Man taped Mysterio's confession, beat him on a film set and then dropped him off with the cops.
It was the start of a long relationship between the two.
The Sinister Six
Stan Lee and Steve Ditko spent the first years of Spider-Man's existence pitting him against some of the wildest villains around. However, in 1964, they decided to bring a half-dozen of them together to form a terrible team in the classic AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1. Along with Kraven, Electro, Sandman, and Vulture, Mysterio answered Doctor Octopus' call to band together against their common enemy.
However, each of the villains proved too stubborn and too absorbed with taking credit for destroying Spider-Man to actually achieve their goal. Since then, there have been many new incarnations of the Six—and Mysterio's usually along for the ride, as seen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #335-#339 and SPIDER-MAN #18-#23 among others!
The Devil Inside and Out
When DAREDEVIL relaunched in 1998 as part of Marvel Knights, ol' Horn Head found himself facing his difficult past with Karen Page as well as a child who may or may not be the anti-Christ! Written by Kevin Smith and drawn by Joe Quesada, the tale eventually revealed a very sick Mysterio as the orchestrator of Daredevil's pain. However, when the Man Without Fear called the villain on his lack of originality, Quentin emulated a classic Kraven tale, and ended his own life.
A Mysterious Return
He wasn't gone for good though, as he made a dramatic return several years later. During the Brand New Day era of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, the book's writers put a new spin on Spidey's rogue's gallery. In issues #618-#620, Mysterio got his chance thanks to Dan Slott and Marcos Martín; Beck was working for the criminal organization called the Maggia and became embroiled in a huge turf war with Mr. Negative's crew. He even used robots to take over and nearly destroyed the web-slinger.
During the last battle of the arc, the antagonist claimed to have been the one behind all of Spidey's recent torment. Spider-Man didn't buy the lies and won the battle...but Mysterio disappeared.
Mysterio soon reappeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #642 where he helped Doc Ock's new villain squad, and before long, the group became the newly minted Sinister Six in issue #659. During the following malfeasance, Mysterio helped Otto attack the Future Foundation, the Intelligencia, and even Avengers Academy.
However, when Octopus threatened to destroy the world itself in the "Ends of the Earth" storyline in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682-#697, Mysterio proved his complexities by flipping on his longtime partner; he gave Spidey the ringleader's location and then disappeared.
Never one to stay away for too long, Mysterio has continued to make his presence felt in recent times.
The villain unwittingly led to the first interaction between Earth-616 Peter Parker and the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales in SPIDER-MEN by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. Beck also ran afoul of his old foe and new "partner" in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #2-#5, tried to go straight in BEN REILLY: SCARLET SPIDER before returning to his villainous ways, and tangled with the wallcrawler in the first issue of the 2018's new AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!