The teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home on Tuesday gave us our first glimpse of classic villain Mysterio in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But he was around long before Jake Gyllenhaal donned the iconic fishbowl helmet.
The first person to take the name was special effects artist and stuntman Quentin Beck in 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man No. 13, by late comic book legends Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. With his career failing, he decided to use his talent for illusions to become a supervillain — the obvious alternative career path in the Marvel Universe.
Beck tried to frame Spidey for robbing a museum, but ends up foiled and imprisoned for his crimes. He later joined Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, Vulture and Electro in the first incarnation of the Sinister Six, a supervillain group formed to end the wall-crawler (they still failed), in Amazing Spider-Man Annual No. 1 in 1964.
He’s been a regular presence in Spidey comics since his debut, even though he once appeared to take his own life after losing to Daredevil in 1999’s Daredevil No. 7 and may have spent some time in hell — because comics are nuts sometimes.
The others who took on the name Mysterio include Daniel Berkhart, who was hired to impersonate the original by J. Jonah Jameson in 1975’s Amazing Spider-Man No. 141, and Francis Klum, a mutant with teleportation powers who first showed up in Spider-Man/Black Cat: Evil That Men Do No. 1 in 2002.
Mysterio was originally supposed to make his silver screen debut in Sam Raimi’s canceled Spider-Man 4. He was to be played by Bruce Campbell, who appeared as a wrestling announcer in Spider-Man, a snooty usher in Spider-Man 2 and a maître d’ in Spider-Man 3.
You can see storyboards on artist Jeffrey Henderson’s site. In 2016 he explained to io9 that Mysterio would’ve been part of a montage of secondary villains getting taken down by Spidey in the movie’s opening.
Looks like the character is finally getting to live out his 55-year-old dream of lighting up the silver screen. But will he end up falling into his traditional villain role? We’ll find out for sure when Spider-Man: Far From Home opens July 5 in the US and July 4 in Australia.