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Marvel-ous Monday: Meet Quentin Beck, Spider-Man’s Newest Foe

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With 135 million trailer views and counting, the latest Spider-Man: Far from Home spot gave us a post-Endgame look, albeit brief, at the world.  Yes, Peter Parker is sad over the loss of his friend and mentor, but will such feelings distract our web-slinging teen from seeing the truth?  As shown in the trailer, Nick Fury introduces Peter to a man by the name of Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio).  Fury claims that Beck is not from “our Earth” and that Thanos tore a hole in reality, so it looks like S.H.I.E.L.D. sees Beck as an ally.  Bad play.  If there is one thing Quentin Beck consistency preys upon, it’s gullibility.

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S.H.I.E.L.D. has been deceived/infiltrated multiple times (i.e. Loki, Talos, Alexander Pierce, Hydra, etc…) in the MCU, and I am willing to bet it will happen again.  You see, Quentin Beck should not be the Earth “savior” that Fury pens him to be.  No, Quentin Beck is one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous foes, and aside from possibly the Green Goblin, he is one that consistently haunts Peter Parker into believing he is not worthy of his status as a super hero.  In Beck’s mind, anyone can be a super hero if they are clever enough, and this disgruntled persona aims to trick the public into believing super heroes are frauds.

So what makes Mysterio so threatening?  Well, much like the Far from Home trailers show, Quentin Beck knows how to make an entrance.  As a failed Hollywood stuntman and magician, Beck’s professions are simply underappreciated by a public who is accustomed to seeing real life special effects and magic at the hands of the galaxy’s mightiest warriors and foes.  After his bid for acting is rejected, he looks for new ways to gain fans, so Mysterio is born.  Beck attempts to deceive society into believing he is a super hero, but Spider-Man sees through his charade.

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Although there are several versions of Mysterio (portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal), Quentin Beck is the most notable, and his battles with Spider-Man truly highlight his intelligence.  From learning hypnosis in an attempt to wipe Peter Parker’s mind to creating technology to rid Peter of his powers, Beck has it out for Spider-Man.  First appearing in the Amazing Spider-Man #13, Mysterio has been around for awhile, and his ties with the likes of J. Jonah Jameson and Dr. Octopus fruitlessly attempt to expose Peter’s true identity.  Also, Mysterio is a powerful member of the Sinister Six, and the super villain group is a staple in Spider-Man canon.  Just to be clear, Mysterio does not actually possess super hero abilities as Fury suggests in the trailer, but his fabricated powers are pretty crazy.  Aside from being a hypnotist and chemist, Beck’s illusions via special effects border on realism.  He has exceptional fighting abilities learned from his stunt man experience, and his suit is filled with gadgets to make him very elusive.

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Let’s talk about that suit because it is really awesome. I mean, I would argue that this suit has more weapons and upgrades than any other costume worn by a Spider-Man villain, and it may even be one of the most versatile villain suits in the Marvelverse. The most iconic piece of said suit would be his orb helmet, which adds a mystic air to his persona.  Until he is unmasked, one cannot see Beck’s face while the helmet is on, and it functions as a gas mask of sorts while he is spreading his different concoctions to distort reality. The helmet also acts as a projector to display various illusions, and it even has sonar abilities to help him navigate his illusions and locate his weapons. Mysterio’s illusions are so powerful because he distributes hallucinogens through his gloves, boots, and cape. These toxic gases can do various things like disintegrate Spider-Man’s webbing and influence people’s decision-making process.

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Like I mentioned earlier, Mysterio is an original member of the Sinister Six.  First appearing 1964, this group of villains was originally established by Doctor Octopus, and its other members include Mysterio, Vulture, Sandman, Electro, and Kraven the Hunter. As featured in Annual #1, this group of all-star villains has one goal: kill Spider-Man. Since each villain has a personal vendetta against him, they choose pride over strategy and try to win individually.  The group has its dynamic problems, though, and they never truly work together.  There are also multiple versions of the group, so the Sinister Six could appear in the MCU’s future. It is important to note that we’ve already seen Michael Keaton’s Vulture, so one would assume a follow-up film would feature him again.  Other villains like Shocker and Scorpion were hinted at in Homecoming, and both were in later versions of the Sinister Six.

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Do not get distracted by Jake Gyllenhaal’s dashing looks, I have no doubt that Mysterio will deceive Spider-Man for personal gain. It also appears that Mysterio is not the only threat to Spider-Man.  Far from Home also teases at featuring the gigantic, titan-like monsters known as the Elementals, but I would also bet that Mysterio is conjuring them in one way or another.  What is a bit confusing to me is the promotional material coming out regarding the film.  The Far from Home Funko Pop! line was recently announced, and it features the likes of Hydro-Man and Molten Man.  Now, both of those characters are Marvel villains in their own right, but neither are called Elementals.  The Elementals are composed of Hellfire, Hydron, Magnum, and Zephyr.  In the first Far from Home trailer showed monsters composed of fire (Hellfire), water (Hydron), rocks/sand (Magnum), and lightning/clouds (Zephyr).  The MCU does like to create hybrid entities to establish uniqueness to its films, and this creative mashup strategy could explain what we see in the trailer. I’m curious as to the direction the film will take in developing these characters, and its definitely shaping up to be a great follow-up to Endgame.

Spider-Man: Far from Home will be hitting theaters nationwide July 2.

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