Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Daredevil arc "Guardian Devil."
If you're familiar at all with longtime Spider-Man villain Mysterio, set to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal in this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home, you might be wondering why the heck he got chosen to be in a big summer blockbuster. After all, Mysterio's plans tend to be simple and silly, right?
Well, not necessarily. If there's one thing decades of superhero comics can prove, it's that even the silliest villains can hatch expert plans with devastating consequences. And Mysterio proved that in the 1998 Daredevil storyline "Guardian Devil," which saw the master illusionist drive the Man Without Fear to the brink of insanity. He even killed Daredevil's true love.
The End of Days... Or is It?
"Guardian Devil," written by Kevin Smith (in his Big Two comics debut after penning several comics starring his movie characters), was the first story arc of a relaunched Daredevil in November 1998. Serving as the flagship title for Marvel Knights (over which Quesada and Palmiotti had been given complete creative control), it opens on a shocking note: Karen Page has broken up with Matt Murdock, this time to take a radio job in Los Angeles and figure out if she actually loves him, or if they thought it was love based on having survived everything detailed in the last several decades of Daredevil comics.
Still reeling six months later, Matt, ever the lapsed Catholic, decides going to confession might help. But he flees after his super-hearing detects a teenage girl and a baby about to be hit by a car, which he prevents. The girl, named Gwyneth, shows up at Matt and Foggy Nelson's office and claims her baby was not only born via immaculate conception, but that an angel told her Matt was Daredevil and that he's to look after the baby temporarily because the child is the reincarnation of Jesus.
Mystified, Matt gets Black Widow to babysit the girl while he digs through hospital records to prove Gwyneth is real. He's then visited by a mysterious man calling himself Nicholas Macabes, who claims that the child is the Antichrist and gives Matt 48 hours to hand her over to his organization, Sheol, leaving Matt with a crucifix as his calling card.
As if things couldn't get any weirder, Karen shows up in tears after finding out her time as a porn star (as explained in the legendary "Born Again" storyline) left her HIV positive.
And Then It Gets Worse
His mind whirling, Daredevil attacks Black Widow and nearly throws the baby off a roof. Lost and confused, Daredevil heads to the church where his mother Maggie serves as a nun. Awaking after two days of sleep, and then confronting his mom over abandoning him as a kid, Matt then argues with Karen, who finds him at the church and explains that Macabes told her the child is responsible for her having AIDS, so they should just hand him the baby.