WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters now.
Spider-Man: Far From Home looks like another solid hit for the MCU to close out the epic Phase 3. Not only is the movie breaking box office records, but it is a smash hit with the critics as well. One aspect of the movie that people are signaling out is the villain, Mysterio.
The MCU seems to be on a roll with creating interesting and unique bad guys and Mysterio is another great example. Jake Gyllenhaal brings a lot of fun to the part and helps to bring one of Spider-Man's most popular foes to the big screen. The depiction is surprisingly accurate to the comic book character although there are some big changes. Here are some of the things Far From Home got right about Mysterio and some of the things they got wrong.
One of the biggest challenges with having Mysterio in a live-action movie was dealing with how ridiculous his look is. With his green armor, purple cape and giant fishbowl helmet, he is just silly looking and openly mocked in the comic books. But from the first footage the film released, it was clear the movie was going to fully embrace that look.
In the film, Mysterio looks like he's walked right out of the pages of the comic book. With all the insanity that has happened within the world of the MCU, seeing someone dressed like this might not seem so unusual.
As is revealed in the movie, Mysterio's real name is Quentin Beck. However, his backstory from that point differs quite a bit. In the comics, Beck is a movie stuntman and special effects expert. When he is fired from his job, Beck turns to a life of crime, using his special effects expertise to create illusions.
In the movie, Beck is also a disgruntled employee who was fired, but he was actually a former employee of Stark Industries. In a brilliant connection to the other movies, Beck is revealed to be the inventor of the B.A.R.F. technology that is seen in Captain America: Civil War.
Much of the marketing before the movie came out tried to have audiences believe that this version of Mysterio is actually a hero. He is seen fighting alongside Spider-Man against the Elementals and even been dubbed as a new Avenger. However, that all proves to be a lie in order for Beck to acquire advanced Stark technology and become the world's new hero.
This is actually an old trick of Mysterio's and one he used in his first appearance in the comics. Mysterio presents himself as a hero of New York, and quickly gains the admiration of the people. And like in Far From Home, J. Jonah Jameson even heralds him as a true superhero.
As it turns out, Stark Industries actually had a few disgruntled employees. Beck was able to assemble a team of tech nerds who used to work for Stark in order to pull off his massive lie. In a very fun inclusion, Peter Billingsley reprises his small role as William from Iron Man who was presumably fired for helping Obidiah Stane build the Iron Monger suit.
Mysterio from the comics is usually seen working alone. He is a founding member of the Sinister Six but in terms of his own dastardly deeds, he is a one-man operation. Of course, it would have been hard to believe that one person could pull all this off alone.
Once Beck drops the hero act and reveals his true villainous ways, Gyllenhaal really starts to have fun with the part. He is shown to be an unhinged and pretty evil person, but also a very funny and over-the-top character. It is especially fun seeing him conduct his fake monster attacks with like a film director.
This element of the character really embraces Mysterio's theatrical side from the comics. His background in show business always makes his crimes seem a little bit like stage performances as well. He is a showman as well as a madman.
Tony Stark's presence is felt throughout the entire movie. Peter is still reeling from the death of his mentor and the prospect of having to fill his shoes as a hero. And of course, Beck's connection to Stark makes him an even bigger part of this story and cements his importance on the world of the MCU.
Mysterio's connection to Tony Stark is purely a creation of the movie. Mysterio never did have a particular grudge against Stark nor did he have anything to do with his origins. As for his illusion technology, Stark didn't have a hand in that either.
Though Mysterio's powers prove to be fake and he is not a physical threat to Spider-Man, he still proves to be quite dangerous. In one of the best sequences in the film, Peter goes to confront Beck and is pulled into a terrifying living nightmare made up of his illusions. It gets to the point where Peter is doubting everything and whether or not it is real.
This moment is like something ripped straight out of the comics or animated series. Mysterio loves toying with Spider-Man and playing with the concept of reality. It is a great example of how cinematic of a villain Mysterio can be.
A very interesting aspect that Mysterio introduces to the MCU is the idea of a multiverse. Ever since one of the first trailers made mention of Mysterio coming from another earth and the existence of a multiverse, fans have been speculating about what this could mean for the MCU. Of course, that proved to be another one of Beck's lies.
Mysterio in the comics never tried to tell a lie that big. The world was populated by enough super-beings that he didn't seem to think anyone would question another one. And since the multiverse actually exists in Marvel comics, that might be confusing.
As much as Far From Home has a lot of twists within the movie, some of the biggest shockers come during the post-credit scenes. The mid-credit scene reveals Mysterio had one more trick up his sleeve as he frames Peter for the Elemental attacks and reveals his true identity to the world.
This is another reference to Mysterio's first comic book appearance. As a way of becoming everyone's new hero, Mysterio frames Spider-Man for a number of crimes and presents himself as the one who will stop him. With his storyline making its way into the MCU, Mysterio might be Spider-Man's most effective foe.
In the comics, Mysterio's ploy to make Spider-Man a villain and make himself a hero works for a short time, but he is eventually exposed as the true bad guy. From that point on, Mysterio is never looked at as a hero again and remains one of Spider-Man's main foes.
The movie makes Mysterio's legacy more complicated. His plan to spread a "truth" that he created himself seems to have worked as the world thinks he died as a hero. Along with bringing down Spider-Man's reputation, he made himself the fake hero he always wanted to be.