A set video from Spider-Man: Far From Home has finally given viewers their first look at the MCU's Mysterio - and he seems to be lacking his trademark fishbowl helmet. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1964, Mysterio is well-known for his somewhat unusual costume. The super-villain is a special effects whiz who seems to think fishbowl helmets are the height of fashion.
The master of illusion is set to make his MCU debut in next year's Spider-Man: Far From Home, where he'll be played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Recently, leaked set videos and photos have given us our first look at the MCU's Mysterio. In general, he's tremendously comic-book-accurate, with the trademark cape, the bodysuit, and even hints of the same diamond-shaped clasps holding the cape in place.
That makes one key difference all the more surprising. In the video, Mysterio is lacking any sign of his trademark helmet. It's leading to heated debate among comic book readers about just what's going on, and whether or not Spider-Man: Far From Home is about to make a major change to a character designed by the legendary Steve Ditko himself.
Based on how the MCU usually approaches its characters, there are three potential explanations for why the fishbowl helmet could be missing. The first is that Marvel will add that helmet at a later date, just through CGI. Some comic book artists, after all, have restyled the helmet by adding a degree of special effects; sometimes it shimmers and glows, other times it seems to generate smoke around it. Marvel could easily be going for this kind of idea; at the same time, though, that would sit rather strangely with the set video. The Spider-Man: Far From Home set photos shows a stunt double standing in for Gyllenhaal, clearly chosen because he closely resembles the actor; he even has the same facial hair. Why would Marvel choose a stunt double with the same facial structure as Gyllenhaal if the character was going to wear a helmet?
That takes us to the second possibility: that Mysterio does indeed wear the helmet in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but not in this scene. There have been several occasions in the comics where a well-placed punch or kick from Spider-Man has shattered the helmet; in fact, given the fishbowl contains interfaces to Mysterio's technology, breaking it is a very smart strategy. This could even be after a final third act battle; note that Mysterio is crouched down as though defeated, and then three cars pull up. Perhaps Spider-Man has just defeated Mysterio, and Nick Fury and his team arrive to arrest him.
The third possible reason is that the MCU's Mysterio could be inspired more by the Ultimate Comics version than the mainstream comics. The Ultimate Comics are a modernized retelling of the Marvel Universe, with streamlined backstories and updated costume designs. David Lafuente radically redesigned Mysterio; instead of a fishbowl, he had a shimmering sort of cloud effect over his head. This formed, and was dispelled, at will; it allowed the magician to deploy some pretty cool illusions, with opponents freaked out when they tried to hit his face and there was nothing actually there at all.
The Ultimate Comics have served as a major source of inspiration for the MCU, and Tom Holland's Peter Parker closely resembles the Ultimate Universe's Spider-Man. It wouldn't be a surprise if we did indeed see a version of Mysterio who's very different to Steve Ditko's original concept - one without the fishbowl helmet. Even if that is the case, though, Marvel will surely be unable to resist the temptation to put in a nod to it in Spider-Man: Far From Home at some point.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019