Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Spider-Man: Far From Home! Thanks to its box office dominance and the heaps of critical acclaim it continues to enjoy, Spider-Man: Far From Home helped its main villain Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) gain new-found interest and fame. For years, Mysterio has been a staple in Spider-Man’s roster of villains, but it’s only now that he’s become this famous.
During his journey from his illustrated clashes with the webslinger to the big screen, some parts of Mysterio’s origins were left behind. Though these creative decisions are understandable from a certain perspective, they are still important aspects that defined Mysterio for decades. Here are 5 things Far From Home changed about Mysterio and 5 other things they kept the same.
10 Changed: Mysterio’s Powers
Depending on the comic's writer, Mysterio’s illusions were either the result of hallucinogens or actual magic. At certain times, Mysterio even used androids to make his illusions more realistic and dangerous, though he mostly relied on gas and drugs to conjure his nightmares.
If not the first, Far From Home is the most prominent example of Mysterio’s powers being realized through digital means. The film-makers didn’t make his powers realistic, per se, but they instead made them believable in the MCU’s reality. This makes the MCU Mysterio’s illusions the most up-to-date they’ve ever been.
9 Didn’t Change: The Illusions
Besides wearing a fishbowl, Mysterio is best known for casting illusions that either scare the daylights out of his opponents or induce a nervous breakdown. Far From Home doesn’t change this and instead ramps up the illusions’ effectiveness.
Using his personal knowledge of Peter, Mysterio is able to get into the wallcrawler’s mind in the worst ways possible, triggering painful memories and nightmarish images that shake Spider-Man to the core. By the end of the barrage, Peter’s so traumatized by the visions that he struggles to differentiate reality from special effect.
8 Changed: The Costume
Visually, Mysterio’s armor is a modernized homage to his classic look, but there’s a lot more to it. Where the original costume was a fun design of its time and Quentin Beck’s personal concept, Mysterio’s cinematic costume is heavily inspired by the Avengers.
As stated by the filmmakers, his costume is a cross between Iron Man’s armor, Dr. Strange’s garb, Thor’s cape, and Vision’s synthetic body. To top it off, MCU Mysterio’s costume is purely digital, whereas his original armor was handmade by Beck. His true form in the movie is Jake Gyllenhaal in a motion capture suit.
7 Didn’t Change: The Dome’s Purpose
Though the design may be slightly different, the MCU Mysterio’s dome served the same purpose it did in the comics: it was Mysterio’s weak spot. This isn’t just because his punchable face is behind it, but because of what the dome can do.
In the comics, the dome was usually the source of Mysterio’s illusions, since this is where he could control them. Far From Home does this as well, retooling the dome into a version of the EDITH glasses that Peter inherited from Tony Stark. The dome served as Mysterio’s control hub for the drones and illusions.
6 Changed: Mysterio Is A Concept
Of all the interesting updates Far From Home gives Mysterio, the best has to be the revelation that the famous comic supervillain is actually an idea created by a literal committee. Said group is made up of former Stark Industries employees, who all want to make a name for themselves through their very own superhero, Mysterio.
While Beck plays the role of the multiverse hero, his co-workers control everything behind the scenes, including the special effects and script. Their combined efforts turn Mysterio himself into his greatest illusion yet.
5 Didn’t Change: Quentin Beck Is Mysterio
A former special effects maestro and failed actor, Quentin Beck becomes the Master of Illusions, fueled by his resentment and ambition to be recognized for his genius. Beck in the movie is the same, although with some updates, such as being an inventor whose dreams were shattered when Stark stole his AR breakthroughs.
Like before, he becomes Mysterio to reclaim what he believes was denied him, putting lives at risk for his gain. It should be noted that Beck in the comics was apparently too ugly to become an actor – a problem Gyllenhaal obviously doesn’t have.
4 Changed: His Personality
While he’s still a villain who ultimately destroys Peter’s life, the MCU Mysterio is a lot kinder than his comic counterpart. He even forms a personal bond with Peter, to the point where viewers are still debating whether or not he was sincere about his compassion.
Conversely, Mysterio is just an opportunistic crook in the comics who prioritizes scaring his opponents so he can take advantage of their fear and confusion. He may have had some moments that elicited sympathy, like the time he contracted cancer, but the original Beck isn’t really someone you’d want to hang out with.
3 Didn’t Change: His Bloated Ego
Outside of being a regular human, Mysterio’s biggest weakness is his ego that tends to get the better of him. The Master of Illusions is known for getting overconfident at the last minute, leaving him open to decisive blows from the webslinger.
This happens once again in Far From Home, where Beck fails to account for certain crucial variables during the finale. These costly mistakes give Spider-Man his second wind and allows S.H.I.E.L.D. to finally see through the lies, and Beck can only lose his temper as his masterplan falls apart.
2 Changed: Threat Level
He may have one of the most iconic looks in all of Marvel comics, but no-one can take Mysterio seriously. Both heroes and villains alike don’t give him much respect, turning him into a walking punchline with a silly costume.
On the other hand, the MCU’s Mysterio is no laughing matter. With his army of drones, disgruntled geniuses planning his every move, a charismatic man donning the costume, and a diabolically brilliant mind, Mysterio is one of the most dangerous villains to emerge in the MCU and he leaves an unforgettable mark by Far From Home’s end.
1 Didn’t Change: Mysterio’s First Illusion
After years of villainy and trickery, it may be hard for even the most dedicated readers to remember that Mysterio’s first act was to make himself look like a hero. By impersonating Spider-Man during a bunch of high-profile robberies, Mysterio hoped to win the public’s adoration by capturing the webslinger in front of cameras.
Far From Home all but recreates this, just without Mysterio impersonating Spider-Man. Instead, Beck – claiming to be a hero from the multiverse – frames Spider-Man for the drone attacks in London and Mysterio's apparent murder before revealing Peter’s secret identity to the world.