Is Mysterio lying about the MCU's Multiverse in Spider-Man: Far From Home? We think so. According to Mysterio, the events of Avengers: Endgame tore a hole in the fabric of reality itself, opening the MCU up to the wider Multiverse. He claims that the Elementals wreaking havoc across Europe originate from a parallel dimension - and so does he. Mysterio's argument makes sense on the face of it; Doctor Strange established that the space-time continuum can be broken, and Avengers: Endgame included multiple snaps and a massive amount of time travel.
But Mysterio's claims should really be marked "Handle with Care." The reality is that, in the comics, Mysterio is no hero; he's a supervillain. What's more, while there's comic book precedent for Mysterio to jump between realities, his introduction in 1963's Amazing Spider-Man #2 is centered around him being wholly deceitful. In that story, Mysterio used special effects to fake being a superhero in order to gain the fame and celebrity he believed he deserved. "Mysterio enters the comic as a hero," director Jon Watts noted when we talked to him following our visit to Spider-Man: Far From Home's set "So, I always took it right back to the source material and what made that character exciting initially."
Tom Holland has promised a scene in Far From Home comparable to the Vulture twist, one that shook him to the core. According to Holland, even filming the twist he was so shocked that he approached Watts and asked if it would be OK. "And he's like, 'No, it's not. People are going to hate this scene,'" Holland remembered. "It's very similar in the way that it's very tense, and it sort of rips the rug from underneath your feet. It's pretty awesome." Could this scene be one in which Mysterio reveals himself to be a villain, and that everything Spider-Man's been experiencing - including the multiverse - was just a fake? Let's look at the evidence.
Mysterio's Costume Is "Inspired" By Real Avengers
Viewers were introduced to Mysterio in the very first Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, and it was clear that the world was struck by Mysterio's heroism. "He's like Iron Man and Thor rolled into one," one of Peter classmates opined. But it turns out the comparison runs a lot deeper than a throwaway comment by a schoolkid; while on set, producer Eric Carroll stressed to us that Mysterio's costume looks like a "cross between Iron Man and Doctor Strange." Costume designers noted that this was deliberate, claiming influence was also taken from Iron Man's chest piece, Vision's body, and Thor's cape.
There's no way this is a coincidence. Marvel put a phenomenal amount of effort into their visual designs. If Mysterio's costume is literally designed to look reminiscent to those of established Marvel heroes, and dialogue in the movie calls it out, then it simply has to be deliberate. It's an important clue that all may not be as it seems with Mysterio. He's evoking memories of previous superheroes like Iron Man, Thor, Vision, and even Doctor Strange; is he's pretending to be one of them? Notice that these all number among Marvel's most powerful heroes, the ones who operate on a grand scale and deal with spectacular threats. Those are just the kind of people an egotistical stunt magician would want to imitate.
Mysterio’s Design Has Elemental Connections
On our set visit, Carroll also hinted at a close connection between Mysterio and the Elementals. It's not just that they originate from the same alternate Earth; rather, it's that their abilities appear to be connected in some way. "He's got a working history with these Elementals and his power is tied to something similar," Carroll noted. Later, discussing the traditional fish-bowl helmet that's been lifted straight from the comics into the MCU Mysterio's design, Carroll's word-choice was particularly interesting: "We haven't finished the effects test of it yet, but I'm super psyched to see it have a smokey, elemental quality to it." That use of the word "elemental" supports a strong link between Mysterio and the Elementals.
In the comics, Mysterio has frequently used special effects to create gigantic monsters and even to fake alien invasions. Given Marvel has stressed that Spider-Man: Far From Home is inspired by the comics themselves, it's certainly possible that the Elementals don't exist as independent agents at all; that they're Mysterio's creations, designed so they can be defeated and Mysterio can make the world think he's a hero. Carroll seemed well aware that his comments suggested this idea. "People are going to be wondering a bunch of stuff during the movie," he pointed out. "That's something we want to play into, people's expectations." The goal is clearly to leave viewers wondering just how it's all going to play out, and whether or not Mysterio can in fact be trusted.
The Multiverse Immediately Makes Spider-Man Mysterio’s Friend - And That's Suspicious
If Mysterio is at all comic-book-accurate, then he's a master manipulator, and it's notable that he introduces the concept of the Multiverse in a way that's perfectly designed to get Spider-Man on his side. "We could use someone like you on my world," Mysterio tells Peter, at once complimenting him and presenting his Multiversal origins. Of course, Peter Parker is an absolute geek, and as a result he gives a classic reaction when Nick Fury's explains where he believes Mysterio comes from. "I'm sorry, but you're saying there's a Multiverse," a thrilled Spider-Man replies. "Because I thought that was just theoretical, I mean that completely changes how we understand the initial singularity. This is insane!" If Mysterio was just feeding a line, Spider-Man has been totally hooked by it.
Add to this that Peter Parker and Nick Fury don't seem to get along. "We've got Peter Parker, the young optimistic hero and then you've got Nick Fury, this cold war-era super spy," Carroll noted. "And their ideologies can't help but clash." Mysterio sets himself up as a warmer figure, a friend and confidant to Spider-Man who contrasts with the cold and aloof Fury. The hallmark of any good Spider-Man supervillain is the personal connection they have with the wall-crawler; that's a big part of what makes the Green Goblin and Venom so iconic, it's why Doctor Octopus actually got engaged to Aunt May in the comics, and it's the motivation for the Vulture twist in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spider-Man: Far From Home sets up a very personal dynamic between Spider-Man and Mysterio, a friendship that builds throughout the film, and that definitely raises the possibility of betrayal.
Supporting this interpretation, Carroll suggested the MCU's version of Mysterio is inspired by Mordo in Doctor Strange. "We wanted to give them time to have relationships," he explained, "so when and if we get to do something different with Mysterio, it really feels like a betrayal."
None of that directly disproves the Multiverse idea, but if nothing else Quentin Beck is saying is true, then it doesn't help either. It's worth noting that, per Fury, Spider-Man is the only accessible hero - Thor is off-world and Captain Marvel busy - meaning the idea of alternate dimensions could even be tailored to him.
A Set Visit Scene Suggests The Elementals Aren’t The Final Villains
All this leads to one final piece of evidence; that the Elementals don't seem to be the only enemies in Spider-Man: Far From Home's third act. During our set visit, we saw a scene from the third act being filmed where Happy Hogan and Peter's classmates are trapped in the Tower of London. A lot of the dialogue was ad-libbed - especially from Jon Favreau and Tony Revolori - so it's hard to say what details will end up in the final theatrical cut. But in one version, a terrified Happy stated that "drones are outside."
Nick Fury's forces are known to be using weaponized drones in Spider-Man: Far From Home - they play a key part in the second act - so that line of dialogue suggests the drones will be hacked and go rogue. Indeed, there were Fury drone props on the Tower of London set, although not in use when we were present.
Naturally, the most likely hacker is someone from the inside, namely Mysterio. Presumably the truth about Mysterio has been revealed by the third act, and he's actively working against Fury. If Mysterio is the hacker, then it neatly moves his powerset away from the mysticism that's been hinted at through the trailers, and back towards the technological skills he demonstrates in the comics. That would strongly supports the idea that this whole Elemental crisis is a hoax.
Conclusion: Mysterio Is Lying (But How Much?)
It's pretty clear that Mysterio is lying about something in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The only question at this point is just how much of his story is a fabrication? It's possible that his sin is a lie of omission, and that he's concealing a secret connection between himself and the Elementals: both he and the creatures really do come from an alternate reality, the MCU really has been given the Multiversal designation 616, and the snap really did expose the Marvel Cinematic Universe to other dimensions. By that reading, Mysterio is indeed a hero, but a fallible and fallen one whose dishonesty threatens the lives of those he claims to protect.
However, considering just how many question marks there are, the whole thing could be a lie; Mysterio is just a con-man who's made up a tall tale. The Elementals would be his creations, unleashed upon a world recovering from the snap so he can be honored as the superhero who beat them, making him a dark mirror to Peter as Iron Man's successor. This seems far more likely - and upsetting. Mysterio's mention of the Multiverse has caught Marvel fans' imaginations just as much as it has Peter Parker's. Spider-Man: Far From Home really will challenge audiences.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019