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Mysterio

Real name: Quentin Beck
Occupation: Former special-effects designer, stuntman and professional criminal
Group affiliation: Formerly the Sinister Six
Base of operations: Mobile at the time of his death
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #13 (1964)

History: Quentin Beck began his career as a movie stuntman, but soon developed a singular interest in the field of motion-picture special effects. In short order, he became one of the industry's most accomplished masters of illusion. Motivated by a desire to transcend the limited recognition of his behind-the-scenes occupation, Beck attempted to become an actor. He met with little success. A friend's joking suggestion set in motion his efforts to kill the wisecracking, web-slinging super hero known as Spider-Man and take his place as a popular crimefighter.

Bent on duplicating Spider-Man's spectacular feats, Beck moved to New York City. He studied the wall-crawler intently for months, filming him in action and collecting fallen pieces of webbing to determine whether the substance could be reproduced. Beck contacted the contraption-concocting criminal genius known as the Tinkerer, outfitting him and his accomplices with equipment that made them appear to be aliens. Beck participated in their unlawful activities, but escaped when they met defeat at the hands of Spider-Man.

Subsequently, Beck completed an outfit and accouterments capable of mimicking the web-slinger's amazing arachnid-like abilities. He also originated the masked identity of Mysterio. Beck planned to discredit Spider-Man by committing crimes in his place, but was defeated by the hero and sentenced to a prison term.

After being paroled, Mysterio renewed his illegal activities. Seeking revenge on Spider-Man, he joined with the tentacled terror Dr. Octopus; the shifty Sandman; the high-flying, lowdown Vulture; Kraven the Hunter; and the supercharged super-criminal Electro. However, even the combined efforts of this Sinister Six proved insufficient to accomplish what none of the villains could achieve alone. During his second brief imprisonment, Beck learned the arts of hypnosis and slight of hand. Upon his release, he created the identity of Dr. Ludwig Rinehart, and used technological and psychological weaponry in an unsuccessful attempt to drive Spider-Man insane.

Creating the illusion of his own death, Beck escaped prison yet again and became aware of a large fortune that years before had been hidden under the home of Spider-Man's loving Aunt May and Uncle Ben Parker by the burglar who later murdered Ben. Despite his detailed planning and extensive use of special effects, Mysterio was unable to unearth the treasure. He and his accomplices were apprehended and turned over to the authorities by Spider-Man.

Mysterio continued to clash with Spider-Man for years, both alone and in the company of the Sinister Six, until learning that he would pay the ultimate price for his life of crime. Beck was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer, both caused by the chemicals he had used to concoct his illusions. He was released from a prison hospital with a year to live.

At the time, a clone had replaced Spider-Man. Unable to exact his final vengeance on his greatest nemesis, Mysterio deemed the blind adventurer known as Daredevil to be a suitable second choice. Beck purchased the hero's identity as attorney Matt Murdock from the Kingpin, the most powerful figure in East Coast organized crime, then initiated an elaborate plot to break down Daredevil's defenses. Mysterio managed to convince Murdock and his confidants that a baby born of Immaculate Conception was evil incarnate. Relying on his trademark hallucinogens and special effects, he almost broke Daredevil's will. But in the end, the demon-garbed hero saw past the illusion and put down the second-rate super-villain. Following his ignominious defeat, Beck committed suicide.

In seeming defiance of death, Mysterio soon resurfaced to plague Spider-Man. Upon his capture, this Mysterio was discovered to be Beck's successor, Danny Berkhart. Hoping to avenge the original Mysterio, Beck's cousin co-opted his techniques to create the fiery, pumpkin-headed villain called Mad Jack. Macguire Beck captured Spider-Man and Daredevil, but the confused costumed crimefighters managed to defeat her. Behind the scenes, Macguire appeared to be working in concert with an enigmatic individual clad in familiar purple-and-green garb...

Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 175 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

Powers: A master magician and hypnotist, Mysterio could perform multiple sleights of hand simultaneously. Also, Quentin Beck was a skilled amateur chemist; he concocted a variety of explosives, hallucinogens and toxins of various strengths and effects.

Weapons: Quentin Beck boasted an extensive repertoire of stage illusions and special-effects devices. Mysterio's helmet contained holographic projectors and was constructed of one-way Plexiglas that prevented his face from being seen. Tubes running under his costume fed nozzles in his gloves and boots that emitted thick, vision-obscuring gas to mask his entrances and exits.

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