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
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.
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.