Peter Parker isn’t the only hero in the new Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer. Nick Fury shows up, and so does a mysterious guy in an elaborate costume who fights off some monsters — a man made out of the water, another made from fire — using laser beams he emits from his gauntlets.
Except that dude is no hero. That’s Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
Mysterio debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #13, written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko. Don’t let all the lasers and flying in the Far From Home trailer fool you: The guy has no superpowers. He’s actually a master of illusion.
The costume is one of Ditko’s best, and it’s pretty faithfully recreated in Far From Home. There’s a bit more technology on the chest, but the textured green bodysuit and distinctive plated gloves are intact, along with the famous “fishbowl” helmet.
Mysterio — real name Quentin Beck — is a Hollywood stunt man and special effects expert by trade. In his first appearance, he uses his knowledge of special effects to frame Spider-Man for his own crime spree. Spidey eventually uncovered his ruse and stopped him, but Mysterio has returned over and over to mess with Spider-Man, using increasingly convincing magic tricks.
Mysterio’s a great villain in the Spider-Man canon for a few reasons. His illusions are so realistic they can be used in stories that bring seemingly bring dead people back to life or turn Manhattan into a supernatural hellscape. He’s the perfect way to bring weirdness to the extremely grounded world of Spider-Man. He’s also fun because he’s always got plans within plans — like, say, creating elaborate monsters he can publicly fight and destroy so he can become a famous superhero, to offer just one very plausible theory for what we see in the Far From Home trailer. Spider-Man’s prone to self-doubt, and few can bring out that side of him better than Mysterio.