Characters : Mysterio I (Beck)

Staff Only
Edit Article
Attributes
Eyes

Blue

Features

Wears a fish-bowl on his head

Hair

Black

Height

5' 11"

Weight

175 lbs

Powers
Abilities

Expert designer of special effects devices (Hologhraphics) and stage illusions, master hypnotist & prestidigitator, talented chemist and roboticist.

Equipment

One-way Plexiglas helmet w/half-hour air supply & holographic projector; gas jets mounted in gloves and boots capable of emitting hallucinogenic, sense- dulling, or "web" dissolving gases. Also elaborate stage sets and props as part of his schemes for revenge.

Limitations

His quest for an 'artistic' revenge on Spider-Man means that he never really actually wants to kill him outright.

Strength Level

Normal

Weapons

Occasionally carries hypnotic aides & conventional hand held weaponry.

Summary
Citizenship

United States of America

Created By
Current Groups

Sinister Seven (Beetle, Electro, Hobgoblin, Scorpia, Shocker, Vulture)

Current Occupation

Professional Criminal

Dual Identity

Known to legal authorites

Education

Film school graduate

Former Aliases

Dr. Ludwig Rinehart

Former Bases

Hollywood, California

Former Groups

Sinister Six I (Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven, Sandman, Vulture), Sinister Six II (Doctor Octopus, Electro, Hobgoblin, Sandman, Vulture)

Former Occupation

Hollywood special effects designer and stunt man

Known Allies

The Wizard, Electro, Vulture, Hobgoblin, Shocker, Scorpia, Beetle, Doctor Octopus, Kraven (deceased), Sandman

Known Confidants

Daniel Berkhart

Known Relatives

Macguire Beck (Distant cousin, Mysterio Manifesto #3)

Legal Status

Criminal record in U.S.

Major Enemies

Spider-Man, Scarlet-Spider, Kaine

Marital Status

Single

Place of Birth

Riverside, California

Real Name

Quentin Beck/Nicholas Macabe

Usual Bases

Mobile

Background

Quentin Beck had the typical super villain childhood. His mother died at an early age and his father mocked his desire to become an actor in Hollywood after his uncle gave him a movie camera. His father's disdain left him a very shy, self conscious young man.

Beck started his career as a Hollywood stuntman. He later branched into special effects, and within a few months was one of the industries top special effects designers. But Beck grew tried of his continual backstage role and wanted something greater. Unfortunately, he didn't have the looks to be a Hollywood actor. He also had an accident on a set he was working on. An actor caught on fire after one of the pyrotechnic special effects went wrong and Beck was blacklisted from the industry. One day a friend jokingly told him to take out one of the new costumed crime-fighters, that were popping out of the woodwork at the time, if he wanted to make a name for himself. Beck took the idea to heart and began planning to frame and then kill the fledgling Spider-Man.

A skeptical man, Beck doubted that the so called "Marvels" were anything besides creative charlatans who faked their powers. As he set about replicating Spider-Man's powers, he was having trouble coming up with a convincing way to copy his wall crawling ability. He tried to get advice from a fellow special effects expert, Ray Bradhaus, but he refused to divulge his secrets. Mysterio gassed him and then tore apart his mansion, looking for clues as to how he had created a scene in a movie where a monster crawled down a wall. He eventually found what he was looking for, the monster itself. Beck defeated the creature, thinking it was merely a clever special effect. After he left, Bradhaus was awoken by Dr Strange, whom was also a fan of his. It was then that Bradhaus admitted that the computer effect industry had been killing his stop motion effects company and he had used dark magic to create the creature. (Web of Spider-Man vol. 2 #4)

After arriving in New York from Los Angeles, Beck entered into a partnership with the Tinkerer to steal industrial and military plans. The two men pooled their genius and developed an alien disguise to mask the true nature of their crime. The scheme was foiled by Spider-Man, but the hero did not see through the villains' disguises. (Amazing Spider-Man #2)

Later, Beck tried to become a hero in New York by framing Spider-Man for a series of robberies. Peter even believed that he was developing a split personality and was committing the crimes while he slept, making him go to a psychiatrist. Luckily he left the doctors office before telling him anything about himself. Soon after, Mysterio sent J. Jonah Jameson a note, telling him that he alone could defeat Spider-Man. Beck appeared in Jameson's office, left him a note of instructions to give Spider-Man and then vanished in a cloud of smoke. Spider-Man met Mysterio at the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, where Beck's gadgets quickly beat and confused the young web slinger. A cloud of smoke enveloped Spidey, making Beck invisible to him. As the criminal pummeled him, Spidey was forced to jump off the bridge to escape. Jameson was introducing Mysterio to his employees, including Peter Parker. Slipping a spider tracer into Beck's cape, Peter knew he'd be able to find him later. Spider-Man ambushed Mysterio at a movie studio after he left the Daily Bugle. Spidey smashed Beck's spider sense jamming device and beat him to a pulp. (Amazing Spider-Man #13)

Mysterio accepted Doctor Octopus's invitation to join Vulture, Electro, Sandman and Kraven the Hunter in the Sinister Six, a group made up of former spider-foes all looking for revenge. Mysterio used robotic versions of the X-Men to attack Spidey, who quickly realized that he wasn't fighting his old allies. Using his Spider-Sense, he found the control room and easily defeated Beck. (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1)

Beck returned some time later, posing as a European psychiatrist named Dr. Ludwig Rinehart. He claimed to have expertise studying men like Spider-Man and he believed that the web swinger was in danger of a psychotic breakdown. Jameson published the story, which again made Peter an insecure wreck. Peter changed into Spider-Man and went to see "Dr. Rinehart", only to be attacked by visions of Dr Octopus, Sandman and the Vulture on his way. He later arrived at Rinehart's office, to find that everything in the room was upside down. Spidey ran out of the room in terror of the illusion, thinking he was hallucinating. Beck calmed him down, telling him that he was suffering from schizophrenia and that it was caused by the stress of his dual identity. To be cured of the hallucinations, Spider-Man needed to tell Rinehart his secret. The conversation was interrupted by Jameson and Flash Thompson, who barged into the room demanding to know why Frederick Foswell had found that that Dr. Rinehart was unlicensed and a fraud. Spidey then removed Beck's mask and defeated him. (Amazing Spider-Man #24)

After serving time in jail, Quentin tried to get work again in Hollywood but he was rejected due to his criminal past. He pondered his life back at his childhood apartment, and ran into his old friend Betsy Schneider. Feeling that his life was going nowhere, he felt that the only thing that ever saved him was his imagination and again became Mysterio. He kidnapped Jameson and created an illusion that he had died and gone to Hell. Feeling powerful again, Beck found the courage to call Betsy and invite her to lunch. Spider-Man, meanwhile, was investigating the scene of Jameson's "death" via a car accident and was attacked by a clumsily assembled facsimile of the Sinister Six. The defeated "Doctor Octopus" told Spidey that Beck had Jameson at a movie studio and was waiting for him. (Webspinners Tales of Spider-Man #1)

Beck soon arrived at a restaurant as Mysterio and Betsy immediately saw through his disguise, saying he hadnt changed since he was a boy. She was even proud and impressed by him, as he had managed to fool so many people with his illusions. She realized how much he had changed when he blew up the studio when Spider-Man rescued Jameson. (Actually, the explosion was another special effect, fooling everyone involved.) After learning that no one was in any danger from the explosion, Betsy offered to write a book about Mysterio and the real Quentin Beck, to get his side of the story. Beck thought she was trying to make a quick dollar off of him and tried to push her off of the flying Sphinx, when she was saved by Joe Smith. Beck easily pushed Smith off of the Sphinx, but he was saved by the web head.

The Sphinx later landed in Midtown Manhattan and the virtual reality machine it carried turned the city into Ancient Egypt for five miles. Spider-Man arrived and was kept off balance by the machine changing scenery and period of time around him. By the time Spidey reached Beck, he felt that he was losing his mind. At the same time, Joe Smith made it inside the Sphinx, fell for Betsy at first sight and unplugged the machine. Mysterio tried to escape but was knocked out by Spider-Man. (Webspinners #3)

After Spider-Man accidentally ruined a movie scene that the Human Torch was filming in New York, he was enticed to go to Hollywood by a radio announcement saying that a studio wanted to film a Spider-Man vs Human Torch film. Always needing money, Peter flew to California. During filming, Spidey was attacked by a strangely mute Human Torch. It was revealed that the Wizard had impersonated the Torch during the attack, sending Spider-Man after his co-star. The illusion was made complete with help from Mysterio. The Wizard had heard about Spider-Man's mistake in New York and it gave him the idea to set the heroes against each other. He enlisted Beck because the Torch and Spider-Man were his enemies as well. As the Torch and Spider-Man fought, the Wizard over-anxiously fired a laser cannon at them, missing them but giving away the fact that someone had set them up. The Torch smoked Wizard and Mysterio out of the control room but was fooled by holograms that Beck had set up. The crooks escaped via a flying machine and the heroes followed them into the brush. A giant mechanical ape waited for them. After defeating the machine, they followed Peter's spider sense to where the bad guys were hiding. After they were captured, Torch gave Spidey some of the reward money for catching the wanted criminals. It was just what Peter needed to buy a plane ticket back to New York. (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4)

Spider-Man fought Mysterio over a year later, after he escaped from prison. Beck went on the air, threatening to destroy the city. The threats badly scared May Parker, making her collapse. Peter left her with Anna Watson and went after Mysterio, hoping that ending his threat would help his aunt to calm down. He found Beck at the TV studio that they had previously fought at. During the fight, Spidey was hit by a laser that seemed to shrink him to 6 inches tall. (Amazing Spider-Man #66) He woke up in an amusement park model that had previously been sitting on a table in Beck's hideout. He saved himself from a house of mirrors, a drowning pool with an undertow and a pit of snakes. It was after Spidey realized that he hadn't been shrunk that he found Beck's hideout in the amusement park and captured him. (Amazing Spider-Man #67)

Years later, Beck started a scam (again with the alias "Dr. Ludwig Rinehart") where he tricked nursing home residents into signing all of their possessions over to him in the event of their deaths. He told the burglar that in the three years he had been running the fraud, he had gained $8 million. (Beck had managed to run the nursing home undetected for so long because he had faked his death in prison. He did it front of Daniel Berkhart, his cell mate and confidant. The burglar was the same man that had killed Ben Parker years prior. He was looking to find the lost treasure that the mobster, Dutch Mallone, had left on the Parker's property when it had been a mob house back in the day. The burglar had to find out from May, a resident at the home, where the treasure was hidden and wormed his way into Mysterio's scheme. In turn, Beck planned to double cross the burglar after he knew about Mallone's treasure.) After Spider-Man went back to the nursing home to confront Rinehart, he was captured by Mysterio and chained to the bottom of a swimming pool. (Amazing Spider-Man #198) After he escaped, Spidey tracked him to Aunt May's house, where Beck escaped again. Deciding that the search for the hidden treasure was too much of a wild goose chase, Beck drugged Spider-Man and escaped. (Amazing Spider-Man #199)

Beck went back to the old "ruin the hero's confidence" trick in his next bout with Spider-Man. Mysterio hired a small time thug named "Peanuts" Mulroony to pretend to rob a couple outside of the New York Public Library. Spider-Man would save the couple from Mulroony, and a giant stone creature would then emerge from the wall of the library. The man would help Spider-Man as he had helped them and be smashed by the giant in the process. The trick did shake Peter's confidence but once he realized that the alleyway had been full of smoke and there appeared to be no damage to the wall of the library, he guessed who was behind the incident. He found Mulroony at a bar, who gave him Mysterio's location. Mysterio dampened Spider-Man's spider sense and then attacked him with alien themed robots. Spidey got to the basement and the circuit box and smashed it, destroying the illusions and causing the circuitry in Beck's costume to cut out. (Amazing Spider-Man #311)

The next time Beck was seen, he joined the reformed Sinister Six, with Jason Macendale filling in for the deceased Sergei Kravinoff. Ock's plan was to hold the world for ransom with the threat of destroying the earth with a poison gas spread from satellites. After it was found that Octavius had lied to the Six and planned to keep the money for himself, they swore revenge on their former leader. (Amazing Spider-Man #335 - Amazing Spider-Man #339) The Sinister Six later regrouped and went for revenge, but Octavius instead convinced them to join him again instead of kill him. They escaped to an alternate dimension and recruited a new member, the gigantic creature called Gog. It took the combined efforts of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and Solo to defeat the Six. (Spider-Man #18 - Spider-Man #23)

Beck used Maxie Shiffman, Peter Parker's agent before he became a crime fighter, to lure Spidey out to do battle. (Web of Spider-Man #90)

After Kaine killed Octavius, Beck and others tried to steal his adamantium tentacles, but were stopped by Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider. (Funeral for an Octopus #3) Beck's self confidence never seemed to really rebound, as he often worked with other criminals. He joined the Seven (Vulture, Electro, Scorpia, Jason Macendale, Shocker and Beetle) to rid themselves of the criminal killer, Kaine. (Spider-Man Unlimited #9)

He started planning his final revenge, but his long-time enemy Spider-Man was no longer who he knew, but a clone. Ben Reilly faced off against Mysterio and his ally, Armada, when they created the MysteryVision TV channel. He could broadcast his own thoughts and fantasies to TV screens. This would wipe out the costs of having writers, actors and sets. "In this age of information, the greatest power belongs to whoever rules the airwaves!" he crowed. MysteryVision was an addictive broadcast that turned its viewers into mindless zombies. When it came time to take on Spider-Man, Beck had tricked him placing receivers onto his eye pieces on his mask, letting Mysterio fool him with any illusion he wanted as he broadcast Spidey's confusion to the masses. The lenses were shattered while battling Armada, freeing Ben from the visions of monsters he had been seeing.

Mysterio and Armada soon escaped from prison with the help of one of Armada's robots. They soon captured Spider-Man and revisited the "6 inch tall" trick from years before. Ben woke up in a glass jar, seemingly in a young boys bedroom and was attacked by the kid's toys. Watching from a control room, Armada grew more and more agitated as Spider-Man destroyed the robotic toys. He believed the animatronics to be his friends and that they were being murdered. After escaping from Aramada, Ben attacked the observation room but Beck was already gone. (Amazing Spider-Man #413)

While being imprisoned in Ravencroft Asylum, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer. Both afflictions were beyond help, and both caused by the chemicals Beck had used for years in his illusions. With the maximum estimate of one year to live, and deemed sane and no longer a danger to society, he was released from the institution. Not wanting a revenge on Spider-Man's clone, Beck remembered his past meeting with Daredevil. He bought all the information about Daredevil from the Kingpin, and elaborated a complex plan to drive him mad. He hired Daredevil's nemesis, Bullseye, who killed DD's love, Karen Page. Beck destroyed Foggy Nelson's relation with Liz Osborn and he almost made DD kill an innocent baby. Beck's plan to have an insane Daredevil kill him failed after Dr Strange removed the drug that Beck had poisoned Murdock with. Instead, Daredevil tells Beck that for a man that considers himself an artist, he doesn't have an original bone in his body. Beck says his final move is also stolen and shoots himself, copying Kraven's suicide. (Daredevil vol. 2 #1 - #7)

Before his death, Mysterio trained his cousin Maguire Beck, the person inside the Conundrum costume and his friend and one-time stand-in Daniel Berkhart in the use of his technology. Berkhart would become his successor, seeking to avenge his friend by tormenting Spidey and Daredevil, as well as pursuing his own personal agenda.

Beck briefly appeared post posthumously at Midtown High. He confronted Miss Arrow, telling her that he knew what she really was. His new masters were watching her, and they wanted to know if she had what it took to kill Spider- Man. She didn't appreciate being lectured by a dead man. (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13)

Beck achieved his greatest victory over Spider-Man and never even knew it. Years before he died, he was hired by Norman Osborn to create an elaborate illusion to fool Spider-Man into thinking that Harry Osborn was dead. He also created a genetic duplicate for the funeral (which came in handy when Harry's "body" was exhumed in the "Dynasty of Evil" story) and falsified the autopsy report. (Amazing Spider-Man #581)

Beck made his big encore after Mephisto erased Peter and Mary Jane's marriage. Being a master of illusion made faking his death to be a very simple matter. He used an animatronic Silvermane to fool the dead criminal's gang into thinking their boss was back, as well as faking their deaths to protect them from Martin Li. (Amazing Spider-Man #618) Beck's Silvermane robot took control of the Maggia and fought a gang war with Mister Negative's forces. As Negative attacked the Maggia's cash houses, "Silvermane" ordered that their remaining money be lumped together for safe keeping. When Carmine protested, he was killed. (Amazing Spider-Man #619)

When Mister Negative moved against the Maggia's last cash stores, a gun fight broke out. Elsewhere, Mysterio escaped with $3.5 billion of the Maggia's money with his henchmen, Dan Berkhart and Francis Klum. A bomb, set by Beck, went off in the building that the fight was taking place in, which killed many Maggia goons and destroyed the Silvermane robot. As Beck, Berkhart and Klum were escaping NYC in a trash barge, Spider-Man arrived and ruined the escape. Beck launched a surface to air missile at the docks, which were full of cops responding to the fight scene between Mr Negative, "Silvermane" and Spider-Man. Spidey caught it with his web and swung it back to the barge, destroying the ship. Daniel asked if Quentin may have survived, to which Spider-Man replies "Please. He's Mysterio. He's probably half way to Hoboken by now." Later, Beck is sunning on a rooftop, wishing he were on the tropical island that he had intended to buy with his stolen money. He is approached by the Chameleon, who offers him a job working for the Kravinoffs. (Amazing Spider-Man #620)

Mysterio agrees, and helps fool Spider-Man into trusting Chameleon (posing as Ezekiel Sims). "Ezekiel" took him to the Kravinoff mansion, where he was to be sacrificed to resurrect Sergei Kravinoff. (Amazing Spider-Man #635)

Mysterio and Chameleon rejoined forces as members of the Sinister Six. Doctor Octopus was dying and was planning one last scheme to put earth in its place. However, before he could do that, the Six attacked a group of super criminals called the Intelligencia (M.O.D.O.K., Wizard, Red Ghost, Klaw and Mad Thinker). The Intelligencia had created a machine that used earth's magnetic field to propel any spot on earth into outer space. Ock wanted this threat to his plan destroyed. While the rest of the Six physically fought the Intelligencia, Mysterio was happily playing Angry Birds while his illusions distracted the Red Ghost and his Super Apes. (Amazing Spider-Man #676)

Beck played a tech support role during Octavius's final master plan, controlling information and communications from a computer terminal. As Spider-Man, Black Widow and Silver Sable arrived in Symkaria, they found the country in blazing ruins, seemingly destroyed by Octopus's sunlight magnifying satellites. ((Amazing Spider-Man #685) In reality, it was a mega-sized illusion cast by Mysterio to keep the heroes busy with a rescue effort, wasting time as the final stages of Ock's plan came to fruition. However, Beck traded sides once Spider-Man reminded him that his two billion dollars earnings in the scheme would be worthless if Ock destroyed the planet. In return, Beck directed them to Guatemala and to Ock's hideout. (Amazing Spider-Man #686) Beck managed to distract the Red Hulk, (who was under Doctor Octopus's mind control, as were the rest of the Avengers) by activating a robotic "Mayan god." He also used an electromagnetic pulse to deactivate the tiny octobot robots that were controlling the Avengers. Mysterio then made his escape. (Amazing Spider-Man #687)

Beck soon met Spider-Man again, after a machine malfunction alerted Spidey to Beck's hideout. After a brief tussle, Spidey was accidentally knocked into the machine, sending him to a strange and unfamiliar New York City. He knew that something was wrong after he met a young man in a new Spider-Man costume (Miles Morales) web swinging across the city. (Spider-Men #1) Meanwhile, Quentin realized that Spider-Man was now in the universe that he had "discovered" and set out to make sure that he was never seen or heard from again. Peter had meanwhile been captured by Morales, who had taken him to his version of Nick Fury. Fury told Morales to take Peter to his universe's version of Aunt May, so he could see what happened to the teenage Peter Parker Spider-Man. (He got killed by the Sinister Six.) En route to May Parker's home, their helicopter was shot down by Mysterio's avatar, who carried a rocket launcher. (Spider-Men #2)

The Spider-Men survived the explosion but were faced with illusions of spider-enemies from both realities: Miles Morales' version of Electro, Scorpion and Prowler, and Peter's version of Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Hammerhead, the Lizard and Electro. (The Venom, Carnage and Omega Red illusions were unclear.) Miles tackled the Mysterio avatar, defeating Beck in Peter's reality and ending the illusions. After Peter met Morales' universes' versions of Aunt May, Gwen and Mary Jane, (Spider-Men #3) he and Miles returned to S.H.E.I.L.D. There, Tony Stark was watching Mysterio's rants on YouTube and Miles noticed a red light coming from a building over his shoulder. They figured that must be where Beck was broadcasting his break point for the dimensional loop...or whatever. (Spider-Men #4)

Back in Peter's reality, Beck was trying to convince himself that he had finally beaten Spider-Man, that he would just leave his enemy in the other dimension forever. His curiosity got the better of him and he activated the portal to see the web swinger die. Webbing then came through the door and pulled him through to Miles' world. He broke free for a moment and used a computer at the site to blow up the building, then released gas that showed the assembled team their worst fears. Miles saw Mysterio try to escape through the portal again and tackled him, falling through the door with him. He got a brief look at Peter's New York before he fell through the door again with Beck. He was then captured and left in Miles's world, because he knew that Peter Parker was Spider-Man. (Spider-Men #5)

While Beck was trapped in that alternate reality, his costume and weapons were sold by the Hobgoblin to a young man. The imposter was soon captured by Spider-Man (Octavius) and imprisoned in his hideout, along with Chameleon, Sandman and Electro. (Avenging Spider-Man #22)

Quiz: Quick Quiz on Mysterio.

Appears In...

May 1963 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #2 (Story 1)
  Hired by the Tinkerer to disguise himself as an alien and uncover military and industrial secrets
Jun 1964 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #13
  First encountered Spider-Man as Mysterio
Year 1964 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #1 (Story 1)
  Joined original Sinister Six
May 1965 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #24
  Created alias of phychiatrist Dr. Rinehart, used technology and hypnosis in attempt to drive Spider-Man insane
Jan 1999 App: Webspinners Tales of Spider-Man #1 (Story 1)

Here is the Full Appearance List (47 Apps) for Mysterio I (Beck).

Image Gallery

The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.

Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.