Real Name: Quentin Beck
AKA: Dr. Ludwig Rinehart, the pseudonym under which he psycho-analyzed Spidey and treated May Parker.
First Appearance: Well, Marvel legend has it that if you look really closely in Amazing Spider-Man 2, you can i.d. one of the "aliens" as Beck. His first solo shot at Spidey was in Amazing Spider-Man 13. The role was also played by Danny Berkhart, a fellow stunt-man and prison room-mate of Mysterio's who was hired by JJJ to gaslight Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man 141-142.
Death Prematurely Announced In: It was mentioned in Amazing Spider-Man 141 that the original Mysterio had died in prison, conveniently in a flash-back ... so no one was terribly surprised when he popped up again.
What's His Problem? A master of illusion, Mysterio worked over-time to make the Wall-Crawler think he was going mad. One of his favorite tricks was making Spidey think his foes were literally coming out of the wood-work; once Mysterio did the illusion so well Spidey shredded his hands against a harmless-enough brick wall. Another time Mysterio convinced Spidey that he'd been shrunk to the size of a pin-head. In prison for the ump-teenth time, Beck came to an important realization -- splashy crimes were fun an' all, but they weren't money-makers and they got super-heroes really ticked off at you. He opened a perfectly-legit home for the elderly, and lavished such care on his patients they would often make him their sole heir. If they died soon after that, well... Everything was fine in "Dr. Rinehart's" world until the day May Parker retired to the home. She was followed there by the Burglar, the nameless thug who had murdered Uncle Ben, and who still believed the Parker home hid a great fortune. Weaseling the story out of the Burglar, Mysterio came out of retirement to seize the "fortune" for himself. (This made an out-of-sorts Spidey observe: "Old Spidey villains never go to heaven, they just hide out until I least expect them." Yep, it was a cliche even back in 1979...) After wasting a lot of time on something that had been long since consumed by silverfish, Mysterio got back to his main purpose in life--making Spider-Man doubt himself.
Abilities: Mysterio is a genius when it comes to gadgetry. He's used mechanical springs to "disappear," an electrically charged cape, and electronic animals. Some of his autotronic bad guys would fool the originals. The corrosive acid he stores in his gloves comes in handy whenever there is webbing that needs to be dissolved. Mysterio's illusions, which often rely in part on hypnosis, are so real they can even confuse Spidey's spider-sense at times. Mysterio's greatest weakness is probably his squeamishness. Not only does he avoid physical confrontations at all costs, but he once set up the perfect murder but couldn't bear to actually witness it...permitting Spidey to escape yet another flawless illusion and shut down Mysterio's home for the elderly.
Favorite Quote: "Aren't you aware how hopeless your position is? Can't you see you were doomed right from the start? I've reduced you to a human fly-speck...made you the weakest of all living men! Why don't you crack? Why don't you beg for mercy?" (Amazing Spider-Man 67 -- to which speech a six-inch-high Spider-Man responded: "Who ever heard of a talking fly-speck?")
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: Mysterio took his original defeat by Spider-Man very hard, so hard that he made a career out of trying to scare the Web-Crawler to death. He crossed the path of the Human Torch once, and had to deal with the Scarlet Spider. Although the Webbed One has shattered Mysterio's fish bowl helmet a number of times, Beck was most outraged when Debra Whitman bopped him over the head and cracked it, making her number two on his "folks to get revenge on when I have time" list. He's on a hit list or two himself, most notably that of Peter Parker's murderous clone, Kaine.
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: Beck's fellow "aliens" returned to team up with Mysterio in Spectacular Spider-Man 50-51. His other partnerships have proved completely disastrous. He lost a ton of robots when he teamed with the Wizard. His participation in Doc Ock's Sinister Six, of which Mysterio was a charter member, came to an inglorious close when Doctor Octopus double-crossed his team-mates...which may have something to do with why Mysterio went after the Doctor's adamantium arms when Doc "died."
Most Despicable Act: Mysterio chained Spidey to the bottom of a pool and slowly let the water in, simply because it was a suitably dramatic exit for his arch-foe (Amazing Spider-Man 198). Mysterio promptly committed one of the cardinal sins of villainy, leaving the scene before you were certain your foe had actually kicked the bucket. Tsk, tsk... (And, yes, the whole thing was an illusion anyway).
Mysterious Mug Shots!
Amazing Spider-Man 13
Amazing Spider-Man 142
Amazing Spider-Man 198
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