20 January 2007

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Mysterio

That ain't no fish in that bowl, it's Mysterio

Mysterio's true identity was Quentin Beck, a special-effects wizard who worked for a major studio and had dreams to make a name for himself in the film industry. However, he lacked the looks and talent to be a star and the patience to be a director, and saw his career in special-effects to be a dead-end job. When a friend jokingly suggested that the quickest way to become famous is to take out a costumed hero, Beck realized that his expertise in illusions could make him an effective supervillain. Choosing Spider-Man, a relatively weak and inexperienced target, Beck prepared his resources for a few months before attempting to eliminate the wall-crawler. Mysterio, his chosen identity, became one of Spider-Man's most elusive and persistent foes.

Mysterio showed his full range of talents in his first battle with Spider-Man, fogging the hero's Spider-Sense with a special gas and dissolving his webbing with a chemical abrasive. In other encounters, Mysterio has faked the death of Spider-Man's Aunt May, impersonated a world-renowned psychiatrist to convince Spider-Man that he was losing his mind, and made deals with demons from Limbo. Despite this, however, Mysterio was constantly beaten by Spider-Man and usually arrested. He joined Doctor Octopus' Sinister Six on several occasions, but this never gave him the edge against his foe that he desired. Eventually, he began to lose credibility as a supervillain with his defeat at the hands of the preteen superhero team, Power Pack, being a particularly humiliating moment.

After his final imprisonment, Mysterio was given an early release, as he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer, both caused by the chemicals and radiation from his equipment. He was given one year to live. Obsessed with enacting his final revenge on Spider-Man, he was disappointed when he deduced from newspaper articles that the current Spider-Man was just a clone, and saw no dignity in overpowering a 'copy' of the real thing (even though by then, the clone had been killed, and the current Spider-Man was indeed the original). Mysterio decided to change his plan and focus on Daredevil, who he had encountered recently during an insurance scam that the Man Without Fear had thwarted, instead, believing that, in Daredevil, he had found a 'kindred spirit', in the sense that both were second stringers with little reputation outside their homes.

After the Kingpin gave Mysterio all the information he possessed about Daredevil's past, Mysterio developed an elaborate plot to drive Daredevil insane. Daredevil was nearly manipulated into killing an innocent baby (falsely accused of being the Antichrist), Karen Page was killed by Bullseye after Mysterio had convinced her that she was suffering from HIV due to her time as a porn star, Matt Murdock's partner Foggy Nelson was framed for murder after cheating on his current lover, and Daredevil nearly lost his mind as he appeared to be tormented by the forces of Hell.

However, Daredevil's will proved stronger than Mysterio expected, and he unmasked Mysterio as the mastermind, shattering the villain's helmet in fury and revealing his now languishing appearance. Beck had thought Daredevil would kill him upon discovery, which in his eyes, was a "grand way to end his final show". Daredevil denied him this and instead verbally abused Mysterio's plot and very existence, dismissing Mysterio's scheme as a basic 'B-Movie' plot and calling Mysterio a 'human xerox', incapable of having an original thought in his life; if nothing else, the Kingpin had already attempted to drive Daredevil insane, and he had used the 'supernatural intruding on our world' idea in a previous attack on J. Jonah Jameson. Broken in every sense of the word, Mysterio, saying he was stealing an idea from Kraven the Hunter, pulled out a gun and shot himself dead, thus committing suicide. While Mysterio has faked his own death several times in the past, this act was legitimate, as Mysterio (suffering from lung cancer and a brain tumor due to all the chemicals he was using, thinking Spider-Man was a clone and beaten by Daredevil) had nothing left to live for.



Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
Boomerang
Calypso
Carnage
the Chameleon
Demogoblin
Doctor Octopus
Doppelganger
Electro
the Green Goblin
Hammerhead
Hobgoblin
Hydro-Man
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern
Jackal
Kangaroo
the Kingpin
Kraven the Hunter
the Lizard
Man-Wolf
Morbius
Mysterio

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 104 days!

No comments: