By Jim Beard
Why be just a Hollywood special effects and stunt wizard when you can cause untold havoc as a super villain? That's what Quentin Beck reasoned one day and then crafted his greatest illusion-Mysterio!
The Gauntlet continues to dog the heels of everyone's favorite Wallcrawler in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #618, out January 13, as Mysterio returns from the dead-what?!?-and revives his trademark mind games thanks to writer Dan Slott and artist Marcos Martin. Spidey's been on the receiving end of ol' Bubblehead's frightening phantasms before but this time his former foe's playing for the highest stakes: our hero's very sanity!
Come with us now as we peer into our crystal ball and lay all the cards on the table-behold Spider-Man vs. Mysterio!
Spider-Man-criminal! In an effort to best the Web-slinger, Mysterio posed as Spidey to pull off a series of daring crimes then offered himself as the perfect person to bring our hero to justice. A grandiose game of cat and mouse on a movie set ensued with Mysterio soon realizing there's only one Spider-Man and winning a pair of handcuffs for his troubles.
In one of his most outrageous ploys, Mysterio shrunk Spider-Man to the diminutive height of six inches! Well, not really. While avoiding his opponent's giant fist and dodging danger at a warped amusement park, Spidey guessed Mysterio's game and broke the post-hypnotic spell, and discovering he'd never been less than his usual true heroic height.
Mysterio and the burglar who killed Uncle Ben believed a treasure lay somewhere in Aunt May's house and the master illusionist pulled out all stops to grab it for his own. His illusions caused Spider-Man agony like never before and when the Wallcrawler's brain hit rock bottom Mysterio fired the poisoned dart that seemingly killed our hero-just in time for his 200th issue!
Laboring under crushing guilt over the death of a small-time crook he failed to save, Spider-Man's private life turned inside out. Even his beloved Mary Jane failed to shake him from his funk. Spidey investigated deeper into the incident and turned up the crawly thing under the rock: Mysterio. A few punches later and the wall-crawler cleared both his head and his conscience.
In the middle of a strange struggle between the second and third criminals to wear the mantle of Mysterio, up popped the original illusionist, Quentin Beck, thought dead for years! Spidey mulled over which Mysterio to maul first but soon swung his attention to the innocents in the line of fire, leaving the mystery of Beck's resurrection and shadowy masters for another day...
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