In all of the Marvel Universe, there's no villain quite like Mysterio. Sure, there are plenty of other illusionists and corrupt Hollywood types lurking in the shadows, but Mysterio's the only one that intimidates heroes while wearing a fishbowl on his head! When Mysterio gets involved, heroes can just forget about trusting their senses – and that includes Spider-Man's spider-sense.
Quentin Beck first debuted 50 years ago in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Mysterio had readers confused from the very first page of his first appearance, when he began a crime spree while in an elaborate Spider-Man costume. As all of Spidey's fans turned against him, Peter Parker began to wonder if he had developed a criminal split personality. However stressful this shocking development made Peter, it absolutely delighted J. Jonah Jameson.
Mysterio appeared in Jameson's office, playing to the Daily Bugle publisher's anti-Spidey sentiment. The caped intruder urged Jameson to publish a letter to the wall-crawler, telling him to meet Mysterio for answers.
With the element of surprise – re: fishbowl helmet – firmly on his side, the special effects master easily trounced Spider-Man in their first skirmish. This public defeat elevated the new costumed creep's credibility, and helped to further ruin Spidey's reputation. Mysterio won one fight and got a parade thrown in his honor.
Little did the wannabe mastermind know that cozying up to J. Jonah Jameson would prove to be his undoing. The villain-in-disguise shook Daily Bugle photographer Peter Parker's hand and failed to notice the Spider-Tracer that the scrawny teenager placed in his cloak. Finally, the player got played! With his device transmitting out Mysterio's location at all times, Parker tracked his rival back to his headquarters at a television studio. After getting the drop on Mysterio, the voice behind the bowl began to recount his origin.
Ex-stunt man and prop master Quentin Beck decided to use his know-how to imitate all of Spider-Man's powers. This being the '60s, that technology included a lot of springs and magnets. But with the element of surprise firmly on his side, Spider-Man finally put Mysterio in his place.
With Mysterio's confession all caught on tape, Spider-Man cleared his name and made Jameson publish a retraction. This wouldn't be the last time the two would clash, as Mysterio would go on to earn a spot in Spider-Man's bad guy hall of fame. But that initial element of surprise would be gone forever, as heroes never forget their first fishbowl-faced foe.
Check out more of Mysterio's misadventures with Marvel Unlimited!